Last week we went on a little break away to Suffolk. My brother and his wife live there, so my mum and dad booked a caravan at Stonham Barns Holiday Park, in Stowmarket. They went on Monday and we joined them on Tuesday. Simon and Charlotte managed to get a few days off work to show us around their beautiful county and so we could spend some real quality time with them. We are quite lucky that even though we live 300 miles away, we still see them regularly when we manage to coordinate visits to our parents in Birmingham, but it’s never more than a couple of hours together. The boys adore their Uncle and Auntie, and they’d never been in a caravan before, so they were super excited!
We arrived there mid-morning on Tuesday, which was a ridiculously hot day. We were blown away by how spacious and luxurious the caravan was and the facilities on site, although I’ll be writing about that in a separate post. After a quick coffee and unpacking, Simon and Charlotte turned up. We decided to make the most of the sunshine and head to Felixstowe in convoy. We had briefly visited there the day after their wedding, so we were excited to go back for a proper look round. We grabbed some fish and chips and went and sat on the beach to eat them, before going for a wander. It was getting hotter and hotter though – too hot for the dogs – so we decided to jump back in the car and go to a lovely pub by a harbour, where we spent a good couple of hours chatting and watching the boats come in and out.
Because of the dogs, we were a bit limited to where we could go for food. Luckily, not far from my brother’s house is a lovely pub/restaurant, called The Sorrell Arms, which is both dog and child-friendly. We ate inside – some lovely, proper homecooked pub grub (the lasagne was delicious!) before going to sit in the beer garden so the kids (and Simon!) could run riot in the fab play area. It was so hot though – no one was looking forward to going back to the caravan because it was going to be VERY uncomfortable!
Wednesday was our ‘main’ day. It was another lovely day, but thankfully a little bit cooler than the day before. Charlotte and Simon took us to a great little seaside called Aldeburgh. Obviously, we live by the seaside and see the beaches and seaside towns every day, but this was a totally different town to any that are by us. We stopped off at lovely hotel for a drink first, where I could spend hours and hours watching the sea and people walk past.
We then went for a wander down along the seafront. There were so many interesting buildings and shacks, and we loved looking at all the fishing boats.
We had a walk along the beach and checked out the big scallop structure, which is a beautiful tribute to Benjamin Britten, a composer who lived in the town. The kids loved looking at it and sitting on it. We walked back to the car after seeing this, whilst everyone else carried on walking to the next little stopping point, a place called Thorpeness. We headed over there in the car and had a drink at the cafe there before going back down to the beach in Aldeburgh. It was getting on a bit, so we went straight for dinner at The Sorrell Arms again.
We woke up to torrential rain on Thursday. Luckily, we had quite a chilled out day planned. After breakfast, we were all going to explore the site that we were on. It wasn’t just a caravan site, but had lots of quirky little shops, a coffee shop, a petting zoo, owl sanctuary and soft play centre. We had a coffee and a mooch about the shops – Graham bought a vape from the Vape shop (he’s managed to go since Thursday without a single cigarette!) and I treated myself to a rather lush mandarin and cranberry craft gin. We were having such a good time, despite the rain that we ended up booking the caravan for another night!
We had a girly afternoon tea booked in the afternoon at the hotel where my brother got married, so my mom, Charlotte, her mom and me got dressed up and headed to the very beautiful Ravenwood Hall Hotel. Seriously guys, if anyone in the Suffolk area is looking to get married or have a really lovely afternoon tea, go there – it’s amazing! Dawn treated us to a bottle of champagne as it was my mom’s birthday the next day. We had sandwiches, scones, and delicious little cakes – the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon!
Despite having afternoon tea, we still went out for food on the evening, this time to The Angel Arms, in Debenham. It was a lovely old pub that served some incredible pizzas and the staff were so friendly and welcoming. When (because we are planning a trip to Suffolk next year!) we go again, we will definitely be going there.
On Friday, it was my mom’s birthday. Because we were originally supposed to be going home, Simon and Charlotte were back at work, but we had planned to go to Bury St Edmunds for a wander around, before meeting them for dinner on the evening. Sadly, one of the dogs woke up poorly, so my parents decided to stay in the caravan and we headed out to Bury St Edmunds on our own. We had some breakfast in the Wetherspoons, a quick mooch around the town and the abbey gardens before spending some time in the Abbey itself. It was incredibly beautiful there. When we came out, it was pouring down with rain and we’d forgotten our coats, so we headed back to the caravan where we spent the afternoon chilling out. Tyson was still too poorly to risk going out, so Simon and Charlotte picked up some fish and chips and we ate them in the caravan and had a few drinks.
At the risk of sounding like a child that’s finished their story, that’s the end. That was our little visit to Suffolk. We are definitely, definitely going to go back at some point next year because there is so much of Suffolk that we haven’t seen, and of course, we want to see my brother, Charlotte and her parents!
*I wasn’t paid to write about any of the places I’ve talked about in the post. We genuinely just loved them all!