Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory

Get close to nature all year round at this fantastic collection of nature reserves - an excellent site for birds, moths and other wildlife and plants including orchids.

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory is an Attraction. Area Sandwich

Useful info

  • Available: Family-friendly
  • Available: On-site parking (charges may apply)
  • Available: Visitor toilet/s
  • Available: Food and drink on site
  • Available: Coach parties welcome


The observatory is located within the private Sandwich Bay Estate and the surrounding coast comprises one of the largest Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the country. Areas open to visitors for wildlife watching include Restharrow Scrape, The Elms, Middle Field and Dragonfly Pond. Please see the observatory website for further information.

Members and non-members are welcome all year round. Spring and autumn are particularly good times to visit to see migrant birds including waders and warblers. 

Sunday walks

These start at the Observatory at 9am - you don't need to book a place just turn up! Wear boots/wellies and bring your binoculars, notebook and pencil. You can borrow binoculars if you don't have your own. These walks are FREE, but donations are welcome. Please be aware that there is a £1 charge at the Toll Gate for non-members. As walks enter the nature reserves, dogs will not be able to attend guided walks (except guide dogs).

The Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust (SBBOT) has a modern field centre with a wildlife library, shop and an area where visitors can make a cuppa and get to know about local wildlife. There is also basic, inexpensive and comfortable accommodation (members enjoy discounts).

SBBOT is an independent conservation charity working to maintain the local environment including their own reserves and to record and monitor the changes in the birdlife, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, mammals and all other wildlife (fauna and flora) in the area. They are also very committed to environmental education, especially helping young people experience and appreciate nature, and run all sorts of clubs, classes, courses, walks and talks throughout the year for all ages and may other activities.

Title image: a curlew landing at Restharrow Scrape © Chris Mansfield.