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A1120: The Suffolk tourist trail

Suffolk is a beautiful and historic county, steeped in quintessentially English countryside, picturesque villages and sleepy coastal towns. It is only natural to want to see the whole thing but at nearly 4000km2,  exploring it can be a slightly daunting prospect. If you are planning on getting around by car then thankfully there is a road that cuts through the heart of this county, passing some of its most loved landmarks and letting you drink it all in via a whole host of ancient paths, medieval churches and award winning restaurants: the A1120.

The A1120 runs right past the end of the lane that is home to Woodfarm Barns, and heads towards the coast, where you can find Woodfarm Barges!

Museum of East Anglian Life
Part of the Museum of East Anglian Life, Meadow Way, Stowmarket
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Robin Stott – geograph.org.uk/p/5674316

This route is often referred to as the ‘tourist trail’. It starts in historic Stowmarket, a small market town centred around the River Gipping. For a slice of Suffolk history head to the Museum of East Anglian Life, situated in the country manor of Abbots Hall. It specialises in presenting past agricultural traditions of East Anglia through a mixture of exhibits and living history demonstrations.

If you are staying in the area for the evening and fancy some entertainment then the John Peel Centre is a fantastic performing arts venue. Built to honour the late BBC presenter and music enthusiast who resided near Stowmarket, this centre puts of some world class events that really punch above the weight of this small Suffolk town: expect rock, folk, poetry and everything in between.

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary
Siberian Eagle Owl at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Oliver Dixon – geograph.org.uk/p/5378616

Continue down the A1120 and you will reach Stonham Aspal and the wonderful Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, which “operates a comprehensive facility for the care & rehabilitation of owls from the region, and the promotion of owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond”. Get up close and personal with 80 different owls (there is even the opportunity to get your photo taken holding one); a great place to spend the afternoon learning about one of Suffolk’s best loved birds. Anyone planning to spend time nearby should make a reservation at Woodfarm Barns. They offer six Suffolk barns that all sleep two and a gorgeous 500 year-old thatched Farmhouse that sleeps 7. After a long day enjoying some splendid walking with a four legged friend it is good to know that it is totally dog friendly; a great place to put up your weary feet (and paws!).

White Horse Badingham
The White Horse, Badingham © Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

After passing further along the tourist trail through the quaint villages of PettaughEarl Soham, Saxtead and Dennington you will reach Badingham. We recommend stopping here for a pint or a meal at the gorgeous White Horse. This 15th century coaching inn boasts cosy open fires, great ale selection and-home cooked food; it’s a welcome little resting point for any traveller. As you continue on through Peasenhall watch out for the peacocks that roam the village in full plume throughout the year: it is a startling and eccentrically Suffolk sight. If you still need a little pick me up then Weavers Tea Room in the centre of the village offers everything from breakfast to afternoon tea. The coffee is great, the cake is excellent and it is worth a visit just to immerse yourself in the beautiful 15th century building. The trail ends in historic Yoxford, nestled between the postcard beauty of seaside towns Southwold and Aldeburgh. Check out one of the villages many antique shops before heading on to explore the rest of Suffolk and beyond.

A great Suffolk adventure needs a great Suffolk base. Woodfarm Barns and Woodfarm Barges offer just that. This collection of beautiful barns, farmhouse and barges offer romantic breaks and the perfect place for families or friends in the farmhouse or large barge. And best of all they are totally dog friendly. You can find Woodfarm Barns just a few minutes from the A1120 tourist trail, and the barges at the end!