Monday, 10 January 2011

Short Romantic Breaks - spoil your loved one this valentine's day with a luxury log cabin break in Suffolk UK

Now that Christmas is behind us and we have nothing but the dreary months of January and February  to look forward to, why not put something in the diary to cheer you and your partner up? Valentine’s Day this year (2011) falls on a Monday, why not book some quality time away with your loved one and spend Valentine's weekend from Friday 11th – Monday 14th February here at Windmill Lodges? If you have it in mind to treat yourselves to a longer break away, you could always book to stay with us from the Monday to the Friday of the week prior to the day or for Valentine’s week itself.

Log Cabin Holidays are Romantic

Windmill Lodges offer 4 and 5 star luxury accommodation in the form of romantic log cabin holidays. Our log cabins are very warm and snugly, thanks to their solid wood log construction, gas central heating with gas log effect fires and under floor heating. Set in picturesque and peaceful surroundings, they are grouped around a delightful catch and release fishing lake in the village of Saxtead, near to Woodbridge and Framlingham in Suffolk. Their setting provides you with the space to relax and unwind and the quality of their finish and interior d√©cor gives you the opportunity to enjoy your time together, in complete comfort and absolute luxury. As an added bonus and a real treat, all our log cabins come with their very own, private hot tub so you can relax and pamper yourselves to your heart’s content, sipping champagne, under the stars.

Suffolk is an ideal choice for a short break

The ideal location for a short break, Saxtead in Woodbridge, Suffolk is easy to get to from the surrounding areas of London, Essex and Kent making it just perfect for anyone wishing to get away from it all for a short while. Close to the coast, it is ideal for those romantic walks along the beach followed by a warming pub lunch.

Exploring the locality, you’ll find the ancient fortified town of Framlingham. This jewel in Suffolk’s historical crown boasts the well preserved remains of a 12th Century fortress. Now in the care of English Heritage, Framlingham Castle, which was once the refuge of Mary Tudor, features a wealth of history, going back some 800 years and details what life was like in the castle with permanent installations and changing exhibitions.

Impressive as they are, there’s more to Framlingham than its curtain walled castle remains; lovely views can be had of the Mere and should you tire of such natural beauty, you can take one of the town trails. Framlingham is peppered with themed trails which take you on a journey of discovery, aided by an audio guide. Plaques set in the pavements and on the walls act as markers and help you to navigate your way around as you are given a potted history of the town and its people.

Other must sees in the area are the gorgeous seaside towns of Aldeburgh, Orford and Southwold. Aldeburgh is of course famous for its music festival. This year-round music venue inspires and energizes artists at all stages in their careers, bringing them together in an atmosphere of creativity and musical exploration. You can attend concerts given by some of the world's most talented musicians; discover new works by young composers or marvel at the artistic installations laid out on the beach. You can even experience the creative process itself, through an open session or master class given by performers and artists that have reached the very pinnacle of their professions.  Here you really can get involved, learn new skills and take part in an open air event or simply soak up the creative mood, with a relaxing walk among the reed beds or along the beach.

The beautiful seaside town of Orford offers life at a wonderfully relaxed pace and a visit here, will leave you feeling chilled out and ready to face your busy world again, if that is, you want to return to it at all. It is the perfect place to explore whilst on a short break in Suffolk, with plenty of fine eateries and entertainments in place for both the older and younger generations. Those seeking historical gems will delight in St Bartholomew's Church. This Grade One listed 14th Century building, with 12th century remains, is open to visitors daily and well worth a look, as is Orford Castle which was built between 1165 and 1173. The castle’s keep is all that remains here and yet, it is still an impressive sight. It is the perfect place to take a brisk walk whilst paying a respectful nod to the past. Another English Heritage property, the circular interior has five floors including kitchens and a chapel. The 27 meter climb, to the top of the tower provides a rewarding view of the village and surrounding countryside, including the River Ore and Orford Ness.

The nature lovers among you will love Orford Ness. It is Europe's largest vegetated shingle spit and as such,  is protected by the National Trust. There are many rare species here and natural coastal wildlife habitats including shingle, saltmarshes, mudflats, brackish lagoons and grazing marshes, all of which provide important locations for breeding and migratory birds as well as for coastal flora and fauna.

For a different kind of beauty, a visit to the lovely seaside towns of Southwold and Walberswick won't go amiss. You’ll find these two charming and picturesque places buzzing with activity but whilst life moves a little faster here, it maintains a reverence for the past and a deep respect for nature’s glorious bounty which is much in evidence.

In Southwold, a beautifully restored pier plays host to shops displaying artistic souvenirs and there is a wonderful lighthouse which you can climb. The promenade is just like that out of an old movie, a scene which is properly set by the ice cream coloured beach huts that line the soft, golden sanded beach. Set quite a way back from the beach, is a thriving high street featuring many independent shops and fine restaurants and there’s a market held here every Monday and Thursday featuring many stalls selling fresh local produce.

The once thriving port of Walberswick is now little more than a village, but what a beautiful village it is; testament to this is that a large percentage of the properties in the area are now holiday homes, owned by wealthy Londoners who nip to the seaside for long weekends.  Walberswick has long been known as a busy and thriving place due to its appeal as a tourist attraction. Over one thousand acres of heath and marshland around the village have been designated Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) and the wide variety of flora and fauna in the area makes Walberswick popular with ramblers and visitors alike.

A popular and exciting attraction, particularly among young children is the annual British Open Crabbing Championship which has been held here for over thirty years. The competition raises funds for various local, county and sea related charities and attracts entrants from around the world. Attendance to this event, held at the beginning of August has been steadily increasing year on year and is expected to top the 1000 mark again in 2011.

Romantic ways to spend your valentine's break

Here are five ideas to help you enjoy your Valentine’s Day break in Suffolk

Share a romantic meal 

Your holiday lodge is equipped with all the mod cons and everything you would expect to help you to prepare and enjoy the loveliest of romantic meals. All you need to do is bring the food. Our lodges are beautifully presented and furnished to 4 and 5 star ratings, set the tone with some soft music and ensure there is just enough candlelight to enable Cupid to hit his mark.

Enjoy a glass or two of Champagne in the hot tub

A hot tub, your loved one, the stars and a glass of bubbly, what could be more romantic than that? You can look for patterns in the stars together or see how many constellations you can name. You can plan the following day’s activities or look back over your favourite bits of the day just gone or you could just simply lie there, in each other's arms.

Enjoy a concert together at Snape Maltings
Concerts of various kinds are always taking place at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall. There is a rich program of musicality held all year round. In June each year, the concert hall plays host to the famous Aldeburgh music festival which was started, back in 1948 by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. The Red House in Aldeburgh, where Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears lived and worked together for almost thirty years, is now the home of the Britten-Pears Foundation established to promote their musical legacy. Recent additions to the world-famous concert hall at Snape have been the Hoffmann Building and the Britten–Pears Building which contain a mixture of rehearsal and performance spaces including the Britten Studio and the Peter Pears Recital Room.

Enjoy a romantic river cruise together

You could dine in style aboard The Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant. Setting sail from Orford Quay, the boat sails up the Rivers Ore and Alde, passing by Havergate Island and Orford Ness on the way. The Lady Florence offers brunch, lunch, dinner & romantic sunset cocktail cruises to a select group and is the ideal way to spend a romantic evening together.
Sailing year round, with a cosy coal fire to keep you warm on Valentine’s Day, The Lady Florence provides a very different fine-dining experience. As the vessel cruises the calm waters, freshly prepared fine foods and drink are served whilst you glide past some of Suffolk’s most outstanding scenery. The romantic sunset cruise is timed to take place in the two and a half hours leading up to sunset, during which an a la carte supper and cocktails are served. 

Go for lovely long walks in the beautiful Suffolk countryside

If you're fond of the great outdoors then there’s no better way to enjoy it than wrapping up warm and going for long, leisurely walks through Suffolk’s stunning countryside. You're never too far from a riverside view and there’s plenty of wildlife to spot on the way. There are a number of castles and stately homes to visit if you wish. There are the ancient castles of Orford or Framlingham, there’s the Abbey in Bury St Edmunds or the famed Sutton Hoo, with its far-reaching views over the river Deben, all of which remain open for Valentines week. Other places to visit for a romantic stroll include the many quaint seaside towns and villages that line the coast. Look out for Aldeburgh, Southwold and Walberswick or head inland for Lavenham, Framlingham and of course, Woodbridge.

Log Cabin Holidays – click here to view our luxury log cabin accommodation

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