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.

Related articles:

A Village Full of Activity – A Spotlight on Snape

Log Cabin Holidays – Immerse Yourself in Suffolk’s History – Your Guide to Some of the Historic Villages to Visit

Spotlighting Suffolk’s Lost City of Dunwich 

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