The Suffolk Coast
  • River Deben at Ramsholt - (c) Gill Moon Photography

Suffolk Coast Winter Bucket List

A visit to The Suffolk Coast in winter is a truly unique experience; as the crowds seeking sunny days by the sea have headed home, it becomes a place to get away from it all, experience something new, and recharge the batteries.

Whether you travel from afar or are just a short drive away, make sure these things to do are on your bucket list!

1. Walk the historic scores in Lowestoft

A walk up and down the historic scores is the ideal way to discover Lowestoft's maritime history. A series of narrow lanes created over time by the fishermen and women bringing their catch up from the beach village to the High Street.

During the winter months, you can warm up with a hot chocolate in Martello's Cafe in Sparrow's Nest and if you're feeling particularly energetic, pop on your running shoes and follow the route of the annual Scores Race; the course takes you from the High Street, along the sea wall and back up and down the scores; including 401 steps!

2. See migrating birds over the Orwell Estuary

TTDA - Sailing Barge Victor - Thumbnail

Experience one of East Anglia’s finest wildlife spectacles and see thousands of birds flying over the magnificent Orwell estuary, aboard the Thames Sailing Barge Victor. The half day excursion is hosted by an on-board expert who provides a continuous informative commentary to help you get the most out of the bird-watching and environment. 

For more information, visit www.sbvictor.co.uk/

3. Go to a winter concert at Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings Father Christmas

The world-famous concert hall at Snape Maltings plays host to a range of concerts this winter; with everything from classical and choral to percussion and jazz. 

The Winter 2017/Spring 2018 programme includes leading artists and ensembles including Mitsuko Uchida, Angelika Kirchschlager, English Touring Opera, Ute Lemper, Håkan Hardenberger & Colin Currie, Tenebrae, Nicola Benedetti and Mark Padmore.

Make sure you have the Christmas Weekend from 21st - 23rd December is in your diary! On Friday 21st December, Father Christmas will be sailing into Snape by Thames Sailing Barge plus there's a range of family events including The Snowman and Babar The Little Elephant with live orchestra, 'Cara Dillon: Upon a Winter's Night' concert, 'Sing Christmas' and 'Handel's Messiah'.  There’ll also be fun family activities around the site including workshops, storytelling sessions and a trail.

The Christmas Farmers Market on 22nd December is also a must! Stock up on locally made meats, cheeses, breads, chutneys and all you need for Christmas dinner including sprouts, parsnips, Christmas pudding and chestnuts.

For more information, visit snapemaltings.co.uk

4. Eat steaming hot fish and chips on the beach at Aldeburgh

FD - Aldeburgh Fish and Chips - chips on beach

After a bracing walk along the beach, stopping en route to admire Maggi Hambling's sculpture The Scallop, head into the town to peruse the independent shops, boutiques and cafes before paying a visit to Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop.

Choose your steaming hot cod and chips to go, and walk through the historic buildings onto the beach, where you can find a spot to listen to the waves crash, watch the boats go by, and tuck in to the 'world's best fish and chips'. 

For more information, visit www.aldeburghfishandchips.co.uk

5. Amble up the Deben Estuary

Woodbridge Tide Mill

One of the most picturesque walks on The Suffolk Coast, start in Woodbridge and follow the River Wall, past the boats and out along the banks of the estuary. Remember to pack the binoculars too and look out for Redshanks, Curlews and Oyster Catchers to name but a few.

Afterwards, head into the town and pay a visit to one of the many cafes and bakeries (our favourites are The Tea HutThe Firestation Cafe and The Cake Shop Bakery), Or make a weekend of it, and book a stay at The Crown at Woodbridge; complete with dinner in the award-winning restaurant, followed by cocktails in the stylish bar. 

Download the route map here:

6. Stroll along Southwold Pier

TTDA - Southwold Pier - Water Clock

Southwold's historic pier plays home to a cafe and restaurant plus Tim Hunkin's Under the Pier Show; collection of hand-built, utterly silly, totally potty machinery, the Wacky Walk of Mirrors, the Waterclock and The Quantum Tunnelling Telescope; demonstrating the latest advances in particle physics and quantum dynamics focusing on time and space to bring you everything that could possibly happen in the North Sea... including nuclear explosions and singing mermaids!

After a stroll along the pier and out to sea, enjoy locally caught fish and chips or a heart roast dinner in The Boardwalk Restaurant, pastries, cakes and coffee in The Clockhouse Cafe or a full english breakfast in the Beach Cafe. 

For more information, visit www.southwoldpier.co.uk

7. Get muddy in Rendlesham Forest

Young explorers will love hunting for UFOs in Rendlesham Forest; the setting for the well-known UFO incident which occurred on 26th December 1980. It's reported that Servicemen who were stationed at RAF Woodbridge saw lights in the trees and discovered a conical object the size of a car, floating in a forest clearing. 

After completing the UFO trail, head to the giant play area; complete with tube slide, obstacle course, zip line and swings. The forest is a favourite of dogs too, with miles of woodland pathway to sniff and run along.

If you prefer to travel at a faster pace, then hop on your bike and whip along the Rendlesham to Shingle Street Explorer cycle route.

8. Watch the Old Glory Molly Men

The Old Glory Molly Men

Molly dancing traditionally only appeared during the depths of winter as a means of earning some money when the land was frozen or waterlogged and could not be worked. East Anglia's 'Morris Dancers', the Molly dancers of Old Glory are all men, whilst the musicians are all women playing a variety of instruments, which may include at least one four-stop melodeon in the "Suffolk key" of C, concertina, recorder, drums, trombone, “tea-chest” bass and rommelpot.

Throughout December you can catch them stomping their feet and waving their firey staffs at locations including Folk at the Froize on Saturday 8th December at 8pm, The Low House (King's Head) in Laxfield on Saturday 15th December at 8pm, The Red Lion in Southwold on Monday 24th December at 7.45pm, followed by the Market Square at 8.15pm and The Bell at Walberswick at 9.30pm. 

After Christmas they will be back, celebrating the Ancient Ceremony of the Cutty Wren on St Stephens Dy (26th December) at The Bell Inn, Middleton at 9pm. On Saturday 5th January, they will be at The Oddfellows Arms in Pakefield and on Monday 7th January, they will celebrate Plough Monday at the Rumburgh Buck. 

Your final chance to catch them on The Suffolk Coast is for a Village Wassail on Wednesday 16th January
 at The White Horse in Sweffling at 7.30pm. 



Things to see and do

Adnams Shops

Adnams Shops

Adnams shops are a top class tasting experience and a showcase of their innovative range of  quality beer, wonderful wines, handcrafted spirits and gifty bits.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Marina Theatre

Marina Theatre

It plays host to major West End productions, top comedy, orchestral concerts, touring drama and musical productions, opera, ballet, music, dance and celebrity concerts as well as operating a successful cinema operation - boasting the largest screen and cinema auditoria in the town. 

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Wheelchair Accessible

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

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. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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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.


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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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Discover Landguard

Discover Landguard

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

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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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Collen & Clare

Collen & Clare

The beautiful multi-brand stores in Southwold and Burnham Market offer Womenswear, Menswear, Beauty, Lingerie and Accessories and there is also a contemporary Womenswear and Accessories store in Aldeburgh.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

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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Deben Boat Trips

Deben Boat Trips

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

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Claremont Pier Leisure and Family Entertainment Centre

Claremont Pier Leisure and Family Entertainment Centre

Claremont Pier Leisure and Family Entertainment Centre is situated in between Lowestoft's Award winning beaches in South Lowestoft. 

It's a hive of activity and entertainment, from traditional fruit machines and video games, to roller skating, fantastic live music, perfect party venue, great fish and chips and fabulous brasserie dining with the best sea views in town!

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Outdoor Play Areas On The Suffolk Coast

Outdoor Play Areas On The Suffolk Coast

Whether it's a traditional Victorian park, a fort in the middle of a forest, or a zip wire along the river, the outdoor play areas on The Suffolk Coast are the perfect place for kids to let off steam and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Sailing Barge Cruises

Sailing Barge Cruises

Ipswich

Relaxing Orwell River Cruises on board the vintage sailing barges, Thistle, Hydrogen and Kitty.

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The Red House

The Red House

Aldeburgh

The music of Benjamin Britten is the soundtrack of the Suffolk coast. Britten (1913-1976) was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

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 Mediterranean-style pizza, pasta & grill menu. Food served all day includes home-made cakes and pastries, lunch and dinner menus, with tapas, sandwiches and takeaway also available. 


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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Eastern Angles

Eastern Angles

Eastern Angles Theatre Company combines heritage with theatre to make regional stories and hidden histories come to life on stage. The company are based at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich but tour across the county to villages, towns and quirky outdoor locations.

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Free wifi

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. Explore a number of footpaths leading you through a myriad of habitats and discover the birds and animals that call Dunwich Heath home. You can enjoy time in the tea room and browse the gift shop.

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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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Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

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

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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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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

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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Coastal Voyager

Coastal Voyager

Coastal Voyager is the perfect activity for all ages ranging from families with children to work groups.


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Dog friendly

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh Cinema offers the very best in world and mainstream cinema. At the heart of the local community since 1919 and home of the Aldeburgh Documentary Festival, Aldeburgh Cinema is a local treasure.

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Free wifi

Electric Picture Palace

Electric Picture Palace

The Electric Picture Palace is a small but perfectly formed, 70 seat cinema in Southwold on The Suffolk coast.

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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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Free wifi Dog friendly

Easton Farm Park

Easton Farm Park

Woodbridge

Home to plenty of 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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Dog friendly

Events

Christmas at Africa Alive!

Christmas at Africa Alive!

Kessingland | Sat 15th - Sun 16th Dec 2018, Thu 20th - Mon 24th Dec 2018

See Santa Claus at the park and enjoy some festive fun in the Discovery Centre.

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Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols at The Red House

Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols at The Red House

Aldeburgh | Fri 07th Dec 2018

Go along to The Red House, Aldeburgh and sing Britten's festive choral work.

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Mini Music Makers Christmas Party at The Red House

Mini Music Makers Christmas Party at The Red House

Aldeburgh | Fri 14th Dec 2018

A special Christmas event for the little ones. (suitable for 0-5 years)

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A Christmas Recital at The Red House

A Christmas Recital at The Red House

Aldeburgh | Fri 14th Dec 2018

Get in the festive spirit with a Christmas recital featuring soprano Nazan Fikret.

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Christmas Carols at The Red House

Christmas Carols at The Red House

Aldeburgh | Tue 18th Dec 2018

Join The Red House for a festive sing-a-long of Christmas carols!

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Snape Maltings Farmers' Market

Snape Maltings Farmers' Market

Snape |

Snape Maltings 'popular Farmers' Market happens on the first Saturday of every month, 9.30am - 1.00pm.

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Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market

Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market

Snape | Sat 22nd Dec 2018

Snape Maltings' Christmas Farmers’ Market offers locally sourced fresh produce and treats for Christmas.

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The Fenland Screamers & Other Boggy Tales at Seckford Theatre

The Fenland Screamers & Other Boggy Tales at Seckford Theatre

Woodbridge | Wed 05th Dec 2018 - Sat 19th Jan 2019

A hilarious musical alternative to the Christmas panto!

Eastern Angles return with their 30th Christmas show in 'The Fenland Screamers & Other Boggy Tales' by Pat Whymark & Julian Harries. 

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Lantern Walk 2018

Lantern Walk 2018

Ipswich | Sat 24th Nov 2018

This magical Christmas lantern walk starts at Dance East then carries on along the waterfront to the Sea Cadets Hut and back to Dance East for some Christmas entertainment and refreshments.

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Orford Festive Makers Market

Orford Festive Makers Market

Orford |

This is a great opportunity to meet and buy directly from the makers themselves.
Fifteen local makers will be presenting their wares and discussing them at this very casual event.

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J.S.Bach: Christmas Oratorio - St Michaels Church - Beccles

J.S.Bach: Christmas Oratorio - St Michaels Church - Beccles

Beccles | Sun 25th Nov 2018

Beccles Choral Society presents Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' at 4.30pm on Sunday 25th November 2018

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Supper and Carols by Candlelight at The Urban Jungle

Supper and Carols by Candlelight at The Urban Jungle

Beccles | Fri 21st Dec 2018

Join The Urban Jungle for Christmas songs, carols and a few of your year-round favourites too. Get cosy amongst the leaves, with lights and candles whilst the Hand in Hand ladies a cappella quartet and friends meander the sofas and seating areas.

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Chrissy at Christmas at  Aldeburgh Parish Church

Chrissy at Christmas at Aldeburgh Parish Church

Aldeburgh | Sat 22nd Dec 2018

Internationally acclaimed soprano Chrissy Johnston is coming home to bring you the magic of Christmas in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust.

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WHERE TO EAT

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 Bell Inn

The Bell Inn

The Bell offers no shortage of Suffolk character with beamed ceilings, open fires, quirky snugs, hidden alcoves and worn flagstones floors. Well known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, The Bell is a perfect all year round destination. 

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The Cake Shop Bakery

The Cake Shop Bakery

Woodbridge

Award-winning family run bakery set in the historical town of Woodbridge baking fresh bread and creating beautiful cakes using the best ingredients available and designing cakes that are visually stunning and taste delicious.

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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

Froize 

Froize

A rustic, rural restaurant close to the historic town of Woodbridge and delightful village of Orford, Froize is David Grimwood's delightful freehouse restaurant.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

The Tea Hut

The Tea Hut

The Tea Hut cafe/restaurant sits on the banks of the beautiful River Deben in Woodbridge. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Sweffling White Horse

The Sweffling White Horse

A traditional pub in the village of Sweffling near Saxmundham and East Anglia Pub of the Year 2015

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Free wifi Dog friendly

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold

Southwold Pier has a fabulous choice of restaurants and cafes to fill the gap from breakfast, through to morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner!

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Free wifi Dog friendly

Eat at Snape Maltings

Eat at Snape Maltings

Snape

There's an excellent selection of places to eat at Snape Maltings, from freshly prepared local food and cream teas to cafés overlooking the Alde estuary, providing guests with one of the best views of reeds, water and sky in the UK.

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Free wifi

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop 

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop

Traditional family run fish and chip shop since 1967, offering Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Scampi and more with chips made from locally sourced potatoes. Located a short walk from the beach to enjoy fish and chips 'The Aldeburgh Way'.

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where to stay

Kenton Hall Estate

Kenton Hall Estate

Framlingham

Kenton Hall Estate offers unique glamping accommodation set in heart of the Suffolk countryside.

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