Pin Mill

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available Dog friendly

Season: autumn

Pin Mill, on the tidal River Orwell, is scenic and historic.  Now a popular attraction for leisure craft, its traditions include sailing barges and commercial trade, to and from Ipswich and out to the sea and beyond.  The Butt and Oyster pub, right on the water’s edge, is a fine vantage point to enjoy the beauty here and there’s a healthy artistic tradition too.

Autumn visit photo gallery


Christine’s daily enjoyment of her environment at Pin Mill.


The tranquility of the River Orwell at low tide.

Season: winter

A thick, soporific mist enveloped Pin Mill during this winter re-visit.  Plenty of weekend visitors were walking on the bridleway by the River Orwell, where I met interviewee Claire, yet a calm pervaded the scene, perhaps due to the absence of even a breeze. The Dutch and Thames barges rested on the flats at low tide and smoke drifted up from the stoves of the moored residents’ barges, along the way from the Butt & Oyster Inn, a permanent fixture by the river here.

Winter visit photo gallery


Claire looks back in time at Pin Mill and explains the appeal to herself of being near water.


A thick veil of mist, looking out through the trees at Pin Mill on a winter’s day.

Season: spring

Changeable spring weather was the order of the day for this seasonal re-visit to Pin Mill, on the River Orwell.  The low tide allowed a view of the distant road bridge, in the Ipswich direction and a swan glided through the exposed boat cradles at the end of the slipway.  Tidal estuaries like this show such different faces through the tidal cycle, this time setting the Butt and Oyster pub in relief.  Pin Mill welcomes visitors at all times, as my interviewees testified.

Spring visit photo gallery


What the beach means to Dave and Hazel.


Towards low tide at Pin Mill.

One thought on “Pin Mill

  1. Hazel

    When I think of Pin Mill, I think of huge arching skies, ever changing according to the seasons. Children playing Poohsticks in The Grindle and paddling. Walking to the beach along the riverbank listening to the oyster catchers calling and boats sailing gently by. Passing Barges converted as house boats. Lunch at the pub on the waters edge. The smell of the beach at low tide and memories of Arthur Ransome and ‘We Didn’t mean to go to Sea’.The annual Pin Mill Barge Race – a spectacular sight as these majestic vessels sail out to sea in waves of colour. This haunt is beloved by everyone for its unique all year round charm.


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