Shotley Peninsula

/Shotley Peninsula

The Shipwreck Lofts, Shotley


The Shipwreck Lofts Shotley Marina Shotley Gate Suffolk IP9 1QJ The Shipwreck Loft is the perfect accommodation for a visit or short break to the Shotley Peninsula and surrounding areas in Suffolk. Shotley Loft features seven individual en-suite, modern and stylish rooms overlooking Shotley Marina at the confluence of the River Orwell and River Stour. Enjoy fascinating views from the window of your room or balcony with the passing of yachts, ships and the comings and goings of a vibrant marina. All rooms feature contemporary bathrooms with modern fittings. Coffee and tea making facilities are provided in each room along with television. There’s plenty to do and explore in the area and of course you’ll have access the the popular Shipwreck Bar & Restaurant which offers wonderful beers, wines and spirits alongside delicious dining from breakfasts and light snacks to quality dining. Price from £80 per room per night, based on two people sharing. A full English breakfast is included. Children welcome No smoking establishment Tea/coffee making facilities Television in all bedrooms Licensed establishment Evening meal available Open over Christmas/New Year Garden Garage or off-road parking Wi-fi Suffolk Food Hall HMS Ganges Museum Jimmy's Farm Shotley Peninsula There are no special offers at the moment

Public transport – getting around the Shotley Peninsula

With views from up high on a double decker bus, price one of the best ways to see some of the Shotley Peninsula sights is by using public transport. The 202 and 98 bus service to Shotley leave from the Cattle Market in Ipswich and from the train station, health while the number 92 leaves the town and heads to Manningtree. More often than not, the 202 is a double decker bus affording great views all along Wherstead Road and on to the B1456. Take in the breath-taking scenery with a view down the River Orwell as far as Felixstowe, as you trundle under the Orwell bridge and pass the red poll grazing in front of the Suffolk Food Hall on the right. Take note of the gatehouse, guarded by stone monkeys, on Freston Hill and peek through the woods to catch a glimpse of Freston Tower on the left. The bus stops at Woolverstone where you can wander down to the marina, and passes the majestic Woolverstone Hall, former home of the Berners family and now Ipswich High School for Girls. Once in Chelmondiston, alight from the bus opposite the Michelin recommended Red Lion, and take the relatively short stroll down to Pin Mill for fish and chips at the Butt and Oyster. An alternative lunch venue is The Shotley Rose, in the next village along from Chelmondiston, after which you could take a walk down to the church and the Commonwealth war graves and stroll along the river. Further on is Shotley Gate with the Bristol Arms on the left, or Heritage Woods along the river front on the right. If you go left and walk along the promenade, then you can see [...]

Off The Beaten Track On The Shotley Peninsula

Tucked behind some woodland, beyond the old gatehouse in Woolverstone Park, a 16th century Tudor folly stands tall and proud, overlooking the River Orwell. Now owned by the Landmark Trust and used as self-catering accommodation, Freston Tower is thought to be the creation of merchant Thomas Gooding in 1578. With 26 windows and an open turret perched on top of six floors,  it was most probably used as a rather elegant lookout for ships arriving with goods to trade. Local legend suggests that each floor was also used as a classroom for a different day of the week for Gooding's daughter Ellen de Freston, where she studied charity, tapestry, music, painting and literature with astronomy being taught at the very top. According to the Landmark Trust however, there is no evidence to back this up, and so it seem likely that the tower was built, simply because Gooding could afford it. Rich landowners commissioning unconventional buildings was not unusual in those days and also accounts for the 'Tattingstone Wonder' which was built in 1790 by local squire, Edward White. He did not like the view from his window at Tattingstone Place, which was of two red brick farm workers' cottages, so he had one more added to make a row of three cottages and added a fake tower and flint façade to the front of all three, to make them look like a church. The back of the cottages looks odd because the facade is only on the front and from the rear, the buildings look like normal, red brick cottages with half a tower stuck on the end. Walkers meandering through Shotley Heritage Park could easily miss the gun deck, which once housed a [...]

Cycling on the Shotley Peninsula


Take your time, enjoy the views and savour the refreshment stops, with Alastair McCraw, an enthusiastic cyclist and local councillor, who lives in Brantham and shares his favourite cycling routes around the Shotley Peninsula. "The thing with cycle routes is that they don’t always fit your needs, so this is going to be more of a guide. I like the freedom of making it up as I go, to enjoy the views and get a sense of place. I adore cycling this peninsula. It’s mostly quiet, the roads rise and fall and bend in interesting ways so that new perspectives open up throughout. Oh, and there are lots of little roads. There must have been a lot of meandering cattle in the distant past. It’s also quietly gorgeous; not the high profile ‘heritage’ sort of gorgeous, just gentle and easy on the eye. I’m going to highlight some roads, some favourite stretches and throw a few locations into the mix. Pubs and churches will tend to dominate, purely for navigational purposes of course, although refreshment (spiritual or otherwise) is always a good idea. So, some road geography to start with: from the top let’s look, as briefly as possible, at the A137 between Brantham and Wherstead. I try to just use the section as far as the Tattingstone crossroads (The Wheatsheaf) because after that it gets a bit fast and hairy (head for the side roads, they’re friendlier). The B1080 runs from Brantham (The Bull) to Freston and provides a useful spine for a lot of routes on both sides. Finally the B1456 will take you, parallel to the River Orwell, from Bourne Bridge in Ipswich, all the way to Shotley Gate. It makes a [...]

Arthur Ransome’s Nancy Blackett

Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons (1930),  had a number of boats during his lifetime and his favourite is said to have been the Nancy Blackett, which he named after one of his fictional characters. The boat has become a familiar sight sailing on the River Orwell in recent years and she is based at Woolverstone Marina on the Shotley Peninsula. Her presence there now is thanks to Michael Rines, who spotted her as she lay rotting in Scarborough Harbour some years ago. He decided to buy and restore the boat, completely unaware of her connections with the author, and brought her back to Fox’s boatyard, just outside Ipswich. Following the restoration, she was sold to another private owner, but eventually an appeal was launched to raise the money to buy her for £25,000 and the Nancy Blackett Trust was set up to preserve her for future generations to enjoy. Arthur Ransome had made a success of his Lake District sailing stories, and decided to move to the east coast to be near the sea. He and his Russian wife Evgenia selected the Shotley Peninsula by sticking a pin in a map, and it turned out to suit them very well. Their first home in the area was across the river in Levington, but it was in Pin Mill that he kept his yacht, and it was here, “down the deep green lane that ended in the river itself…this happy place where almost everybody wore seaboots, and land, in comparison with water, seemed hardly to matter at all” that he set the opening of the book that the Nancy Blackett inspired: We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea (1937). In the book, the boat [...]

Shotley Peninsula – Royal Connections

Even in the days before the paparazzi and gossip magazines, tongues would wag about members of the royal family, especially those who were on clandestine romantic assignations. The Shotley Peninsula has a long tradition of royalty visiting this beautiful area. The most well known is perhaps King Henry VIII, who took frequent trips along the River Stour to enjoy secret liaisons with Anne Boleyn, who lost her heart, and eventually her head, to the King. Anne Boleyn was a regular visitor to her uncle's home in the small village of Arwarton (or Erwarton as it more commonly known now) on the peninsula.  Sir Phillip Calthorpe lived in the magnificent Elizabethan Erwarton Hall and often played host to King Henry VIII as he courted his niece during a time which Anne would later describe as the happiest of her life. King Henry VIII and Anne’s marriage was a significant event in English history as their union brought about the Church of England and the royal family’s disassociation with the Catholic church, when the portly king’s first marriage to Catherine of Aragon ended in dissolution. Sadly, the royal romance with Anne did not last, due in the main to her inability to bear him a son. Instead she had a daughter and later a miscarriage, which led to allegations of infidelity and incest circulating in the royal place. Anne was eventually beheaded, leaving the King free to marry Jane Seymour, the third of his six wives. Anne Boleyn loved her time spent at Erwarton so much, that she asked for her heart to be buried there when she died. Her wish was granted and another of her uncles, Sir Philip Parker, buried it in the parish church. [...]

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

, ,

The Shotley Peninsula falls within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). AONBs are designated as such because they are considered to be: "an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them" as defined by the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the organisation who has designated the 46 AONBs in Britain. These areas cover 18% of the British countryside and have been designated as AONBs to ensure that their character and qualities are protected for future generations to enjoy. One of the best ways to explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area is on foot or bicycle. The countryside team who look after the area, with support from the Adnams brewery, the European Union and local councils, have produced a number of guides to enable visitors to get the most of their trip to the area. The guides are available to download from the AONB’s website and include: The Shotley Explorer Guide which describes two walks that pass through Harwich Haven, the best natural harbour on the East coast. The routes include potential stops at the HMS Ganges Museum, telling the story of the world famous Royal Navy training establishment; the Stour and Orwell estuaries that are a haven for up to 40,000 wading birds every autumn and Shotley Heritage Park, some seven areas of community owned woodland and foreshore. The Wherstead Explorer which includes the lovely bluebell woods at Freston The Alton Water Explorer which includes Alton Water, Holbrook Creek and the 'Tattingstone Wonder'. Further publications are available to download or purchase, including more walks and cycle routes and a bi-annual newspaper. To find [...]

Alton Water Park

, , , , ,

Listening to the dawn chorus in the peaceful setting of Alton Water Park with its lovely reservoir, is an excellent way to start the day in this wondrous peninsular playground.  As well as fulfilling its purpose of pumping almost 10 million gallons of water each day to serve the local area, the reservoir is a haven for wildlife and a magnet for birdwatchers, walkers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. Walking An eight-mile (13km) trail circles Alton Water, and the site is accessible every day of the year. Shorter trails are available too and a  three-mile route on the south shore takes visitors through a butterfly garden, wildlife meadow and past bird hides and ponds, alive with reptiles. Download a walks leaflet here (pdf). Sailing There is plenty to do for those seeking more energetic leisure pursuits too, as the nature reserve blends seamlessly with a vast water park and sports centre. There are rowing boats available to hire and visitors can take sailing lessons in kayaking, dinghy sailing or wind-surfing. Dry or wets suits are available for hire at the water sports centre. Cycling Visitors can take their own bicycles or hire them from the Alton Cycle Hire centre. Bikes, trailers for towing children, as well as single or double seated Go-carts are all available. Alton Water has teamed up with the Woolverstone Project to provide tuition and opportunities for those with disabilities and a desire to sail. Fishing The reservoir is also good for coarse fishing. Given its location near the rivers, Gipping, Stour and Orwell, there are good stocks of Bream, Pike, Roach, and the odd Carp or Tench. Fishing permits are available for adults and chilren can fish for free. Do check [...]

Birdwatching on the Shotley Peninsula

From avocets to woodpeckers, capsule the abundant birdlife throughout the Shotley Peninsula attracts ornithologists, twitchers and casual bird-watchers. Local resident Ian Peters, a lifelong birder and wildlife enthusiast, gave us his eagle-eyed observations. The Shotley Peninsula is unique in that it is bound on two sides by the rivers Orwell and Stour and at its western edge by the Alton Water reservoir. With this much water about, it would be hard to avoid the great numbers of wading birds and waterfowl which abound. The River Orwell, which is a relatively narrow, deep channel, has good numbers of diving ducks, including Goldeneye during the winter months, with high water roosts of wading birds including Curlew, Redshank, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Grey Plover using Hare’s Creek. Shotley Marshes are still traditionally grazed during the summer months and there are occasions when they are used by breeding Lapwing, Redshank, Avocet, Gadwall and Shoveler. Gargany have also been seen in the Spring. However, it is during the autumn when hundreds of Dark-bellied Brent Geese arrive from the Taimyr Peninsula in the central Russian Arctic, to overwinter on our estuaries. The marshes also provide important feeding areas for transitory Green Sandpipers, Ruff, and wintering Snipe and Jack Snipe. Short-eared Owl can often be seen during the winter quartering the river wall and marshes and, on occasions, Bearded Tit will accompany the Reed Buntings in the reeds alongside the dykes. Stonechats overwinter and Wheatear and Whinchat can be seen on spring and autumn migration. Southern migration starts early for some of our waders with Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and Whimbrel arriving during late June. These will be failed or non-breeders which will have passed through on their northern migration [...]

Harwich Harbour Foot & Bicycle Ferry

Linking Harwich, no rx sick Felixstowe and Shotley since 1912, decease this is a ferry fun way to cross the rivers! Perfect for cyclists, viagra 100mg ramblers, tourists and locals alike, the harbour ferry is a fun, interesting and functional way of getting from one county to another. There has been a ferry linking the Shotley Peninsula with Harwich for more than 100 years, and more recently it will also take passengers from the Essex port on to Felixstowe, and back to Shotley. A newer, larger ferry has been added to the route by operator Christian Zemann, who loves the open water. The larger boat, which used to be a lifeboat for the SS Canberra, can take up to 55 passengers and will eventually take over from the smaller ferry. Christian, a former water sports instructor, runs the ferry throughout the summer taking passengers from the Shotley Marina to Harwich Pier and then on to Landguard Fort in Felixstowe, and back again. From the giant cranes dominating the Felixstowe skyline, to the magnificent vista down the beautiful River Stour separating Essex and Suffolk and along the River Orwell towards Ipswich, the views are fabulous. Added to that, the mesmerizing, slow moving shipping traffic, from record-breaking cargo ships and ferries, to spectacular sailing barges, yachts and small craft, makes the short 10-15 minute journeys a fascinating experience. The ferry is an important link for the long-distance National Cycle Route 51 and visitors to Essex and Suffolk use it as a fun and interesting short cut, avoiding the lengthy road routes, while locals use it to enjoy trips to visit neighbouring areas across the rivers. Bookings are advised for 10 or more passengers and the ferry runs [...]

Churches on the Shotley Peninsula


Thought provoking memorials, beautiful views, peaceful surroundings and fascinating tales going back a thousand years, add to the usual spiritual experience of visiting a church. Most of the churches on the Shotley Peninsula welcome pilgrims and travellers alike, to enjoy a quiet contemplation all week, and all welcome holiday-makers to join with them in a Sunday service. Churches usually have a story to tell and the ten peninsula churches, some of which are named in the Domesday Book, are no different. Going back almost 1,000 years, St Mary’s Church in Shotley is perhaps not the prettiest building, but sitting atop a hill overlooking the Orwell, it has an inner beauty to go with the stunning views.  There is the added poignancy of hundreds of military graves, mainly Royal Navy, but also some for Dutch sailors who were killed nearby. It is the final resting place for many generations of seamen, including those from HMS Gypsy, which struck a mine in the River Orwell and sank. The legend of Anne Boleyn’s heart is just one reason to visit the small but perfectly formed St Mary’s Church in Erwarton. The remains of what is widely believed to be the royal heart is buried below the organ at the church, marked by a Holbein print of Queen Anne’s portrait.  Take time to wander around the back of the church and enjoy the awe-inspiring view down to the Stour and beyond.  Medieval graffiti and delicately pretty glass tiles help make St Mary’s Church in Harkstead such an attractive place to visit and enjoy splendid peace and quiet. Most of St Andrew’s Church in Chelmondiston, was destroyed in 1944 when it was hit, along with the school next door, by [...]

FarmStay on the Shotley Peninsula

Farming the Shotley Peninsula has gone on since virtually the dawn of time as the rich, check fertile soil and wonderfully mild climate, ed have proven to be perfect for arable and livestock. Five generations of the Wrinch family have farmed 720 acres of land on Hill House Farm on the peninsula, link and in days gone by, barges made their way down the rivers Stour and Orwell laden with wheat for the bakers and hay for the horses in London. Nowadays, after years of looking after livestock, the pigs and herds of cattle are gone and the farm is arable only. Mainstay crops include winter wheat, oats, barley and potatoes, along with parsley which is widely grown in the area, making the Shotley Peninsula one of the largest producers of this common herb in the country. Diversification has proven to be the way ahead for the current generation of the Wrinch family and Richard and Hazel have been trailblazers in many ways, by sympathetically utilising their farm in different ways to protect and develop their business. All of their land lies within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with stunning botany and wildlife. Much of it is also designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Ramsar area. Growing grapes is a new venture for the Wrinches and it can take a long time for a harvest to produce a usable crop. After years of patience, the grapes from their vineyard are maturing well enough now and there are high hopes of a Shotley red wine being poured this season, made by an experienced, independent viticulturist. An extra challenge comes with the [...]

The Pier at Harwich

The Pier in Harwich is a small hotel on the quayside, with a first floor restaurant offering diners spectacular views over the Stour and Orwell estuaries. The restaurant, with its swish new interior billed as being “a marriage of industrial elements and stylish interiors”, has a newly opened bar and terrace called NAVYÄRD and a diverse menu with a distinctly European flavour. Freshly caught fish, lobsters and crabs – landed on the harbour wall, just 20 feet from the restuarant's doors feature regularly and the grill features classically inspired brasserie dishes alongside an almost exclusively European wine list. The restaurant is open all day and downstairs, the destination NAVYÄRD bar and terrace serves coffee and pastries in the mornings through to a short menu of Scandinavian-inspired food during the day. For visitors staying on the Shotley Peninsula, The Pier in Harwich can be accessed using the foot ferry, which operates into the evening. The Pier, The Quay, Harwich, Essex CO12 3HH | T: 01255 241212 | W:

The Rose, Shotley Peninsula

One of the joys of having some time off work, is enjoying the freedom to go for long walks and bike rides and to explore new places, taking some time out along the way to enjoy a hearty meal at a traditional English pub. The Rose, in the heart of the village of Shotley, is such a pub and is a popular stopping off point for visitors exploring the Shotley Peninsula. Dogs are welcome in the pub and there is a campsite on site for caravans, campers and motor homes. A regular menu is complemented by the specials’ board with a choice of seasonal dishes, using local produce and lots of events take place throughout the year. Please check the pub's website for opening times and other details. The Rose, The Street, Shotley, Ipswich IP9 1NL | T: 01473 787237 | W:  

Shotley Marina

Sitting proudly at the top of the Shotley Peninsula, Shotley Marina provides a safe harbour for yachtsmen and women and a wonderful base for exploring the rivers and inland of this lovely corner of Suffolk. Created on what used to be the athletics track and field of HMS Ganges, where the mast and Martello tower still look over the berths, the marina can host more than 350 boats and a manned lock gate system means it is accessible 24/7. Sailors can berth and use the marina facilities which include free wi-fi, showers, toilets, a launderette, and electricity and water are provided  for the 350 berths available. Visitors can stock up on essentials from the chandlery, and get advice on sailing down the rivers Orwell and Stour, or other inlets further down the coast. Britannia Sailing School offers a wide choice of courses for both novice and experienced sailors, to improve skills or gain any necessary certificates. Once ashore, it's just a short stroll down to The Shipwreck bar and restaurant, a popular haunt for sailors from all across Europe. Open all day, there are two bars and a restaurant area offering a range of three course meals and bar snacks from breakfast through to dinner. Although a working boatyard, Shotley Marina is a magnet for both sailors and non-sailors, with its tranquil setting, interesting nearby walks and proximity to beach and countryside. The 98 bus from Ipswich to Shotley terminates at the marina, while the 202 stops at the bottom of Bristol Hill, a short walk away along the promenade. Shotley Marina Ltd, Shotley Gate, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 1QJ | T: 01473 788982 | W:

The Bristol Arms on the Shotley Peninsula

The Bristol Arms is situated at the bottom of Bristol Hill at Shotley Gate, on the very tip of the Shotley Peninsula. From here you can look across the River Stour towards Harwich and the bustling international port, or turn your gaze westwards and look down the river where the sunsets can be so stunningly beautiful. The Bristol Arms started off as a ferryman’s cottage which was owned by the Marquis of Bristol in the 1820s. The ferryman would allow guests to stay overnight and over time, it developed into an inn and started offering food and drink as well as accommodation. As the years moved on, subsequent landlords utilised the building and its surroundings and found innovative ways to earn extra money. This included selling sand and shingle from the beach at Shotley to locals to use for building work, with a percentage going to the marquis. These days, the Bristol Arms is well known for its good food, friendly atmosphere and warm welcome. Freshly prepared and locally sourced food is served at lunch time and in the evenings during the week, and all day at the weekends. The 'specials' chalk board is laden with mouthwatering dishes of fresh fish and seasonal dishes, which are all very popular choices and can disappear almost as quickly as they are chalked up. This excellent gastro-pub also hosts some lively evenings at weekends with an Open Mic Night on the last Friday of the month, starting at 9pm. For those who enjoy a pot of tea, cup of coffee, hot chocolate or an ice cream, along with homemade cakes and scones,  do pop by the cafe next to the Bristol Arms. It's called Tea on the Quay [...]

The Cookhouse, Suffolk Food Hall ~ Cookery and Art Courses


Enhance your visit to Suffolk by attending one of the courses at the Suffolk Food Hall's cookery school on the Shotley Peninsula. The Cookhouse offers the opportunity to learn all sorts of new skills and has courses in breadmaking, cookery, photography and art. The venue is in a stunning location, overlooking the Orwell Bridge with the scenic Shotley Peninsula (part of the Suffolk Coast & Healths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) on its doorstop. This is the perfect setting for a relaxing day of learning, creating and eating! Contact Suffolk Food Hall Ltd, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 2AB T: 01473 786618 E: W:

Deborah Baynes Pottery Studio, Shotley Peninsula


Join Deborah Baynes on the lovely Shotley Peninsula for one of her pottery courses. Learn to throw a pot with different types of glaze and in all sorts of different styles. Deborah's course can be either residential or non-residential, they are friendly, relaxed and informal. Starting off with a sumptuous dinner the night before a course starts, so you get to know everyone, these courses are fun and informative and suitable if you are a beginner or if you have had pottery experience before. Demonstrations and generous studio time will help you learn and give plenty of opportunity for practice. Deborah's studio is open all year for sales (by appointment) and from March - October for courses. Contact Deborah Baynes, Nether Hall, Shotley, Nr Ipswich IP9 1PW T: 01473 788300 W:


, ,

Shotley is about nine miles to the south of Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town. It lies at the southern tip of the Shotley Peninsula, which itself lies in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Shotley is steeped in Naval history as it was home to some 150,000 naval ratings who trained at the dry ship HMS Ganges until 1976, when the Naval base closed. The HMS Ganges Association Museum is located at the Shotley Marina with a vast collection of information, photographs and navy and artefacts. Shotley is soon to be a 'Walkers are Welcome' designated village. For more information about what this means for visitors and to download some walks leaflets, please visit the Shotley Open Spaces community website. Image: Holme Oak at Bristol Hill picnic area, Shotley, Suffolk Post Office General store/village shop Tea rooms, restaurants, pubs Holiday accommodation Visitor attraction/s Self-guided walks Childrens play and picnic areas (incl wheelchair access) Tennis court and 5-a-side and basketball court Park and wildlife areas Foot and bicycle ferry to Harwich and Felistowe

Photography Courses on the Shotley Peninsula


Set in the beautiful surrounds of Pin Mill, on the Shotley Peninsula in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this one or two day colour/black and white digital photography course for compact 'point and shoot' or DSLR cameras, including a delicious lunch  and drinks at the famous Butt and Oyster pub, teaches you the techniques of photography, digital imaging and printing. Course handouts will also be available on the day. The day is hosted by Anthony Cullen BA (Hons), The Observer/Hodge award winning photographer with over 20 years of experience shooting home and international assignments for publications such as The Sunday Times, Telegraph and Observer amongst many others. The courses are limited to six people (four for the Photoshop courses) giving more opportunity for personal advice and tuition. Contact Photographic Day, The Pin Mill Studio, Pin Mill Road, Pin Mill, Ipswich, IP9 1JN T: 01473 780130 or 0560 2283774 or 07778 917638 E: W:

Badgers’ Bend, Tattingstone

, , ,

Badgers’ Bend Tattingstone Ipswich Suffolk IP9 2NA 01473 311309 / 07788668735 Badgers’ Bend is a cosy, detached 18th century cottage with lots of beams and plenty of character, situated in the pleasant village of Tattingstone. An ideal holiday base for touring the East, South and Heart of Suffolk. The village of Tattingstone is 2 ½ miles from Capel St Mary, which has a supermarket, post office, bakers shop, newsagent, hairdresser, Chinese and Indian takeaways. Tattingstone village is approximately 6 miles from Ipswich and 5-minute walk to Alton Water, which you can cycle all the way around. Bicycles can be hired from the Alton Water Visitors Centre. Part of Alton Water is next to the village, which is primarily managed for the wildlife and has bird watching hides. The county town of Ipswich is just a 10-minute drive away, and you are in easy reach of Bury St Edmunds with its cathedral and Framlingham Castle. The picturesque Suffolk coast is easily accessible, to visit Southwold, Walberswick, Minsmere and the famous Snape Maltings. Near Tattingstone you can tour Flatford and the beautiful Dedham Vale, where John Constable lived and created many of his paintings. The accommodation has, lounge with TV/DVD, sitting room, dining room, kitchen with electric oven and hob, microwave, washing machine, a fridge and a freezer. Also on the ground floor, is a bathroom with electric heated towel rail, shower over the bath and a WC. Upstairs has two bedrooms, one with double bed and the other with twin beds. In addition, accessible by a separate narrow stair, above the dining room, is a further bedroom with twin beds. All the rooms are [...]

The Brantham Bull, Shotley Peninsula

The Brantham Bull, ask cialis is a traditional pub with fine food, for sale cold drinks, diagnosis  picturesque views, and a warm welcome. Dining on the patio, while enjoying the views cascading down a huge lawn and across the picturesque river Stour, is a lovely way to spend a summer’s evening. This 16th century inn manages to maintain its historic charm, yet has a contemporary feel to it, catering for the modern diner and pub goer. Visitors can enjoy a selection of real ales or a glass of wine and relax in the snug Smugglers’ Bar with its cosy log fire; or dine in the bright and spacious restaurant with views of the river in this lovely corner near Constable Country. Steaks and seafood are a regular feature on the menu and managers Paul and Gemma Chenery use seasonal, locally produced food wherever possible. Special dietary requirements are catered for at the family-friendly Brantham Bull and children are welcome to play in the large garden and play area with its sand pit, trampoline and mini football pitch. The Brantham Bull, The Street, Brantham, Suffolk CO11 1PN | T: 01473 328248 | W:

Woolverstone Hall, Shotley Peninsula

Woolverstone Hall is a beautiful, large country house, now in use as Ipswich High School for Girls, educating over 500 3-18 year olds.  The hall was built in 1776 for London property developer William Berners by the architect John Johnson. Johnson’s design is classically Palladian, consisting of a central block with the main living areas, flanked by two smaller wings containing the domestic offices: kitchen, larders, laundry, brewhouse and so on, which made the typical English country house a self-sufficient community. The site of Berners’s house is typical of the 18th century interest in the landscape and appreciation of beautiful views. The back of the house overlooks the River Orwell and, unlike many 18th Century houses of greater repute, Woolverstone Hall is as attractive from the back, as it is from the front. The Woolverstone Hall logo has, rather confusingly, two monkeys in it. William Berners kept monkeys as pets and according to local folklore, they raised the alarm when Woolverstone Hall caught fire, which allowed the family to escape unharmed. In tribute to his pets, Berners had images and statues of monkeys made, to adorn the Woolverstone Hall estate. The Woolverstone Hall site was sold to Oxford University in 1937 and was requisitioned as a naval training establishment during World War II. In 1950, the Inner London Education Authority acquired the estate and set up Woolverstone Hall School the following year. The school was a small boarding grammar school for boys. School fees were payable on a sliding scale with a sizeable proportion of pupils who paid nothing and had been identified by their teachers as having the potential to thrive in this special environment. The school became a comprehensive in 1977 and continued [...]

Orwell View Barns, Shotley

, , ,

Orwell View Barns Hill House Farm Wades Lane Shotley IP9 1EW 01473 788497/07887941921 Enjoy a choice of three award-winning, 5 star self-catering holiday cottages, each with unrivalled views across the River Orwell near Pin Mill in Suffolk. This is ideal for a family self-catering cottage holiday, a reunion with friends, a short break or a honeymoon. Our eco-friendly barn conversions, developed in 2010 to create superb self-catering holiday cottage accommodation, all feature open-plan living / dining / kitchen areas with vaulted ceilings, and every bedroom has an en-suite shower or a family bathroom. Located just a short drive from Aldeburgh, Constable Country, Ipswich and Lavenham in Suffolk, our holiday cottages are within easy travelling distance from London, Cambridge and Norwich.  Our three luxury ground floor barn conversions with wonderful views across the River Orwell and there are riverbank walks to the pub. Fantastic for Wildlife, there is also a games barn, BBQs and hot tub. The seaside is just 30 minutes by car. Open all year. Three cottage sleeps 2 - 6 people (13 in total) Price from £370 per week Cot available, Children welcome No smoking establishment May be suitable for people with a physical disability Open over Christmas/New Year Garden Dogs accepted Garage or off-road parking Secure storage for cycles Working Farm Staff have attended ‘Welcome to Excellence’ training Ground floor bedroom Barbecue Wi-Fi Suffolk Food Hall HMS Ganges Museum Jimmy's Farm Shotley Peninsula Keep an out for special offers at Orwell View Barns on the 'special [...]

HMS Ganges Association Museum, Shotley

, ,

There was a special poignancy when the command ‘eyes right’ was barked on the parade ground at HMS Ganges 40 years ago, as it marked the end of an era. In June 1976, the last recruit graduated from the Royal Navy training establishment known as Ganges and the place still holds special memories for many today. Although the base was subsequently used as a sports camp and then by the Police, who practiced their riot techniques there, Ganges will forever be best known the world over for the tough, uncompromising training, which turned raw young civilians, some as young as 15, into disciplined men, fit to serve on Her Majesty’s ships. The base at Shotley Gate is awaiting development, but the memories live on and the base is now the HMS Ganges Museum, next to the Shotley Marina. Filled with artefacts given by ex-Ganges boys, or their relatives and families over the past 20 years, the museum has become a mecca for all those with any sort of connection or interest in Ganges and its colourful and important history. The museum holds memorabilia from the old shore establishment including honours board, figurehead and clocks. It is also home to a very large collection of photographs and original documents relating to life in Shotley and a small number of documents relating to old 'Ganges' when when it was afloat. Run entirely by volunteers, the ex-Ganges personnel open the museum at weekends, passing on their knowledge and experiences to visitors. The museum is open from March through to the end of October each weekend and bank holiday from 11am - 4.30pm. Entry to the museum is free.  Special arrangements can be made for opening outside of these [...]

Suffolk Food Hall, Shotley Peninsula


The Suffolk Food Hall offers the opportunity for an exciting day out, prescription just south of Ipswich, online overlooking the Orwell Bridge. There is everything you would expect from a large, cure nationally recognised farm shop, with the added benefit of a restaurant with stunning views across the river and a programme of events throughout the year. The food hall was founded by the seventh generation of a local farming family and in 2012 cousins Oliver and Robert Paul siezed the opportunity to bring together the finest local produce Suffolk has to offer. Farms on the Shotley Peninsula have been instrumental in developing Red Poll cattle, the native breed of Suffolk and Norfolk, which was originally created in the 1800s by crossing a Suffolk Dun, a milking ‘house’ cow with the Norfolk Red, a beef breed. The Red Poll is a deep red brown colour, and is ‘polled’ which in the farming world means it naturally has no horns. They were farmed across the world for dual-purpose qualities: for being good converters of lower grade pasture into high grade beef, and for the high butterfat content in their creamy milk.  However, in the 1970s farming moved to more single-purpose systems (specialising in milk) and the Red Poll fell out of favour. More recently the Paul family and others have seen the extensive (low input/cost) nature of the Red Poll as making them better suited to the competing demands on the modern farmer and there is added bonus that they also look great on the pastureland around the Suffolk Food Hall! The herd continues to be bred using an extensive system (predominantly grass-based, slow maturing and mostly outdoors); a longer rearing process produces greater flavour and [...]

Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead

, , , ,

Perhaps one of the country's most well-known farmers and a familiar face on our TV screens, Jimmy Doherty's story of how he set up Jimmy’s Farm on the Shotley Peninsula has been well documented in the BBC series of the same name, which was filmed over ten years ago. Since then, the farm has gone on to become a popular visitor attraction with an award-winning restaurant and holds several major events each year.  Jimmy and his wife Michaela took some time out of their busy schedule to chat with Nichola Adams. Growing from a small business raising rare-breed pigs to the sizeable venture it is now, which employs in the region of 40 staff, has raised the profile of the village of Wherstead on the Shotley Peninsula where the Farm is situated. “When we first saw the farm it hadn’t been touched in 20 years. Rather than be put off, I could see the potential in the landscape and I wanted to bring it back to life and use the land the way it had been for all those years,” said Jimmy. “Our ethos when we started was to farm sustainably and provide people with good quality, British meat. As time went by, more people took an interest in what we were doing and making it accessible to the public seemed the natural next step, so we set about opening the Farm Park.” The Farm Park is open 364 days a year and provides a fantastic opportunity for the public to get up close to the animals and have a hands-on experience of British farming.  Jimmy explained: “It’s a real pleasure to see people, especially young children come in to the farm and ask questions, [...]

Guided tours around the Shotley Peninsula


Ever since the Vikings first landed at Shotley Peninsula and fought a battle at what became known as Bloody Point, visitors have been delighted by what the villages and inlets of this incredible Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has to offer. From the Strand at Wherstead on the edge of Ipswich, meandering through Freston, Holbrook, Stutton, Harkstead, Erwarton, Woolverstone, Chelmondiston, Pin Mill, Shotley and Shotley Gate, the peninsula is filled with history, culture, art and amazing stories. A new company, Shotley Peninsula Tours started by a former HMS 'Ganges boy', gives visitors the opportunity to explore this hidden jewel in Suffolk’s glittering treasure trove of countryside and coastline. Shotley Peninsula Tours takes visitors on a journey to find out why Anne Boleyn left her heart in Erwarton; the reason for monkeys marking the entrance to a famous old house; what it was that inspired author Arthur Ransome; and why George Orwell took his name from the River Orwell. Learn about the Royal Navy's 150-year presence on the peninsula;  visit the Ganges Museum; discover the connections royalty and celebrities such as Rudyard Kipling, Princess Muna al Hussein, King Harold, Griff Rhys Jones and Jimmy Doherty have with the area. Photographers, bird-watchers, historians and those who just love exploring off the beaten track, will be enthralled at all this and lots more on a day-long tour. See the Shotley Peninsula Tour itinerary. Or call 01473 787375 or 07824167196 for more details.