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Holidays in Woodbridge

Famous for Sutton Hoo with its Anglo-Saxon burial ground

UK | East of England | Suffolk | Woodbridge
The Tide Mill Museum at Woodbridge

Woodbridge is a town in Suffolk, on the banks of the River Deben. With spectacular riverside walks and magnificent views it is the dream location for walkers and hikers alike. Woodbridge is located close to one of Suffolk’s most popular places of historical interest – Sutton Hoo. One of the most prolific and famous Anglo-Saxon burial sites ever excavated in the UK, the site is now home to a National Trust-managed museum where remnants of the undisturbed long boat burial can be visited as well as the actual dig sites.

Located in the valley below the Sutton Estate, Woodbridge makes for a very pleasant escape to rural Suffolk. The town is also close to the coast, so you can easily enjoy day trips to Felixstowe, Southwold and a boat trip to the ghostly nature reserve on Orford Ness. The town itself is known for its ship building, sail and rope making industries. Edward III and Sir Francis Drake both had battle ships constructed in Woodbridge.

The River Deben has a working tide mill that attracts a lot of attention. Now housing a ‘living museum’, the tide mill has been in almost constant operation for over 800 years making it the sole surviving example in the UK. It has been closed as a ‘fit for purpose’ enterprise since the late 1950s. Since the tide mill’s recent restoration, it has been possible to visit to witness some milling demonstrations and turning times.

Orford Ness lighthouse

Close by is Buttrums Mill, a six-storey windmill, and standing at 20.6 feet tall it is also the tallest surviving example in Suffolk. Visits are possible for volunteer-led tours to the top of the tower to see some of its unusual features. Woodbridge has a good selection of eateries and pubs and supports some interesting shops to browse around too.

Woodbridge is a great place to stay if you want to spend a day exploring the Sutton Estate, home to the UK’s most famous Saxon excavation. In 1939, a royal burial site complete with an unfathomable number of gold and bronze treasure was unearthed.

“Once famous for ship building, sail and rope making, Woodbridge still exhibits good examples of its heritage throughout the town…”

Amongst the riches was an iconic ceremonial battle helmet and chain mail – nowadays they are on display at the interesting on site Sutton Hoo Museum and the British Museum in London. The grave is thought to be that of King Raewald who died in the 7th century. The burial ship was 89 feet long and the treasures are the richest ever found on British soil.

Another place of interest is the former secretive military base, now a nature reserve on Orford Ness. An unusual peninsula of land, it can only be publicly accessed by boat. It has been owned and managed by the National Trust but access is strictly controlled because of the nature of the classified tests run on the site involving atomic weapons research, and, to a lesser extent, radar tests; also because it is a SSSI and home to a rare combination of nature elements. There are many unusual structures to see - some accessible, others closed off, that make for a unique visitor experience. You also can see the strange sight of the National Trust’s nuclear missile too in an on-site museum. Facilities at Orford Ness are few and basic, so pack a picnic, drinking water and wear comfortable shoes!

We have some lovely cottages in and around Woodbridge. Why not take a look at our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Sutton Hoo

A National Trust site with museum, café and acres of park land to enjoy.

Orford Ness

Nature reserve reached by boat where you can see the remnants of a military base.

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Visit the UK’s last surviving tide mill which now houses a ‘living museum’.

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