Suffolk and the surrounding countryside is one which TV producers return to time and again; it offers the peace and tranquillity of a rural location, but also some extremely picturesque towns and villages with plenty of distinctive features.
Windmill Lodges offers the ideal base from which to explore the many locations which are featured in some of TV’s most popular programmes. Here we outline just a few within easy reach of our base in Saxtead, which offers unique lodge holidays for those looking for a short break, a romantic getaway or a family trip to Suffolk.
This gentle BBC comedy, centred around a group of metal detectorists, is supposedly set in the fictional north Essex town of Danebury. However, it was filmed in and around Framlingham, which is only a few minutes away from Windmill Lodges.
The Scout Hall, where the metal detectorists meet, is actually St Michael’s Rooms in the Framlingham town centre. Fans of Detectorists may also be keen to check out the Castle Inn, which is called The Two Brewers in the show (although the interiors were actually shot in The Crown at Great Glemham.
Other locations used for Detectorists include Orford Primary School, The King’s Head pub, the old police station car park at Saxmundham, as well as land at Aldham.
Another BBC TV comedy, this time about the bumbling activities of a Home Guard platoon in the Second World War, and one which has truly stood the test of time.
The show was ostensibly set in the fictional Walmington-on-Sea on the south coast, but it was filmed in the Thetford area, which is around 30 miles from Saxtead, although some of the locations in and around Bury St Edmunds are slightly nearer.
External scenes were shot in the Stanta (Stanford training area) near Thetford. Many other shots also feature the town, which now has its own Dad’s Army Museum and a statue of Captain Mainwaring, so memorably played by Arthur Lowe.
Honington Primary School, Drinkstone Mill (where Cpl Jones predictably got caught up in the sails) and the Six Bells Pub in Bardwell were all also used for various episodes.
Several sketches from this comedy series by David Walliams and Matt Lucas were set in the charming resort of Southwold barely 20 miles from Windmill Lodges’ Saxtead base, particularly those featuring the ‘ladylike’ characters of Emily and Florence, who cycled along the promenade with the pier in the background.
Little Britain was not the only TV series to visit Southwold; East of Ipswich, a 1987 film made by Monty Python’s Michael Palin, is a dramatic reconstruction of the family holidays he spent there in the 1950s; and episodes of ITV courtroom drama Kavanagh QC and children’s TV series Grange Hill (BBC) were also shot there.
Beach scenes seen in the movie Iris, about the novelist Iris Murdoch, were also filmed in Southwold after the writer enjoyed spending time at the resort.
Grandpa in My Pocket
This CBBC series features James Bolam, Jay Ruckley and an incredible shrinking cap which enables the wearer to shrink to the size of a few inches tall and to bring inanimate objects to life.
Most of the scenes in the first three series that take place in the main family home, a one-bedroom cottage where Bolam, the grandfather of the show’s title, were shot in the resort of Aldeburgh, which is only 16 miles away from Windmill Lodges. Both Southwold’s pier and lighthouse also feature in the first three series, as do some of the shops in the nearby village of Walberswick.
Perhaps a simpler question would be to ask, where didn’t this series film? The loveable rogue of an antique dealer, played by Ian McShane, was often to be seen Lavenham and Long Melford to the south of the county. Perhaps this is not surprising as they are both picture-postcard villages with a thriving antiques trade.
Those with a keen eye will be able to spot various streets in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Newmarket and many Suffolk villages which were used in the series. The show also went even further south into Essex. For instance, Belchamp Hall on the Suffolk/Essex border was named Felsham Hall – where Lady Jane lived and where Lovejoy’s workshop was located.
If you are a fan of any of these series, or just want to explore the beautiful local countryside, Windmill Lodges is the place to stay. You can enjoy authentic wooden lodge holidays in the heart of Suffolk. The county’s picturesque coast is only a short drive away, and south Norfolk and north Essex are also within fairly easy reach.
Of course, you don’t have to go anywhere at all – you can relax in one of our authentic wooden log cabins which come complete with fully-equipped kitchens, en-suite shower rooms, plus their own hot tubs. We also have a games and book library on site, while our on-site swimming pool is open from Easter until October. Some of our cabins are also pet-friendly. Get in touch today by clicking on the link above to check on the availability of our lodges.