The Suffolk Heritage Coast is one Britain’s most captivating landscapes. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Suffolk Coast is a special place to escape to this winter. Here are a few ideas for special winter days on the Suffolk Coast.
Thorpeness, a former fishing village turned quirky holiday haven on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. Our 36-bedroom hotel is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding Suffolk Coast, the charming village of Aldeburgh and the landscapes which have earned designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Alongside a quaint boating lake called ‘Thorpeness Meare’ – which is said to have inspired author J.M Barrie to write his famous children’s story Peter Pan – you’ll find a windmill, a house in the clouds ( a converted water tower that stretches 70-feet up from the tree tops) and Mock Tudor style houses.
The Red House – home of Benjamin Britten
Britain’s most celebrated operatic composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, but spent his final years living in Aldeburgh with his partner singer Peter Pears.
They lived in Red House, off leafy and secluded Golf Lane, and today the building is home to the Britten—Pears Foundation, which has opened the studio, gallery, library and gardens to visitors so that people can experience the place where so much famous and inspiring music was written.
In Spring, the Red House Studio and Gallery are open 2-5pm Tuesday to Friday.
The House itself is open during the summer months. Admission free (£5 parking in summer).
Fish and Chips in Aldeburgh
After a visit to The Red House, you’ll want to experience the culinary delights of Aldeburgh.
Food critics from some of Britain’s best read newspapers have gushed about Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop, calling it “quite the possibly the best chippy in the world” and the “finest in Suffolk.”
To this day, you will have to queue for some time to sample its light batter, dense meaty fish, and chips made from locally grown potatoes.
The secret: it’s been frying the same way since 1967 and it won’t share its method with anyone. A visit to Aldeburgh Fish and Chips is an absolute must on your Suffolk break.
Wander in search of Martello Towers
A Martello Tower might sound like something from a sitcom starring John Cleese, but far from being a chaotic seaside hotel they are unusually shaped monuments to Suffolk’s historic and political past.
These short squat round towers were built as coastal defences along England’s Eastern Coast during the Napoleonic Wars to deter a French invasion. They housed a garrison of 25 men per tower and had roof-mounted cannons.
There are 11 of them on the Suffolk Coast alone. Some have since been transformed into luxury holiday accommodations.
When the invasion failed to materialise, the Martello Towers became instrumental in the fight against smuggling. Many remain in excellent condition and make for an intriguing sight during a Suffolk coastal walk.
Visit the Suffolk Tourist Guide for more information
Experience Real Ale Heaven – Adnam’s Southwold
According to the Suffolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) there are around 800 public bars in Suffolk, of which 700 serve real ale.
Add to this 24 breweries, including the most famous – 140-year-old Adnam’s in Southwold – 400 village pubs and a claim to be home to Britain’s smallest pub, The Nutshell in Bury St Edmund’s, and you are in real ale heaven.
Adnam’s offer exclusive tours of its Copper House Brewery and modern state of the art distillery in Southwold.
Brewery tours run daily. They take around an hour followed by a 30-minute tutored beer tasting session.
Visitors to the distillery can also learn how to make their own gin and if you want to take something home for a nightcap then the Adnam’s Cellar and Kitchen Store has an incredible range of locally brewed ales and spirits.
Suffolk is so famous for its real ale we even created an Ale and Golf Trail for our visitors.
Get Back to Nature
On the South West corner of Thorpeness is RSPB North Warren, a scenic nature reserve that crisscrosses marshlands and an old railway line and skirts along the shingle beach leading back to Thorpeness.
There are few better places to experience the array of rare birdlife attracted to the Suffolk Coast.
There are three lovely walks at North Warren, the South Marsh circuit (2km) and the North Marsh circuit (5km) and the Old Railway Route – which is accessible to walkers but people with wheel chairs and push chairs may find the terrain difficult.
North Warren is an important place for white fronted geese. On your travels you will also have a chance to see bearded tits, marsh harriers, bitterns, yellow hammers and bull finches.
If you walk the North Marsh circuit you can also stop at The Meare Tea Rooms for a quick brew and maybe a piece of cake.
You can find out more about RSPB North Warren from its trail map.