Monday, 14 November 2011
Winter Log Cabin Holidays - Get Away to the Suffolk Coast
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Winter Holidays in Suffolk
The winter season is celebrated throughout Suffolk, but nowhere more so, than in its pretty coastal towns. Many of them stage winter markets and festivities, specifically to mark the season and of course, the closer we get to Christmas, the greater the choice of event. Here we have gathered together some suggestions for things to do during the winter months, around the Suffolk seaside towns of Aldeburgh, Orford, Southwold, Thorpeness, Walberswick and Woodbridge.
Every weekend in the run up to Christmas, there is something special happening at Aldeburgh, whether its a performance from the English Touring Opera or a classic piece of Beethoven. For the food-lover, Aldeburgh offers a host of pubs, restaurants and eateries and all of them will doubtless be laying on some special spreads throughout the winter months. Check out the fabulous Lighthouse Restaurant, or the Regatta, which has been owned and run by Robert and Johanna Mabey for nearly twenty years.
While in Aldeburgh you should have a look around some of the shops. Musto is here with their own brand of sailing and outdoor clothing as is Pavoni who sell fine Italian leather goods and Lawson’s the delicatessen where you will find some proper seasonal fayre.
You might also want to pop in to peruse the Aldeburgh bookshop, one time winner of British Book Awards in the category Independent Bookshop of the Year. P. D. James once appeared there at the Jubilee Hall to launch her new novel, “Death comes to Pemberley”.
The wonderful seaside town of Orford is a treasure trove of home cooking and arty-crafty stores and there is always something going on here, especially in the winter months. Be prepared for some wonderful surprises.
You will find here Brinkley's Shed on the foreshore, which is actually run by the local fishermen. From here, they sell their locally caught fish and shellfish and you can’t get much fresher than these.
Check out the Orford country market in the town hall and Orford Crafts on Front St. Pinneys of Orford is another essential stop. They have been serving up fresh fish, including sole, cod, skate, lobster and crab for 50 years and fish is still smoked daily too. The town also has its own bakery, smokehouse and butchers so make a trip to Orford to stock up on excellent local delights.
Southwold, the home of the Adnams Brewery Company, always winters well.
Early December is the date for Southwold’s traditional Christmas lights ‘Switch On’. The market square will be open for business with music, shopping, fun and frolics and of course, the Adnams team will be serving up good food and drink to enhance the festive mood. Tickets will sell out quickly though, so if you’re going to be around then, act quickly to secure your seat.
This year from November to January, Adnams will be producing their Adnams Spiced Winter Beer, a 4.0% proof, handcrafted cask beer which uses cinnamon, a touch of juniper and a few other secret ingredients to give a rich warming spiced flavour. It is described as follows “Dark brown in colour, with aromas of orange, cinnamon and chocolate followed through on the palate with a good orange peel bitterness.” and is by all accounts, worth looking out for.
Also great in Southwold is the shopping. Southwold has art and antique dealers aplenty, fine delicatessens and some of the loveliest and most unusual gift shops to be found anywhere on the Suffolk coast.
The village of Thorpeness is postcard pretty. As you approach the village by car or on foot, you are instantly struck by its out of context architecture. With its house in the clouds, a house that is literally built on stilts, and its windmill, it looks an enchanted place and this feeling is further reinforced when you see the Mere, a large man made boating lake with islands reminiscent of those in the classic Swallows and Amazons.
Originally a tiny fishing village, the area was developed after the Great War as a place for wealthy Londoners to come and holiday. It now boasts a country club and golf course and there are some really lovely country walks too since it is sandwiched neatly, between Aldeburgh and Southwold and you can combine all three, if you’re up for a stomp!
Walberswick is another of those beautiful Suffolk villages by the sea, which are so popular with holidaymakers. At one time it was a busy trading port, moving cheese and bacon, as well as other staples like corn, timber and fish. Nowadays it is a thriving tourist spot which is particularly popular in the summer months.
A large area of the surrounding Suffolk heathland is home to gorse and many types of heather and is protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). As such, it cannot be built on and this lends to the exclusive feel of the place. In the village you’ll find quaint little tearooms, posh restaurants, two very good pubs, an art gallery and some original crafts and gift shops.
Famous as the site of the annual, national crabbing championships in summer, the winter is a little less busy, which makes wandering round the village and through the surrounding countryside, all the more pleasurable.
The lovely old market town of Woodbridge is easily reached from Windmill Lodges and is perfectly placed to provide all your holiday essentials. There’s a great selection of shops, from the olde worlde to a newsagent and supermarket, so you’ll never be stuck for food supplies. There’s also, a wealth of history in the town; the Romans had a settlement here, then the Anglo Saxons took over. Their last King, King Redwald was buried nearby, along with his ship and treasures at Sutton Hoo. If you go to the Woodbridge Museum, you can read the stories and see replicas of the treasures there.
Woodbridge’s Tide Mill, the iconic image of the town which dates back to 1793, stands on the very spot where a similar Mill was erected in 1170 and was itself, the last working Tide Mill in the UK, finally retiring in 1957. Now it has been fully restored, and when you come back to Woodbridge in the summer, you’ll be able to have a look inside.
The town prospered during the reign of Elizabeth I, in industries like the wool trade; weaving, sail and rope making and salt manufacture. Later, in the 16th century, the Port of Woodbridge was expanded to cope with increased shipbuilding and the timber trade and this success continued into the 17th century.
This wealth of history is just waiting to be explored and this year; you can uncover it all, whilst enjoying some of the many winter events that Woodbridge is hosting including the Christmas craft fayre where there are many different stalls selling everything from cards to ceramics, clothing and bags;
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Holidays in Suffolk - A great all year round holiday destination for families, couples and groups of friends