Beautiful, unspoilt and quintessentially English: Pin Mill is a gorgeous Suffolk landmark frozen in time. Nestled in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this tiny hamlet on the banks of the river Orwell has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years: a collection of cottages set against stunning shoreline and ancient forest all centred around the world famous 17th century Butt and Oyster pub. Enjoying the view and talking in the landscape with a walk through the fields and along the coast is one of the undisputed highlights of any trip to Pin Mill, but this special place has a whole lot more to offer than that…
There is arguably nowhere in Suffolk that offers a better family day out than Southwold: this charming seaside town is as picturesque and quintessentially English as they come. The famous 18th century lighthouse sits in the centre of a cosy collection of shops, pubs, restaurant and houses. Looking out across a breathtaking coastline it has guided vessels into Southwold Harbour for well over 100 years.
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The harbour itself is home to a boatyard, chandlery, brokerage and the award winning Harbour Cafe. Nestled directly on the banks of the River Blyth the cafe alone is reason enough to pay Southwold a visit. Open every day between 8am and 4pm this eatery bakes fresh scones, cakes and offers a decent list of specials. It’s your choice of a light bite or lunch by the river as soups, quiche and salads are joined by more hearty favourites such lasagne and jacket potatoes. They have a great policy of supporting local producers too so it’s the ideal place to get a taste of real Suffolk.
The relaxed, informal building couldn’t be anymore fitting to its riverside location as oil lanterns and vintage life-rings hang from wooden beams that curve across the roof to give the impression of being inside a gigantic upturned boat. The outside area is perfect for catching a bit of rest-bite and refreshment with ice creams and chilled drinks in the summer sun whilst during those colder winter months there is nothing more comforting than warming up indoors with a decent coffee and cake by the roaring log-burner.
If a good beer is more appealing than a mug of tea then the famous Adnams brewery is right around the corner. This is one of the most respected independent beer companies in the world and a jewel in the crown of Suffolk’s proud brewing tradition. Take a tour of the building, learn the production process and visit the Adnams store to take something home with you… considering the town’s iconic lighthouse makes up the logo for its signature ale, a bottle of Adnams Southwold may be the only memento needed to remember your trip.
Southwold lies 30 minutes from from some award winning floating accommodation: The Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders. Both vessels are late 1800s sailing barges, the former is moored on the river Alde whilst the latter can be found on the Deben. Proudly combining ‘luxury with an open, dog-friendly approach’, both boats sleep up to 4 and flawlessly blend historic touches with 21st century comfort. If dry land is more your thing then head to Woodfarm Barns. This gorgeous dog-friendly accommodation is made up of a collection of six cottages and an exquisitely maintained 500 year old farm house. All three options are perfect for families and friends staying in Suffolk who want their holiday to live and breath what makes this county so special.
RSPB Minsmere is a fabulous popular destination for twitchers and non-twitchers alike
There’s tons to see (and hear) with stunning coastal scenes accompanied by rare birds breeding and calling in on their annual migrations. There are also otters to be seen in the reedbeds if you look carefully and a plethora of wild flowers and plants
It’s a great place all year round and the visitors centre is free, with helpful staff and volunteers. They also have a great little RSPB shop and café, serving teas and light meals using locally sourced ingredients. There’s also their Discovery Centre and Wild Zone for families, and they have guided walks throughout the year
Another Adnams eaterie on Southwold’s High Street in Suffolk
The Crown is just a hop , skip and jump from the seaside. They have a lovely snug ‘Back Bar’ where you can sample a range of fabulous Adnams famous beer, as well as a more formal restaurant
The food is famously good and the wine list wonderful, not to remind you of their well-known beers. 2014 saw them win Suffolk Dining Pub of the Year for the 2nd year in a row by The Good Pub Guide and a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence (like us then!)
The Angel is a great little pub in the heart of the quaint village of Debenham, only a short drive from Woodfarm Barns, in the middle of the Suffolk countryside.
More of a drinkers pub than a destination or restaurant, but a friendly little place that is certainly worthy of a pitstop when passing through. They are open daily and hold regular events, so keep an eye out on their Facebook page during your visit to keep updated on what’s going on.
This is the perfect place to stop by for a drink when visiting Debenham, combined with a walk around the beautiful Hoppit Woodland & Lake community project.
The original Suffolk Pop Up Restaurant right here at Woodfarm
Having hosted the first ever Pop Up Restaurants in Suffolk, we are now making it a regular event. The next one is 7th, 8th and 9th November 2014
Michelin Star trained Chef Mark Peters will be returning with a menu to knock our socks off again, all for just £55 per head for six courses. We have no accommodation available that weekend as it all sold out on the morning we announced the dates! We do still have dining space though if you are within reach. It’s worth the journey! Check out the details from the last event and see what some of our diners had to say on the weblink
A small family-run and owned smokehouse set on the beautiful Suffolk Coast
Tim & Gill bring you a fabulous range of smoked produce, foodie gifts and delicious hampers. They have a genuine passion regarding all things food. They focus on quality ingredients and are determined to use ethically sourced products, using local suppliers where possible
Their smoked meats and fish are traditionally dry cured using maple wood. They don’t have a retail outlet just yet but you can pick up their products via a number of retail outlets throughout Suffolk, details of which can be seen on their website. They are also regularly at events around Suffolk. I know this as I keep bumping into them
And you can shop online
This is a great country pub serving fresh home cooked locally sourced food, with a fine selection of local ales, a warm welcome and crackling log fires.