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Framlingham Castle with flowers (c) Rod Edwards

48 HOURS IN SUFFOLK: FRAMLINGHAM TO FELIXSTOWE

What would you do with just 48 hours in Suffolk? Last time we pondered that question we decided to map out a road trip from the Brecks to Constable Country; now we’re on the other side of the county, with a route that will take you on a two-day journey from the historic town of Framlingham to Felixstowe on the southern tip of the Suffolk coast:

STAGE ONE: FRAMLINGHAM

SPEND A NIGHT AT THE ROUND HOUSE

Start your 48 hours in Suffolk by checking in for the night at the Round House bed and breakfast in Framlingham. Arrive just before sunset and you’ll see this octagonal cottage in all its glory, its gardens awash with evening sunlight. Once you’re settled in, why not enjoy a glass of wine while relaxing one of the Round House’s deckchairs, before making the two-minute walk into Framlingham town centre for dinner at The Lemon Tree bistro?
The Round House in Framlingham (c) Rod EdwardsThe Round House is full of creature comforts
Photo (c) Rod Edwards

WALK THE RAMPARTS AT FRAMLINGHAM CASTLE

After a delicious breakfast at the Round House, it’s time to explore Framlingham by day. This charming market town is full of boutique shops and arts and crafts galleries, such as Blacksmith’s Gallery, where you can see the work of traditional blacksmith John Ball, and Carley’s Yard, a treasure trove of vintage antiques and artworks. Finally, pay a visit to Framlingham’s majestic castle: set by a glassy lake, this high-walled fortress is where Mary Tudor rallied her forces before marching to London to claim the throne. The best way to get a sense of the power and strength Framlingham Castle commanded in the 16th century is by walking its ramparts, and looking out across the Suffolk landscape.
Framlingham Castle (c) Rod EdwardsThe view of Framlingham Castle from the Meare is said to be one of the best in Suffolk
Photo (c) Rod Edwards

STAGE TWO: SNAPE

HAVE LUNCH AT THE CROWN INN

After a busy morning in Framlingham, head southeast to the village of Snape, where there are some superb places to stop for lunch. At the Plough & Sail you can enjoy Suffolk produce exquisitely cooked and served in a posh pub atmosphere. Alternatively, on the other side of the River Alde in Snape you’ll find the Crown, a 15th century smugglers inn that enforces Suffolk’s field-to-fork philosophy by rearing their own meat! And for a truly local experience in either pub, why not enjoy a glass Adnams ale with your meal, brewed just a few miles away in Southwold?

TAKE A WILDLIFE WALK ALONG THE RIVER ALDE

From the Crown Inn it’s just a short walk to Snape Maltings, a complex of 19th century brewing buildings that today form a spectacular arts centre. There you’ll find some fantastic shops, galleries and cafés to explore, and Aldeburgh Music, the musical institution founded by Suffolk composer Benjamin Britten. Beyond Snape Maltings is the Alde Valley, a beautiful, tranquil landscape of reedbeds and marshes through which the River Alde winds towards the sea. After a spot of shopping, take a walk along the river’s edge or north to Snape Warren, keeping your eyes peeled for local wildlife such as marsh harriers, bearded tits and even elusive otters. You can download a walking route here.
Boats at Snape marshes (c) Visit EnglandTake a walk along the River Alde through Snape Marshes nature reserve
Photo (c) Visit England

STAGE THREE: WOODBRIDGE

SPEND THE NIGHT WELL IN WOODBRIDGE

As the sun begins to dip below the horizon you’ll be ready to drive on to your second overnight stop: Woodbridge. Upon arrival at this idyllic town on the River Deben, check yourself into The Crown. Located on Woodbridge’s main thoroughfare just a few hundred metres from the riverbank, The Crown is a boutique hotel whose restaurant is recommended in the Michelin guide. If you’d prefer to eat out, The Table is an excellent quality brasserie near Woodbridge’s quay. After an exquisite dinner, and perhaps an evening stroll around Woodbridge, you’ll be ready to sink into a soft mattress and enjoy a night of luxurious comfort.

EXPERIENCE A SLICE OF MARKET TOWN LIFE

Next morning and there’s a spot of breakfast to be had at The Cake Shop in Woodbridge, winner of Britain’s Best Bakery, and producer of some spectacular pastries, breads and cakes. Afterwards you’ll have a few hours to explore Woodbridge’s many shops, which abound with vintage knick-knacks, antiques, fashion, books and gifts. If you find yourself feeling peckish, at the ever-busy Galley restaurant on Woodbridge’s Market Hill you can enjoy authentic Mediterranean food cooked using Suffolk produce. If you’re more in the mood for traditional English grub, the Ferry Quay Café is a retro café right on the water’s edge that’s extremely popular with locals, thanks to its delicious fish and chips, full English breakfasts and more.
Woodbridge Suffolk (c) Rod EdwardsWoodbridge is a peaceful town with deep connections to the water
Photo (c) Rod Edwards

STAGE FOUR: FELIXSTOWE

SPEND AN AFTERNOON BY THE SEA

After lunch it’ll be time to move on to the final stop on your two-day trip: Felixstowe. You can travel there by car, or if you’ve brought your bike with you, you can drive to the village of Bawdsey and cross the river to Felixstowe Ferry in one of the four foot and cycle ferries operating in Suffolk. From May to September the ferry operates daily from 10am to 6pm, and October to April during weekends only, from 10am to 5pm. Once you’ve reached Felixstowe Ferry on the other side, you can stop for a bite to eat at the Ferry Boat Inn before you cycle on to Felixstowe.

Perched on the southern tip of the Suffolk coast, Felixstowe has everything you could want from a traditional seaside town. You can walk up and down the promenade past the colourful beach huts, relax in the seafront gardens, browse the shops, eat ice cream on the beach, swim in the sea, visit the nearby nature reserve, and explore Landguard Fort, an imposing 16th century fort that was the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion in Britain. Time will fly in Felixstowe with so much to do, and soon your 48 hours in Suffolk will come to an end, so soon that you may decide to stay a little longer …

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