Thursday, 28 November 2013

Hot Tub Breaks in Suffolk – Why Christmas in a Log Cabin is the Perfect Way to Spend Your Festive Break

Spending Christmas or New Year in a cosy log cabin right in the heart of the English countryside may sound like a dream come true. However, with Windmill Lodges you can do just that as this exclusive complex of just seven log cabins offers hot tub breaks in Suffolk all year round. So, instead of cooking for extended family over Christmas, or juggling a complicated rota of visiting friends and relatives, you can spend a relaxing break away over the holiday season and completely unwind in your own private hot tub.

As our festive gift to you, the good news is that Windmill Lodges is offering discounted breaks over the festive season, so you can enjoy all the luxury of four and five star accommodation for less. Here, we put the spotlight on why family holidays in log cabins, Suffolk, will create a Christmas full of fond memories.

Click here to find out more about Christmas hot tub Breaks in Suffolk

Why Spend Christmas in the Suffolk Countryside?

Whether you are a couple, or a family, taking a short break in the UK countryside over the festive period can be the answer to the perfect Christmas. Instead of organising the festivities, you will have the chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company without any distractions.

Trouble Free Festive Treats – If you enjoy cooking, while the children explore the complex’s picturesque grounds, you can get creative in the fully equipped kitchen by cooking up a treat with some wonderful seasonal fayre bought from one of the local farmers. Or why not head to one of Suffolk’s Christmas Fairs, where you will find an array of scrumptious delights from local hams, seasonal vegetables, chocolates, cheeses, and delicious homemade Christmas cakes?

Don’t Want to Cook? -  If you would rather completely relax this Christmas, why not eat out? The Old Mill House, which is just a short walk from the complex, is serving Christmas dinner. (Places are filling up fast so book early to guarantee a seat). For an alternative treat this Christmas, Windmill Lodges can organise caterers, so you can enjoy a blissful break with everything done for you. Just contact us in advance to find out about the range of services, availability and prices. These vary over the festive period but range from on-site catering, to ready prepared meals, or festive hampers.

A Warm Welcome Awaits – At Windmill Lodges we do our best to make Christmas an enjoyable and memorable experience. We pay attention to the little details that will make your festive break special. Each of the log cabins will have its very own decorated Christmas tree, festive lights, and all our customers will have a gift from us – a welcome basket which includes mince pies, and a few more surprises!

A Home from Home – Our log cabins provide a wonderful home from home, which is one of the reasons why we have customers that return year after year to enjoy hot tub breaks in Suffolk. As well as your own private hot tub on the veranda, you’ll have all the home comforts such as a cosy log effect coal fire, WiFi (to keep in touch friends and relatives over the Christmas period), flat screen TVs (so you can listen to the Queen’s speech at Christmas and raise a glass in the New Year to the chime of Big Ben), plus a DVD and CD player, so you can enjoy the spirit of the day with some Christmas carols.

Access to Babysitting Services – A holiday is a time to relax with your loved ones and spend quality time with the kids. However, it’s also chance to treat yourself to a night out, so you can reconnect as a couple. Although Windmill Lodges does not offer an on-site babysitting service, we will provide you with a list of recommended babysitters who you can contact to find out about prices and availability.

About Windmill Lodges

Windmill Lodges is offering the perfect festive get-away at the best possible prices. Just get in touch now to organise your UK Christmas break

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Get into the Festive Spirit this Season and Visit Suffolk’s Best Christmas Fayres

With the festive season already here, now is the perfect time to combine your short breaks in log cabins with a spot of Christmas shopping. Suffolk has some wonderful festive markets and independent shops, where you can find the ideal gifts for friends and family. This article puts the spotlight on Christmas Craft Fayres in Suffolk at just some of the county’s top shopping destinations. And, why not combine retail therapy with some sight-seeing, for the perfect break away?

Windmill Lodges offers idyllic log cabin breaks where you can relax in luxurious surroundings on a small, exclusive complex in the heart of the countryside. Here, you can enjoy the luxury of four or five-star accommodation with all the facilities you need to create the perfect home from home, including log effect coal fires, Wi-Fi, a fully fitted kitchen, soft leather sofas, en-suite facilities, sumptuous beds, and all the benefits of your own private hot tub, so you can completely unwind. And the good news is, Windmill Lodges is offering discounts over the festive period.

Click here to see the accommodation, seasonal discounts and availability for your Suffolk country Christmas breaks in log cabins.

Festive Fayres in Suffolk – Our Pick of the Best


Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 – Minsmere
Why not combine a visit to the RSPB Centre at Minsmere with some festive delights? From 11 am until 4pm, you can sample some festive treats, enjoy product demonstrations and catch up on your shopping. If you are visiting Minsmere with the youngest members of the family, they will have the chance to take part in craft activities. A memorable experience for all ages!

Sunday 17 – St Peter’s by the Waterfront
If you are combining a trip to Suffolk’s country town with a hot tub break away, don’t miss out on the annual Christmas Craft Fayre, held in the beautiful surroundings of St Peter’s Church by the Waterfront. This 15th century church, now a concert venue and heritage site, is hosting a craft fair selling locally made goods. The event takes place from 10 am until 4 pm, and can also make a day of it by enjoying a sumptuous meal in one of the restaurants overlooking Ipswich’s marina. There are a number of independent shops around the Waterfront area, or you can head into town for some shopping delights.

Sunday 17 – The Athenaeum Bury St Edmunds
If you want to combine Christmas shopping on your short breaks in log cabins with a visit to the historic town of Bury St Edmunds, head to the November Christmas Craft Fayre. The Athenaeum is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm, and you can browse more than 60 stalls for Christmas gift ideas.

Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 – Ipswich Christmas Market
Right in the heart of Ipswich town centre, and open until late, this colourful Christmas market is well worth a visit. It’s your chance to stock up on some Christmas gift ideas and sample some delicious food and drink.  Browse the 50 or so stores, and sample some cider, mulled wine, or local brews at the beer festival. There’s also a host of entertainment laid on including rides, family activities, live music, and a chance to meet Santa. Don’t eat before you go, as there will be food and drink galore.


Sunday 1 – Framlingham Charity Christmas Fayre
You’ll be spoiled for choice as the Market Hill Christmas Fayre is one of three local celebrations on the same day. From 11 am to 3 pm Framlingham will play host to a wide range of stalls selling a host of festive delights from roasted chestnuts to floral arrangements, Christmas gifts and cakes. To add to the Christmas spirit, Leiston’s Royal British Legion band will play carols from the afternoon. The event will round off with a ‘Light up a Light’ carol service at St Michael’s church, organised by St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

Sunday 1 - Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre
Here’s another chance to combine Christmas shopping with a visit to the medieval market town of Bury St Edmunds. Some 100,000 visitors are expected during this spectacular three-day event, which combines stalls with some fantastic entertainment. The Fayre is being held all along the Butter Market, where you will find a Farmer’s Market and browse more than 30 artisan stalls.

Sunday 1 – Woodbridge Christmas Fayre
Promising to be THE Christmas Fayre in East Anglia, the picturesque town of Woodbridge is hosting a grand event along the Thoroughfare and Cumberland Street. From 10 – 5 pm you can browse some fantastic, locally made gifts and sample delicious, regional produce to take back home. Suffolk is full of shopping gems, and if you love independent stores, Woodbridge is an amazing shopping destination with a wide range of fascinating stores from arts and crafts to delicatessens and jewellery stores. So, why not combine your short breaks in log cabins, with a visit to this historic town?

Friday 13 – Framlingham Christmas Festival
Framlingham will be brought to life again at a magical Christmas festival, followed by late night shopping from 6 pm until 9 pm. The town will be lit up with festive lights and trees, and there is chance to soak in the atmosphere with a snow machine, and an array of entertainment such as table top games, a raffle with big prizes and a mass balloon release. You can enjoy delicious Christmas treats such as roast chestnuts, mulled wine, and a hog roast, and there’s plenty of opportunity to stock up on stocking fillers and gifts. The highlight of the event is the arrival of Santa by horse and cart!

Suffolk Weekend Breaks –  click here to see Windmill Lodge’s luxury accommodation.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Traditional Suffolk Recipes to Enjoy During Your Holidays in Suffolk

There are plenty of traditional recipes which you can enjoy during your holidays in Suffolk. The county is well-known for its delicious food, and a big advantage of staying at Windmill Lodges is that you can choose to do your own cooking in the superb kitchen of your own log cabin, or visit some of the excellent local restaurants.

Windmill Lodges is at beautiful Saxtead, near the Suffolk Heritage Coast, and has a choice of seven luxury lodges, each with a private hot tub. All the kitchens have a full range of equipment, while in the 5-star Kingfisher the range of items available extends to include a range cooker and a bread maker.

Here we are going to look at some of the recipes which you might like to try.

Click to see our range of  log cabins for relaxing holidays in Suffolk, East Anglia.

Shopping for Suffolk Food

A recent tourist survey showed that one of the main attractions for visitors to the county is the choice and quality of food available. Among the most popular places to shop for unusual delicacies are the county's wide choice of farm shops and farmers' markets, where you can buy fresh local meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as juices, sauces and many speciality products. A monthly market is held at the Snape Maltings food hall, which features delicious foods from many local producers.

Buying fresh fish from huts on the beach at Aldeburgh is another treat to enjoy during your Suffolk holidays. There are also many excellent butchers and delis to discover, as well as pick-your-own fruit. You can sometimes buy fresh fruit, vegetables and free-range eggs from people's gardens if you notice a poster at the end of their drive.

Special food celebrations in Suffolk include the annual Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which runs from late September through to October, and the Framlingham Sausage Festival in October. Late October sees the Suffolk Herring Festival, based at Middleton Farm Shop near Westleton. All of these events feature cooking demonstrations and many other attractions, and promote Suffolk food and cookery.

Suffolk Recipes


Oysters are a luxurious locally-produced treat available from producers that include Pinney's of Orford, who have collected them for more than half a century at Butley Creek. You can simply serve them with wine vinegar, onions and lemon for a sophisticated starter, or poach or grill them if you prefer. If you are not a fan of oysters, smoked fish pate is another good local option, and thinly-sliced brown bread will go well with both.

Another favourite choice for a starter is Suffolk's famous smoked ham, available locally from producers such as Emmetts of Peasenhall and Neaves of Debenham. Ham and melon is one of many combinations which will make a fantastic start to your meal, or you could serve slices of ham with a fresh salad.

Main Course

Suffolk Fish Pie

This pie can be made from whatever fresh fish is in season, and you could even use a mixture of different kinds. Boil a sliced onion, carrot, parsley, five whole peppercorns, a bayleaf and a little salt in 600ml of water for about eight minutes. Then add about 0.7kg of fish – non-oily kinds like cod or haddock will work best – and simmer for 15 minutes.

Next, drain the cooked fish, keeping some stock for the sauce, and place the fish in a greased baking dish. Slice six boiled potatoes and place them around the fish. Then make a thick sauce from the stock you have kept, together with 30ml of butter, 60ml of flour and 300ml of milk, season to taste, and cool. Stir 50ml of cream together with an egg yolk, and add it to the cooled sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and potatoes and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Put the dish in an oven heated to 200 Celsius and cook it for about 15 minutes.


Ipswich Almond Pudding

This traditional 18th-century recipe is a sweet and warming dessert which still tastes good today. Mix 450ml of milk with 150ml of double cream, warm it in a pan and add 60gm of breadcrumbs. Stir in 60g of sugar and 170g of ground almonds, then take the pan off the hob and let it stand for five minutes.

Beat three eggs together well. Next, add them to the mixture, stirring it all well, and pour it into a large greased ovenproof dish. Put a small knob of butter on the top. Put the dish in a tin containing water, which needs to be below the level of the dish. Bake the pudding for half an hour in an oven preheated to 150 Celsius. Traditionally this is often served with soft fruits or a fruit compote.

About Windmill Lodges

Located near Framlingham and Woodbridge, Windmill Lodges is the perfect base for holidays in Suffolk. Whether you are seeking a romantic break or a family holiday, our log cabins will provide you with top-quality accommodation.

Follow the link to see our log cabin lodges to unwind in during your Suffolk holidays.

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Spotlighting Suffolk's Lost City of Dunwich

Spending log cabin holidays at Windmill Lodges in Suffolk gives you the perfect base to explore many historic towns and villages. Set in the heart of the countryside, our luxury lodges are ideal for both couples and families, with each cabin having its own private hot tub.

One of the most fascinating places to visit in the area is the lost city of Dunwich, which is said to have been the capital of East Anglia in the Anglo-Saxon period and at one time had eight churches. It gradually fell into the sea because of coastal erosion, and is now a small village with around 120 inhabitants. But legend has it that, when the tide is right, you can still hear the church bells from beneath the waves.

Dunwich is only 14 miles from Saxtead, where Windmill Lodges are situated. You can have a great day out there during your log cabin Suffolk holidays, exploring the beach and the Dunwich Heath National Trust site, visiting the museum and eating the village's famous fish and chips.

Seeing How Dunwich Was Claimed by the Sea

During a visit to this unique village, you can get a glimpse of its past as a major city and port by visiting Dunwich Museum, which has a detailed model showing what it was like in the 13th century. The museum is open from March to October and admission is free, although donations are welcome. A short film, detailing how Dunwich was lost to the sea, makes a perfect introduction. There are also varied exhibits covering the area's history from Roman times right up to the Victorian period and later. A cannon recovered from a shipwreck off the coast is on display outside the door.

Among the museum’s most haunting items are photographs showing how the tower of the last medieval church, All Saints, was finally lost in 1919. However, one buttress was saved and placed in the churchyard of the Victorian church of St James. You can also walk around the remains of the 13th-century Franciscan priory of Greyfriars, where the old gateway and part of the refectory give a feeling of what the whole site would have looked like before it fell into ruin.

Unspoilt Beaches

If you are looking for an unspoilt stretch of Suffolk shingle to visit during your log cabin holidays, then Dunwich Beach is ideal and offers an attractive alternative to the busier resorts nearby. This beach has a large car park, toilets and plenty of space to walk around. It is also very atmospheric, so it is likely that you will find yourself listening out for those lost church bells. If you are a sea angling enthusiast, it is also possible to go fishing off the beach. Different types of fish can be caught at varying times of year, including flounders and whiting.

Wealth of Wildlife and Nature

For anyone wanting to discover more about Suffolk's wildlife, the National Trust's Dunwich Heath site offers the chance to explore a stretch of rare heathland habitat. Birds you might spot here include the Nightjar and Dartford Warbler, while lizards, adders and grass snakes also live here. During the summer months, the flowering gorse offers a colourful display. As well as heathland trails, the site also includes sandy cliffs leading down to a section of beach owned by the Trust.

The Trust's site is right next to RSPB Minsmere, which is one of the most famous bird reserves in Britain, offering the chance to see a large number of birds, including waders and the iconic avocet. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT), RSPB and Natural England also work in partnership to run the Dingle Marshes reserve, in between Dunwich and Walberswick, a good place to see marsh harriers and bitterns.

Yet another wildlife site is the Dunwich Forest reserve, run by the SWT, RSPB and the Forestry Commission. And, following the Coastal Circular Walk between Dunwich and Walberswick, nature lovers will have a chance to see the different countryside and wildlife along the way.

Great Places to Eat

One reason Dunwich is so popular to visit is that it is famous for its fish and chips. People travel from far and wide to visit the beach café, Flora's Tearooms, and are happy to stand in a long queue in order to eat there. The large wooden hut is open from spring to the end of November, with plenty of space to sit outside if you prefer. Although it is best known for its fried fish, there are also other dishes on the menu. 

The Ship pub in the village is another great place to go for fish and chips, as well as many other meals. If you want a cup of tea and a homemade cake, then the Clifftop tea room at the National Trust's Dunwich Heath is a good choice, and there is also a fine tea room at RSPB Minsmere.

About Windmill Lodges

Sheer relaxation is guaranteed on our log cabin holidays in Suffolk, with all our lodges offering four or five star luxury. Each cabin is fully equipped, with everything you need for the perfect break.

Click here to see Windmill Lodges’  family-friendly holiday accommodation in the Suffolk countryside

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Suffolk Holidays – Cultural Events in 2013

If you are taking holidays in Suffolk, you will soon discover that the county is rich in culture, ranging from its many historic sites to music, art and literature. It is worthwhile checking what’s on during your stay, so you can attend one or more of the many special events in the region.

Windmill Lodges is a great place to stay during your UK break, set amid beautiful countryside. With just seven log cabins, all offering four or five star luxury, it is an exclusive resort, quiet and secluded, and you are in easy reach of some of the prettiest places in the county – including Aldeburgh, where composer Benjamin Britten spent most of his life and founded the famous festival, and Flatford, where artist John Constable lived. The site is also close to major historical sites such as Sutton Hoo.

Click here to browse our luxury holiday log cabin accommodation for your country breaks in Suffolk

What’s on in 2013

September (28-29) Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, at Snape Maltings. Around 90 exhibitors from the local area will showcase their food and drink at this festival weekend, which will also include demonstrations by chefs and workshops on everything from sausage making and cake decorating to beer and wine tastings. The weekend is just the beginning, though, as all kinds of foodie events will be organised across the surrounding area running through to October 13. These range from an introduction to breadmaking to a heritage walk in Dunwich and tours of the Crunchy Seeds factory in Leiston.

October (4-6) Aldeburgh FlipSide Brazilian Festival, at Snape Maltings. As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the country's art, music, literature and dance will all be taking centre stage at the FlipSide Festival, organised together with the FLIP literary festival in Brazil. Top Brazilian writers taking part include Adriana Lisboa, Bernardo Carvalho and Milton Hatoum, as well as famous British authors including Ian McEwan, Ali Smith and Will Self. The festival will open with a concert entitled The Boys from Ipanema, which will pay musical tribute to the creators of Bossa Nova, Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. Another musical highlight will be a performance by Brazilian superstar Adriana Calcanhotto, a leading singer-songwriter. Children's events will add to the carnival atmosphere, and there will also be a chance to enjoy Brazilian street food. You need to buy tickets for the various events.

(19-20) Military Re-enactment at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe. You can take a trip back in time during this weekend staged by the 95th Rifles group, which will include displays of all kinds of military skills from the Napoleonic Wars, including musketry and drill. Visitors will need to pay the fort's normal admission fees.

26-29 – Storm of Stories in Aldeburgh. Theatre company Wonderful Beast is set to lead a four day celebration of the sea over the half-term break, including many free events. Highlights will include shows involving local schools, music, dance, storytelling and a pop-up writing clinic. Among the main shows planned for the festival is Strange Fish, a dramatisation of folk tales from Russia, Scotland and India featuring Bharatanatyam dancer Anusha Subramanyam together with Russian baritone Mikhail Pavlov. There will also be a Concert of Stories featuring top French performance storyteller Abbi Patrix.

November (8-10) Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, in Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh. This annual celebration of poetry is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. It has become a major event which attracts poets and their readers from a wide area, and this year 30 poets will be taking the stage, with 56 different sessions, workshops and performances over the packed weekend. Ian McMillan, Grace Nichols and Craig Raine are among the well known poets taking part.

(21 – 24) Britten Centenary weekend at Aldeburgh Music. Holidays in Suffolk can be enjoyed all year round, and Aldeburgh Music's year-long celebration of composer Benjamin Britten's centenary will finish with a host of special events over the weekend of what would have been his 100th birthday, November 22. The main performances include a Centenary Concert and a performance of Britten's 'A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra', both at Snape Maltings Concert Hall. There will also be a special celebration by the Aldeburgh Music Club, which Britten founded, in Orford Church.

Looking forward to 2014, many more special events are planned, including a feast of classical music at the Aldeburgh Festival, roots music at the Maverick Festival at Easton Farm Park, the Stamping Ground Festival of Americana at Stonham Barns, and much more.

About Windmill Lodges

If you are planning a log cabin break in Suffolk, Windmill Lodges will give you a perfect base in the heart of the countryside, within reach of many beauty spots and top attractions. Each of the luxury log cabins at our site in Saxtead has its own private outdoor hot tub, while the Kingfisher lodge also has an infrared sauna.

Windmill Lodges Holidays  – click here for full details on our choice of Suffolk log cabins

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

UK Holiday Homes – Birdwatching in Suffolk

Thanks to its diverse landscape, which includes marshes, dunes and heathland, Suffolk has been declared as one of the best counties in England for bird watching – and log cabin holidays in the countryside offer the perfect opportunity to appreciate the area's wonderful wildlife.

If you enjoy a spot of birding, then Windmill Lodges are well-placed for this. Just bring along your binoculars and a picnic and head towards any of the well known sites for bird watching. These include the world famous RSPB Minsmere reserve, the Blyth Estuary near Walberswick, the RSPB's North Warren site close to Aldeburgh, Landguard Point at Felixstowe, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Trimley Marshes, RSPB Havergate Island and Shingle Street.

The majority of these sites are open all year round and there is even an annual competition held by Suffolk Birders Information Networked Service (BINS) on how many birds you can sight – with the top figure in January 2008 put at an incredible 130 species.

As Windmill Lodges is open to guests at any time of year, it’s a fantastic base for bird watching. The site is at Saxtead, right in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, and just 13 miles from the most famous site for birders, Minsmere.

After a day's bird-watching, you can unwind in luxurious surroundings in your log cabin, have a swim in the site's heated pool (open summer months only) or relax in your own private hot tub on the veranda. You will also get the chance to enjoy the wildlife here, as there are many birds which can be seen during your short Suffolk break – and each of our superb lodges is even named after a bird, including the kingfisher, wagtail and woodpecker.

Click here to find out more about our top-quality country holiday lodges

Top Sites for Birdwatching

There are many top sites for birdwatching near Windmill Lodges and these offer perfect opportunities to see a host of beautiful wildlife during your holiday in the Suffolk countryside.

RSPB Minsmere: The charity's flagship reserve on the Suffolk Heritage Coast near Leiston has become famed around the world for its rich habitats – including reed beds, grassland and shingle – and its impressive range of birds. The most famous Minsmere success story is the return of the avocet, a black and white wading bird with a long curved beak which was extinct in the UK for a century until a few pairs returned to breed at Minsmere in 1947, the year that the RSPB took over the site. The bird is now the emblem of the RSPB, with around 900 breeding pairs in the UK including a large number at Minsmere.

Other birds you might see here include the rare bittern with its distinctive booming call, the marsh harrier, the nightingale, the sand martin and the bearded tit, as well as a host of wading birds. There are often unusual visitors, too, such as spoonbills. But it's not just birds at Minsmere – there are also other creatures, including a large herd of red deer, whose rutting season in September and October is well worth seeing. Minsmere is open all year round and makes a great day out in itself, but you could also combine your visit with fish and chips on the beach at Dunwich.

RSPB North Warren: Near the resorts of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, this reserve is open all year round and has a mix of habitats, including reed beds and marshes as well as heathland and woods. The birds you might spot here include the woodlark as well as the bittern and marsh harrier. You could combine a visit here with a trip to historic Aldeburgh.

RSPB Havergate Island: Suffolk's only island, on the River Ore, can only be reached by boat on a pre-booked trip from Orford Quay – bookings can be made by contacting the Minsmere reserve. The trips take place on the first Saturday of each month, although there are some special events on other days. Birds on the island include avocets and terns, and you might also spot a brown hare. The trips last for most of the day and are likely to be a real highlight of your holiday.

Trimley Marshes: This Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve near Felixstowe is a wetland site where you might spot species such as the redshank, little grebe and oystercatcher. It's a two mile walk from the car park to the hides and it can be muddy, so don't forget your wellies! The site is open all year round and you could combine a visit with a trip to Felixstowe.

Landguard Nature Reserve, Felixstowe: Landguard Point is the most southerly point in Suffolk, and the local nature reserve on this shingle spit is a good spot to see migrating birds as well as unusual plants. The wheatear is among the birds which pass through, as well as many warblers and seabirds. The site is open all through the year.

Shingle Street: At the mouth of Orford Ness, Shingle Street is a popular spot to see birds because of its mix of shingle, lagoons and salt marshes. Cormorant can be seen here and it is also a good spot for seeing migrant birds. As it is so near to Orford, you could combine it with a visit to the castle.

Blyth Estuary near Walberswick: There is a hide here which is open all year round and the birds you might see including avocets, bitterns and woodlarks. You could go crabbing after visiting the site or, on a good day, have a picnic amid the sand dunes.

About Windmill Lodges

When you are heading to Suffolk for log cabin holidays, Windmill Lodges offers a wonderful chance to combine luxury with a natural setting. Our cabins offer excellent facilities including your own private hot tub, a fishing lake and an on-site swimming pool for the summer months.

Click here for information about our four star luxury log cabins at Windmill Lodges

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Explore the Beauty of the Suffolk Scenery by Bike

Holidays in Suffolk are all about unwinding completely, and a great way to relax is to explore the county's beautiful countryside by bike. Top events have put the spotlight on cycling in Suffolk recently, as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series brought its final stage to the county this month, while Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish took part in the launch of the Tour of Britain in the county last year.

These events underlined the fact that Suffolk's relatively flat scenery is the perfect setting to enjoy a cycle break. Of course, it isn't all flat by any means, and you can challenge yourself by riding up the odd hill! Advantages of cycling holidays are that you can enjoy them at any time of year, and it's up to you how far to travel – you can make your destination as near or as far as you want it to be.

Windmill Lodges are a great base for cycling holidays in Suffolk, as the site is right in the heart of the countryside. You can bring your own bikes on vacation or hire them nearby, for instance from Byways Bicycles in Darsham, Avocet Sports in Snape or Suffolk Cycle Hire in Rendlesham. After a day out in the open air, you can relax in the knowledge that, at the end of all that exercising, you can enjoy all the luxuries the log cabins have to offer – such as getting rid of any aches and pains in your own private hot tub. Or, if you are renting Kingfisher Lodge, you can relax in the infra red sauna. If you are feeling really energetic, you can even go for a swim in the Windmill Lodges heated indoor pool, which is open from Easter to October.

Windmill Lodges' Saxtead base is in a wonderful location near Woodbridge, Framlingham and the Suffolk Heritage Coast, with many cycle routes you can enjoy either nearby or slightly further afield, taking in all kinds of interesting sights along the way.

Leisure Cycling – If you fancy a day's relaxed cycling on a forest trail, then Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge is a great place to visit, with two cycle routes laid out, plus a bike park to enjoy. The routes vary in difficulty to cater for everyone from children and beginners to keen cyclists, and it is possible to hire a bike for periods of three hours upwards from Avocet Sports' retail outlet at the Tangham picnic site in the forest. Slightly further afield, another popular place to visit for leisure cycling is Alton Water near Ipswich, which has four miles of waterside tracks for all the family to enjoy, and again has cycle hire available on site.

Of course, during your holidays in Suffolk at Windmill Lodges, you can also cycle nearer to home. Why not take a leisurely ride into the village of Saxtead? You could take a tour of historic Saxtead Mill, run by English Heritage and open on Fridays and Saturdays between March and September, and then enjoy a pub lunch at the Old Mill House on Saxtead Green, which has a full carvery and fresh fish dishes.

Cycle Routes

There are many popular routes for cyclists in the Suffolk Coastal area, and you can either go on a circular ride returning to Saxtead or take your bikes with you by car if you want to go further afield. It's usually also possible to take bikes on the train in Suffolk.

Whether you are looking for an easy ride or something more demanding, a good bet could be to get the information pack about the Suffolk Coastal Cycle Route from a tourist information centre. This is a circular signed route which sticks to quiet roads, covering a wide coastal area between Felixstowe and Dunwich with a loop via Framlingham and Woodbridge. The whole route is 88 miles, ideal to take a couple of days over, but you can pick a section or short cut for a gentle day's cycling.

An intermediate route is from Snape to Framlingham, a 32-mile route which mainly sticks to B roads with little traffic and could include a visit to Snape Maltings and Framlingham Castle. There are also many long-distance cycle routes to choose from in Suffolk, such as the full Suffolk Coastal route or the Heart of Suffolk Cycle Route, a 75-mile route which will take you through Halesworth and the Waveney Valley as well as Framlingham and Debenham.

A cycling holiday brings many benefits, meaning that you relax and get fit at the same time, and don't need to feel guilty about the delicious meals you enjoy en route, as you have earned them!

About Windmill Lodges

In their beautiful rural location, Windmill Lodges are the perfect base for self catering holidays in Suffolk. Our log cabins all offer four star accommodation and the chance to have a luxury break in the heart of the countryside.

Click here to view our luxurious self catering holiday accommodation at Windmill Lodges

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Log Cabin Holidays – Taking an Active Break at Windmill Lodge

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Discover the Beautiful and Historic Village of Orford

When you are heading off on your holidays in the UK, Windmill Lodges in rural Suffolk are well-placed to explore the beauty of the surrounding countryside and discover the area's many historic towns and villages.

Windmill Lodges offer the chance to stay in an unspoilt location at Saxtead, on the beautiful Suffolk heritage coast, and relax in a luxury setting. All our cabins have a four star English Tourism Council rating, with a host of features including their own private hot tubs, and one lodge even has an infra-red sauna.

Whether you have hired a car for your holiday, or are bringing your own, just a 40-minute drive from Saxtead is the fascinating village of Orford, where you can spend a beautiful summer’s day exploring the castle and museum. And after you have immersed yourself in its history, you may want to take a walk into the heart of the village to eat at one of the local pubs or restaurants and try out some of the local delicacies.

Orford has been declared one of the prettiest villages in Suffolk, which is one of the many reasons why it is such as wonderful place to visit. In this  article, we will take a look at the many attractions in Orford to visit during your log cabin holiday.

Click here to enjoy a short break away in a luxury log cabin in Suffolk 

Why Visit Orford?

Immersed in history – The village's history dates back to the 12th century, when King Henry II chose it as the site for his castle, and the building was completed in 1173. For centuries Orford was a town with a market, annual fair and even its own MPs. The castle, with its amazingly intact polygonal keep, now belongs to English Heritage and is open daily from March to November. Visitors can explore a network of passages and, once you are up on the castle roof, you enjoy magnificent views of Orford Ness. Admission charges of £6 per adult apply for the castle, but once you are inside you can gain free admission to Orford Museum in the upper hall. It features items and information related to the area, including a 13th-century silver cross and a tiny Anglo-Saxon gold coin, both found locally.

Beautiful Scenery

Orford is a fantastic place to go for country walks as it is within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's possible to take some great photos of the castle up on its mound. One popular route is the Suffolk Coast Path which runs from Orford to Butley Ferry.  The area's unique scenery also includes the famous Orford Ness, the largest shingle spit in Europe, a wild and remote spot which is now run by the National Trust as a national nature reserve and can be reached by a short boat trip. There is a charge of £8 for access to the Ness, or £4 for a National Trust member.

Fantastic Places to Eat – Orford has some excellent places to eat, including the Crown and Castle country hotel and restaurant, which is co-owned by food writer and broadcaster Ruth Watson, former presenter of TV show 'The Hotel Inspector'. The hotel's Trinity restaurant has two AA rosettes, with menus including local delicacies like roast Suffolk partridge or skate caught in Orford.  Another famous restaurant is the Butley Orford Oysterage, which serves local fish, shellfish and oysters in an informal cafe-style setting. You could also enjoy a pub meal at The Jolly Sailor or The Kings Head, both well-known for their food.

Interesting Shops –  Orford has a weekly country market where you can buy fresh fish landed locally as well as other produce. You can also buy fresh fish from Brinkley's fish shed, run by local fishermen on the quay. The village shops include Richardson's Smokehouse in Baker's Lane, a traditional family business which originally started smoking as a way of preserving locally-caught mackerel, but then branched out to smoke many other products including sausages, cheeses and pâtés. Smoked specialities are also available from Pinney's of Orford on Orford Quay, which also has a fresh fish counter, while other good food shops include the Suffolk Butcher and Pump Street Bakery.

In Front Street, Orford Crafts stocks everything from baskets to pottery and has a display on the first floor about the Suffolk coast, including a detailed look at the underwater site of the lost city of Dunwich. You can also browse an intriguing range of items at Castle Antiques on Market Hill.

Explore the Water – In summertime you can combine a walk along the Suffolk Coast Path with a crossing via the Butley Ferry, staffed by volunteers, which takes walkers and cyclists across Butley Creek. Or why not enjoy some exclusive dining on the river by booking a meal aboard the Lady Florence, a river cruise restaurant which cruises the Alde and Ore, starting out from Orford Quay?

About Windmill Lodges

Whether you are looking for a romantic break with your partner or a family holiday, Windmill Lodges at Saxtead in rural Suffolk is the perfect choice for a country break, allowing you to get away from it all in style. The site includes a heated swimming pool and catch-and-release fishing lake open in the summer.

Luxury UK Holidays – click here to view our luxurious range of accommodation in the heart of the Suffolk Countryside.

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Following in the Footsteps of Famous People in Suffolk

If you are visiting the beautiful county of Suffolk for a relaxing UK break, then you might want to know more about some of the famous people who have lived here or had links with the area.

From actors to artists, household names, models and novelists, a wide range of big names have made Suffolk their home over the years. While some well-known people settled in Suffolk centuries ago, there are also current celebrities who grew up here or have links with the county, such as novelist Ruth Rendell, supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Twiggy, F1’s Bernie Eccleston and actor Bob Hoskins.

There is no guarantee that you will spot a famous face during your UK holiday, but you can follow in the footsteps of past and present big names and visit some of the attractions that relate to them.

If you are taking a break in Suffolk, there is no better way to relax than by booking luxurious log cabin holidays. Windmill Lodges offer four and five star sumptuous accommodation, where you can relax and unwind amidst beautiful rural surroundings near Woodbridge and Framlingham.

Follow the link to view our four and five star self catering log cabin holiday accommodation in Suffolk

Famous People linked to Suffolk

JM Barrie – The celebrated Scottish author and dramatist is best-known as the creator of 'Peter Pan'. Barrie is believed to have paid frequent visits to his close friend, barrister Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie, who drew inspiration from the writer's work when creating the upmarket coastal holiday village of Thorpeness, near Aldeburgh. Now you can bring fiction to life by going to Thorpeness and seeing some of the places there linked to the classic children's story. The village is built around a boating lake, the Meare, built in 1910, with islands and coves all taking their names from the story, and containing locations from the story, such as Wendy's house and the pirates' lair. Don't miss seeing the famous House in the Clouds, a famous landmark which is a disguised water tower, overlooking the golf course.

Benjamin Britten – This year is the centenary of famous 20th century British composer Benjamin Britten, and a host of special events are planned to mark the occasion. Britten was born in Lowestoft and spent most of his life in Aldeburgh, where he founded the world-renowned Aldeburgh Festival. On a visit to Suffolk, you can see places linked to him including Aldeburgh's beach, home of the Scallop sculpture created by Maggi Hambling, which includes words from Britten's opera 'Peter Grimes'. The Red House, where Britten and singer Peter Pears lived and worked from 1957 until their deaths, is now open to visitors, with tours of the house available and a new exhibition on Britten and his music. Snape Maltings Concert Hall is another must – take in a concert  during the Aldeburgh Festival or one of many other events throughout the year, or just look around the building and attractive  complex with its shops and restaurants.

John Constable – One of Britain's best-known artists, Constable is famed for his paintings of the beautiful Dedham Vale, an area known as 'Constable Country'. He was born in East Bergholt in 1776 and lived in Flatford. Much of the village is just how it was when he was alive and you can recognise some of the places that he painted, including Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage, which are both now part of a field centre offering many activities. The National Trust has an exhibition about Constable in historic Bridge Cottage.

Jimmy Doherty – He’s a mate of Jamie Oliver and runs Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead, near Ipswich, which featured in its own TV series. Popular broadcaster Jimmy has since built his farm up as a visitor attraction in its own right, with a farm shop and nature trail. It stages many activities and events, from produce and craft markets, to a sausage and beer festival, as well as comedy and music nights. Open-air Shakespeare will also be staged at Jimmy's Farm this summer under the banner of Theatre in the Forest.

Thomas Gainsborough – The great 18th-century portrait and landscape painter was born in Sudbury, where you can visit a museum and gallery based at his birthplace, staging a wide range of art exhibitions. His family also lived in Ipswich for a time, and some of his paintings can be seen in the art collections at historic Christchurch Mansion.

Ronald ‘Carl’ Giles
– Often known simply as Giles, the legendary cartoonist lived and worked in Ipswich all his adult life. A statue in Giles Circus, near the Corn Exchange in the town centre, features some of his most famous characters, including Grandma.

Bob Hoskins – He might be one of the most celebrated Cockneys in the world, but the actor was born in Bury St Edmunds. Don't expect to see him in the town, as he moved away soon after his birth, but it is still a great place to visit, with the abbey ruins, the cathedral and an attractive mix of shops, including the Arc shopping centre.

Thomas Wolsey – The most famous son of Ipswich, Wolsey was Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor and became a Cardinal. A bronze statue of Wolsey stands in the town centre, at the junction of Silent Street and St Nicholas Street. Wolsey's name is celebrated all over Ipswich, for instance in The New Wolsey Theatre, which stages a wide variety of productions for all the family, and Cardinal Park, which has a multiplex cinema and a range of restaurants and nightspots.

About Windmill Lodges

Based in beautiful rural Suffolk, at Saxtead, Windmill Lodges offer traditional log cabin holidays, catering for up to six people and offering the perfect chance to get away from it all. Each cabin is fully equipped to high standards and has its own private hot tub.

Click here to find out more about our log cabin holidays with hot tub in Suffolk

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Visit Some of Suffolk’s Most Famous Ancient Buildings and Country Houses While Staying at Windmill Lodges this Autumn

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Open Air Attractions in Suffolk – Perfect Places to Visit in the Summer Months

June hails the official start to summer, which is the perfect season for a UK holiday. Now is the time to discover all the county's outdoor attractions and make the most of the glorious weather.

Suffolk has a wide range of family-friendly outdoor tourist draws including animal parks, historic houses, farms and museums. Here is Windmill Lodges' pick of some of the best attractions around.

We have been unable to list all the excellent outdoor attractions in Suffolk because there are just so many of them, so this is only a starting-point, but here are what we feel are among the top ones.

Windmill Lodges is a great place to stay when spending your holidays in Suffolk, and offers the chance to relax in a luxurious setting. Our lodges provide plush accommodation in picturesque surroundings overlooking a fishing lake; it has hot tubs in all the log cabins, an infra-red sauna in one of the lodges, and a swimming pool for guests (open in spring and summer only).

Luxurious Log Cabins in Suffolk – click here to book your self-catering accommodation

Top Outdoor Museums and Attractions

Ickworth House – This grand National Trust property near Bury St Edmunds is one of the top attractions in Suffolk. As well as visiting the neoclassical mansion with its striking 'rotunda', you can also wander around the beautiful gardens and the 1,800 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown, which are full of walks, trails and cycle routes and home to a deer herd. The grounds, which also include a children's adventure playground, are open daily from dawn to dusk. Opening hours for the house vary.

Baylham Rare Breeds Farm – A visit to a farm is a great day out for families during holidays in Suffolk, and youngsters will enjoy their close encounters with animals here. The park is open daily from February right through to November, with animal paddocks featuring rare-breed sheep, cattle, pigs and goats. There are special events including a sheep-shearing festival and a farm and food fair in July, and the site includes picnic tables both outdoors and indoors.

Easton Farm Park – Another great venue for a family day out, this farm park near Woodbridge has a wide range of animals including Suffolk Punch horses, donkeys, sheep, goats and much more, often with the chance to see baby animals. The farm park has a wide range of activities for children included in its admission price, such as pony rides and the chance to handle small animals like rabbits. It also has a soft play area and outdoor playground. The park is staging the Maverick Music Festival in July and is open daily all summer until September.

Museum of East Anglian Life – Based in the centre of Stowmarket, this outdoor museum has a 75-acre site including buildings and living history displays showing how people used to live in the region, and tracing changes in farming and industry as well as everyday family life. Riverside nature walks and woods are also among the attractions, as well as farm animals and an adventure playground, while special events include a beer festival at the end of June. The site is open daily all through the summer.

Jimmy’s Farm – Run by popular TV personality Jimmy Doherty, this venue at Wherstead, near Ipswich, has expanded to become a visitor attraction as well as a working farm. It has a nature trail, which is a popular attraction for families, plus a wide range of activities and events all through the year, ranging from a festival of beer and sausages, to Shakespeare performances in its woodland.

Sutton Hoo – Near Woodbridge, this vitally important Anglo-Saxon site is one of the most famous archaeological discoveries of all time. Run by the National Trust, it includes a museum where you can learn all about the amazing royal ship burial which was discovered on the site in 1939, and see replicas of the treasures found there including the iconic helmet. However, the main attraction is the chance to walk through the site and see the burial mounds for yourself. The site also includes a playground for youngsters. The museum is open daily right through to October.

West Stow – Still with history, this early Anglo-Saxon village near Bury St Edmunds offers the chance to take a trip back in time and see how our ancestors lived. You can explore the wooden homes which have been re-created on the site, and even dress up as an Anglo-Saxon if you want to. A shop, cafe and adventure playground are also included. The museum is open daily, and is surrounded by a country park including walks, a nature trail and bird hides.

About Windmill Lodges

If you are planning holidays in Suffolk, Windmill Lodges are the perfect choice for a relaxing break and offer an ideal base for exploring the area. These luxury log cabins are in rural Saxtead, near the county's heritage coast, and allow you to stay in four or five-star comfort with indulgent facilities that include your own private hot tub.

Click here to find out more about our log cabin accommodation for country breaks in Suffolk

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Log Cabin Holidays in East Anglia – Why Holiday in the East of England?

If you need a holiday and have a young family in tow or simply want to take a few days break with some friends, you’ll know it's not always practical to go abroad and this is where local breaks come into their own. Log cabin holidays in East Anglia present you with the ideal opportunity to take a family break or to meet up with friends for a few days relaxation and recreation.

Away from home, for that much needed change of scenery but sufficiently close so as not to present you with a travel headache, log cabin holidays in East Anglia offer the perfect solution.

Located close to the lovely market town of Woodbridge, Windmill Lodges offer log cabin holidays just 15 miles from Suffolk’s heritage coast and within easy reach of the picturesque towns of Aldeburgh, Dunwich, Southwold, Thorpeness and Walberswick. Their four and five star log cabins come with great facilities such as electric heating, modern fully equipped fitted kitchens and bathrooms, stylish interior décor, private hot tub and veranda, swimming pool (Open Easter to October) and a private and well stocked catch and release fishing lake; everything you’ll need for a peaceful and relaxing, home away from home vacation.

We have listed below some of the delights of Suffolk and East Anglia, just some of the reasons why holidaying in this part of the world is such a joy.

Click here to find out more about family holidays in East Anglia

The Benefits of Spending Your Holidays in East Anglia

Great Weather

The weather in this part of the world is reliably good for most of the year, or at least as good as it gets in England. With the exception of the cold snap at the beginning of 2013, which bought local temperatures plummeting to well below average, East Anglia tends to do very well in the good weather tables and markedly better than most other parts of the country. Look at pretty much any weather map for most of the year and you’ll see our little corner of the country bathed in sunlight or, at the very least, enjoying higher temperatures than most, if not all, of the rest of the UK.

Lovely Coastline

The Suffolk coastline features a mix of sand, shingle and pebbled beaches and heath land. With such a diverse terrain, it’s little wonder that locals and visitors alike opt for pedal or foot over horsepower. There are walks and cycle paths aplenty in this part of the world allowing you to get up close and personal with Mother Nature. This is the land of the back pack and mountain bike, not for its mountains, we haven’t got any, but for its beautiful natural coastal environs which draw you in, forcing you to leave any kind of busy city or hectic work schedule behind. And, by the way, if you are interested in horse power, there are plenty of bridle paths too.

Tasty Local Food and Drink

Suffolk is a foodie’s paradise. It has been described as “The British Larder” and there is even a restaurant of that exact name not far from Windmill Lodges, at Bromeswell, just outside Woodbridge. Fine foods have been produced locally for centuries and there are many mouth-watering specialities to choose from including Suffolk Dry Cure, free range ham and bacon, Suffolk Gold and Blue cheeses, honey from one of Suffolk’s 400 bee keepers, pickled Quail eggs from Akenfield and real ale chutney from Adnams, Suffolk’s famous brewery.

Fascinating History

Fans of architecture will love it here. Among the must-sees are Aldeburgh's Moot Hall Museum (1520) and the Saxtead Green Post Mill (1860), just round the corner from Windmill Lodges. The archaeologists among you will be interested in Sutton Hoo, the site of 6th and 7th-century ship burial in which was found a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts. The artists Constable and Gainsborough spent many years here and were inspired to create some of their best known works. The composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft and spent much of his time in Suffolk; head to Snape Maltings and the Aldeburgh Music Festival to see and hear examples of his work performed live.

Back to Nature

Suffolk boasts 5 estuaries: The Blyth, The Alde and Ore, The Deben, The Orwell and The Stour. The Blyth pours into Southwold harbour and feeds Minsmere and Walberswick National Nature Reserves. The Alde and Ore, Suffolk’s longest estuary, features Orford Ness with its nesting birds and seals (yes, Seals). The Deben features moving islands of shingle called Knolls, which change direction and size with the weather and tides. The Orwell supplies water to the nature reserves at Trimley, Levington and Nacton and the iconic Orwell Bridge is the preferred nesting site for Peregrine Falcons.

Sporting Facilities

Aside from the myriad of watersports that go on in the area, the hiking and cycling, Suffolk is well known for its football – with Ipswich Town FC – and for its rugby – with Ipswich Rugby Club. Football and rugby aside, there isn't a game you can't play in Suffolk; you can even go skiing (albeit on a dry slope). Squash, tennis, cricket, basketball, even roller blading, they're all here just waiting for you to get involved. Advice, as if it were needed: if you bought your kids Ipads last year, make sure you leave them at home, they won’t need them.

Family Holidays in Suffolk – Click here to view our luxurious log cabin  accommodation in the heart of the East Anglian countryside.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Holidays in Suffolk – An Ideal Base to Explore the Waters Nearby

While you are enjoying your stay in Suffolk, why not use the time to try out something new? The holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy yourself and also, perhaps, to be that little bit more adventurous. Holidays in Suffolk provide the perfect opportunity to go boating, swimming, crabbing, yachting, diving, dinghy sailing and even windsurfing; all things that you may not get the chance to do at home.

Windmill Lodges log cabin holidays provide the perfect base from which to explore this most beautiful of counties. From here, you can visit the area's picturesque heritage coastline, its marinas, its rivers and lakes, many of which provide the opportunity to mess about either on, or in, the water.

For a truly relaxing holiday, take a break at Windmill Lodges. Our beautiful 4 star lodges come fully equipped with modern kitchens and bathrooms, stylish bedrooms and very comfortable, well-appointed and sizeable living spaces. There is under floor heating and coal effect gas stoves and, outside, a spacious veranda perfect for al-fresco dining and a good sized private hot tub for your own personal use. Add to this a heated enclosed swimming pool open from Easter to October and a well stocked, catch and release fishing lake and you’ll see there’s plenty to keep you occupied, even if you were to stay on site for the duration of your holiday. Venture outside of the complex though and just look at the possibilities.

Click here to find out more about our log cabins with hot tub - the perfect choice for an activity holiday in Suffolk.

Water Based Activities


The Meare at Thorpeness is a large man-made boating lake covering more than forty acres. It's a Mecca for families who love all the splish-splashing of water-based activity without the safety risks. Here you can hire dinghies, kayaks, large family rowing boats, canoes, punts and shallow hulled sailing craft and splash about in the water to your heart’s content. Fans of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan will love it here, as scenes from the book about a boy who could fly and who never aged, appear everywhere.  You’ll see the pirate’s lair and Wendy’s house among many others and children are encouraged to relive the story, although any attempts at flying ought really to be discouraged.


Suffolk’s heritage coast provides numerous beaches and its coastal waters are some of the safest and cleanest around the country. Here, swimming in the sea is fun as there is little danger of heavy swells or dangerous undercurrents – not like you get in other parts of the country – and the coastal towns are quite beautiful too. Visits to Southwold, Walberswick, Aldeburgh and Orford cannot be recommended highly enough. These Suffolk gems are picturesque in the extreme. The Suffolk coastline offers a mix of sand, shingle and pebble beaches, many of which have received the coveted blue flag for cleanliness, water quality and safety.


Crabbing in Walberswick makes for a hugely entertaining day out, especially for the kids. Arguably, you could go crabbing anywhere there are crabs but the pretty little seaside town of Walberswick has been perfecting the art for over 30 years now. Up until 2010, a yearly event was held here to find the British Open Crabbing Champion but this competition became so popular that the organisers were forced to stop holding the one-day event. That doesn’t make crabbing any the less fun though and now you are free to do it all year round without fear of being descended upon by 1000+ eager crabbers.

Riverboat Cruising

A lot has been written about the Suffolk coast: of its towns, villages and landscape. Some of the views from land out to sea or river are quite splendid but, arguably, the best views are those seen from the deck of a boat. Five estuaries slice up the coastline making for interesting, ever-changing natural scenes. The Ipswich Marina is the place to head for if you fancy a cruise on the river. You can book a cruise on a barge, a boat trip to Harwich and even charter a sailing boat. What better way to mark a special occasion than with a romantic tour of Suffolk waters?


Suffolk is awash with diving schools and sub-aqua clubs, some of them a fair way from the coast too. This can only be a reflection of the high regard that seafarers and local landlubbers alike have for the water. Hardly surprising when you consider that Suffolk is blessed with 45 miles of some of the UK’s finest and most diverse coastline. Stretching from Felixstowe (yes, there is an ‘S’ in it) to Lowestoft, you’ll find diving schools, snorkelling and scuba centres up and down the coast giving you plenty of opportunity to learn more about the water and its inhabitants.


For the best in local windsurfing, head to Alton Water or to one of the many coastal windsurfing arenas. Alton Water is the largest area of inland water in Suffolk. Set in 400 acres of the most beautiful Suffolk countryside, it offers sailing, windsurfing and canoeing to members and visitors alike.  Alton Water is a reservoir owned by Anglian Water, it’s the main source of drinking water for Ipswich and south Suffolk. The company have authorised all forms of water sport activity as long as it does not affect the quality of the water. This means that no motorboats of any kind are allowed on the water.

Dinghy Sailing

You can of course, take a dinghy to anywhere you’ll find water; Alton Water is great for that but we’d also recommend Bawdsey. The difference here is that, if you get tired of paddling, you can fire up the out-board motor. You can also have a go at power boating. This means one thing and one thing only: Water-skiing! Probably the most fun you can have on the water. Head for the north bank of the River Deben estuary where you’ll find both river and sea sailing areas offering safe learning environments to beginners and more challenging offshore waters for those with experience.

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Follow the link to view our luxury log cabin holiday accommodation in East Anglia

Friday, 19 April 2013

How to make the most of the beautiful region of Suffolk during your log cabin holidays with Windmill Lodges.

Holidays in Suffolk give you the best of everything: a stunning coastline, acres of picturesque countryside, a slower pace of life to help you relax and unwind and a wealth of history with fascinating architecture and museums. And what better way to combine all this than spend your vacation in a four or five star log cabin? Windmill Lodges is based in the glorious Suffolk Heritage Coast region, where you are well placed to see all the sights that this beautiful county has to offer.

After a day’s sight-seeing, you can return to idyllic surroundings and enjoy all the luxuries your log cabin has to offer: from a relaxing hot tub, to sumptuous bedrooms, comfy leather sofas, a fully equipped kitchen and a veranda overlooking a picturesque fishing lake. Our log cabins are the perfect way to spend your holidays in Suffolk!

If you are looking to spend a luxury log cabin break in the East of England this season, here are just some of the reasons why Suffolk is the ideal destination.

Reasons to Spend Your Holidays in Suffolk

Stunning Coastline

The Suffolk coastline is simply breathtaking and has more than 40 miles of sand and shingle beaches to explore. For an idyllic, sandy beach, Walberswick is a fantastic destination. Here, you can picnic among the sand-dunes or enjoy an ice-cream from the local kiosk. If you are taking your holidays in Suffolk with children, Walberswick also presents the ideal destination for crabbing – so make sure your kids have their nets and buckets at the ready!

Aldeburgh is a picturesque destination that offers something for everyone and is a wonderful place to visit. Visit the town museum, shop in one of the many independent stores, or buy fresh fish from the local fishermen whose huts line the shore.

For a lively seaside destination, Felixstowe is a fun place to visit and you can try your luck at the gaming machines! Afterwards, why not spend your winnings at one of the many cafes or bars along the seafront? A great end to a brilliant day!

Idyllic Countryside

This mainly rural county is blessed with miles of unspoilt countryside and, whether you are holidaying with friends, a partner, or with children, there are some fantastic rural destinations.

Children love animals, and your young ones can feed and pat the animals at Easton Farm Park, which is full of fun-filled activities for children. Alternatively, why not pay a visit to Baylham Rare Breeds Farm, voted the county’s Best Visitor Experience in 2007, 2008 and 2010? Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead, Ipswich, is another family favourite and offers a host of activities for young ones, with lots going on during the school holidays. You can stock up on fine food there too.

Wining and Dining

If you are a country person at heart, Suffolk has some wonderful farms and farm shops to visit, where you can bring home some amazing fresh produce including meat, fish, cheese, pickles and local wine.

Not far from Jimmy’s is another popular destination for lovers of fine food - and that’s Suffolk Food Hall. After buying excellent foodstuffs, pay a visit to the Cookhouse restaurant, which offers fantastic views of Orwell Bridge and the river.

In fact, there are some fantastic places in Suffolk serving wonderful local fare. If you love the taste of smoked products, head to the Richardson’s Smokehouse in Orford, which has received many a good review in the national press. Here you can buy anything from sausages, pate, fish, game in season and cheeses - which you can take back with you to the log cabin to fix up a feast. Or, if you prefer to eat out, the pubs and restaurants, as well as the local cafes in Orford, make the most of the food produced in the area and offer tempting menus. If you are heading to Orford, you can combine a hearty lunch with a visit to the castle.

Suffolk is not only famed for its food, but its wine too - so why not pay a visit to one of the region’s vineyards? Shawsgate Vineyard in Woodbridge produces delicious white, red, rose and sparkling wines which you can buy from the shop (closed Sundays) or from their website. Various tours and events, including wine tasting days, are held throughout the year.

Boating and Marinas

Your holidays in Suffolk don’t have to be completely land based. You can also take advantage of the coastline and take a boat trip or enjoy a luxury experience day on the water.

For the ultimate in comfort, why not charter a yacht or combine a sail with fine dining? For yacht charters, Ipswich based Sailing Days offer a variety of experiences, from four-hour indulgent packages to longer sails. Or, if you don’t want all the frills, you can just head to Ipswich Marina to dine in one of the many restaurants that overlook the water – and dream!

For a less boat pricier trip, there are plenty of places in Suffolk where you can hire rowing boats. Flatford is a fantastic destination for boating, and you can admire the scenery or follow in the footsteps of artist John Constable who captured this picturesque village on canvas, several times over. 

Ancient Buildings

Suffolk is blessed with fascinating architecture. It has some amazing places to visit, from ancient castles, to country houses and landmark buildings. Children will love exploring the ancient castles of Framlingham and Orford. Or, you can give them a memorable day out at Ixworth House, Bury St Edmunds, which is one of the county’s most visited attractions.  Combine a trip to this grand country home with a visit to the Cathedral and Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. And, if there’s room, you can round off your day with a drink in the Nutshell, which features in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest pub in Britain!

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Log Cabin Holidays – Pamper Yourself with a Long Weekend Break

One of the main reasons to take a long weekend break is simply to relax and unwind. Whether you are spending your log cabin holidays with friends or with a loved one, it’s lovely to take time out to give yourself some ‘me time’. This could mean anything from a gentle swim, a long soak in a hot tub, a detox in the sauna, or visiting a nearby beauty salon.

Windmill Lodges is a beautiful, exclusive group of four and five star lodges set in a picturesque location in rural Suffolk. It is a wonderful place to go to de-stress because it is right in the heart of the countryside and each lodge overlooks a tranquil catch and release fishing lake. The lodges give you the chance to rest and enjoy the plush surroundings, as each lodge is decorated to high standards.

Spending your log cabin holidays unwinding, and enjoying being pampered, will mean that you feel refreshed and rejuvenated when you go back to work or face a busy week looking after the children.

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Making the Most of a Pampering Weekend in Suffolk

1. Chill-Out in the Hot Tub - One of the top ways to unwind during your log cabin holidays with Windmill Lodges is in the hot tub. Each log cabin has its very own private hot tub on the veranda, so you can enjoy a bubble in idyllic surroundings. Hot tubs are a fantastic way to relax as they bring so many benefits - they aid sleep, help de-stress and also work to relieve pressure on aching muscles and joints. Just a few sessions in the hot tub on a long weekend break will revive you mentally and physically. Perfect bliss!

2. Relax in the Sauna – The newest facility at Windmill Lodges is an infrared sauna. It’s the only sauna on the complex and is for private use - solely for the residents of our most elite cabin: Kingfisher Lodge. Infrared saunas are great for your overall well-being and bring numerous health benefits. So it’s the perfect remedy for an overworked executive! Some benefits an infrared sauna can bring are: removal of toxins, improvement of skin conditions, aid a full night’s sleep and reduce stress. Consistent use is even said to lower blood pressure!  So a stay at Kingfisher Lodge is a wonderful way to spend a pampering weekend.

3. Take Gentle Exercise – We all know the benefits of exercise: it speeds up weight loss, improves energy levels and muscle tone. Some of the perfect ways to make the most of your surroundings during a weekend at Windmill Lodges is to take a brisk walk in the countryside or enjoy a pleasant swim in the indoor pool. The pool is open from Easter to October.

4. Enjoy Home Pampering – You don’t have to travel far to enjoy some ‘me time’. You can simply relax and enjoy pampering yourself in picturesque surroundings. Make the most of your stress-free weekend by arriving equipped with your favourite beauty treatments. Just put on a face pack or paint your fingers and toe nails, while overlooking our beautiful lake!

5. Visit a Nearby Beauty Salon – Venture further afield - into Woodbridge or Framlingham - and you can be pampered by the professionals. Beauty Salons nearby  include Skin Deep on the Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, which offers a variety of facials and body treatments, and The Retreat in The Square, Framlingham; this salon offers facials, waxing and manicures. Whichever salon you choose for your treatments, make sure that you book well in advance, so you can be sure of availability on the day.

6. Relax in a Spa – A spa day is a fantastic way to unwind. And what better way to do this than to combine a few hours at a spa with a long weekend in the luxurious surroundings of Windmill Lodges? Some of the places that offer spa treatment include Ufford Park and Seckford Hall Hotel, which are both in Woodbridge based and offer day spas and beauty treatments.

7. Look Ten Years Younger! – Wouldn’t you just love to return home after your log cabin holidays looking ten years younger? Although we can’t promise you that, if you are interested in anti-aging treatments – such as laser treatments or Botox – there are various places to go in Ipswich and Woodbridge for this. Just browse the internet and read the reviews on the treatments you are interested in to discover a suitable place nearby. You’ll return home looking refreshed and confident and no one will ever know your secret!

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Fun Short Courses and Activities to do on Your Suffolk Break

Log cabin holidays are generally about relaxation and unwinding; however, a laid back holiday isn’t for everyone and if you are holidaying as a couple, or with friends, you may want to combine your break in with a fun activity, or a unique learning experience. This could be anything from cookery courses, to arts and crafts, sailing or diving. Here we shall look at some of the things you can do during your break away.

Windmill Lodges is an exclusive complex of just seven log cabins tastefully arranged around a tranquil fishing lake. Our log cabins are the ultimate in luxury as each has its own private hot tub, comfy leather sofas, luxury beds, as well as all the modern conveniences to make your stay comfortable.

If you want to combine your log cabin holiday with some of the fun, short courses on offer in the region, here’s just a short glimpse of what is available. We have compiled just a small sample of the things to do on your break but there are many other activities to get involved in that are not listed here.

Click here to find out more about log cabin holidays in the Suffolk countryside

Courses and Activities in Suffolk

Cookery Courses

With the rise in TV cookery programmes, such as ‘Come Dine with Me’ and the ‘Hairy Bikers’, plus a flood of food related articles in the media, more people are gaining an interest in home cooking. If you love fine food, Suffolk is the place to go as excellent local produce is available and there are also a number of short cookery courses on offer. Why not combine a short cookery course with a break at Windmill Lodges and practice your new found skills in the fully equipped kitchen?

Aldeburgh Cookery School runs a series of oneday courses in a wonderfully relaxed environment which is certain to fuel your enthusiasm of fine food. The cookery school courses are made up of two, two and a half hour cookery sessions, with a break for a delicious lunch with wine. Courses range from Thai cuisine, to modern British and Indian. Just contact the cookery school direct to find out prices and availability and you can look forward to combining your stay with a tasty food experience.

Art Courses

If you want to capture Suffolk’s beautiful landscape on canvas, there are several one day arts courses in the region and you can combine these with a stay at Windmill Lodges. Each year over 170 short courses (including day courses) are on offer at Flatford Mill. This stunning building features in several paintings by one of Suffolk’s most famous artists, John Constable.

Art courses at Flatford Mill are extremely varied, so you will always find something to appeal.  Choose from a range of learning experiences, from making willow sculptures for the garden, to making a stained glass panel in a day, sketching and painting, photography, water colours and even green wood working. You can take your creations home with you at the end of the day and this fantastic, enjoyable experience will make your log cabin holidays even more memorable.


Some of you may want to use your break to try out sports or other pursuits that are available in Suffolk.

A popular activity in this region is sailing and there are various sailing courses in Ipswich for those who love the water. Day sails, afternoon or evening sails are available and you can do as much or as little of the sailing as you like. It’s perfect for couples, or groups of friends with a mix of people who like to get involved, and those who like to just sit back, relax, and enjoy being on the water.

Other water related activities in Ipswich are diving courses and there are plenty of places to go for a diving experience. Diving courses range from those aimed at beginners, to those who want to improve their skills. Just browse the internet to find the right one for you.

Craft Courses

If you like to learn about various crafts, you have come to the right place as Suffolk has lots of one day craft courses on offer. You can try your hand at just about anything from pottery to knitting and even basket weaving.

If you want to custom design your own pottery piece, the Ceramics Painting Studio and cafe is based right on the Thoroughfare in Woodbridge. Instead of having a day or hour’s long course, you just choose an item of pottery to decorate and the studio staff will glaze and fire it for you, ready for you to collect.

Meanwhile, for something different, Willowmead Studios in Otley offers various Saturday activities. You can also arrange weaving courses on dates to suit you. It must be noted that all the activities on this page are featured only as a guide to what is available. So to find out more about this, or any of the other courses in the region, just contact the course provider direct.

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Unusual Places to Visit in Suffolk

If you dream of luxury log cabin holidays in Suffolk, Windmill Lodges offers a relaxing break away and the freedom to see the region’s most beautiful - and unusual - sights at you own leisurely pace.

Windmill Lodges is the perfect destination for your log cabin holidays as it is a real home from home where you can feel truly pampered with all the wonderful luxuries that make your stay so special.

Whichever log cabin you book, you’ll discover your very own private hot tub, an attractive veranda overlooking a peaceful fishing lake, and a tasteful, cosy interior with sumptuous beds, soft leather sofas and all the mod cons.  Guests of Kingfisher Lodge are in for an even bigger treat as they have all this, plus the exclusive use of an infra-red sauna - said to offer a variety of health benefits.

Many of our visitors look forward to visiting the region’s most popular attractions, but it is always an added bonus - and sometimes even more interesting - if you stumble across some quirky or unusual sights.

Here we spotlight some of Suffolk’s many treasures, including bizarre and extraordinary buildings that make great photo opportunities. Although you can’t see inside all of the buildings featured here during your holidays in Suffolk, they are certain to provide lasting memories of your stay.

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Extraordinary Sights in Suffolk

A major landmark in Thorpeness is ‘The House in the Clouds’ a colourful, curious and almost fairy tale like building that seems to defy gravity as it rises out from the ground, seemingly into the clouds. This remarkable structure was originally a water tower built in the 1920’s and the 50,000 gallon water tank was masked so the building was in keeping with the other properties in the village.

The House in the Clouds has an interesting history as it was peppered by gunfire from anti-aircraft guns based in the village during World War Two. The tank was repaired, but the size of it was reduced. After a little over half a century of use, the tower was rendered  obsolete in 1977 when the village was provided with a mains water supply. Two years later the 70 ft high property was converted to a house with 68 steps, five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The House in the Clouds isn’t the only tourist attraction in Thorpeness; this Mock Tudor village has a beach and an artificial lake inspired by the novel Peter Pan, by J M Barrie. The author was a friend of the Ogilvie family who bought the village and surrounding land in the early 20th century.

Another unusual sight to see is Fantasia, a miniature pink cottage that lies in the centre of a car park on the seafront in Aldeburgh. It always draws admiring glances and was said to have been recently sold (to a private owner) for around £250,000. Fantasia has just two rooms - an upstairs bedroom and a living room - and a tiny toilet and sink.

It is believed this charming cottage - that has been likened to a doll's house - was originally a fisherman’s cottage. Past owners made up for the lack of bath or shower with daily dips in the sea.

Aldeburgh is a wonderful place to visit where other attractions include Moot Hall, a court room and parish hall that once lay in the centre of the village. The early 16th century building has been used for council meetings for around 400 years and the Parish Clerk is still based here. It also houses a museum.

Why not follow in the footsteps of Benjamin Britten and take a leisurely stroll along the seafront (he used to enjoy walks in the area)? On your walk you’ll see the strange looking scallop sculpture dedicated to the composer. If you like fresh fish, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to buy catches direct from the fishermen - whose huts line the beach - so you can cook up a treat when you get back to Windmill Lodges.

If you enjoy hearing about the history of the area, Dunwich is another remarkable place to visit. It was the capital of Kingdom of East Angles in the Anglo-Saxon times, although coastal erosion has seen much of the town disappear into the sea. As the legend has it, in stormy weather, you can still hear the bells of the ancient churches submerged under the sea. In fact, all eight churches that existed in the 13th century have been swept away in the various storms of the 13th and 14th centuries.

To find out more about Dunwich, visit the museum to see this incredible story brought to life. Visits to the museum are free, but donations are always welcome. The museum is open weekends in March, 2 pm - 4.30 pm, daily April - September, from 11.30 am - 4.30 pm, and October daily, from 12 noon until 4 pm. 

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