Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
10:00 - 17:00
Monday
10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday
10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday
10:00 - 17:00
Thursday
10:00 - 17:00
Friday
10:00 - 17:00
Saturday
10:00 - 17:00
Sunday
10:00 - 17:00
About
Wild, remote and exposed, Orford Ness contains the ruined remnants of a disturbing past. Ranked among the most important shingle features in the world, rare and fragile wildlife thrives where weapons, including atomic bombs, were once tested and perfected.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Popular mentions

4.5
231 reviews
Excellent
141
Very good
66
Average
17
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Nastame
Harrogate, UK1,671 contributions
Beautiful coastline
Sep 2021
The area around Orford is stunning, shingle and with excellent walks out from the town of Orford itself. A lovely part of the coastline.
Written 4 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LoveourHolidays_10
Bedford363 contributions
Amazing place - so many questions….
Sep 2021 • Couples
Wow, what a stunning and amazing place to visit. We were lucky to have a sunny end of September day to visit and explore the Ness, and loved it.
Our first visit but we will return. Overall we spent over four hours walking all three trails, which were easy to follow.
The short ferry over was well managed, and all of the staff and volunteers were really informative.
We visited more for the history of the place, others for the nature and wildlife or art, but overall we ended up enjoying all three.
You definitely leave with more questions, on the still unknowns, based on remains of unexplained buildings etc.
One of a kind.
Written 27 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vindo
Birmingham10 contributions
Military history and nature combined
Sep 2021 • Couples
Wonderful wild site with remains of military research buildings. Excellent National Trust volunteers on hand to help whether you want history, wildlife or the art trail which was on while we were there. But even without ArtAngel exhibits this place is like a living sculpture park. Lots of walking - shingle stretches can be tough and there are no alternatives because of danger from old munitions. We saw hares playing in the shingle as well as deer. The downside is that the only access is by ferry which has to be booked in advance and tickets go quickly. Tickets are released in advance on Thursday but the National Trust booking system is confusing as it is not easily clear when the ness site is open and what days the next tickets will be available. It was only open at weekends when we wanted to go, but it did not make that clear on the NT website. Take care if you are planning a holiday around your visit as you may be disappointed because of the limited access arrangements.
Written 15 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robannabid
Waterlooville, UK36 contributions
Like stepping back in time
Jul 2021
Exploring Orford Ness felt like wandering into the set of a film set in the 1950s - buildings used for top secret research between the wars and after 1945 line the skyline, and rusty fences indicate the restricted nature of the whole area in times past. The NT volunteers were extremely helpful in bringing the whole area to life. In terms of nature, we saw lots of butterflies and some egrets, but otherwise little wildlife - mainly because the nesting grounds are being shielded by the closure of some paths at present. The visit involves LOTS of walking, so go prepared, with comfortable footwear and supplies of food and water. A few more benches would be a useful addition for visitors trying to find somewhere to eat their lunch!
Written 28 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matt S
Luton, UK11 contributions
Take good walking shoes
Jul 2021 • Couples
From the lovely village of Orford, you can park and stroll up to the small boat Quay to the Ness.
Once off the little ferry, lovely NT people give you a nice overview of the land.
During summer, lots of places have nesting birds so it's a no-go.
The other available land to walk is large ... 8 kilometres walk from start to finish. And wow. We had warm, 27 degree temperature and the bees were buzzing, the butterflies were flying and the birds were tweeting. Lovely stuff. Once over the bridge, its a war-time footing. Stark, shingles....desolate...heat-haze..beautiful.
Nuclear desolation.
Buildings where the purpose was war...there are some excellent exhibits showing the history.
A great day out.
Written 22 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DWS
London, UK82 contributions
Wonderful experience
Jul 2021 • Couples
Brilliant volunteers.
Exceptional views.
Gem of a National Trust site.
Unique.
Wear sturdy shoes.
Enjoy!
Written 18 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gourmetflaneur
York, UK1,023 contributions
A haunting landscape
Sep 2020
You can still see the reserve from the Quay or from the river bank - the strange concrete buildings loom in the distance like oversized pavilions. The lighthouse has gone now, demolished rather than left to collapse into the invading sea. The river is the obstacle - the ferry is not operating, the National Trust cannot open up the reserve to visitors so it remains clearly visible, a haunting reminder of its military purpose - weapons testing and listening station. I have visited before and would have loved to get back but it is still worth going to Orford - itself a wonderful little place - to the quay and walking the high flood defences of the river bank and peer across to the strange alien landscape of the reserve. Let's hope it reopens soon.
Written 22 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Philip L
London, UK4 contributions
The Best Day Out
Sep 2019
We have been wanting to come here for ages and the trip did not disappoint.

All the NT staff were so friendly and our guide for the day ,David, was superb.Our tickets were £18 each which I thought was great value.

Whether you like birds,animals (the Ness has amongst other things,rare breed sheep,Hares and Chinese Water Deer) or abandoned engineering there is something here for everyone .We had lunch by the lighthouse and were even joined by a young Seal;what more could you ask for.

We went on a blistering hot day and there is very little shade so take a hat.Also, we clocked up 7 or 8 miles during the day over rough (ish) ground so you need to be in reasonable physical shape to enjoy this trip.
Written 18 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hello Philip Thank you for your kind words and we're glad you enjoyed your the tour! We hope to see you on the Ness again sometime.
Written 19 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Janice H
Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK167 contributions
Nature reserve
Sep 2019
This is a reserve that is run by the National Trust. You take a short boat ride from the quay at Orford. It is really peaceful and well cared for. There is plenty of wildlife to see. There was a huge flock of Canadian geese when we visited plus many other interesting birds.
You can also take a trip down the river from Orford Quay which enables you to go all around the island.
Lovely tea shop on the quayside.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Janice Thank you for your review and we're glad you enjoyed your visit to Orford Ness. We hope to see you on the Ness again in the future.
Written 17 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rbadenpowell5
Aberdeen, UK6 contributions
Quick Visit
Sep 2019 • Solo
It's was a quick visit bit it was peaceful, sunny and very enjoyable trip. It's worth a trip as there's so much to see as well as enjoy the peaceful ambience there is on this nature reserve.
Written 15 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your kind review and we're glad you enjoyed your visit and we hope to see you back on the Ness again sometime.
Written 15 October 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 229
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing