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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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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