Thorpeness guide

A place where children can enjoy the magic and innocence of a traditional seaside holiday.

The small village of Thorpeness is dominated by the Mere, which is popular all year round and bears witness to the village’s fantastical past. In 1910 Stuart Ogilvie bought the hamlet and set to transform it into a private fantasy holiday village. Today the village is just how Ogilvie envisaged it with pretty mock Tudor houses and the fairy-tale ‘House in the Clouds’.

Did you know?

Thorpeness is a popular holiday village with a whimsical literary link. The picturesque ‘meare’ or artificial lake is vast- covering over 60,000 acres with its various islands and inlets. The Meare comprises many little islands, all named by J.M Barrie, author of Peter Pan and visitors can take to one of the many little boats available to hire and drift between fairytale settings such as the pirate’s lair and Wendy’s house. 

You can’t miss the ‘house in the clouds’, an unusual water tower with a boarded house on top, appearing to float up into the sky. If you're looking to stay in an iconic Suffolk building, the House in the Clouds is available to hire for holidays!

Photographer Sophie Lascelles was born in Thorpeness in 1973 and is the great-great granddaughter of King George V. 


Things to do in Thorpeness

1. Sailing on Peter Pan Boating Lake 

Towns & Villages - Thorpeness - Meare

The Meare is an artificially created boating lake with landings marked with names on a Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands contain locations found in J M Barrie’s novel including ‘The Pirate’s Lair’ and ‘Wendy’s Island’. The lake is open for row boat hire from Spring through to the end of Summer.

2. A round of golf at Thorpeness Golf Club

Towns & Villages - Thorpeness - Golf course

Regarded as one of the finest golf courses in Suffolk, Thorpeness Golf Club has a classic 18 hole, par 70 golf course which is just a stone’s throw away from the beach. For little ones, there's also a 9 hole miniature golf course situated on the banks of the Meare - the ideal spot for the whole family to enjoy.

3. Discover the wildlife and landscapes

Towns & Villages - Thorpeness - aerial view

As well as having unique man-made features, Thorpeness is surrounded by glorious countryside which is a mixture of heathland, and forest. There is an abundance of wildlife to admire and landscapes to explore; excellent for walking, cycling and birdwatching.  

Thorpeness Beach Guide

TTDA - Thorpeness Beach - houses at beach

The enchanting coastal village of Thorpeness is not only home to the famous Meare, but also a charming shingle beach.Backed by pretty, pastel-coloured villas and coastal cottages, the shingle beach slopes towards the sea with views of Aldeburgh to the south and Dunwich to the north.

For more information and to plan your visit to Thorpness Beach, check out our Thorpeness Beach Guide.

Useful Information

Public Conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities

The Boathouse, Thorpeness Meare, Remembrance Road, IP16 4NW - Disabled toilets and baby changing facilities



Check out AccessAble's detailed access guides to Suffolk and work out if a place is going to be accessible to you.

The access guides cover multiple locations and venues across Suffolk, including places to stay, attractions, places to eat, stations, shops, trails and more. 

The access guides are 100% facts, figures and photographs, checked by AccessAble's trained surveyors in person, people who know everyone's accessibility needs are different and understand how important it is for information to be detailed and accurate.

How to get to Thorpeness - Public Transport

With Suffolk on Board you can plan journeys using public transport from and to a town or village, named station or stop, or point of interest.

As many destinations along the Suffolk coast are rural there can be limited public transport services on many routes, but there are journey solutions through various local community transport services that will get you to where you want to go/your final destination. These tend to need to be booked in advance but you can find out more and plan your journey at Suffolk on Board. 

By Bus:

There is a local, regular bus service to and from Leiston and Aldeburgh.

Timetables and further information can be found at

By Train:

The nearest station is located at Saxmundham where there is a direct line to Lowestoft, Ipswich and London Liverpool Street and onward connections from Ipswich to Cambridge.

All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia website or the app.

Car Parks in Thorpeness

To find parking places in East Suffolk and where parking fees apply, visit the council’s RingGo parking service .

The free RingGo app allows drivers to locate a parking place before starting their journey, receive navigation to it, see how busy car parks are within an area, pay for your parking session and extend it if you need to. Signing up to RingGo is as easy as entering your car’s registration and your payment details.  Find out more about registering and using the service on the RingGo how it works page.

Remembrance Road – IP16 4NW

Walking in Southwold

Walking in East Suffolk has just become easier. In partnership with East Suffolk Council, walking app Go Jauntly has launched a collection of East Suffolk walks. 

Go Jauntly is a free community-based app to promote walking, wayfinding and nature connection. You can find local walks created by people who know and love them, discover the greenest walking routes from A to B, create your own jaunts and enjoy outdoor adventures with friends and family. 

Go Jauntly is available to download, for free, on the App Store and the Play Store.

Travel Information & News

For the latest travel information listen to or visit BBC Radio Suffolk 

For local news, visit the East Anglian Daily Times of Eastern Daily Press websites.