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Step back to Yesterday in Suffolk

2 Nights Itinerary

It’s writer Richard Curtis’ love story to his adopted county and highlights some of its most scenic corners, south and north of the 40-mile long coastline. In fact, there’s no denying Suffolk is the star of the movie, beginning and ending with the iconic Latitude festival.

Directed by Danny Boyle, Yesterday stars Lily James as Ellie and Himesh Patel as aspiring musician Jack Malik, who wakes up in an alternate reality where The Beatles have disappeared from everyone’s memories.

At first, he shares songs from memory – his first being, of course, Yesterday, filmed by the River Deben – but he soon starts to claim The Fab Four’s classics as his own. How’s that going to turn out?

“There was very little in the way of set-dressing, it’s present day. There were loads of local people as extras,” said Rachel Aldridge of Screen Suffolk.

Oh, and let’s not forget Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has a starring role too. In fact, the singer-songwriter was chosen for his local connections and love of his home county, so much so that the videos for his latest album are all shot on or by the Suffolk coast.

Walk in Ed Sheeran’s footsteps in Suffolk

Anyway, let’s head back to Yesterday…

 

Choose Your Day…
Day 1
Day 2
Day 1
PLAYING YESTERDAY

The Ramsholt Arms, near Woodbridge, plays the role of Jack and Ellis’ local pub and is a fabulous setting. It takes a little while to reach on a single lane from the B1083 but it’s well worth it. Order at the bar and then take the picnic bench in the beer garden where Jack first sings Yesterday to his incredulous friends.

‘It’s one of the greatest songs ever written,’ says Jack.
‘Well, it’s not Coldplay. It’s not Fix You,’ says Carol.
Think on that as you enjoy the view of the River Deben, with, depending on the tide, sailing boats heading out to sea or back to the marina at Woodbridge.

MEETING JOHN LENNON

Our second stop is Shingle Street, where Jack meets John Lennon (Robert Carlyle). In the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this setting can be, depending on the weather, raw and untamed or quietly serene.

You can’t miss where the filming took place, the tiny hamlet is simply a row of cottages on a single street by a shingle beach with tufts of marram grass for protection from erosion.

‘Have you had a happy life?’ Jack asks.
‘Very,’ says John.
‘But not successful?’
‘I just said, ‘Very happy’. That means successful.’

Where to Stay
Things to do nearby
Map of Locations

All destinations on Day 1 of itinerary

The Fludyers Hotel
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Salthouse Harbour Hotel
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The Crown at Woodbridge
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Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa
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Hintlesham Hall Hotel
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Milsoms Kesgrave Hall
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The Suffolk Escape
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Suffolk Coastal Escapes
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Africa Alive Zoological Reserve
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Easton Farm Park
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Orford Castle – English Heritage
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Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park
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Snape Maltings
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RSPB Minsmere
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Old Hall Southwold
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Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum
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Day 2
ELLIE’S SCHOOL

Lily James plays a teacher in the film and some of her character’s school scenes were shot at Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft with pupils playing roles. As well as being on screen, the children also benefited from a movie masterclass by Danny Boyle.

While you’re in Lowestoft, take a walk along the promenade by the beach. Still popular today with tourists and day trippers, the town had its heyday in Victorian times when the railway arrived.

ELLIE’S HOUSE

Some of the scene’s for Ellie’s home were shot at the end of the High Street closest to the beach at Dunwich, maintained by the National Trust.

The little village has a fascinating history. You wouldn’t believe it, but in medieval times Dunwich was one of the largest ports in the country, but two devastating storms left most of it underwater.

They say on a quiet day, you can hear church bells ringing from under the depths of Sole Bay. All that’s left are the ruins of Greyfriars Abbey.

To get a sense of how big it was, take a look at the scale diorama in the Dunwich museum.

The beach at Dunwich is shingle, but if you want to get the feel of sand under your feet, head along the boardwalks through the marshes to Walberswick.

HIGH STREET

Ed Sheeran, Himesh Patel and Lily James shot scenes at Halesworth. Remember the rainy High Street scene? Yes, that was Halesworth.

The Hideout Café, family-run White Hart pub and Thoroughfare car park were also used as locations in this lovely market town.

LATITUDE FESTIVAL

This popular festival at Henham Park near Southwold tops and tails Yesterday, something that was important to writer Richard Curtis.

‘Yesterday was written in Suffolk, set in Suffolk, and begins and ends at Latitude. I’ve rarely missed a year since it first began, so I’m overjoyed to be bringing it home.’

Curtis scheduled a special screening of Yesterday for Latitude 2019.

Of course to experience Latitude, you’ve got to be here when it’s on! You can get tickets for 2024 here…

Latitude Festival | Henham Park, Suffolk, 25 – 28 July 2024

WHERE TO STAY
THINGS TO DO NEARBY
Map of Locations

All destinations on Day 2 of itinerary

Potton Hall Hotel and Spa
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The Anchor
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Suffolk Secrets
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The Westleton Crown
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Africa Alive Zoological Reserve
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Jet Adventures
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Old Hall Southwold
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Southwold Maize Maze & Play Park
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