Grand Days Out in Suffolk - A Guest Blog from Carl Scott
One the fab things about Suffolk (I’m an outsider) is that the pace of life seems to be very relaxed, so our guests seem to adopt that approach when they're out and about too. And what better place to do this than, in my opinion, along the most beautiful river in Suffolk? I’ve been up and down most of them and the Deben is my favourite. There are other wonderful rivers in our county, all with stunning scenery and of course, great pubs, but the Deben is the one that I enjoy the most.
So have a little read about this lovely stretch of water, from Woodbridge at one end (almost) and out to the sea. There is so much to say so this really is a mini guide! Do delve a little deeper as there is so much to see and do.
Although the river winds its way beyond Woodbridge and there is a lovely walk past ‘Wilford Bridge’, it isn't easily accessible much past the bridge.
The iconic Tide Mill stand aloft on the river with stunning panoramic views over the water. There’s a lovely yacht harbour here and the gorgeous little of Woodbridge itself just a few minutes walk away, with some of the best pubs around here. All within a 25 minute drive of Woodfarm Barns.
The Tide Mill itself is one of only two commercial Tide Mills left in the country. Its just a few pounds to get in and you can even see the mill at working times. Apart from being a historic landmark in the area, it is an impressive sight as part of the overall landscape. Considering that lots of the streets here are lined with wonky half-timbered houses, the Tide Mill is still indicative of Suffolk architecture, with beautiful white wooden cladding standing straight, tall and majestically next to the river. It’s buildings like this that gave me so much inspiration for my cottages when I was planning and designing Woodfarm Barns!
If you venture North of the river over Wilford Bridge you can head to nearby Sutton Hoo, which is an ancient Viking burial ground.
Drive on past Sutton Hoo and you’ll find yourself at a fabulous pub, The Ramsholt Arms. It is right on the river and gets packed in the Summer. Fabulous local food and beer, breathtaking scenery and plenty of tables outside; a real must if you’re heading over that way.
The end of the road on the North side takes you to Bawdsey, home to the impressive Bawdsey Manor, an incredibly grand structure, standing quite intimidatingly in the fields that surround it. The great thing about Bawdsey though is the Felixstowe ferry that takes you over to Felixstowe. It wouldn’t be much of a visit to the Deben if you didn’t actually go on it now would it?!
You can soak in the beauty of both beaches as you ride away from one and get closer to the other. Don’t forget to take a walk along the beach on either side, as well as admiring it from the water. Its very bleak here in the winter but for many, me included, that’s a huge part of the charm.
I’m skimming the surface really here and one could easily allow a few days to fit all of this in is because its just nice get so caught up in being relaxed (awful I know!), with the endless walks around the Deben and the places to sit and soak everything in, time flies by.
The Ferry Café in old Felixstowe, opposite Bawdsey, overlooking the water’s edge is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon. The food is lovely, the atmosphere is great, no one seems to be ‘grabbing a quick coffee’.
When you’ve finished being leisurely, head back to Woodbridge for a pint (or two!) at The Anchor. A stone’s throw from the Tide Mill, this lovely pub is homely, warm, and a real regular of mine! They serve Greene King cask ales, brewed down the road in Bury St.Edmunds! This is made all the better with some great live music.
You can also find some other famous locals in the pubs around the area, like Aspall’s Cyder, the most local of our brews, all made about 5 miles form Woodfarm. Just over the road from The Anchor is the even more famous Adnams Cellar and Kitchen; great for buying local products and taking them back to your holiday cottage!
As I’ve already mentioned, the Tide Mill is commercial, and one of the many fab places that uses their flour is Honey & Harvey in their baked goods; well worth a try! This just happens to be my favourite coffee shop in Woodbridge! They roast their own coffee and bake all of their goods on site, making for a super fresh breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
Ok, you’ll be needing to walk off some cake by now! Take a picturesque walk along the river up to Martlesham Creek. It’s a good hour (longer if you go further up the creek) or so round trip with some amazing views, which is an ideal chance to catch a glimpse of some wildlife. Even with a caffeine boost from Honey & Harvey, I’m sure you’ll need to rest your weary feet after this walk, so head over to the Maybush at Waldringfield.
Just like The Ramsholt Arms, this is a fantastic pub overlooking the water and is another of my faves; ideal for an Al Fresco Summer’s evening, or a Winter’s evening by the fire. Please be advised that with both The Ramsholt and the The Maybush, you’ll be best to book as they get pretty busy; all credit to their superb food and views!
So many of our guests are dog owners, so its just as well that all these pubs allow dogs in their bar areas, allowing them to chill out but the roaring fires in the winter just as much as you can.
I did say there was a lot to do didn't I?! You can do everything in one day, but if you're anything like me, you’d be better off taking it slowly and just relax. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourselves just the same.
Carl Scott is the owner of several fabulous One Off Places in Suffolk - a private collection of dog friendly rural cottages just outside the village of Stonham Aspal. Stour Barn Cottage, Orwell Barn Cottage, Deben Barn Cottage, Alde Barn Cottage, The Granary Barn, Gipping Barn Cottage, and Woodfarm House.