We were really lucky to bring in Winter in Suffolk, home of Sutton Hoo and the Broads, and grace our friends beautiful new house that they’ve done up from scratch. It is true what they say about sometimes staying in England being more expensive than getting a cheap flight abroad, but we’re determined to show you that it is possible, and not only that, the coolest things lie on our doorstep.
We drove up from London, as it gave us some flexibility over arrival and departure times, but we did consider the train, although those pesky British rail prices and weekend services are not really fitting into our budget weekends. After arriving at their most beautiful house in Martlesham, (there are also some amazing Airbnbs around the area – we know, we checked) we realised we’d checked in for some amazing unwinding and relaxing time.
We headed down to Southwold Harbour, where we got the Walberswick ferry from one side to the other…once we got over the embarrassment it was really fun, and the history behind the ferry is phenomenal! From April to November the ferry runs for a very small charge, daily and at weekends, and you get brilliantly rowed by a man who has had the ferry in his family for decades! What else follows a ferry ride than a beautiful walk around the harbour. The wind picked up and it was the first cold weekend of the year, but the sun was out and sunset was amazing. We stopped by a pub, mainly for the fact that it was the only place open as we had missed the fish and chips and tea shop, but it was still great, on Guinness, 4 teas and 4 brilliantly fresh seafood sandwiches later we rolled back home.
After catching up for a while and talking about travel (our hosts have been to the most amazing places in the world, one of the inspirations behind us actually starting this blog), we headed out into Woodbridge for a bit of a pub crawl. We tried loads of the amazing independent bars in Woodbridge, but our absolute favourite was the Fire Station, speciality coffee shop with in house well-roasted coffee by day; craft beer bar by night…Tim’s perfect place, and the soundtrack was fun too!
Once home, we sat and caught up on what seemed like an eternity, taking in all the fascinating objects in Sharon and Alan’s house, and discussing life and travel plans. (A little something something about our hosts: Sharon and Alan used to be Jess’ boss in her local pub, and are the most interesting, kindest and happiest people in the world). We feel like we drank their house dry but it just kept on coming, home made, locally made, foreign and things brought back from far away, it was amazing!
On the Sunday, not only were we treated to a magnificent lie-in, but the tastiest breakfast, and the sun came out…for a bit! We drove to Snape Maltings, where we meandered for what felt like hours around the antiques shops, art galleries and peered into the concert hall. Somehow we came away with some Georgian sherry glasses and a some weird coins and books, and a feeling that everyone moves so much slower in Suffolk. It wouldn’t be so bad in full holiday mode, but I couldn’t do it permanently!
From there we drove to RAF Bentwaters in Rendlesham Forest, an old RAF base that was active during the Cold War as a USA base in case the Cold War turned hot. At the base, is an amazing set-up called “Old Jet” which is a base for creatives, providing workspace, rehearsal studios, storage and filming locations, and Tim was so keen to make sure that Slowlights end up there at some point.
The rest of the airfield however, is not open to the public as open to the public may sound, but IS easy to drive around, and drive around we did. It was SO fascinating, and a real surprise addition to our day! There are just old airplanes, hangars with eerie goings-on and what looks like very quickly abandoned spots with bombers and harrier jets just…there!
Both of us were in our element, me with my historian Cold War hat on, and Tim and his alien conspiracy theory hat on. There are two big conspiracies about alien landings, one from the 1950s and one from the 1980s-the latter involving a security patrol seeing lights and a metallic, glowing object land in the forest. I’ll let you do the rest of the research without ruining the surprises, even though Tim is desperate for me to.
After that we walked down to the waters edge and watched the beautiful nature at work with flocks of birds and many good dogs, as well as just the calm from the water. We stopped for tea in a lovely pub, and headed home to pack up and drive back to London.
We left, feeling like we’d been away for a fortnight, not a weekend, and so refreshed, feeling back in touch with nature and having had time for some mindfulness too.
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