Photographing Walberswick, Suffolk

September 13, 2019

Walberswick is a small village on the edge of the Blyth estuary renowned for its beauty, charm and amazing light.

A quick guide to Photographing Walberswick

Walberswick is a lovely little village on the banks of the River Blyth. Popular in the summer with holiday makers and day trippers it can get busy but is worth exploring especially out of season for its lovely landscapes and amazing light which has attracted numerous artists including Charles Renne Macintosh and Wilson Steer.

The long sandy beach is back by marram covered dunes and in the summer the saltmarsh is ablaze with sea lavender and pink thrift. 

The village centre is surrounded by areas of heathland and the Walberswick National Nature Reserve which consists of numerous habitats including reedbeds, marshland, woods and heath.

The river is a vibrant and bustling place which has much to offer photographically. There is a footpath running from the car park to the Bailey Bridge and beyond which affords good views of the harbour, fishing boats and the town of Southwold. The black beach huts are interesting as is the staging for the Southwold Ferry which makes good foreground interest for shots across the river. 

The remains of the old concrete pier run out into the sea by the estuary mouth and together with the old wooden pier makes an interesting subject for long exposure images.

A little further along the beach there is a row of black beach huts behind the dunes which are good to photograph at sunset. There are also views from here back towards the village and along the beach towards Southwold.

Walberswick Nature Reserve is one of three National Nature Reserves managed by Natural England. It is one of the most diverse sites in the UK with habitats ranging from Sandlings heathland, woodland, mudflats and saltmarsh to one of the largest areas of reedbeds in the UK at Westwood Marshes. There are several paths out across the marshes, where you will find the remains of an old tower mill which was built in the late 18th century. There are some good shots to be had of Westwood Mill across the marshes incorporating some of the many dykes – sunrise works especially well.

Photographing Walberswick through the seasons

Walberswick is a lovely location at any time of year but can get really busy in the summer. Personally I prefer the spring and autumn when the saltmarsh is at its most vibrant and the flowers along the riverside paths are most plentiful.

There are good sunrise shots incorporating the old pier available at any time of year. Sunset is also good across the marshes or from the beach across the dunes looking back towards the village.

Walberswick nature reserve is good for autumn colour especially in the little pockets of woodland. In the spring the gorse adds a lovely touch of yellow to the countryside.

Photographing the Suffolk Coast

If you would like to find out more about the area I have published a “Guide to Photographing the Suffolk Coast” which can be purchased below.

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Gallery of Walberswick, Suffolk