Old wool farms and creaking windmills, winding broads and salt-washed beaches all converge on verdant Suffolk. Representing a whole cut-out of East Anglia, this much-loved county promises an escape to nature that's not more than 2 hours' drive from London. This guide to Suffolk cottages will help you pinpoint a stay to remember.
The different types of Suffolk cottages out there
Consider the 3 pointers below to get a feel for what Suffolk cottages are really like and to decide what sort it is you're after this year.
Luxury Suffolk cottages
Getting a taste of the high life in Suffolk depends on booking luxurious pads. There are lots that fuse rustic character with more modern touches, like designer kitchens and hearty lounges where wood fires still crackle in the hearths. The most opulent of all could even come with their own swimming pool or hot tub.
Dog-friendly Suffolk cottages
Don't leave the dog behind when you head off to explore the Suffolk Broads and beaches. The pooch is sure to love bounding over the rivers and pebbles. So long as you keep them on the lead whenever you're passing livestock, you should find plenty of open space to explore in the region, while many a cottage rental has a pet-friendly policy that means 4-legged guests will be welcome, occasionally for an extra fee.
Farm conversion Suffolk cottages
Because there's such a rich history of agriculture in this green corner of England, don't be surprised to find many a farm conversion or barn conversion. They channel a unique and characterful edge, with big, open-plan formats and timber-framed architecture, not to mention large outdoor spaces to enjoy during the Suffolk summer.
Seeking gorgeous Suffolk cottages by the sea
The Suffolk coast curves around the bottom of East Anglia from the estuary of the River Stour to the start of Norfolk's Broads. Between those 2 borders, it packs in family resorts, secluded pebble beaches, historic fishing towns and plenty more.
A taste of seaside charm in Southwold
Anchored on a lovely 1900s steamboat pier, Southwold is every inch the handsome coastal resort you've been searching for. A string of quaint Suffolk cottages and fish-grilling seafood bistros lines its promenade today, while long stretches of beach and wavy sea can be surveyed from the lookout points of age-old Southwold Lighthouse.
Suffolk cottages await in Aldeburgh
Chief among the distinctions of Aldeburgh is a claim to the finest fish and chips in all of England. Once you've judged that for yourself, you can head out to tread the pebbles of the town's long and arcing beachfront, or hit the half-timbered rises of Moot Hall, which has a history stretching back all the way to the 1600s.
The joys of Lowestoft
Families seeking Suffolk cottages by the sea might want to focus in on vibrant little Lowestoft. It's actually the easternmost settlement in the country, with an arcade-fringed pier and a wide, sandy beach up its sleeve. Just north of town, the whirring rides and roller coasters of Pleasurewood Hills promise to turn on the adrenaline.
Where to look for Suffolk cottages in the country
Suffolk's bucolic countryside is flat and rolling, divvied up by green hedgerows and babbling rivers. This was once a major wool-producing region, which means expanses of verdant grass stretch out for miles on end. It's that that forms the backdrop to the charming Suffolk cottages that await inland.
Local heritage in Lavenham
Take a step back in time by opting to rent a Suffolk cottage in Lavenham. This 1,000-year-old wool-trading center has been excellently preserved, which means rows of crooked, jutting, lopsided half-timbered homes still fringe its winding streets – many are Grade-listed and date from as far back as the 13th century.
The hub of East Anglia in Bury St Edmunds
At the very heart of the region of East Anglia is the ancient town of Bury St Edmunds. Before the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the great abbey here was one of the largest in all of Europe. That bought pilgrims, though today it brings history buffs, who also enjoy the hearty farm conversions that pepper the old sheep fields in the surrounding country.
Get in the saddle in Newmarket
On the far western edge of Suffolk county, you'll be able to have a flutter on the horses in the racing town of Newmarket. It's surrounded by thatched cottages and cosy stable conversions, all of which are just a short drive from the iconic Newmarket Racecourse, which hosts 2 famous tracks and the National Horseracing Museum besides.