The most beautiful places to live in Suffolk - according to estate agents
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Are you thinking about upping sticks and making a move to, or within beautiful Suffolk? With its sweeping meadows and pastures, medieval villages, and seascapes kissed by never-ending blue skies... it really is a slice of the good life.
Just six miles east of Sudbury and five miles west of Hadleigh, Boxford straddles the River Box and with a population of just over 1,200, it has been dubbed by many as one of the prettiest places to live in the county.
“I’ve lived here for 24 years and I think it’s a wonderful village,” explains Robert Chapman, partner at Chapman Stickels.
“It’s big enough to have a range of facilities such as a doctor’s surgery, a post office, a number of local shops, and a primary school – but it’s small enough that people tend to know each other.”
Found on the edge of the Dedham Vale AONB, Boxford is ideal for people who are looking to be close to nature, but also near a selection of larger towns (Colchester is just 11 miles away, while Ipswich is 14 miles away).
“We’re finding that during the pandemic, people are more willing to travel as they’re not necessarily at work five days a week anymore, so the need to be close to work isn’t a top priority like it used to be. As people are looking further out, it allows them to get more for their buck while still being close to good transportation links,” Robert says.
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“Boxford, for instance, isn’t too far away from both the A12 and A14. That’s one of the beauties of this particular village – it's countryside, but not totally remote.”
Within Boxford itself however, residents can also find two pubs, a wine merchant, a coffee shop, a butcher, a garage, a grocery store, village hall, playing fields, and the beautiful 14th century St Mary’s Church.
For anyone with children, or thinking of starting a family, Boxford being handily located near Colchester and Ipswich means it’s within a short distance of a number fantastic schools. “I think that’s one of the real blessings for this area, as not only are there excellent primary schools nearby, there’s great upper and senior schools. In Ipswich, you have the likes of Ipswich School and the Royal Hospital School, while over in Colchester you’ve got Colchester High School, Colchester County High School for Girls, and Colchester Royal Grammar School.”
Located in the heart of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is Orford – and Peter Ogilvie, head of residential sales at Savills Suffolk, says this village is one of the jewels in the crown of the county’s coast.
“It’s a wonderful place full of character – it’s small enough to retain a village charm yet with some fabulous local facilities. There’s a fantastic store, a hotel, two very good pubs, and Pump Street Bakery is second to none. There are also some superb restaurants - a personal favourite of mine is the Butley Orford Oysterage which serves some incredibly tasty seafood,” he says.
“On top of that you have some lovely countryside and riverside walks right on your doorstep, so you have a real sense of peace and quiet. The primary school is also very good for those with a young family - and it feeds in to some excellent schools in and around nearby Woodbridge.”
For anyone looking to feed their adventurous side, there is also a sailing club, while Woodbridge Golf Club is just up the road. Other draws to this coastal village include Orford Castle – a 12th century keep built for Henry II; and the picturesque Orford Ness – an internationally-important coastal nature reserve with a fascinating 20th-century military history.
If you’re tempted by the sights and sounds of this idyllic hideaway, Savills currently has a secluded period cottage for sale for £725,000. This four-bedroom, three-bedroom home has views that overlook the open countryside, marshland, and River Ore.
If you’re searching for that picture-perfect British seaside resort, look no further than Aldeburgh. As one of the region’s most popular coastal towns, it certainly has a lot to attract any prospective buyer. And if it was good enough for famed composed Benjamin Britten, then it’s good enough for us.
Some of the town’s biggest draws include its stretch of pebble beach, a number of historic buildings (including the beachfront Tudor-era Moot Hall and the Napoleonic Martello Tower), and a high street populated with vibrant shops and eateries. If you’re a fan of fish and chips, you’re in luck as the town is home to two famed chippies - regularly listed as the best places to try one of our national dishes in the UK.
Aldeburgh is also one of Suffolk’s biggest cultural hubs too, as it remains the centre of the international Aldeburgh Festival, and is just a few miles away from Snape Maltings – a fantastic heritage site filled with independent shops, places to eat, performance venues, and galleries.
People who move here are spoilt for choice as not only is there plenty to do, but plenty to see as the town is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. North Warren nature reserve is close to the town, and is home to a variety of species including ducks, swans, geese, bitterns, marsh harriers, woodlarks and nightingales. Aldeburgh also boasts The Haven, a 20.2-hectare nature reserve; and Hazlewood Marshes, a 64-hectare nature reserve just to the west of the town.
In terms of transport, Aldeburgh is situated near the A12, A1904, and B1122, and its nearest railway station is in nearby Saxmundham.
An historic riverside town, Woodbridge is one of Suffolk’s most popular locations for renters and buyers alike, and it’s not hard to see why.
“For me, Woodbridge is the most beautiful place in Suffolk,” says Mike Warren of Fine and Country. “You’ve got the river, you’re near the heritage coast, and there’s a number of amenities throughout.”
With an estimated population of 8,000 residents, this east Suffolk town is just seven miles north-east of Ipswich, and has good transportation links thanks to its train station which runs regular services between Lowestoft and Ipswich. It is also adjacent to the A12.
Within the town itself, residents can enjoy a number of shops, eateries and also the local cinema, The Riverside. “Woodbridge has a lot of boutique shops, pubs and cafes – Honey & Harvey is a good one, and you’ve also got Wild Strawberry Café on Market Hill. I’d say one of my favourite pubs is The Mariners – it’s got a great beer garden, and one of my favourite places to go for a drink in the evening is The Crown.”
History and architecture buffs in particular will certainly be drawn to Woodbridge as it’s just a stone’s throw away from Sutton Hoo, the famous archaeological site where an Anglo-Saxon ship burial was uncovered in the 1930s. It’s also home to one of the UK’s only two working tide mills, and two Grade II-listed windmills.
Woodbridge boasts great educational institutions too, including the prestigious Woodbridge School – a 16th century independent school that continually receives good Ofsted reports.
And it’s not just Woodbridge itself that’s worth checking out, as Mike adds that a number of the surrounding villages are also beauty spots where homes often sell quickly, such as Bredfield and Grundisburgh.
No list covering the most beautiful places in Suffolk is complete without mention of Lavenham. This south Suffolk village is steeped in history, and is home to some of the most stunning buildings anywhere in the UK.
Simply take a trip to Lavenham and you’ll see picturesque, colourful Tudor-era properties that have been well-preserved for centuries. Some of the most iconic monuments here include The Guildhall, Little Hall, and De Vere House (the latter of which was featured in the Harry Potter film franchise).
This thriving village boasts a strong community spirit – and there are a number of independent shops, restaurants, hotels, cafes, pubs, tearooms, and even some art galleries for those who want to be near culture. Just some of the village’s highlights include The Swan, The Angel, award-winning ice cream parlour Hadleys at Lavenham, gift shop Posy which is known for its fudge, and The Lion House Gallery.
Lavenham is near the A114, providing links between nearby Hadleigh and Bury St Edmunds, and its closest train station is Sudbury which is just a 15-minute drive away. The village has its own primary school, Lavenham Community Primary School, with nearby Thomas Gainsborough School providing secondary education.
Nestled between Ipswich and Felixstowe, James Cobb of Wainwrights can’t get enough of this peaceful location.
“I believe Suffolk offers some lovely little nuggets of outstanding natural beauty, and Kirton is one of my favourites. A small population of just over 1,000 residents – Kirton offers some beautiful walks through forests and over fields, and even past some stunning original cottages which are hundreds of years old,” he explains.
Kirton is also home to Kirton Creek, a popular birdwatching site on the River Deben that is filled with wildlife and stunning, tranquil views.
For anyone looking to live somewhere family-friendly with a real community feel to it, Kirton could be the place for you, as James explains. “There’s a local football team called the Kirton Kestrals, who have teams for the Under-11s, Under-12s, and Under-16s. Their home ground is Kirton Recreation Ground which is very busy come the weekend with football matches and locals visiting the play park with their children.”
In addition, Kirton has a farm shop selling homegrown fruits and vegetables alongside other necessities, as well as a few eateries. “The go-to place is The Artisan Smokehouse which, although temporarily closed at the moment due to Covid, is a great place to eat and is very popular with the locals and others from outside the village. Another favourite is the White Horse Pub. Recently under new management, it’s busy most evenings and weekends, with karaoke and live bands within the newly-landscaped pub garden. The new kitchen has just opened too, offering a good selection of food and drinks.”
In terms of schools, the nearby Trimley St Martin Primary School serves those who live in Kirton, and there are a number of secondary schools to choose from.