Suffolk Secrets

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Nov 27, 2013 / 0 comments

The home of two of England’s most renowned painters, Gainsborough and Constable, Suffolk is an incredibly beautiful location (as evidenced by their paintings!). The landscape is diverse – from wet Broadlands and green, open countryside to a magnificent coastline – each inspiring in their own way. And whether you visit Suffolk to explore archaeology (be sure to visit West Stow, Bury St Edmunds; and Sutton Hoo), explore the outdoors, or catch a race at Newmarket, you’re sure to have a fantastic holiday.


Sutton Hoo Exhibition hall

Sutton Hoo Exhibition hall. Wikimedia Commons: Arne Koehler


So you’ve got what to do - but where to stay? Luckily, Suffolk Secrets is here. It’s a family-owned business that was started over 16 years ago. And, it’s one of the UK’s leading holiday cottage agencies, representing over 340 VisitEngland properties. While you can visit one of their many offices, you can also access everything online, which makes it a perfect gateway to visiting Suffolk. And they are passionate about the Suffolk landscape, working with projects on the Suffolk Heritage Coast and the Marine Conservation Society. My kind of people!


So what can you find, on Suffolk Secrets? Stately houses (Sea Breeze!), colorful cottages (Ann Page Cottage, the Pink House), townhouses (Spindrift), and spacious homes (Willows Barn).


You can search for the perfect place to stay by area:

  • Aldeburgh
  • Heart of Suffolk
  • Suffolk Coast and Heaths Holiday
  • Wool Towns & Constable Country
  • Southwold
  • Woolbridge


Or, search for homes that are:

  • Pet Friendly
  • Romantic Retreats
  • Luxury
  • Large Cottages
  • Sea Views
  • Hidden Gems
  • Feeling Adventurous
  • Short Breaks
  • Beach Huts


Let’s revisit that last one, shall we? What’s a Beach Hut? Well, on the award-winning Southwold Beach, from Pier to Gun Hill, there are over 300 miniature houses, colored like candy! They are often painted (and photographed), and are useful additions to your holiday. While you can’t sleep in them, they do have everything you need for a day at the beach – tables, chairs, and dishes; beach gear; and a place to rest out of the sun, when you want a nap with the sea breezes but not the sunburn! How fun are these beach huts?!


Beach huts, Southwold Beach, Suffolk

Beach Huts. Wikimedia Commons: Barry Ephgrave


I scoped around Suffolk Secrets, to see where we’d want to stay when we head to the area. And I have to say, my heart belongs to The Old Fisherman’s Hut. Located on the River Blyth, on Southwold’s Blackshore, this small black cottage is perfect. It has views of fields and castles, boats on the river right out the door, a completely cozy living room with incredible views, and a sense that you’re in a story, waiting for a giant troll or a mermaid to wash up.


I headed to Constable Country and fell in love with Mortimer’s Barn. How cool is it, to stay in a converted 15th century thatched threshing barn? Even better, it’s located near England’s finest medieval village – and FOOD CAPITAL of Suffolk, Lavenham. And, it has a pond. Count me in.


Constable. The Lock. (the lock at Flatford Mill, on the River Stour in Suffolk) . 1824, oil on canvas.

Constable. The Lock. (the lock at Flatford Mill, on the River Stour in Suffolk) . 1824, oil on canvas.


And then (still in Constable Country), I saw Primrose Cottage, located in Kersey. It’s a 17th century cottage, and is, to me, the essence of country cottage. There are clean white walls, intersected with beams. There is the cutest closet door you’ll ever see, and a wood burning stove set into a gorgeous hearth. The kitchen, well, it’s gorgeous. There’s a pub not 200 yards away, so count yourself part of the community.
Being a music lover, I couldn’t resist checking out Aldeburgh, the heart of the Suffolk Coast. There’s a shingle beach, fresh fish, and an incredibly beautiful sculpture by Maggi Hambling called Scallop - a tribute to local composer Benjamin Britten. The sculpture features the phrase I hear those voices that will not be drowned (from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes), and shows images of wings in flight, fish, and waves. Located near the sea, it’s powerful and emblematic. Want to see Scallop? Stay at Shoreline, an apartment right on the shore, or at the Withies, a renovated former Coast Guard Cottage.


Scallop by Maggi Hambling

Scallop. Wikimedia Commons: Andrew Dunn


Where will you stay, on your journey to Suffolk?