Woodbridge

Woodbridge area guide - Suffolk

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and having the benefit of being close to the Suffolk Coast, Woodbridge is an attractive riverside town with an abundance of old world charm. Lying on the river Deben there are numorous riverside walks to stroll along and the wildlife is wide and varied.


 
The town itself is very picturesque combining old historical buildings, antique shops and art galleries with modern conveniences and some excellent restaurants without losing any of its ancient charm.
 
There is plenty to do in and around the area. On a summer’s day there is nothing better than packing up a picnic and taking a pleasure boat trip down the River Deben or soaking up the atmosphere at the small marina. Here you will find the Tide Mill, a fully restored 18thC. Mill which was in commercial use until1957 and takes centre place upon the quayside. In the evening why not book a seat at the Riverside Theatre which houses the cinema and a small intimate theatre.
 
A five minute walk will take you to Buttrum´s Mill, named after the last miller. This is a six-storey tower mill, making it the tallest surviving mill in Suffolk. A climb up to the top will reward you with breathtaking views across the rooftops of Woodbridge to the Deben Estuary below.
 
If it is history you are after then a visit to the beautifully restored Shire Hall which was originally built in 1575 and now houses the Suffolk Horse Museum is a must. It holds a fascinating exhibition celebrating the history of the Suffolk Punch once the world's oldest breed of heavy working horse and now although very rare a few of these beautiful horses still graze the water meadows just outside Lower Ufford and the marshes at Shingle Street.
 
Across the road from the Shire Hall is Woodbridge Museum, a treasure trove of information on the history of the town and its more notable residents  including the painter Thomas Churchyard, the mapmaker Isaac Johnson and the poet Edward Fitzgerald.
 
Just across the river Deben sits the famous Sutton Hoo burial site, which is an ideal attraction to take the children to. Managed by The National Trust the site has been developed with an education centre, restaurant, shop, exhibition and interpretation centre but is set well away from the burial site itself, so that it still retains its atmosphere of mystery and calm, even on the busiest of days.
 
All in all Woodbridge has something for everyone and you certainly will not find yourself without anything to do – what you need to ask yourself is how long is your stay and can you fit everything Woodbridge has to offer into it!
 
 
Nearby Attractions
 
 
Deben Cruises – Two-hour river cruises on the Deben with commentary. Lunch and cruise for groups of 25+ May-Sept. Seats up to 54 people 01473 736260
 
Sutton Hoo – Saxon burial ground, probably dating from C6. Site of discovery in 1939 of large ship, possibly used as a ding’s tomb, together with a wealth of treasure now in the British Museum.  Open all year W/Es & BHs 11-dusk, mid- Mar to end Oct daily (closed M & Tu in Oct). Guided tours. Shop, Restaurant. 01394 389714 www.suttonhoo.org
 
Woodbridge Museum – History of Woodbridge and its people. Displays on Sutton Hoo. Open East-Oct Th-Sa & BHs 10-4, Su 2.30-4.30 01394 380502
 
Woodbridge Tide Mill – Built 1793 in succession to earlier mills, and fully restored in 1982. Operates according to tides. Machinery demonstrated at low tide. Open East, Apr & Oct W/Es, daily May-Sept 11-5 01473 626618 www.tidemill.org.uk
 
Buttrums Mill – 6-storey tower mill of 1835, now fully restored. Historical display. Open East-Sept Su & BHs 2-5.30. Sa from May-Aug 01473 264755 www.tidemill.org.uk/buttonmill.html
 
Saxtead Green Postmill – C18 mill in perpect working order. Open Apr-Sept M-Sa 10-1, 2-6 01728 685789
 
Parham Airfield Museum – 390th Bomb Group memorial museum. Dedicated to the group of four Fortress squadrons of the USAAF which operated from here 1943-45. Housed in former airfield control tower. Also site for the British Resistance Organisation 1940-1944. Open Mar-Oct Su & BH Ms, also June-Aug W 11-4 01376 320848
Suffolk Punch Heavy Horse Museum – An indoor museum devoted to this breed of heavy horse. Open East-Sept Tu-Su, BHMs, Autumn ½ term 2-5 01394 380643 www.suffolkhorsesociety.org.uk
 
Valley Farm Camargue horses – Britain’s only herd of this famous French breed. Collection of other animals including Camelot the Camel. Open daily 10-4 01728 746916 www.valleyfarmonline.co.uk
 
RSPB Havergate Island Nature reserve – Britain’s largest colony of avocets. Breeding terns, wading birds. Circular boat trips from Ordord or advance reservations for landing
 
Sandlings Forests  - great for walks!
 
Shawsgate Vineyard – Award-winning 21 acre vineyard with over 20,000 vines uses modern methods of fermentation producing red and white wines. Tastings. Open daily 9-5.30 01728 724060 www.shawgate.co.uk
 
Antiques Centre – www.woodbridgeantiquescentre.co.uk 01394 387210 Open M-Sat 9.30-5.30 BH 10.30-4.30 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015