Home from Home Guesthouse

A comfortable, friendly bed and breakfast located in the town of Leiston, in the heart of Suffolk Coast and Heaths

t: 01728 833333 to book a room

The Local Area

A guide to Suffolk beaches

When there are blue skies overhead - and temperatures are soaring - nothing beats a day beside the Suffolk seaside.

A day at the beach is one of the great joys of summertime in Suffolk. Indeed nothing compares to packing a delicious picnic (brimming with crusty Suffolk pork pies, locally smoked fish, fresh local juices and the like...), digging out the bucket and spade and heading off with the family for a day of sun-drenched relaxation.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Suffolk’s Heritage Coast boasts some truly outstanding beaches – from upmarket resort destinations like Southwold - where you can swim to your heart’s content and amuse yourselves on the old-fashioned style pier - to off-the-beaten-track rural beaches for paddles in the sea and long walks against a backdrop of stunning scenery.

The award-winning, gently-sloping golden sandy beaches of the Sunrise Coast (encompassing Lowestoft, Southwold and the Southern Broads) are ideal if you want to take the children out for a day’s swimming and messing about in the sand and there’s no shortage of cafés, kiosks, tea rooms and restaurants to be found for refreshments and good local food.

Around four miles north of Southwold is the somewhat isolated and melancholic - but nevertheless quite formidable and unique - beach at Covehithe. Found on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea between Lowestoft and Southwold, it contrasts starkly with the hustle-bustle of these places but it’s definitely somewhere to include in your itinerary, if only to observe the extent of coastal erosion.

Across the River Blyth from Southwold you'll find the affluent coastal village of Walberswick - another charming destination which is popular with ramblers and nature lovers owing to its wide variety of flora and fauna, not forgetting crabbing enthusiasts (this is the location for the annual summer British Open Crabbing Championship after all...)

Then there’s the diversity of the rest of the coastline: the National Trust’s Dunwich Coastal Centre and Beach offers a remote and picturesque stretch for those in pursuit of mind-cleansing peace and tranqulity; the fairy tale ambience of Thorpeness harks back to a golden age of seaside holidays, as does the famous shingle-covered beach at Aldeburgh, which is the ultimate destination for a cultured seaside outing.

You might also find yourself inquisitive to see what the small, traditional fishing hamlet of Sizewell has to offer. Again predominantly comprising shingle, its beach is lengthy and open with the added attraction of sand dunes as a backdrop. Or take yourself to the isolated village of Shingle Street - located between Bawdsey and Orford - where lovers of wild, desolate beaches will surely be in their element.

Across the River Deben from the pebbly beach at Bawdsey is Felixstowe’s quaint little outpost of Felixstowe Ferry, which has an altogether different vibe to commercial Felixstowe. Although not suitable for bathing, this unspoilt shingly hamlet is the place to watch boating activity on the river, enjoy a pub lunch and browse in the Boatyard Gallery.

And if you do feel like cooling off in salty sea water you need only walk along the beach towards the seaside resort town, where sand and shingle slopes gently to the sea. Be warned that Felixstowe’s pier area gets extremely busy in summertime but the sea is excellent for swimming in: Felixstowe’s South beach boasts a prestigious European Blue Flag award and the water at both its South and North beaches is ‘Marine Conservation Society Recommended.’

Places of Interest

Leiston Abbey

Leiston Abbey

The Abbey, formerly known as St Mary's Abbey, was founded in 1182 at Minsmere by a powerful lawyer named Ranulf de Glanville, Lord Chief Justice to King Henry II.

In 1363 the Abbey was transferred to Leiston, and its Patron Robert de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, devoted his last years to the building. This site is maintained by English Heritage.

Open year round at any reasonable time.

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings

The Maltings is most famous for its history with the composer Benjamin Brittan and the internationally renowned concert hall. Tickets for any production are booked out fast so check the website for details. Other than the concert hall the Maltings is a beautiful setting. An old grain drying complex now turned into a range of smart shops and dining. Even if you just drop in on your way by it's a great spot to enjoy a quick stroll along the river and a drink in the Plough and Sail pub.

Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh

A highly fashionable destination for holidays and day trips, Aldeburgh remains largely the same as it has been for decades. While fishermen still sell their daily catch from huts on the beach, the high street boasts a number of award-winning restaurants and bistros.

Independent shops and galleries line the street and along with Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh provides the backdrop to a rich musical heritage, with Benjamin Britten’s world renowned Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts held in June. On the seafront, the Moot Hall houses the town’s museum and is a focal point, with its ancient timbers and outside staircase. At the top of the Town Steps, leading off the High Street and up the cliff, there is a wonderful view over the roof tops and out to sea.

Thorpeness

Thorpeness

Just a few miles up the coast from Aldeburgh is the attractive village of Thorpeness. Best known for its children’s boating pond, where you can explore the extensive lake with its little islands on a punt or row boat with ice cream in hand! As well as its assorted small tea shops and The Dolphin Pub (drive through the village and it is on your right) It also has on offer a reasonable 18 hole golf course.

Walberswick

Walberswick

The name Walberswick is believed to derive from the Saxon Waldbert or Walhbert - probably a landowner - and “wyc”, meaning shelter or harbour. Once a thriving port trading in cheese, bacon, corn, timber and fish from the 13th Century right up to World War 1, the village is now a bustling tourist attraction in the summer months and almost half the properties are holiday homes.

Southwold

Southwold

It is a traditional seaside beach, with a cafe and shops, but without being too commercialised. Its famous beach huts stretch along the sand and shingle beach and many families return to this beach to enjoy its very individual charm. The beach has a full lifeguard service during the busy summer months and first aid facilities are available at the Lifeguard station

High Lodge

Just 15 minutes North is High Lodge. Situated in 100 acres of woodland and delightful countryside High Lodge offers a range of activities and services for individuals, groups, businesses and other organisations. From clay shooting to fishing and golf. Headed by 6 times FITASC Sporting World Champion, European Champion and English Open Champion John Bidwell. First established over 25 years ago the shooting ground has been voted a top UK facility by visiting shooters in a national poll. It is also classed as a Premier Plus ground by the CPSA, the official Clay Pigeon Shooting Association making it one of the top UK shooting venues.

A modern clubhouse, restaurant & bar is available for visitors as well as a gun shop which also sells cartridges, clothing and other shooting accessories

Easton Farm Park

This award-winning attraction is set in the beautiful surroundings of the Deben river valley. The historic Victorian buildings offer a stunning backdrop to the fun and adventures to be had. Try to tame their mad pygmy goats, help to collect the eggs, ride a pony, let off steam in the indoor soft play area and outdoor adventure playground.

Minsmere

Minsmere

Set on the beautiful Suffolk coast, Minsmere RSPB reserve is a nature reserve owned and run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Suffolk,. It lies on the Suffolk coast to the south of Southwold and north of Aldeburgh within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Suffolk Heritage Coast area. It is protected with SSSI, SAC, SPA and Ramsar Site conservation status.

The 9.69 square kilometres (3.74 sq mi) site was established in 1947 and covers areas of reed bed, lowland heath, lowland wet grassland, and shingle vegetation. The nature reserve is recognised for its high diversity of bird species and other wildlife and is used as a demonstration of successful reed bed management. It is known as one of the UK's premier bird watching sites

Stonham Barns Owl Sanctuary

Stonham

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns in Suffolk is the focal point of our organisation and provides a delightful place to visit to watch, study or simply enjoy the company of Owls and other birds of prey. There are over 60 raptors at the Centre, all housed in spacious aviaries and flying free in narrated flying displays or demonstrations.

Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm

Baylham

Baylham House Farm is a small livestock farm in the beautiful County of Suffolk in Eastern England. At Baylham House Farm they breed farm animals that were once common but are now very rare. The farm is on part of the Roman site of Combretovium which included two Roman forts and a large civil settlement.

Ickworth

Ickworth

The history of the house is fascinating, created in 1795 by the eccentric Fourth Earl of Bristol. It features a giant rotunda and remains a treasure house of silverware and European art. The spectacular gardens were designed by 'Capability' Brown and feature woodland walks, a deer enclosure, a vineyard, a Georgian summer house, a church, a canal and a lake.

Kentwell Hall

Kentwell

Kentwell Hall, at Long Melford, Suffolk is a little great house of magical beauty, one of the loveliest of the Elizabethan houses that still remain to us, with an exterior that is quite unspoiled. Subject of a unique restoration project since 1972. Extensive Gardens, dominated by moats and mellow brickwork, enjoyable in every season. Farm with Rare Breeds. Renowned Re-Creations of 16th C. Everyday Life. These show many ‘Tudors’ at a whole range of 16th Century activities in this perfect Tudor setting, at least one weekend most months from April to September. Also occasional Re-Creations of WWII daily life. Open Air Entertainments in late July/early August: Shakespeare, Opera and popular Music.

Somerleyton Hall

Somerleyton

Somerleyton Hall was originally a Jacobean manor but was remodelled in 1844, transforming it into the fine example of an early Victorian Hall in the Anglo Italian style that we see today. Beautiful architecture, antique furniture, the trademark Crossley carpets - and an unmistakably 'lived-in' feel make a visit to Somerleyton Hall a fascinating and unforgettable experience. Add to this their famous 1846 yew hedge maze (one of the finest in Britain) and their splendid gardens containing many different specimens of trees, shrubs, borders and plants, and you'll soon see why a visit to Somerleyton Hall and Gardens is a must.

Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo

This hauntingly beautiful 91-hectare (255-acre) estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben, is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Walk around the ancient burial mounds and discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions. Come face to face with your ancestors and explore our award-winning exhibition, the full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber, stunning replica treasures and original finds from one of the mounds, including a prince’s sword. Look inside the Edwardian house or enjoy the beautiful seasonal colours on their estate walks. Sutton Hoo is a group of low grassy mounds, overlooking Woodbridge from the Eastern Bank of the Deben. In 1939 excavations brought to light the richest burial ever discovered in Britain; an Anglo-Saxon ship containing the treasure of one of the earliest English kings, Redwald, King of East Anglia. Excavations, completed in 1991, proved the site to be a complex collection of burials, some royal, others possibly the victims of execution. There is a permanent exhibition of the story of Sutton Hoo and, annually, new exhibits are arranged.

Banham Zoo

Banham

Banham Zoo began life as a collection of pheasants and parrots which opened to the public in 1968. The zoo now occupies an open site of around 25 acres, surrounded by an expanse of arable farmland. The site is well maintained, clean, and attractive, and it makes for an easy stroll among the animals and gardens. Most cages and aviaries look new, and many have indoor areas which can be viewed through glass. There is a large car park with an adjacent garden centre, farm shop and pet shop, and every month they hold Norfolk's largest car boot sale here. Monkeys and gibbons are one the main attractions within the zoo, and Banham have a very good reputation for keeping and breeding a large number of species.

Jimmy's Farm

Jimmy's Farm

They are a working farm and are open for visitors 7 days a week. There's loads to do at the farm for a great family day out. They have a Nature Trail, Woodland Walk, Beautiful Garden's, Farm Shop, Adventure Play Area and Field Kitchen. You can buy all of their home reared free range pig produce, beef and lamb in our butchers as well as an abundance of herbs and veggies from their garden.

Africa Alive

Africa

Get close to the animals and discover the sights, sounds and smells of the world's most vibrant and exciting continent. Enjoy a walking family safari at one of the UK's largest and most exciting wildlife attractions, set in 100 acres of dramatic coastal parkland. Get close to the animals and discover the sights, sounds and smells of the world's most vibrant and exciting continent. Discover giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs, hyenas and hundreds more.

Pleasurewood Hills

Pleasurewood Hills

The team at Pleasurewood Hills are delighted to have won the ‘Best Visitor Experience’ award in the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk Awards. And as a further endorsement, the Park was also a finalist for the ‘Best Large Visitor Attraction’ in Suffolk. This 50-acre park is set in beautiful coastal parkland and ideally situated at Lowestoft but only just 10 minutes south of Great Yarmouth.

They celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 2008. From adrenalin-fuelled white-knuckle thrill rides and coasters like Enigma, Fireball and Thunder Struck to white-water family favourites that are guaranteed to ‘cool you off’ including Timber Falls and the Wave Breaker. There’s even a great selection of fun rides for the smallest of adventurers.

Orford Castle

Orford Castle

Discover one of England’s most complete and unusual keeps at this fascinating visitor attraction in Suffolk. The unique polygonal tower keep of Orford Castle, stands beside the pretty town and former port which Henry II also developed here. The castle is remarkably intact allowing visitors to explore from the basement, through the lower and upper halls to the roof where there are magnificent views seaward to Orford Ness. Around the rooms is a maze of passages leading to the chapel, kitchen and other chambers in the turrets.

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle is a magnificent 12th century fortress with a long and colourful past which makes a fascinating family day out in Suffolk. The castle was once the refuge of Mary Tudor before she became Queen in 1553 and visitors can now explore over 800 years of life at Framlingham Castle in the ‘From Powerhouse to Poorhouse’ exhibition.

Embark on a self-guided journey of discovery with our themed trails and lively audio tour, and explore the Mere and the wall-walk with its spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. Younger audiences will enjoy a variety of themed games and interactives.

Lady Florence

Lady Florence

Lady Florence, the River Cruise Restaurant offering Brunch, Lunch, Dinner & Sunset Cocktail Cruises for a maximum of 12 passengers on the river from Orford regardless of weather & tides. Sailing year round, with a cosy coal fire in winter, The Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant is designed to provide a different and exciting fine-dining experience. As the vessel cruises the calm waters of the rivers Alde and Ore, they serve freshly prepared fine foods and drink. From the quiet serenity of winter to the activity of summer, the rivers offer outstanding scenery to accompany your meal. Every cruise includes an informative commentary on both the intriguing history that made this area, and the wildlife which now inhabits it.

Shawgate Vineyard & Winery

Visitors are welcome to do a ‘diy’ tour of the vineyard at their own leisure. There is no charge to do this and staff will provide you with an information sheet and vineyard map so you don’t get lost You may even catch sight of some of the wildlife and birds that also call Shawsgate home. Dogs are welcome on leads when accompanied by responsible owners

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