Woodbridge & Orford Experience Guide
You’ll find many a place to explore in the Woodbridge and Orford Area, from forest wonderlands and internationally recognised nature reserves to inspiring centres for arts and sites of historical interest. Here are some of our highlights.
Described by many as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time, Sutton Hoo is a place of true wonder. This 235 acre estate owned by National Trust is the site of a collection of ancient burial mounds. Discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions as you walk around the mounds. The exhibition at Sutton Hoo uncovers some wider secrets of the Anglo-Saxon times and provides further evidence and artifacts about this particular site.
You can also visit the house of Mrs Edith Pretty - the landowner who instigated the archaeological digs at Sutton Hoo in the 1930s, take a stroll around the many trails on the estate, or simply enjoy tea and cake at the cafe.
Rendlesham Forest is managed by the Forestry Commission and is a haven for family fun and adventure, either on foot or wheels. Amongst the woodland are a series of well maintained walking and cycling trails suitable for all from young families to extreme adventure seekers. There’s a picnic area and seriously fun play area for the kids.
If you were an X Files fan, you’ll be fascinated by the supernatural goings on at Rendlesham Forest that occurred in December 1980. The series of UFO sightings that occured here is one of the best known and most documented incidents in the UK.
Managed by the National Trust, Orford Ness is a beautiful and intriguing piece of coastline. A short boat trip from Orford Quay brings you to this wild and remote shingle spit, the largest in Europe.
It’s 2,000 acres of land provides rich and varied habitats for a wide variety of birds, mammals, moths and butterflies, so much so that Orford Ness has become one of the worlds most significant nature reserves.
The peculiar buildings and structures on the spit are evidence of a fascinating military past, perhaps most significantly its use between the World Wars as a ballistics testing facility and research base contributing to the birth of radar.
Lady Florence River Cruises
Cruise the calm waters of the Rivers Orwell, Alde and Ore during your Suffolk cottage holiday with a relaxing trip on the Lady Florence or the Allen Gardiner. These two beautiful, wooden, world war II vessels provide a charming setting to enjoy a delicious meal, be it brunch, lunch or a la carte dinner whilst soaking up the stunning views over the river and beyond.
Snape Maltings is a world renowned cultural destination set on the banks of the River Alde. The vision of famous composer Benjamin Britten, this fabulous campus for music and the arts has been inspiring musicians since the early 1950s. Snape Maltings annually hosts the Snape Proms and Aldeburgh Festival - highlights of the region’s arts calendar showcasing the talents of local to internationally acclaimed artists.
The site also houses a variety of boutiques, galleries and eateries and is the venue every autumn for the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the county.
Photo: The burial mounds at Sutton Hoo. Image copyright: National Trust.