Why are celebrities so fond of this rural Suffolk holiday retreat?

Moat Cottage at The Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk.

Moat Cottage at the Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk - Credit: The Wilderness Reserve

It has seen guests including Jake Whitehall, Zoella, Sandi Toksvig and Marvin Hume – but what makes the Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk so popular with celebrities?

Nestled in the east of the county, the luxury staycation option near Yoxford – set within 8,000 acres of private estates – has almost 100 bedrooms restored by local artisans.

It is the brainchild of property entrepreneur Jon Hunt, who turned to landscape architect Kim Wilkie to help transform the land into the idyllic country escape it is today.

The living space at Chapel Barn in Chapel Estate, The Wilderness Reserve.

he living space at Chapel Barn in Chapel Estate, the Wilderness Reserve - Credit: The Wilderness Reserve

Celebrities to have holidayed at the Suffolk reserve include TV presenters Rochelle and Marvin Humes, comedian Sandi Toksvig, YouTube star Zoella and Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead.

The reserve has more than a dozen properties on offer, including cottages and barns, as well as the gorgeous Grade-II Sibton Park Georgian country manor.


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Housekeeping staff at the reserve tour the estates in their pastel-hued Morris Minors, while personal hosts escort guests to their rooms in Series 1 Land Rovers.

Views looking out from The Hovel at The Wilderness Reserve.

Views looking out from The Hovel at the Wilderness Reserve - Credit: The Wilderness Reserve

Features in some of the properties include a private island, a sunken hot tub, saunas and steam rooms, and a home cinema.

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Activities on offer include cycling on Pashley bikes, rowing and paddle boarding on its private lakes and shooting. Spa treatments are also offered in its dedicated spa houses.

One of the bedrooms at Chapel Barn in Chapel Estate, The Wilderness Reserve.

One of the bedrooms at Chapel Barn in Chapel Estate, The Wilderness Reserve - Credit: The Wilderness Reserve

The experience gained the praise of comedian and Netflix star Jack Whitehall after his stay at one of the reserve's properties last month – his second trip to the luxurious Suffolk retreat in as many years.

The Bad Education and Fresh Meat star said the Wilderness Reserve is "the most incredible place", adding: "Who needs a holiday abroad when you’ve got this on your doorstep!"

The reserve also caters for weddings and can accommodate up to 200 overnight guests.

Couples can choose to have their reception in the manor house at Sibton Park or a 15th century farmstead, or they can book the whole 8,000 acre estate for a one-of-a-kind experience.

For bird watchers, the reserve has 2,000 birdboxes and is home to woodpeckers in the early hours and majestic barn owls after dark. 

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