The site itself is situated amidst stunning countryside, combining farmland, woodland and small village communities – yet within easy reach of Framlingham, Saxmundham and the A12.
We are on the National Cycle Route (National Cycle Network route 1, and the Suffolk Coastal Cycle route – Regional Route 41) and the quiet, picturesque (and mostly flat!) roads in the area are perfect for experienced or novice cyclists alike. We are also surrounded by footpaths offering walks through a diversity of gentle landscapes with a variety of flora fauna. The ‘Sandlings’ (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and Minsmere RSPB nature reserve are not far from us, offering breathtaking scenery and attracting a wide variety of wildlife and bird species to the area. The river Alde runs less than ½ mile from our site, and the vast woodlands of Tunstall and Rendlesham forests are both within easy reach.
The Alde Valley, with it’s rich diversity of soils and abundance of wildlife, has become famous for it’s variety and quality of local foods. Restaurants, farm shops and farmers’ markets are bursting with a fantastic array of locally grown seasonal produce.
Local wildlife includes roe, fallow and muncjac deer which can be seen roaming around locally – particularly in woodland areas – quite often whilst walking or cycling we’ll see a small group of fallow deer crossing the road ahead. Owls can be heard most evenings, and if you listen carefully you might hear badgers and hedgehogs snuffling about in the undergrowth. From sunrise to sunset an abundance of different bird calls can be heard throughout the day. Our close proximity to Minsmere RSPB reserve means we see and hear a wonderful variety of bird speices.
We are lucky to be in an area which is famous for it’s abundance and diverse array of great quality local produce. Although we have two local supermarkets (Waitrose in Saxmundham & Co-op in Framlingham – both 4 miles away) we heartily recommend the following independent local produce shops – where you will be amazed at the range of locally made products and locally grown seasonal fruit & veg.
Juniper Barn shop & cafe, Rendham (highly recommended) (0.04 miles)
This cafe is a real gem – and just 10 mins’ walk (or 5 on a bike!) from the site it’s VERY local! The shop stocks locally produced bread, dairy, meat, sauces etc as well as a wide range of essentials. The cafe serves fantastic breakfasts (including the best veggie brekkie we have ever tasted), lunches & snacks made using as many local, seasonal ingredients as possible – and lots of love.
Railway Farm Shop, Benhall Green (4.24 miles)
– small farm shop selling a selection of locally and nationally grown fruit & veg
Garnetts Gardens, Hacheston (recommended) (5.07 miles)
– a well-stocked nursery and farm shop selling local produce including pies, cakes, fruit & veg and lots more. Also has a small cafe area selling tea, coffee and yummy snacks. Cheerful, friendly service. Perfect break during a cycle ride!
Friday Street Farm Shop, Friday Street (5.27 miles)
– a large farm shop selling a wide range of local produce including some homegrown fruit & veg. Also has a restaurant attached.
Middleton Farm Shop, Middleton (recommended) (7.7 miles)
– lovely farm shop, selling a surprisingly large selection of very local produce (a lot of which is grown by them on site) & cafe. Lovely setting, not far from Dunwich and Minsmere.
Farmcafe & Foodmarket*, Marlesford (highly recommended) (9.05 miles)
– a fantastic farm shop and cafe, offering a wide range of local produce (and some gifts too) and amazing home-made pies & ready meals. Lovely cafe, serving a wide range of breakfasts and lunches. All brought to you by a cheerful team of lovely staff.