The Vulcan Arms - Sizewell - Suffolk

Sizewell Circular Walks

Walk 3 - Sizewell Common - Thorpeness - Coastal Footpath

Difficulty 5 miles - 2 hour stroll - easy walk. Thorpeness hosts a cafe, pub and club all offering food and drink


The Vulcan Arms, take the road towards the beach and as it turns a sharp left you will see a track leading off to the right. Walk along this track and head towards the black beachhuts. At the beachhuts you should see a caravan park at the edge of the cliffs. Walk towards this and follow the Heritage Coastal Footpath signs.

The coastal footpath leads you along the clifftops until private land forces you down to the beach. Keep walking along the beach until you see access back up to the top of the cliffs where it will lead you out onto Thorpeness Common. A path runs parallel with the coast, then onto a residential track into Thorpeness. At the road junction turn right. At the immediate next right turning a footpath sign guides you back for the return journey.

To get to The House in the Clouds, The Windmill and Thorpness Meare, proceed along the road as it bears left past The Dolphin public house. Keep walking another 200 metres and you will reach the Meare. Here you can obtain refreshments from the Meare shop, which also sells duck food for those wishing to feed the myriads of wild fowl that flock together about the Meare. A cafe is located opposite the shop, selling a vareity of foods from snacks to hot meals..

For The House in the Clouds, take the second right turning past The Dolphin, up an unpaved road. Both structures are located at the end of this road before the golf club.

To return to Sizewell take the junction as mentioned earlier, follow the footpath signs, up the track, then up by the side of the end house where the track turns right. Keep on this track for 200 metres until a footpath leads off to the left. This is not signposted! This narrow footpath leads you through a 'tunnel' of overhanging trees. Keep on this path, avoiding the branch off to the left until it junctions with a farm track. Turn right and follow this track. After another 200 metres the track crosses another farm track. Carry straight on and the track will slowly turn left and become paved. This then takes you out on to the main Sizewell road. Turn right and the pub is 200 metres onwards.


The village of Thorpeness was conceived as an idea by Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie who wanted to create a corner of 'Merrie ol' England' by the sea. It was built between 1910 and 1930 with a variety of Elizabethan black and white timbered and gothic style houses. Included in the construction was a man-made lake encompassing several islands, known as The Meare. Here you can hire rowing boats, canoes or dinghies.

Thorpeness Windmill was originally built by 'Whitmores' in 1803 down the road at Aldringham where it was used to grind corn. It wasn't until 1922 that the mill was moved to Thorpeness to be used as a windpump to pump water from a 28ft deep well up to the water tower disguised as The House in the Clouds. The mill remained in use up until 1940 when it was superseded by an engine, which itself was taken over by the arrival of the water mains in 1963. Since then the Mill has been damaged by a storm in 1972 and by a heath fire in 1974. Today it is restored as a working museum.

The House in the Clouds is the village water tower. It is built on stilts, clad in painted weather boarding and can be rented out as a holiday home for 10 people. Its' 50,000 gallon capacity tank was reduced to 30,000 gallons during World War II when anti-aircraft guns accidentally hit the water tower. Due to a shortage of steel, the repairs had to be carried out by sacrificing some of its own panels.

The Vulcan Arms
Sizewell Gap
Sizewell , Suffolk , IP16 4UD England
Tel: 01728 830748

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