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Debenham: Hoppit Woodland & Lake

Hoppit Wood & Lake

The Hoppit Woodland & Lake community project was acquired in 2004 using grant funding, and it has been planted and managed by the community, parish councillors, and the Greenlight Trust. They began with just a stubble field, and have undergone many hours of work to create a lake, and start planting up the land in phases. 

This is a real hidden gem that I happened to spot when leaving The Angel in the high street, Debenham. Heading North out of the village there is parking sign directing you to the right, and the wood is just a short walk beyond the crematorium.

The project is aimed at providing more habitat, an educational resource, angling facilities, and to provide woodland products from coppicing and other activities. They have planted a wildflower meadow, orchard, and a beautiful woodland that includes Field Maple, Oak, Hornbeam, and Ash. 

Hoppit Woodland & Lake provides a lovely walk that is totally unspoilt, with fantastic views of Debenham, it is a superb example of what a community can achieve. 

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Framlingham Castle & mere

Framlingham Castle

Sturdy old castle crowning historic Framlingham, a popular tourist destination

The walls of this historic building are built with flint. It’s a magnificent 12th century fortress with a long and colourful past which makes a fascinating family day out in Suffolk

Drop down to the mere for a lovely walk across the edge of Framlingham College (the owners)

Check out our gallery for for info on the mere, its flora and fauna

For more information visit their website

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Needham Lake

Needham Lake

This is a great walk around a picturesque lake, whatever the weather

Needham Lake is man-made, having originally been rough, open meadowland. During the 1970s gravel was extracted during the construction of the nearby A14 and the pit was flooded to form the lake, which is now managed by the local council

During the extraction, ice age discoveries were made and numerous evidence of pre-historic life! There’s a board near the car park giving more information on this, which makes a fascinating read!

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The Moon & Mushroom – Swilland

Moon & Mushroom

Proper pub serving good, hearty, wholesome food. They’ve even won awards!

It’s a 16 Century free house, which means they have a great selection of local ales from breweries such as Woodfordes, Wolf, Nethergate and Buffys

Wandering in one cold evening to meet a mate for a beer I was greeted by a very nice barmaid who asked a question I haven’t heard for years; “Would you like a straight glass or a tankard”! So shocked was I that I went for a straight glass and when my mate arrived he opted for the tankard. As the other chap at the bar also had a tankard they ganged up on me and my beer was swiftly and cheerily decanted into a tankard. It’s tough out here in the country but that’s the sort of circles I move in and the decisions I have to make. Anyway, my pint of Dapper Dog was lovely

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Flatford Mill

Flatford Mill

Beautiful river walk with Tea Rooms & Museum – Dedham to Flatford or vice versa. In the heart of Constable Country

Ok, just about dipping our toes into Essex but it still feels like Suffolk and it’s only 20 minutes down the road from Woodfarm Barns and a real hit with many of our holiday cottage guests

Flatford Mill is accessible by road and has a car park. It’s owned by the National Trust so if you’re not a member, it’s about £3 to park. It’s also accessible by foot along the river from Dedham, which is a gorgeous 25 minute walk (pay & display)