The Suffolk Coast
  • TTDA - Choose Woodbridge - Maritime Woodbridge
  • TTDA - Choose Woodbridge - Market Hill

An Insider's Guide to Woodbridge

James Lightfoot is the chairman of Choose Woodbridge, the business and tourism organisation at the heart of one of the gems of the Suffolk coast which was voted in the top 10 happiest places to live in the UK last year – and for good reason.

Tucked into one fabulous corner of the Suffolk’s curving coastline, it is packed like a hamper with all the elements of a perfect weekend break.

Nestled between fine breezy beaches and open stretches of wild countryside, this lovely market town boasts dining experiences to die for with a mixture of freshly caught seafood, a rich agricultural tradition and fine artisanal products.

To burn off the calories there are an abundance of scenic walks.  Alehouses and cosy coffee houses lining the routes. 

Woodbridge also boasts a millennium's worth of visible history waiting to be explored. The spectacular ship burial at Sutton Hoo (immediately across the River) – with its tale of kingship, mystery and the richest treasure even found in England – is almost guaranteed to appeal to children.

If shopping is your favourite pastime on a minibreak, Woodbridge is choc-a-block with independent stores. Frequent markets are also held on the Market Square. Seasonal food markets, vintage markets, craft markets and many more supplement the local shopping scene throughout the year and give the local producers an opportunity to meet customers and show off their wares.

TTDA - Choose Woodbridge - James Lightfoot

James Lightfoot, Chairman of Choose Woodbridge shares with us his favourite things about the charming riverside town...

My favourite place to eat...

My current favourite place to eat is The Table.

Owned and run by the charismatic Vernon Blackmore it combines brilliant food with a lovely, informal bistro atmosphere. 

As a coffee shop, I enjoy Honey+Harvey on the Thoroughfare. It made the Sunday Times top 25 coffee shops last year and has a steady stream of visitors enjoying lunch, cake, coffee and sandwiches throughout the day. 

My favourite place to go for a drink...

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs in Woodbridge but my current favorite is The Angel just off the Market Square.

The ancient building is one of the oldest pubs in Suffolk dating back to 1153, when its job was to collect the toll for the town market. It is now an independent free house and serves a range of 200 varieties of gin.

Most Woodbridge pubs are dog friendly. Indeed, it is a dog-friendly town and in September we celebrate Woofbridge – our annual dog show in Elmhurst Park.

My favourite independent shop...

There is a brilliant deli on New Street. It is family-run by David Gitsham and his wife selling a wonderful and exotic range of cheese’s and other lovely deli products.

On the Market Square, there is Chenevix Jewellery, run by the wonderful Susannah Chenevix-Trench who is a qualified gemmologist and designer with many years’ experience in bespoke, re-design and remodelling jewellery. 

If you have come by train why not take back flowers from a brilliant florist at The Station, Patti of Lilac Thyme. Patti invites you to tell her what you want or leave it to her imagination.

Your must-see in Woodbridge...

Woodbridge is a beautiful, bustling, and vivid town at the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and eight miles from the coast.

Highlights include our riverside paths, the architectural delights which incorporate the special Suffolk combo of wonky beams and wild colour.

The most obvious must-see choice is the Tidemill which is one of the first tide mills in the country. It has a host of interactive activities, unique computer-generated imagery and children’s activities which help you discover how the grain and ultimately the flour move around the Mill. Most days you can even see the huge oak water wheel turning.

Where to stay in Woodbridge...

If you want to stay right in the heart of Woodbridge, The Crown in the Thoroughfare is ideal. It is a quality, boutique hotel boasting 10 bedrooms which ooze contemporary style all with a welcoming warmth. It also has a bustling inside bar and a terrace as well as a good restaurant.

For more information about Woodbridge, visit www.choosewoodbridge.co.uk


Things to see and do

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years. The earliest record of a tide mill on this site by the River Deben is in 1170.

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Iken Canoe

Iken Canoe

Iken Canoe is a small and friendly canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard hire centre based on the stunning upper reaches of the Alde estuary between Snape and Aldeburgh, close to the Suffolk coast.

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Dog friendly

Deben Boat Trips

Deben Boat Trips

Join the 'Oystercatcher' for a 30 minute river trip. Departing from The Quay, Waldringfield.

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The Riverside

The Riverside

The Riverside Cinema may be over 100 years old but the films and live broadcast events that are on screen are totally up to date. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

WHERE TO EAT

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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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Crown at Woodbridge

The Crown at Woodbridge

Woodbridge

Situated at the top of the bustling Thoroughfare, in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

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Free wifi

The Riverside Restaurant & Theatre

The Riverside Restaurant & Theatre

The Riverside Restaurant in Woodbridge is a privately owned restaurant (since 1985) with an independent cinema. Renowned for the fashionable trendy style and daily written menus, as quoted by The Financial Times "The right side of casual". Whether you choose to dine or combine a cinema ticket, you will enjoy your experience!

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Firestation Cafe, Bar & Coffee Roasters

The Firestation Cafe, Bar & Coffee Roasters

Woodbridge

A small cafe and bar serving delicious coffee, cocktails, snacks and rather impressively roasting their own coffee!

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Free wifi Dog friendly

where to stay

Iken Barns

Iken Barns

Iken Barns is a collection of converted Victorian farm buildings situated on the banks of the Alde Estuary - truly one of the most stunning locations of The Suffolk Coast. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

The Crown at Woodbridge

The Crown at Woodbridge

The Crown at Woodbridge offers all that is great about escaping to the country, with all that is good about staying in a wonderful market town. 

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Free wifi