We’ve been thinking about how great Suffolk is a place to retreat to when urban living becomes a bit too much. In today’s busy world, more and more people are seeking out the simpler things in life as an antidote to daily stress. At less than two-hours’ drive-time from London and the Midlands, or one hour on the train, Suffolk offers urbanites the ideal spot for a weekend of indulgence or introspection with some very special places to visit.
Go off the grid in the heart of Suffolk
Much of Suffolk remains subject to variable strength of mobile signal and wifi, which makes it ideal if you need to disconnect from your devices for a time. A number of unusual properties are available to rent, including Purton Green. This thatched cottage dates in part to 1250 and is the sole surviving construction of a long-lost village meaning that it is 300m from the nearest road, ensuring that you enjoy uninterrupted peace and quiet.
If your tastes are for something more contemporary, why not book a weekend at the recently-renovated Hex Cottage at Wilderness Reserve, Sibton. Perfectly sized for two, the cottage has no mains electricity and is surrounded by meadows and woodland making it a truly escapist destination.
Blow away the cobwebs in the great outdoors
Across the northern part of Suffolk lie the East Anglian Brecks. Far less well-known than the nearby Broads, the Brecks offer an alternative landscape with a special climate, geology and land use history. Almost half of the area has been given protected status for its wildlife or geological interest, and is perfect to explore on foot, on two wheels or on horseback.
If you’re seeking to reconnect with your spirituality, try the countywide Angels and Pinnacles project, which offers a series of walking trails, each starting from a Grade 1 listed church and signposting the way to three additional churches in the vicinity. A number of cycling routes have also been produced which similarly involve riding between some of the county’s finest ecclesiastical treasures.
For those who find their inner peace near the seaside, take a walk along the country’s eastern coastline and enjoy the shingle beaches, wild landscapes, sweeping vistas and unique additions such as The Scallop and the Martello Tower at Aldeburgh.
Treat yourself at one of Suffolk’s luxury spas
Clarice House, with spas in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, offers Swedish massages including a new baobab oil back and neck massage. Weaver’s House spa at The Swan at Lavenham has a range of therapies available, and a special ‘couples room’ where you can lie side-by-side with your other half, or chat with a friend while enjoying one of over 30 facial and body treatments.
Set in the beautiful woodland of Elveden Forest, Aqua Sana spa boasts the widest choice of globally inspired spa experiences available in the UK, ranging from a Roman-inspired Laconium to the Indian Blossom Steamroom via a Tyrolean garden and Turkish hammam. Book in for a day of indulgence away from it all, or as part of a longer break at Center Parcs.
Feed your body and feed your soul
When it comes to food, Suffolk has long followed the philosophy that the tastiest ingredients are the ones available on your doorstep. The county is renowned for its plethora of high-quality producers and eateries, from Blythburgh pork and Marriages flour to Aspall cider and the Adnams and Greene King breweries.
For foodies who would like to expand their own repertoire, cookery courses abound including an extensive range at Kenton Hall Estate whilst budding bakers can head to Pump St Bakery in Orford, namechecked at this year’s Oscars for their amazing doughnuts! Suffolk Food Hall is an award-winning farm shop on a grand scale with locally-produced meat, fish, fruit and vegetables spread over 8,000 square feet.
Article and images courtesy of visitsuffolk.com