Tuesday, 17 May 2011
While you are here, spend the day at one of Suffolk’s local seaside gems
Windmill Lodges is situated in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, amid beautifully unspoilt surroundings, close to the old market towns of Framlingham and Woodbridge. The development is also within a short drive of Suffolk’s heritage coast and some of the most charming resort locations the south-eastern corner of the British Isles has to offer. From here you can easily access such seaside gems as Southwold and Walberswick, Thorpeness, Aldeburgh and Orford. Read on for ideas on places to visit whilst staying at Windmill Lodges in our luxury log cabin accommodation
A day in Southwold
From your lodge, head east on the B1119, then turn left onto the A1120 which will take you to the A12. Stay on this road until you see the signs for the A1095 and Southwold. Once in Southwold, find somewhere to park the car, as you won’t need it for the rest of the day. Any trip to Southwold would be wasted if it did not involve at least a cursory visit to the Adnams Brewery Co and associated shop. Informative trips around the brewery are scheduled on a regular basis and generally start at 1030 and 1300hrs. At £10.00 per head they offer a fascinating insight into the art of brewing as practised in days gone by and a look at how times and brewing techniques have changed over the years.
After the tour why not take time to wander the streets of this beautiful resort town and peruse the local shops? Unlike other tourist resorts, you’ll not find too many brightly coloured plastic brick-a-brac stores, instead you’ll find lovely little boutiques, antique shops and art galleries, as well as delightful café's serving up delicious home-made and mainly organic, local foods. Check out the lighthouse and the colourful beach huts, the award-winning pier and busy harbour. Several cannons line the cliff top pointing directly out to sea to ward off any potential invaders.
A day in Walberswick
From your log cabin head east on the B1119, turn left onto the A1120 which will take you to the A12. Stay on this road until you see the signs for the B1387 and Walberswick. The village is a walker’s delight. There is a well trodden path that takes you on a looping route around Southwold harbour and into the marshlands which are designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.
A walk like that in the bracing sea air and you are bound to work up a healthy appetite. No diets here, it’s time for some hearty pub grub. There are two to choose from; The Anchor and The Bell, and they both serve up just the kind of food you could do with after a brisk walk. After your meal you could wander round the town perusing the shops. You’ll find an art gallery and a number of original craft and gift shops.
Walberswick is also well known for crabbing. Children (and adults) can fish for crabs using string with hooks and bits of bacon from a bridge. Most years (although not in 2011) there is an annual crabbing competition here where people see how many of these delightful crustaceans they can catch before throwing them back in the water!
A day in Thorpeness
From your lodge head east on the B1119, following the signs to Framlingham, to Saxmundham and Leiston. At Leiston turn right onto the B1122, then left onto the B1353 and follow the signs to Thorpeness. You’ll know you’ve reached Thorpeness because all of a sudden, the architecture changes.
Driving into Thorpeness is rather like driving into a fairytale. The houses are, for the most part identical but very different to anything else you will have seen elsewhere. A mix of mock Tudor and Jacobean architecture, they really are “fantastic” in the true sense of the word. The fantasy doesn’t end there either; the water tower has been converted and now stands as a house on stilts. Known as the “house in the clouds” it is a truly remarkable sight, as is the Thorpeness’ Windmill. This Grade II listed building has no actual use, it is no longer a working mill, nor is it officially classed as a residential property, it is simply a landmark.
The “meare” at Thorpeness is a large man-made lake and the ideal spot for a leisurely picnic to round off your day. At just 1 metre deep but covering 64 acres, it has a number of islands that you can visit by boats which are available to hire.
A day in Aldeburgh
From your log cabin head east on the B1119, following the signs to Framlingham, Saxmundham and Leiston. At Leiston turn right onto the B1122, then left onto the A1094 and follow this into Aldeburgh. Upon arrival in Aldeburgh, find somewhere to park because you won’t need the car until much later on. Aldeburgh has a truly fascinating history, it was once one of the largest ports on the east coast and famed for its boat building. Sir Francis Drake captained two vessels that were built in the area and many local men sailed with him on his voyages.
The town of Aldeburgh is synonymous with the Aldeburgh music festival at Snape Maltings. Started by the composer Benjamin Britten in 1948, it was set up to support young artists of every musical persuasion. His legacy continues to thrive today and Aldeburgh Music now has a worldwide reputation as an outstanding year-round performance centre. The June festival attracts performers from all over the world and from all musical backgrounds.
Aldeburgh is a lovely seaside town with a boating lake for model yachts and an impressive 16th Century Moot Hall which is the principal landmark and serves as a local museum. Plenty of quaint independent shops sell arty and crafty things as well as the everyday essentials and there’s always somewhere to go for ice-cream.
A day in Orford
From your lodge head east on the B1119, at Framlingham take the B1116 signed to Parham. At the junction with the A12, take the B1078 and follow this onto the B1064 which will lead you into Orford. Once in Orford find a nice spot to park the car since you won’t need it for the rest of the day.
Orford is one of the prettiest villages on the Suffolk coast. Once a thriving sea port, the waters have since silted up leaving it quiet with a relaxed feel. The rivers Alde and Ore flow gently passed the village and many local fishermen still moor their boats there.
Across the water, Orford Ness is the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe and nearby Havergate Island is a favourite haunt of the avocet with its distinctive colouring and curved beak.
Orford Castle, Orford Museum and Orford Ness are must sees during any trip to Orford. The 12th Century castle keep which is all that remains of the castle is under the care of English Heritage and there is a fascinating museum on site which is popular with visitors.
Orford Ness is a nature reserve managed by the National Trust and nearby Havergate Island is a bird sanctuary in the care of the RSPB
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