About Leiston – Places of Interest to Visit
Leiston itself is worthy of a day or two of exploration. This quirky corner of the Suffolk countryside and coast offers an array of facilities and attractions, from the celebrated home of steam and Suffolk’s oldest purpose built cinema, to the tranquil setting of grand boating lakes, golf course and the splendid coastline, perfect for a leisurely stroll and infamous for its smuggling community throughout the 16th and 17th century.
Scroll down this page for more information about Leiston itself and other nearby places of interest. Also see the Visit Leiston website.
Leiston Film Theatre
Leiston Film Theatre is Suffolk’s oldest purpose built cinema. It is a 300 seat auditorium in an Edwardian picture house showing Dolby 3D films, plus live drama and music on occasions.
To find out more about Leiston Film Theatre and to see what’s showing visit the Leiston Film Theatre website.
Long Shop Museum
The Long Shop Museum offers fun for families, inspiring stories and feats of engineering, gorgeous designs and the Long Shop itself – a true icon of industrial revolution Britain. You can spend a super half-day visit here.
To find out more see the Leiston Long Shop Museum website.
Situated about 1.5 miles from Stanley Cottage (5 minute car drive) is Leiston Abbey. Leiston Abbey was founded in 1182 by Ranulf de Glanville and is one of Suffolk’s most impressive monastic ruins with some spectacular architectural features. The Abbey was dedicated to St Mary.
To find out more about Leiston Abbey see this page on the English Heritage website.
Located just 1.5 miles from Stanley Cottage is the nearest beach located at Sizewell, which is something of an undiscovered retreat. There is ample and cheap car parking right next to the beach.
It is an award winning beach of shingle and sand dunes, quite unusual on this stretch of coastline. The beach makes the ideal location for a leisurely stroll, where dogs, with responsible owners, are very welcome. On a fine day, a walk along the cliffs provides some picturesque views with access to the Beach View Holiday Park, where non-residents are welcome to enjoy some light refreshments on the balcony, whilst admiring the coastal views.
To find out more about Sizewell and Sizewell Beach see this page on the Visit Leiston website.
Fantastic Aldeburgh is just 4 miles from Stanley Cottage. The Visit Aldeburgh website describes Aldeburgh as “a wonderful mix of family fun, music and drama, fine eating and drinking, sailing and shopping – something for everyone in the friendliest atmosphere you’ll wish to find on the Suffolk Heritage Coast”
To find out more about Aldeburgh see the Visit Alderburgh website.
Sizewell Belts Nature Reserve
This diverse site is one of the best wetlands in East Anglia for wildflowers. It is a stronghold for otter, water vole and kingfisher, whilst water rail and barn owl can often be seen. The wildflower meadows, which are maintained by cattle and sheep grazing, include four species of orchid, yellow rattle, ragged-robin, bogbean and lady’s smock.
To find out more see the Sizewell Belts Nature Reserve page on the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website.
R.S.P.B. Minsmere Reserve
Discover some of the UK’s rarest wildlife and enjoy family-friendly activities at Minsmere. Choose an idyllic walk or head to the coastal lagoons to see an impressive variety of birds, including avocets, bearded tits and bitterns. If you’re lucky, you might see an otter around the reedbed pools.
To find out more see the Minsmere Nature Reserve website.
Nearby Golf Courses
There are many great golf courses in the area including Thorpeness (3 miles away) and Alderburgh (4 miles away). As well as its main course Alderburgh has the great little 9 hole River Course which you can pay to play without club membership or handicap certificate.
There are also nearby golf driving ranges should you feel you need to practice your swing including at nearby Halesworth Golf (11 miles away) which also has its own 2 golf courses.