• Articles - 8 Reasons to Visit The Suffolk Coast this Winter - (c) Gill Moon

8 Reasons to Visit in Winter

An all-seasons destination, there’s no doubt that The Suffolk Coast is a popular choice for a summer holiday, but head here during the colder months and you get a completely different experience, we’ve picked just a few reasons you should visit during the winter…

1. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deserted beaches

Covehithe aerial

During Summer, many of The Suffolk Coast’s beaches are a popular destination for holiday-makers, but in the winter, they take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.

For family-friendly stretches, head to the award-winning beaches at Lowestoft, Southwold and Felixstowe, where you're never very far away from a coastal cafe to warm up in with a mug of hot chocolate. For those 'get away from it all' winter walks, visit Shingle Street, Kessingland and Covehithe, or for dog walks head to Walberswick and Pakefield

2.You can grab a bargain!

WTS - Best of Suffolk - Fire

Not only can you take advantage of some great last-minute and winter offers, you can make the most of lower ‘out of season’ prices on self-catering cottages, apartments and houses as well as bed and breakfasts and hotels.

This winter, there are plenty of bargain getaways to be had, with 2-4-1, money off and package breaks being offered by hotels, self-catering properties and bed & breakfasts. Take a look at our 'Special Offers' page and start planning your winter break on The Suffolk Coast. 

Or for more places to stay inspiration, check out our ‘Where To Stay’ guide!

 

3. Explore the Outstanding Landscape

TTDA - Carlton Marshes - (c) Gill Moon Photography

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of places to head out into the great outdoors for an invigorating walk. Whilst you’re out, you can spot some of the UK's rarest birds, so remember to pack the binoculars!

If you fancy some company or someone to point out top wildlife spots, then join one of the guided walks at RSPB Minsmere. This winter choose from the Magic of Minsmere Weekend Walk, Otter Tracks and Signs, Birdwatching for Beginners, and Minsmere Reedlings; a wonderful outdoor adventure for 2-5 year olds! 

The Suffolk Coast is also home to a number of nature reserves including National Trust Orford Ness (currently closed, please check the website for updates), National Trust Dunwich Heath, Carlton & Oulton Marshes, Captain's Wood near Woodbridge, Framlingham Mere, Gunton Warren, Hen Reedbeds Snape Marshes and Sutton & Hollesley Common. Managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, there are plenty of ways to explore these stunning reserves and lots of ways for nature enthusiasts of all ages to discover Suffolk's wildlife and plantlife.

For downloadable maps and guides, check out our ‘Walking Guide’. 

4. Enjoy seasonal food at a local pub

FD - The Westleton Crown - Fire

You can experience something a bit different at a Suffolk Coast pub this winter...

After a walk along the windswept beach at Dunwich, find a table next to the fire at The Ship, or travel a couple of  miles inland and enjoy a course or two at The Westleton Crown.

Just a short drive from the riverside town of Woodbridge, The Ufford Crown is a great option for a family meal or Sunday lunch, or book a table at The Unruly Pig; with cosy wood burners and original beams it's the ideal place to tuck into some of Suffolk's finest fayre after a winter walk, in fact it was featured in The Financial Times ‘5 of the Best: Pubs with Walks.' 

Spend a day birdwatching and walking in the Deben Peninsula followed by a meal at The Sorrel Horse or head down the coast to Walberswick and snuggle up and enjoy a pint and dinner at The Bell or The Anchor. 

For more pubs, restaurants and places to eat inspiration on The Suffolk Coast, head to our 'Food & Drink' guide.

5. Dogs have free reign!

Beanie walking the plank

The Suffolk Coast is a dog-friendly destination year-round, but during the summer months, there are restrictions on some of the beaches. Not the case in winter! Your 4-legged friend can enjoy a paddle in the North Sea, a roll around in the sand and a game of fetch right along the coast. Not forgetting spots such as Rendlesham Forest, Beccles Common, Halesworth Millenium Green and the riverside walk in Woodbridge, should you prefer to stay away from those bracing sea winds!

There's plenty of dog friendly’ accommodation available too, so your dog can join you for a quiet drink in front of a roaring fire at the end of the day. 

For downloadable maps and walking routes, head to our Walking Guide for inspiration!

6. Great Golf all year! 

TTDA - Thorpeness Golf Club - Course

Experience winter golf at its best at Thorpeness Golf Club; a heathland course designed in 1922 by architect James Braid. It's open 365 days a year, is 6,421 yards long and plays to a par of 70.

Tee off by the sea at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club; the 5th oldest club in England and the only true links course in Suffolk or for golfers of all skill levels, book a round at Woodbridge Golf Club which has two courses; an 18-hole heathland course and a 9-hole forest course.

If you want to make a weekend of it, the course at Ufford Park has been voted top winter golf course by Today’s Golfer magazine.  You can buy a 5 or 7 day membership for your stay, and when staying at the hotel you can also take advantage of the gym and spa facilities and enjoy a meal in the restaurant.

7. It’s oyster season!

FD - Pinneys of Orford - Boat

Although served all year round, Oysters are at their best during the winter months. During your visit, be sure to pay a trip to Pinneys of Orford where you can enjoy a delicious bowl of freshly caught Pinney’s Oysters or Oyster soup, as well as a delicious selection of seasonal fish including smoked trout, smoked mackerel, griddled prawns, skate wings and fish pie to name but a few.

Home to many award-winning food & drinks producers, if you're looking to take a taste of The Suffolk Coast home with you, then pay a visit to one (or a few) of the many delis and producers. Take a look at our Food & Drink Guide to plan your shopping list! 

8. You can learn something new

TTDA - High Lodge - Shooting

From stargazing at Haw Wood Farm, landscape photography days with Gill Moon Photography, wildlife photography weekends at Bawdsey Hall and demijohn terranium workshops at Urban Jungle Cafe, to cooking workshops at The Food Hub Cookery School at Kenton Hall, adrenalin thrills with Anglia Indoor Karting, boat building at the International Boatbuilding Training College and clay pigeon shooting at High Lodge – a trip to The Suffolk Coast in winter is the perfect opportunity to learn something new. 

For full event listings, visit our ‘What’s On’ guide.




Things to see and do

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark is the world's only floating exhibition of Bible storytelling and has extended its stay at Ipswich Waterfront until March 2021!

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Wheelchair Accessible

Beccles Public Hall

Beccles Public Hall

Situated in the heart of the town centre, Beccles Public Hall and Theatre is the perfect venue for all types of entertainment from live music to drama, films to exhibitions, bingo, quizzes, and much more. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Rowe & Williams Gallery

Rowe & Williams Gallery

Founded in 2017, Rowe & Williams is a commercial art gallery in Yoxford, specialising in the art of Suffolk and East Anglia, which presents changing displays of museum quality art from the early 20th century to the present day at a range of prices.

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Dog friendly

Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Southwold

Southwold is a popular destination for the many visitors to the East Coast and its most prominent attraction, the pier, hosts a wide range of things to see and do.

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Anglia Indoor Karting 

Anglia Indoor Karting

With indoor racing karts and their professionally designed, exhilarating multi-level circuit, Anglia Indoor Karting brings the thrill of motorsport to all adrenaline-seekers!

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Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort

Felixstowe

Discover the rich military and maritime heritage of Landguard Fort, one of England's best preserved coastal defences, with a history spanning almost 450 years. 

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Dog friendly

Deben Cruises

Deben Cruises

Enjoy a two-hour river cruise along the River Deben.

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Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant 

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering breakfast and a la carte lunch, supper and dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford, Suffolk.

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Dog friendly

Visit Deben Peninsula

Visit Deben Peninsula

The Deben Peninsula is located in Suffolk between the Deben River to the South and the Alde & Ore Estuary the North.

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The Red House, Aldeburgh 

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh

Benjamin Britten was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. He wrote a vast amount of incredible music and wanted everyone to enjoy it – professional and amateur musicians, music enthusiasts, children and families.

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Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre

Felixstowe Spa Pavilion Theatre

A glorious seafront theatre and restaurant complex, with stunning views, an art deco auditorium for up to 900 people and a fabulous British Seaside and Mediterranean-style fish, meat, pizza, pasta & grill menu. 


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Bawdsey Hall Wildlife and Photography Experiences

Bawdsey Hall Wildlife and Photography Experiences

Join Bawdsey Hall Wildlife Watching, Photography Workshops and Hide Hire at their private nature reserve at Bawdsey Hall on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. 

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National Trust Dunwich Heath

National Trust Dunwich Heath

Dunwich Heath and Beach is a precious landscape on the Suffolk coast where you can experience a true sense of being at one with nature. 

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Visit Waveney Valley

Visit Waveney Valley

Running through the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, it's hard not to fall in love with the Waveney Valley. Discover a timeless rural landscape, where the pace of life is slow and the folk are friendly.

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Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard is one of England's most exciting new wineries. Winemaker, Ben Witchell, combines cutting-edge technology with traditional winemaking techniques to produce elegant and refined English wines. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums incorporates three historical venues in Ipswich; Ipswich Museum - a fascinating Victorian museum; Christchurch Mansion - a magnificent Tudor building; and Ipswich Art Gallery - a unique contemporary gallery.

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Pakefield Riding School

Pakefield Riding School

One of the oldest and best-known horse riding centres and stables in East Anglia.

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Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

The recently restored Felixstowe Seafront Gardens sit on cliffs between the town centre and beach.

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Suffolk Museums

Suffolk Museums

There are more than 50 museums in Suffolk. Each one is unique, and they are all packed with fascinating stories and objects. If you want to know more about the past and how it has affected the present, just come and take a closer look.

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Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels and Pinnacles helps you discover Suffolk’s magnificent medieval churches, among the finest in Europe.

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Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and Art House

Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and Art House

Aldeburgh

Isolated yet at the heart of cultural innovation, it is a magical and stimulating setting for artists to respond each in their own fascinating way.

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Suffolk Food Hall and Cookhouse

Suffolk Food Hall and Cookhouse

Ipswich

Suffolk Food Hall has everything you’d expect from a large farm shop and more. It is the 10 year Champion of Champions for Local Food (Countryside Alliance rural oscars) and it’s also an ideal location to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From an artisan butchery to the bouncy pillow outside for the children, it's a mix of Suffolk's best. 

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High Lodge Leisure

High Lodge Leisure

If you are looking for a place to try out a diverse range of activities then look no further than High Lodge which is home to an array of first-class sporting activities. Suitable for individuals, groups or businesses for corporate activities.

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Ferini Art Gallery

Ferini Art Gallery

The Ferini Art Gallery is set before the beautiful and ever-changing skies an seascapes of Pakefield. It's art mirrors the light and vibrance of the coastline, fishing beach and sandy cliffs.

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International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) 

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC)

IBTC in Lowestoft offers a variety of boatbuilding/maintenance and woodworking courses suitable for those looking for a career in the maritime industry as well as individuals wanting to develop existing or new interests and skills.


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Halesworth and the Blyth Valley

Halesworth and the Blyth Valley

The Blyth Valley runs 17 miles inland from the coast at Southwold to Laxfield via Halesworth and Huntingfield and is a superb destination for walking, cycling & wildlife-watching as well as being known for its welcoming pubs and local produce!

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Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold

So much more than glorious cream teas and freshly baked cakes and pastries, tasty breakfasts, lunches and homemade snacks - Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom is one of the gems of Southwold.

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Dog friendly

Aldeburgh Cinema Trust

Aldeburgh Cinema Trust

Aldeburgh

Come and enjoy the big screen experience at Aldeburgh Cinema, in its 101st Year. The unique, art deco cinema looks forward to welcoming you.

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Free wifi

The Suffolk Punch Trust

The Suffolk Punch Trust

Woodbridge

The Suffolk Punch Trust is an educational and environmental charity dedicated to breeding and preserving the Suffolk Punch horse. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings

Snape

Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty and one of the world’s leading centres of music, founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten. 

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Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

Check the website for times of Milling Demonstrations and Wheel-Turnings. The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years.

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Easton Farm Park 

Easton Farm Park

Woodbridge

Fun family day out on the farm.  Home to plenty of farm animals, including a new contingent of ducklings, lambs, foals, chicks, piglets and calves every spring, Easton Farm Park never ceases to be a popular day out for families and school trips.

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Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Fancy doing something a little bit different? Situated in the heart of Southwold is the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, where Adnams have been brewing since 1872.

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Wheelchair Accessible

Visit Felixstowe

Visit Felixstowe

Everybody loves a great day by the sea, and Felixstowe has great days for everyone.

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Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. 

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Sailing Barge Victor 

Sailing Barge Victor

Sailing Barge Victor is a perfect marriage of a majestic and traditionally rigged 19th century sailing vessel with comfortable, modern facilities for guests.

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Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


Read more >

Orwell Lady River Cruises

Orwell Lady River Cruises

Ipswich

From April to October each year, Orwell Lady cruises up and down the beautiful and historic River Orwell, offering passengers a choice of trips and experiences whilst taking in the beautiful wooded stretches of the river, local wildlife and points of local and historical interest.

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Gill Moon Photography

Gill Moon Photography

Gill is a professional freelance photographer specialising in local landscapes, waterscapes and sailing photography.

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Ufford Park Golf Club

Ufford Park Golf Club

The complete golfing experience; An award-winning 18 hole, par 71 golf course - perfect for all intermediate and experienced players.

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St Peter's Brewery

St Peter's Brewery

St Peter's Brewery is a craft brewery in the heart of Suffolk, brewing award winning beers since '96.

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Suffolk Escape Room

Suffolk Escape Room

Suffolk Escape Room is situated in the unique location of  original war time Nissen Huts on the edge of an American style Trailer Park.

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Discover Landguard

Discover Landguard

The Landguard Peninsula is located at the southerly most point of the town of Felixstowe. 

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O&C Butcher

O&C Butcher

Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh has changed in many ways over the last hundred years, but one business has been an ever present in the town.

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Iken Canoe 

Iken Canoe

Iken Canoe hires out Canadian canoes, sit-on-top kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) on the stunning upper reaches of the River Alde between Snape and Aldeburgh, close to the Suffolk coast. 

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Dog friendly

The Cut - Halesworth

The Cut - Halesworth

Halesworth

The Cut Arts Centre offers Halesworth and the surrounding countryside an extensive range of arts, music, theatre, dance, comedy, cinema, workshops and art exhibitions. 

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National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Mannings Amusements

Mannings Amusements

Mannings Amusements have been providing traditional family fun on Felixstowe Seafront since 1946!

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Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Felixstowe

From tiny meadows to rolling heaths, the nature reserves extend all the way along the Suffolk Coast from Trimley Marshes at Felixstowe to Lound Lakes north of Lowestoft and are some of Suffolk's most inspiring wild places. 

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Red Rose Chain

Red Rose Chain

Award-winning Independent theatre company based in Suffolk with community at the heart of all they do. Creators of Theatre In The Forest, East Anglia's largest outdoor theatre event, and home to Suffolk's newest creative venue The Avenue Theatre.

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Collen & Clare

Collen & Clare

The beautiful multi-brand store in Southwold offers Womenswear, Menswear, Beauty, Lingerie and Accessories.

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Southwold Arts Centre

Southwold Arts Centre

The Arts Centre is currently closed in line with Government guidelines, it hopes to reopen in September if Government guidelines allow.

The premier entertainment venue in the popular Suffolk coastal town of Southwold; presenting a year-round programme of events including music, theatre, film, comedy, craft and antique fairs, art exhibitions, workshops, community events and outdoor events. Southwold Arts Centre also offers a number of spaces for hire; suitable for live events, meetings, family celebrations and exhibition space.

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Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café

Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café

The newest member of the Urban Jungle Plant Nursery & Café Group offering indoor and outdoor exotics, gifts and beautiful things for the home. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Hippersons Boatyard 

Hippersons Boatyard

Some of the best ways to see and experience the river! Day boats, canoes, kayaks and bikes are all available to hire on the southern reach of the Norfolk Broads in Beccles, with day hire from 9.15am till 4.45pm, costing £105 for the day on an electric boat or £50 a day on the canoe.

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WHERE TO EAT

The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich

Dunwich

There's plenty to enjoy on The Ship's menu, the food ethos is simple; good food, locally sourced, skilfully cooked and thoughtfully served. 

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The Sorrel Horse

The Sorrel Horse

The Sorrel Horse is a community-owned quintessential English country pub with tap drawn cask ales, thatched roof, tiled floors and an original bar billiards table.

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The Westleton Crown

The Westleton Crown

Dunwich

The Westleton Crown believe that the very best tasting food is locally and responsibly grown. Head Chef, Kieren Drinkwater and his team pride themselves on their imaginative and varied menus. 

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The Food Hub Cookery School

The Food Hub Cookery School

Framlingham

Whether you are an amateur cook or a food enthusiast let these courses inspire you!

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The Unruly Pig

The Unruly Pig

The Unruly Pig is a 16th century Suffolk Inn offering exceptional food, great wines, craft beers and really friendly service in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. 

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Pinney's of Orford 

Pinney's of Orford

Established in 1959, Pinney's of Orford are a 3rd generation family run business that specialise in producing fine quality smoked products due to the experience and understanding that they have gained over the years in both fishing and smoking.

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The Ufford Crown

The Ufford Crown

Woodbridge

The Ufford Crown is a Michelin recommended, family run pub and restaurant in the village of Ufford, near Woodbridge, run by Polly and Max Durrant and Head Chef Will Hardiman.

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where to stay

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel

Situated on the sunny Suffolk Heritage Coast within walking distance to the sea, Thorpeness 3 star Hotel offers modern accommodation with picturesque views of the golf course. 

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