Suffolk-Five of the Best

Helmingham Hall


A moated manor house, whose construction began in 1409 by John Tolle Mache, it has remained in the Tollemache family ever since. This is just one of many splendid historic estates in Suffolk, it is one of the most popular destinations because of its fantastic garden, created and maintained by Lady Xa Tollemache, who has won medals at the Chelsea Flower Show for her work.


ldeburgh Beach


Not just a beach, almost a gallery too, if you take a stroll along Aldeburgh beach in Suffolk and you’ll come across not one but two famous sculptures. Maggi Hambling’s notorious scallop stands 4m high on the shingle, creating a mirror for the sound of the waves. A tribute to Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten, it bears an inscription from his opera Peter Grimes: “I hear those voices that will not be drowned.” Further along the beach, standing atop Aldeburgh’s Martello Tower, is a figure by Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley, installed as part of his 2015 LAND series.

Framlingham Castle


If you’re looking for superb scenery and history, you will not do better than visiting Framlingham Castle, its tall battlements are the reason Mary Tudor chose to gather her troops here before marching on London to claim the throne. Framlingham’s 12th-century fortress one of the top sights in Suffolk: a walk along its sheer outer walls gives you some of the best views of the county.


Willy Lott’s Cottage


When seeing this cottage, you will probably get a sense of de je vous this is probably because you’ve seen it before, in one of the most famous landscape paintings in British art history: John Constable’s The Hay Wain. Completed in 1821, The Hay Wain captured rural life just a stone’s throw from Constable’s home in East Bergholt, Suffolk: two men crossing the River Stour in a horse-drawn cart, Willy Lott’s cottage perched on the left bank. Willy Lott was a good friend of the Constables, and the artist painted a complete picture of his neighbour’s house in 1832. The best way to see the cottage and other famous landmarks along the River Stour is along the river itself by boat or canoe. 



The River Deben


For more than 800 years, the River Deben has flowed past Woodbridge, turning the great wheel of the town’s tide mill, which has existed on the same point since at least 1170. Still milling today, Woodbridge Tide Mill is one of just two working tide mills left in the UK. This is a great place to watch the world go by or indeed float by, sitting on the riverside in Woodbridge is for many people one of the top sights in Suffolk, perhaps because of the constancy of the view.