Not only is Elveden Hall one of Suffolk’s premier stately homes, it’s also a favourite filming location for blockbuster movies.
It was the place where Timothy Dalton filmed the closing scenes of his first Bond film, The Living Daylights, foiling the evil plans of General Georgi Koskov and Brad Whitaker. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were there in the nineties for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the Hall has also had roles in Tomb Raider, Stardust and The Moonstone amongst others.
You can find out everything you want to know about Elveden, including where to stay and what you can see, on their website.
The smallest town in Suffolk is also one of its prettiest.
Clare is one of the famous Wool Towns, and is full of pastel coloured thatched cottages and timbered Tudor houses. In fact it has an amazing 135 listed buildings, including the magnificent St Peter and St Paul’s church, and the appropriately named Ancient House. There is even the ruins of Clare Castle which dates back to the time of the Norman Conquests. These stand in Clare Country Park, 32 acres of historic buildings, woodland walks, play areas and water features.
See more of everything Clare has to offer at the official website.
There are countless miniature battles taking place at Houghton Hall. The Soldier Museum, housed in its own building, is the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world. It was started by the 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley as a school boy, and he continued collecting throughout his life, often commissioning whole scenes to his specification.
The museum shows many reconstructions of battles, such as Waterloo and Omdurman, as well as displaying a selection of paintings and militaria.
To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall. Find out more about the area, and explore with Visit Norfolk.
To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall.
Suffolk has an abundance of wild game and a long tradition of making the most of this plentiful food source.
Over the last few decades this tradition has been dying out, denying people the chance to enjoy meats such as venison, pheasant, quail, wild boar, even squirrel. The Wild Meat Company was set up in 1999, their mission to take the ‘muck and mystery out of buying, preparing and eating game’ and bring it to people’s plates once more. Initially comprised of just Robert Gooch and Paul Denny, The Wild Meat Company swiftly grew, gaining acclaim from Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst others. Now from their farm near Woodbridge, Suffolk they and their team supply game and ethically sourced meat from farms and estates to kitchens across the country.
Celebrated for its seafood and its cooking, Pinneys is another world-class food producer in the tiny Suffolk village of Orford (see day 253).
The oysters they grow are their raison d’être – succulent, meaty shellfish that are prized by the top restaurants in London. But you’d miss out if you ignored their range of smoked fish, or the fresh seafood that is brought ashore daily just a few metres from your table.
Whether you want to eat in at their no-frills restaurant (it’s all about the food) or take your catch home with you, Pinneys is a must visit for a real taste of Suffolk.
In the heart of Bury St Edmunds you can find The Nutshell, a pub that has been serving beer since 1867. It can be easy to miss it though, as this watering hole holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest pub in Britain.
The bar measures just 15ft by 7ft, and yet somehow they manage to serve a wide range of beers and local ales. Even more surprising is the sheer amount of memorabilia and paraphernalia attached to every surface. From an aeroplane propeller to military items to hundreds of banknotes from around the world stuck to the ceiling, this is far more than just a novelty pub.
See more of The Nutshell on their website and discover more about beautiful Bury St Edmunds here.
Since the 1980s, UFO hunters and conspiracy theorists from all over the world have come to Suffolk in search of answers. Why? Because in 1980, on the night after Christmas, several people in a small forest on the Suffolk coast witnessed one of the most infamous UFO events Britain has ever known.
At around 3am a strange glowing object, described as metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, about two metres high, lit up Rendlesham Forest. The hovering craft was witnessed by five USAF officers at nearby RAF Woodbridge before it flew off into the trees. It was seen an hour later, throwing off glowing particles before breaking into five separate white objects and flying off. Other objects were seen in the sky for over an hour. The next day three depressions were found in the ground where the craft landed and radiation levels were higher than usual.
All this was recorded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt in an official report that was backed up by several other servicemen and made available to the public in 1983. However, senior officers rubbished these claims, which immediately led to claims of conspiracies and cover-ups. The argument has gone back and forth for decades and you can read more about it here.
And if you want to pay a visit to Rendlesham Forest to see for yourself, you can plan your visit with The Suffolk Coast.
Lynford Hall, a neo-Jacobean country house close to Thetford, is now a hotel, but in the 70s and 80s was used several times as a filming location by the BBC.
It was a favourite for Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft shows especially, with ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Dad’s Army and You Rang M’Lord all using the site for shooting. And a few years ago Michael Portillo visited on one of his Great British Railway Journeys, discovering that the Hall was once considered for a royal residence by Queen Victoria, only for her to choose the far larger Sandringham to the north of the county instead.
Find out more about this unusual filming location at their website.
The Marina Theatre has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s home to the orchestra for their summer-long Lowestoft residency, and they’ve been returning every summer since 2006!
While in the area, the RPO engage in a number of local engagement activities to get locals and visitors alike excited about classical music, they also traditionally perform concerts across the summer.
Find out more about upcoming RPO shows and activities during their Lowestoft residency at the Marina Theatre.
Be like the Royal Philharmonic, and spend the summer in Suffolk. Visit Suffolk has lots of top tips to make a great stay.
When people think of Swallows and Amazons, thoughts automatically turn to the Lake District.
But not all of the children’s adventures took place in the north – Ransome also brought his stories to the East. The Callums spent two books playing around on the Norfolk Broads, and two other books are set around the River Orwell in Suffolk.