Things to do

Walking, birdwatching, and nature are all on the doorstep. Tracks and footpaths abound across the light, sandy soils of this rare and beautiful countryside. Bring wellies and binoculars and follow the Broxtead History Trail provided in the visitor’s notes.

Poplar Park Equestrian centre is based at Hollesley on the edge of Broxtead who will arrange trekking and there is carriage driving available with Mike Daniels on the estate. (Contact them direct.) Also at Hollesley is the Suffolk Punch Trust who have a brand-new visitors’ centre as well as this now rare working horses– quite magnificent when togged up in traditional livery and ready for work. The foals are pretty cute too.

A short drive away is Bawdsey Quay which boasts a small sandy beach and launching facilities for small craft onto the River Deben. There is a foot and cycle ferry across to Old Felixstowe which boasts a café, fresh fish kiosks, a boatyard, and two pubs. The town of Felixstowe is 2 miles further on past the Felixstowe golf club. Coming back is the Ramsholt Arms – good for a pint whilst the children have “crabbing” competitions from the quay by the pub. Wonderful view of the River Deben.

Just 5 minutes towards Woodbridge is the National Trust site of Sutton Hoo. The restaurant, house, and visitors centre are set in acres of countryside sloping down towards the River Deben. Very family orientated and if the kids take their bikes, they can cycle around the surrounding area.

Woodbridge is 5 miles away with shops and restaurants, cinema, swimming pool, sailing, golf, and waterfront. Lots of old Suffolk buildings including a Tide Mill with local architecture a-plenty. Walk along the river wall to the old yacht pond where kids can indulge in a bit of traditional “play” sailing. Main line train station from London stops here and at Melton (nearest stop) – pop into Five Winds Farm next-door for excellent meat and pies.

Heading north are the towns of Orford (castle, smokehouse, quay, pubs and restaurants), Aldeburgh, Walberswick, and Southwold all have great shopping and beaches. Southwold is the home of Adnams Brewery (served throughout Suffolk and beyond!) Orford sailing club organises dinghy sailing for beginners in the summer. Walberswick hosts the annual Crabbing Championships in August. Aldeburgh has an annual music festival in June at Snape Maltings Concert Hall (just ½ hour away) and a popular street carnival in the town on the third Monday every August.

Suffolk has a reputation for traditional English food, locally sourced, and of the finest quality.  A champion of this ethos, The Suffolk Food Hall at Wherstead near Ipswich is run by Robert and Ollie Paul and sells a wonderful variety of produce, from top quality meat from the in-house Broxtead Butchery to bakery, and delicatessen treats.  This converted cattle shed next to the River Orwell houses the food hall, restaurant, and garden centre with a huge bouncy “cushion” outside to entertain the minors.   Visit the Suffolk Food Hall Website.

The Pauls have recently purchased The Boot Inn in Freston (next village to Wherstead) and hope to be providing the best cuisine Suffolk can offer in 2012 in a new restaurant within this traditional country pub.