Suffolk's Serene Coast & Spectacular Gardens

Suffolk's Serene Coast & Spectacular Gardens

Enjoy sweeping vistas of the Sussex coast, visit award winning gardens, relax on a river cruise & marvel at Sutton Hoo's Anglo Saxon burial site


Enjoy sweeping vistas of the Sussex coast, visit award winning gardens, relax on a river cruise & marvel at Sutton Hoo's Anglo Saxon burial site


Southwold is a charming seaside town on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. Almost an island, being bounded by the North Sea to the East, by the River Blyth and Southwold harbour to the South–West and by Buss Creek to the North, there is just the one road in to and out of Southwold, approached through neighbouring Reydon.

Southwold's claim to fame is its colourful beach huts which line the promenade, there's also a working lighthouse and the award winning pier. Southwold was mentioned in Domesday Book (1086) as a fishing port, it received its town charter from Henry VII in 1489.


In the late 19th century Thorpeness was a tiny fishing hamlet on the East Coast, buffeted by the merciless North Sea and home to only a few houses that had not been taken into the waves by erosion. Just a couple of decades later, it would be transformed into a fantastical holiday village, with a beautiful boating lake, complete with Peter Pan islands, a 70ft fairytale cottage on stilts, mock-tudor homes and a luxury country club.

To hide the eyesore of having a water tower in the village, the tank built in 1923 was clad in wood to make it look like a small house on top of a five-storey tower. It is known as the "House in the Clouds"


Aldeburgh was the home of the composer Benjamin Britten and has been the centre of the international Aldeburgh Festival of arts at nearby Snape Maltings, founded by Britten in 1948. It remains an artistic and literary centre, with an annual Poetry Festival, along with several food festivals and other cultural events.


Sutton Hoo

Near the River Deben in Suffolk, at Sutton Hoo, are eleven mounds or 'barrows' dating back to the 6th or early 7th century. One cemetery contained an undisturbed ship-burial, including a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts of outstanding art-historical and archaeological significance, most of which are now in the British Museum in London.

The famous Sutton Hoo helmet, a decorated Anglo-Saxon helmet was discovered during the 1939 excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial. It was buried around 625 and is widely believed to have been the helmet of King Rædwald of East Anglia, and its elaborate decoration may have given it a secondary function akin to a crown. The helmet is "the most iconic object" from "one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries ever made," and one of the most important Anglo-Saxon artefacts ever found. It was excavated as hundreds of rusted fragments, and was first displayed following an initial reconstruction in 1945–46, and then in its present form after a second reconstruction in 1970–71.

River Deben Cruise

The Deben River Cruise departs from Waldringfield aboard the Jahan for a 2 hour boat journey along the river, one of the most beautiful and scenic spots on the East Coast. The tidal Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. On board commentary will tell of its rich wildlife and history.


Otley Hall

Otley Hall is an exceptional, Grade I-listed Tudor moated hall of considerable importance - both historically and internationally and one of the few Grade I-listed homes in Suffolk which is in private ownership.

The Hall has long been regarded as the oldest house in Suffolk to survive largely intact. Outside there are the exceptional gardens and a dovecote overlooks the croquet lawns. There is a herber, an orchard, nuttery, a rose garden, a vine tunnel and woodland. There are peacocks, ducks, moorhens, green woodpeckers and herons. There are also two thatched summer houses, a pavilion and a barn.

Helmingham Hall Gardens

Helmingham Hall is a moated manor house which was begun by John Tollemache in 1480 and has been owned by the Tollemache family ever since. The house is built around a courtyard in typical late medieval/Tudor style. The house is Grade I listed and the park and formal gardens are also Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The house is surrounded by a moat 60 feet wide, over which it is reached only by two working drawbridges, which have been pulled up every night since 1510.  The house is not open to the public and Helmingham is best known for its fine garden, which is open on a regular basis. It is a semi-formal mixed garden with extensive borders, a rose garden, a knot garden, a parterre and an orchard. Beyond the garden there is a 400-acre park with herds of red and fallow deer. The Church of St Mary on the edge of the park has connections with the Tollemache family dating back to the Middle Ages.



Colchester is Britains oldest recorded town full of buildings of great age and character.The town is well known for its links with the army which has a large garrison based in Colchester. The badges of 19 regiments associated with the town can be seen displayed along the wall by the road as you pass up Balkerne Hill. Colchester is also famous for its Oysters first sampled by the Romans. These are cultivated and harvested off the coast of Mersea Island and enjoyed yearly at the Colchester Oyster Feast in the Town Hall. Colchester's famous castle is situated right in the heart of the town centre. The only part of the castle still standing is the Keep, the largest surviving Keep in Europe. It now houses the town's museum. The gardens that surround the castle are always beautifully preserved and offer the perfect surroundings for a relaxing stroll.

The Beth Chatto Gardens began in 1960 when the site was an overgrown wasteland between two farms. Faced with all kinds of difficult conditions Beth and the late Andrew Chatto set out to find homes for many of the plants they wished to grow. With dry and damp soil in both sun and shade, they were able put into practice the underlying principles of what is now referred to as "Ecological gardening".

Day 1

A morning departure from Cumbria as we travel to Scotch Corner and then south to Cambridge and on into Suffolk and our hotel the Ufford Park Hotel & Spa situated in 120 acres of parkland at the gateway to the Suffolk Heritage Coast. Dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

Today we enjoy a tour along the picturesque Suffolk coast, starting with a visit to Southwold, complete with its famous painted beach huts and lovely pier, before continuing to the pretty village of Thorpeness, with its pretty mock Tudor houses and the fairy-tale ‘House in the Clouds’. We enjoy free time here for lunch before continuing to Aldeburgh a pretty coastal town, famous for its connection with the composer Benjamin Britten. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 3

After breakfast, we will travel to the world famous Anglo Saxon burial site of Sutton Hoo. This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the river Deben, is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. We can discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo Saxon king and his treasured possessions, explore the award winning exhibition and the full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber and see stunning replica treasures and original finds from one of the mounds. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Waldringfield where we will be welcomed aboard our all-weather cruise boat for a 2 hour journey along the river Deben, one of the most beautiful and scenic spots on the east coast. The tidal Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our on board commentary will tell of its rich wildlife and history whilst we enjoy tea/coffee and scones. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

This morning we enjoy a guided tour of outstanding Otley Hall and Gardens, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful historic houses in the UK, we have an included ploughman’s lunch before our second visit of the day to the spectacular Grade I Listed Helmingham Hall Gardens surrounded by 400 acres of parkland and large herds of red and fallow deer. With herbaceous borders, an orchard, walled kitchen garden, herb garden and rose garden, there is plenty to enjoy in this very beautiful garden. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 5

This morning we visit Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, its Roman remains are some of the most impressive in the country, before heading to Beth Chatto’s Garden, a remarkable garden transformed from wasteland into an interesting mix of four different styles. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 6

After breakfast today we begin our return journey home, lunch and coffee stops en-route and we are due to arrive home early evening.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Ufford Park Hotel & Spa, Woodbridge

Set in 120 acres of historic parkland the family-owned Ufford Park Woodbridge offers high-standard accommodation, with 90 en-suite bedrooms – many with balconies and glorious views across the Deben Valley, all have free Wi-fi, LCD television and hospitality tray. The Classic rooms are spacious and offer great flexibility between twin or double occupancy. All with en-suite facilities including a bath or walk-in shower, complimentary toiletries and hairdryer and good natural daylight.

Guests can relax and enjoy a meal in The Park restaurant, which serves a locally sourced menu. The bar also serves food plus an excellent selection of wines and beers, perfect to enjoy on the outside terrace.

Ufford Park Woodbridge boasts numerous facilities including a health club with swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room, the thermal suite spa with trained therapists and an 18 hole golf course and driving range.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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Autumn Spring 2018 2019
Summer Brochure 2019