The Ship at Dunwich

Exterior of The Ship at Dunwich

What’s The Ship at Dunwich like?

Think of the perfect country pub and The Ship at Dunwich probably comes pretty close. Roaring log fires? Tick. Lashings of Suffolk’s famous Adnams ale? Tick. Great food and comfy rooms? Well, that’s just a bonus.

Dunwich used to be a thriving medieval port but much of it was lost to the sea during storms in the 16th century, leaving the sleepy little village that exists today. With so much local history, Suffolk’s Heritage Coast right on the doorstep and the upmarket seaside town of Southwold close by, there’s plenty to see and do here.

How dog-friendly is The Ship at Dunwich?

Very. Hundreds of years ago, the inn used to be the haunt of smugglers but now it’s mainly frequented by dogs and their owners. When we visited on a busy Sunday lunchtime, there must have been around ten other pups in the pub. Getting to the bar was a bit like an assault course – but one of the very best kind. There were water bowls aplenty and Ernie got spoilt rotten.

Bedroom at The Ship at Dunwich

Tell me more about The Ship at Dunwich

The pub has 16 fantastic rooms. We stayed in Seafields – a large yet unfussy marsh-view room with a double bed and two further singles, accessed via a curving staircase.

Despite having a contemporary style with retro radios and antique furniture, all of the rooms are packed with character. They each have en-suite bathrooms with posh The White Company toiletries and also come with tea and coffee making facilities.

What’s the food like at The Ship at Dunwich?

Delicious. The Ship features in the 2017 Good Pub Guide and has a one AA rosette for its traditional pub grub with a twist. You can’t leave without trying the homemade Scotch eggs – seriously, they’re that good and there’s even a veggie version!

Guests can choose to dine in the bar, restaurant, garden or courtyard but we opted for the cosy conservatory with its twinkling fairy lights. Dogs are allowed everywhere apart from the restaurant so Ernie joined us for dinner and got lots of fuss from the staff. Breakfast was an equally fine affair, with plenty of local produce – and a freshly cooked sausage for Ernie.

Conservatory dining room at The Ship at Dunwich

Are there resident dogs at The Ship at Dunwich?

There isn’t a pub dog, so to speak, but I can almost guarantee that your four-legged friend won’t be the only one visiting.

Where are the best dog walks near The Ship at Dunwich?

There’s a great dog-friendly beach just moments from the hotel. If you venture out after dark, make sure you borrow a torch from behind the bar! Dunwich Heath – a mix of forest and moorland – is also well worth a visit. This beautiful nature reserve is owned by the National Trust and offers great walks all year round.

You can also walk between The Ship at Dunwich and its sister pub, The Westleton Crown. There’s a handy map available that shows the 3.5-mile and 5-mile options. For more inspiration when it comes to things to see and do in the local area, check out our Ruff Guide to Southwold, Aldeburgh and Dunwich.

Garden at The Ship at Dunwich with wooden boat in the middle

What Ernie loved about The Ship at Dunwich

Chasing his ball along the beach, being spoilt at breakfast

What I loved about The Ship at Dunwich

The unspoilt surroundings, friendly staff and amazing food

How to book The Ship at Dunwich

Rooms start from £120 (including breakfast) but look out for special deals, such as half-price breaks during the winter months. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s Inn to Inn Break. For £295, it includes a stay at dog-friendly sister pub The Westleton Crown. For more information, see The Ship at Dunwich website or call 01728 648219.


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