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Relive The Dig in Suffolk

1 Night Itinerary

Perhaps the most dramatic archaeological find in British history, 2021 Netflix movie The Dig reimagines the events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston, it stars Carey Mulligan as landowner Edith Pretty and Ralph Fiennes as local self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown, as well as Lily James, Ken Stott and Ben Chaplin.

At first only Brown believes that the mounds on Pretty’s rural estate could be Anglo-Saxon rather than the more common Viking era. Inevitably he is proved right, as their dig unveils the burial site of King Raedwald, his treasure and the remains of his ship.

The film received five nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, including one for Outstanding British Film.

Today, the treasure is in the British Museum, but you can visit the National Trust site that inspired the story and nearby filming locations for The Dig.

The story behind the filming of The Dig

Choose Your Day…
Day 1
Day 1
IN THE SUFFOLK COAST AONB

All the shooting done in Suffolk for The Dig are in close proximity so you can travel easily from one location to the next, leaving the crowning glory to the end.

Start with a visit to Thorpeness beach. Shots were filmed here close to the iconic 15-feet high Scallop sculpture by Maggi Hambling. It was installed there in 2003, so of course is not in The Dig. Very Instagram-able though.

Our next stop is Snape Maltings, home of the Aldeburgh Music Festival and Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival. It’s here that the 1881 sailing barge Cygnet, based here, was filmed on the River Alde for one of the loveliest cinematographic moments of the film.

As well as an arts complex, Snape has a range of eateries and shops with distinctive local produce.

The next locations are Butley Foot Ferry and RSPB Boyton and Hollesley Marshes, before heading to Shingle Street, an isolated hamlet by the sea.

Finally head over to All Saints Church, Ramsholt, one of only 38 round tower churches in Suffolk, where some delightful aerial shots were taken.

Stay overnight, and next day enjoy a leisurely trip to Sutton Hoo itself. As the National Trust site is open to the public year-round it couldn’t be used for shooting The Dig – but you’ll be immersed in the location that inspired the story.

Where to stay
Things to do nearby
Map of Locations

All destinations on Day 1 of itinerary

Aldeburgh Coastal Cottages
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Brudenell Hotel
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The Crown at Woodbridge
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Partridge Lodge
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Snape Maltings
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NT Sutton Hoo
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Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum
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Orford Castle – English Heritage
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