We are often asked to recommend places to visit, eat or stay for those days and nights before or after our adventures. Therefore, we have started gathering feedback from our participants and will add more to our list below as it comes in.
From rare horses at The Suffolk Punch Trust to the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, a charming seaside town from times gone by in Southwold to a fairytale holiday village in Thorpeness, there are a lot of secret places to see and find on the wind-swept Suffolk coast (and further inland too). Many have mysterious stories to tell and we would be delighted to help you uncovering some of them.
... Is famous thanks to the composer Benjamin Britten, who lived for most of his life in this charming little seaside town. You can book a guided tour with us to see the places which were important to him and learn how they are connected to his compositions.
* www.lighthouserestaurant.co.uk is our personal favourite for an evening out with a delicious meal in a contemporary atmosphere.
* There are many self-catering holiday lets in the town. 'Crossing Cottage' is one of them and owned by Linda Phelan, participant on a Photography Day on Havergate Island in August 2015; short stays may be possible, please contact her about it! www.independentcottages.co.uk/suffolk/crossing-cottage-ref1552
* 'Oriel Cottage' on Aldeburgh's High Street is owned by Amanda G. who we met on one of our Nightjars over the Heath walks in June 2017. Find more details about her cottage on www.bestofsuffolk.co.uk/properties/oriel-cottage/
... And many other Suffolk coast villages have lovely historic inns; most of them claim to have some kind of smuggling history...
* The www.blaxhallshipinn.co.uk offers drinks, food and rooms to stay.
* The Youth Hostel at Blaxhall has the most reasonable prices in our area probably, and a camp site as well - www.yha.org.uk/hostel/blaxhall
... Is about 8 km from Orford and a good place to stay if you are attending one of our photography workshops on RSPB Havergate Island.
* www.milllanebandb.co.uk has been recommended to us because of its location near the beautiful Mill Pond in Butley.
.... is located approximately 6 km north east of Saxmundham. The village is bypassed by the A12 and has a railway station on the Ipswich to Lowestoft railway line.
* Hidden away from the A12, on the Westleton Road, next to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Darsham Marshes reserve and just 4 km away from RSPB Minsmere, is an ecofriendly campsite on Mill Hill Farm - www.suffolkcamping.webs.com
Their fishing lake is regularly visited by an otter, nightingales sing in the hedges, bats roost in the roofs of the farm buildings, an owl hunts on the adjacent fields and buzzards hide in the woodland nearby. If that sounds like the perfect adventure to you - book your pitch and ask us to show you more of the area nearby. We would be delighted to arrange a tour or guided walk from Mill Hill Farm to Minsmere or Dunwich, or as far as you wish.
... Has an impressive castle www.english-heritage.org.uk/framlingham-castle and is a charming little town, which is well worth a visit.
We offer guided tours on demand, if you want to walk some of the 99 Footpaths in the vicinity of the town or discover all Four Quarters of Framlingham and it's history!
... Is one of the hidden gems to have a walk at the times of bird migration. The RSPB has recently created a big new wetland close to river and coast and aims to connect it even better to their Boyton Marshes reserve in the coming years - www.rspb.org.uk/boytonmarshes
"Here is a B&B address: Melverley House. It is a Victorian house with period features and their excellent breakfast contains products from local farmers. You can taste it! It is a 50 minutes journey to Orford along quiet country roads."
Hubert V. from The Netherlands, participant on a Photography Day on Havergate Island in March 2015. - www.melverleyheights.co.uk
"We spent two nights at the Premier Inn North in Ipswich that I would definitely recommend."
Susan L. from Surrey, participant on a Photography Day on Havergate Island in August 2015. - www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/IPSMTI/ipswich-north
"After arriving back from the island we went for a meal at the 'The Jolly Sailor' in Orford – adjacent to the car park. The food and service was excellent. Well worth a visit."
Susan L. from Surrey, participant on a Photography Day on Havergate Island in August 2015. - www.jollysailororford.co.uk
"We stayed in the Jolly Sailor in Orford - second time I've done it. We had a great rate - dinner included, nice and near, warm and great food and staff. All very friendly. They made up a packed breakfast for us as well."
Julia G. from Hertfordshire, participant on three Photography Days on Havergate Island in 2015.
More Places to Stay and Eat
* The Riverside Tearoom with its magnificent view over the River Ore and to Orford Ness offers light meals, cake and hot drinks - www.riversidetearoom.co.uk
* The Crown and Castle Hotel in the heart of the village is the right place, if you hope for a stunning view and a sumptuous meal - www.crownandcastle.co.uk
Things to Do
* Birding and sightseeing trips on Alde & Ore and around RSPB Havergate Island are possible all year round with - www.orfordrivertrips.co.uk
.... Has a very diverse history, from ancient oak forests to an important Anglo-Saxon settlement, from once seemingly endless heathlands full of roaming sheep to RAF airports, from pine tree plantations in the 1920s to UFO sightings in 1980.
* There is a fabulous woodland camp site in Rendlesham Forest - www.forestcamping.co.uk
... Is a remote, mysterious and in it's desolate simplicity stunningly beautiful place.
"I stayed in the Saltydog B&B, Shingle Street, Hollesley IP12 3BE, run by David and Alexandra Williams. It cost £55 per night for a double room, is very comfortable, and is right on the beach. Shingle Street looked to be a really interesting place. The only downside was that it takes about 25 minutes by car to get to Orford Quay."
Ken M. from London, participant on the Photography Day on Havergate Island in November 2015.
... Is the birthplace of Benjamin Britten's Aldeburgh Festival. He converted one of the old buildings at Snape Maltings into the world famous Concert Hall, surrounded by vast reedbeds, and opened by the Queen herself - twice.
If you are keen to explore Snape and the beautiful River Alde estuary in Britten's footsteps, you could book Marc for a music themed walk along Britten's 'Curlew River' and he will certainly show you where 'Peter Grimes' was turned into an opera.
* The most spectacular you could stay at Snape would be in Benjamin Britten's former home. Ellen Nall from the Old Mill offers B&B and studios - www.oldmillsnape.co.uk
* 'The Chauffeur's Flat' is owned by Linda Phelan. She took part in our Photography Day on Havergate Island in August 2015. More on www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13071836
* The petrol station on the Aldeburgh Road has travel-lodge rooms. Very easy to find! - www.churchgarageaccommodation.co.uk
Sweffling Hall Farm is a working farm nestled in the beautiful Suffolk countryside between the rural towns of Framlingham and Saxmundham. It's Lantern & Larks glamping site has a couple of safari tents big enough for groups or all the family and is the perfect base for weekends away visiting the Suffolk coast for some walking, birding, photography or other activities. Our bespoke 'Musical Landscapes' walk at Rendham starts just around the corner!