Visiting Suffolk’s Hidden Gems

Suffolk has a wealth of well-known tourist attractions, ranging from the famous beaches at Southwold and Felixstowe, the world-famous concert hall at Snape Maltings, and the imposing castle at nearby Framlingham. But what about some of the more unusual landmarks and venues the county has to offer?

Here are five of the county’s hidden gems which you can easily visit during a stay at Windmill Lodges in Suffolk. We offer hot tub holidays in authentic log cabins and are located in the heart of the county so all these unusual attractions are within easy reach.

The Lanman Museum, Framlingham Castle

This museum in the nearby town of Framlingham was founded by local antiques dealer Harold Lanman, who built up a collection of artefacts which were housed in various buildings around the town but now its home is on the first floor of the castle.

Among the highlights of the collection are two Faberge objects given to Sir Henry Thompson, the Framlingham-born surgeon to Queen Victoria. Every single copy of the now defunct Framlingham Weekly News is stored here, and the edition on display changes on a weekly basis so it matches the date of 100 years ago.

The museum’s trustees are looking for more local timepieces, as clock-making was once a major business in the town.

Although Mr Lanman died in 1979, the collection is still being added to today. Any item must come from within a five-mile radius of Framlingham to be considered for inclusion.

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Most people will know about the world-famous concert hall at Snape Maltings, but the Red House, home of composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears, is also open to the public. It can be found in the leafy and secluded Golf Lane on the outskirts of the resort, which lies 16 miles east of Saxtead.

The house is open from March until the end of October, on Tuesday to Sunday afternoons. You can learn more about Britten’s life and work, with guided tours available on request. Special events, including concerts and workshops, run throughout the year.

The Amber Museum, Southwold

The Suffolk coastline between Felixstowe and Southwold is known as ‘The Amber Coast’. Amber is a fossilised resin which was originally found in trees in what is now the Baltic Sea. Ice sheets carried the resin westwards into what became the North Sea, which is why the stones are often washed up on the Suffolk coast. The gemstone, which is a vivid orange colour once it has been polished, is principally used in jewellery.

The Amber Museum is the only one of its kind in the UK and is part of the Amber Shop in Southwold Market Place. Storyboards tell the history of the gemstone, which has also been used for medicinal purposes over the centuries.

The museum is part of The Amber Shop in Southwold Market Place, and has normal shop opening hours.

Mid Suffolk Light Railway

About 15 miles west of Saxtead is a small part of Suffolk where you can be transported back to the golden age of steam. A group of enthusiasts have restored a small section of the old ‘middy’ – Mid Suffolk – rail line at Brockford.

On Sundays and Bank Holidays during the spring and summer, you can travel on a steam train, visit the museum and shop, and enjoy a pint of real ale at the station’s own Kitchener’s Arms bar. There are also Santa Special trips for children during the month of December.

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds

This might not be hidden, but it is easy to miss as it is one of the smallest pubs in England. Many argue that it is actually the smallest, although a rival pub in Margate also has claims to the crown.

If you drive the 30-odd miles west to Bury St Edmunds, you can find The Nutshell in the Traverse, in the town centre. This tiny building is believed to have been a pub since 1873. It has a single short bar with just enough room for patrons to sit in the window wells or stand up – there is just 15ft by 7ft of floorspace.

Suffolk Hot Tub Holidays at Windmill Lodges

Wherever you choose to visit in Suffolk, opt for a hot tub holiday at Windmill Lodges – this way you can relax and unwind at the end of every day (and at the beginning, too!)

All our authentic log cabins come with their own private hot tub, as well as a coal-effect fire, fully equipped kitchen, and an en-suite bathroom. To find out about the current availability of our lodges, follow this link.