Friday, 16 September 2016

Six Reasons Why Short Breaks Are Good for You

Westleton Suffolk
Are you keen to get away from it all and relax, but still months away from your next long holiday? If so, taking a shorter break for three or four nights is the perfect way to recharge your batteries without having to take a lot of time off work. Short breaks in log cabins at Windmill Lodges are ideal for couples wanting a romantic long weekend together, or for families looking to enjoy a mini-holiday.

Just a short getaway can allow you to spend quality time with loved ones, with no need to fly abroad or travel long distances. Here are six reasons why mini-holidays are good for you:

1.      Visiting New Places – You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to discover an exciting new area. If you usually go on long-haul holidays, you may be amazed at how much there is nearer to home which you had never seen before. If you are staying in Suffolk, you can explore the bird reserve at Minsmere and the unspoilt landscapes of Westleton, pictured above, as well as historic towns like Framlingham and Woodbridge and coastal resorts such as Aldeburgh and Southwold. Your break will give you a different outlook, with memories to share with others when you return to work. You might enjoy it so much that you decide to take longer holidays in Suffolk next time around.

2.      Recharging Your Batteries – Working solidly for long periods without a break can make you feel over-tired and run down. This could mean it’s hard to concentrate, gradually affecting your productivity and focus while at work, as well as making it difficult to unwind and enjoy your evenings and weekends.

Taking some time out for just a few days means a chance to escape from the daily routine, especially if you travel to a countryside location far from the rat-race. Pampering yourself, for instance by enjoying a dip in your private hot tub at one of our luxury lodges in East Anglia, will make you more relaxed. Surveys have found evidence that productivity tends to improve after holidays, and people can also concentrate better on their work when they return after time away.

3.      Mental and Physical Health Benefits – One research study carried out by academics at the University of Pittsburgh found that taking a holiday or short break has a positive effect on people’s mental health, helping to reduce the risk of depression or stress. The study also found that physical health can be boosted by time off, with blood pressure being lowered. Yet another health benefit reported by survey respondents was losing weight – perhaps because holidaymakers often go for long walks after enjoying a delicious meal!  
4.      Spending Quality Time with Loved Ones – Daily life can often be such a rush that it is hard to make enough time to talk to your partner and children about what is going on in their lives. Sometimes, even when you are all in the same house, clashing schedules mean that eating a meal together can be difficult. Too often families can all end up grabbing a snack at different times. Taking a short holiday gives the chance to spend more time together in a relaxed setting, without the constant pressure of timetables and deadlines.

5.      Getting Exercise – As well as being a time to relax, holidays are also a time when many people enjoy taking some exercise. Enjoying the open air while walking or cycling are clearly beneficial to health, and the relatively flat landscapes of Suffolk are ideal for both.  Many guides for walkers and cyclists are available to download from local council websites, and a number of cycle hire firms are based locally if you fancy travelling on two wheels. There are also swimming pools in Woodbridge and Leiston, conveniently located for visitors to our site, and of course our swimming pool is open in the spring and summer months.

6.      Trying New Activities – Short-break holidays give the chance to be adventurous and to try out all sorts of different things you have never done before. This may help to sow the seeds of a new hobby which you can pursue after you return home, and will also give you greater confidence about new experiences in future.

Unusual activities available in our area include taking a boat trip on the River Deben near Woodbridge, off-road karting at Beacon Rally Karts in Woodbridge or hiring canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards from Iken Canoe. An hour’s drive away, Go Ape in Thetford is a popular high ropes course.
The perfect way to benefit from all of these advantages of short breaks is to book a stay in our log cabins near Framlingham. We offer 3 and 4-night stays at our lodges, from Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday, as well as longer holidays. Our accommodation will give you the best of all worlds, since it is in an unspoilt area but is luxuriously equipped, so you can get away from it all and pamper yourself at the same time.

Short Breaks in Log Cabins – Click to see our range of holiday lodges in Suffolk.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Going on the Antiques Trail in Suffolk

antiques shops, holidays in Suffolk

East Anglia is famous for its antiques shops and markets, as featured in the much-loved classic TV series Lovejoy. Windmill Lodges’ luxury holiday cabin site in Suffolk is ideally located for you to explore some of these attractions, and maybe find a piece of history to take home as a special souvenir of your stay with us.

Searching for collectables can be very relaxing and enjoyable, as you browse through items at a shop or stall. This is the total opposite of chain store culture and mass production, since every shop and its contents are unique. It is fun to pursue your own interests by looking for specific items, from Art Deco and jewellery to stamps, postcards and rural bygones, discovering the thrill of the chase.

Here is a look at just a few of the top spots for antiques which you can look forward to visiting while staying at our site in Saxtead. There are also many others to discover during your lodge holidays in East Anglia. Opening hours vary and can also be changed at short notice, and some shops are mainly open by appointment, so it is always a good idea to check by phone before making a special journey.

Just a few miles away from Windmill Lodges in Saxtead, Framlingham is one of Suffolk’s best-known historic towns. Dominated by its famous castle, it also boasts many other well-preserved old buildings. The town’s love of history is reflected in the variety of antiques and collectors’ shops which are based there.
In Fore Street, Carley’s Yard is a building dating from the 18th century, which was once a pub and then a well-known grocer’s, most recently called Carley & Webb. It now has a number of traders based in six rooms spread over two floors. As well as a wide range of vintage and retro items to explore, the centre also sells upcycled items. It includes an art gallery and holds regular decorative paint workshops. There are also a number of other antiques shops in and around the town.

Another beautifully-preserved historic town within a short distance of our site is Woodbridge, on the River Deben. The town is known for its fine range of independent shops. Located on Quay Street, Woodbridge Antiques Centre specialises in smaller items, such as jewellery and vintage toys, making it a great place to look for holiday souvenirs. It has over 20 showcases, with items from a number of different antique dealers on display.

Another popular venue is Vintage Forty Nine, in The Thoroughfare, which has antiques and collectables from 20-plus dealers. In a nearby village is Marlesford Mill, a 3-storey former grain mill with over 30 independent retailers selling a mix of old and new furniture and collectables. 

Yoxford and Debenham
These are two large villages in the area which are both known as antiques destinations. Stock from around 70 dealers is showcased at Yoxford Antiques Centre, which has a large showroom set among five acres of gardens. An unusual attraction here is a number of colourful beach huts, where various arts and crafts are on sale. You can also admire the centre’s Alpacas and chickens, or enjoy a snack at its Flying Goose CafĂ©. 
Shops in Debenham include Deco Debenham, based in the Foresters Hall, stocking a wide range of Art Deco furniture. Swan House and Garden in the High Street sells a wide range of antique furniture, decorations and textiles.

Long Melford
This famous village is about an hour’s drive from Saxtead, but is well worth the trip for a day out if you love antiques. It is known as East Anglia’s “antiques capital” and was featured in the TV Lovejoy series. The village has an amazing range of antique shops, including Melford Antiques and Interiors Warehouse, in the centre. This is a 4-storey building with over 150 dealers exhibiting items.

There are also plenty of historic items and gifts to be found in surrounding towns and villages, including Lavenham, which is the starting point for an “Antiques Trail” tour created by the Lavenham Forum. This is a drive taking in a range of shops and warehouses in Clare and Halstead as well as Long Melford.

Vintage Markets and Auctions
Various centres in Suffolk regularly hold antiques fairs.  Snape Maltings is one popular venue close to Windmill Lodges, with clothing and furnishings among the items sold at its vintage markets. The Maltings complex also has an antiques and collectors’ store, as well as other shops, restaurants and galleries to explore.

Auctions are another popular way to snap up an antiques bargain. Clarke & Simpson holds antiques and fine art auctions 5 times a year in Wickham Market, near Framlingham, as well as rural bygones and Art Deco sales.

If you are a lover of history, staying in a luxury holiday cabin in Suffolk is the perfect way to enjoy a relaxing break. Our quality log cabins are close to Saxtead Mill, a popular heritage attraction, allowing you to get away from it all and relax amid the unspoilt countryside.

Luxury Holiday Cabin Suffolk – Click to find out about availability of our lodges.