Our last day in Suffolk before moving onto Norfolk (‘South Folk’ and ‘North Folk’ denoted by where they lived in relation to the river. I’m not sure what river – there are many, many rivers in this area!) We’d already decided that this was the day we would cycle from Aldeburgh to Thorpeness – because the children were going back to school!
It turned out to be a lovely day, if a little windy. We parked at the south end of Aldeburgh on the Slaughden ‘peninsula’ (mainly because it’s free..) and cycled along the seafront, this time going on past the Scallop, which was as far as we got last time.
I did think that the cycle path went all the way to Thorpeness, however, whilst there is a path all the way along the seafront, there comes a point where it isn’t suitable for riding on so we had to move onto the road. However, the road is absolutely fine and not too busy so it wasn’t a problem.
Thorpeness is just a few miles away from Aldeburgh and it is absolutely charming. Originally conceived as a purpose built, upmarket holiday village with a golf club, a country club, a pub and a meare (the boating lake), it is still very much a holiday village, but clearly with a significant permanent population these days.
We had a quick drink in the tea rooms, sat overlooking the boating lake. Bearing in mind it wasn’t a holiday or weekend it was still pretty busy, with several people making use of the boats. Great fun watching the ducks with their ducklings and spotting the crocodile and the wendy house on a couple of the islands on the meare. This is due to the fact that the creator was a friend of JM Barrie which led to a Peter Pan theme 🙂
Thorpeness is also the home of ‘The House in the Clouds’ which you may have seen on various TV programmes. Originally a way of hiding a water tank, itself built to support the original wind pump, it is now a rather impressive holiday home 🙂
We rode around the village, finding the waterpump and the house in the clouds down a footpath, noting the rather grand houses and the smaller chalets, the West Gate and the country club. We also found the Almshouses that were built in 1928 and the Dolphin Inn, fully rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in 1995.
We also found the beach, but couldn’t stay long as it was so windy! We noted as we were riding towards it that there were several gates into plots where there had clearly been houses at some time – no more though! Although that’s not to say there aren’t still properties overlooking the beach.
On our way home we decided we really should go to have a look at Sizewell beach and Leiston Abbey before moving on – they were both right on our doorstep after all!
Sizewell beach first then. We were surprised to find a pub, caravan park and tearooms so close to the facility!
It was actually very pretty around the car park – quite a pleasant surprise 🙂
Next up, Leiston Abbey, just a couple of miles along the road from our campsite. An English Heritage property, free to enter it’s really quite complete. So much so that one of the chapels has had glass put in the windows and a door put on and is still used today 🙂
Definitely worth a visit (you just need about half hour) and, once again, we were surprised by the number of people visiting.
My next post will be about our visit to Norfolk (Great Yarmouth).