Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
I previously wrote about Felixstowe, which is at the end of a peninsula in Suffolk, East Anglia, between the River Deben and the River Orwell. Woodbridge, a 15-20 minute drive from Felixstowe, is a small riverside town close to the head of the River Deben.
A Distinctly Nautical Feel
Woodbridge has a mix of qualities. On one hand, there’s a distinctly nautical atmosphere with sailboats along the river, a local yacht club, and a town that has an old world charm with a slightly yuppie-touristy edge. There are many restored buildings, upscale shops, and restaurants and cafes.
On the other hand, when you walk along the River Deben estuary and into the countryside surrounding the town, the atmosphere is rural and peaceful. Cows graze in grassy areas beside the water, riverside paths meander in and out of a canopy of oak trees, and swans glide beside you on Martlesham Creek. Sailboats moored along the creek, in addition to those on the river, further indicate the popularity of sailing here, and contribute to the nautical feel of the area.
Town History and the All-Important Coffee
Woodbridge is the home of England’s last working tide mill, which operated from the 12th century until the 1950’s. The town’s early development was fueled by a bequest from Thomas Seckford, a courtier and legal advisor to Elizabeth I.
The tide mill is now restored and working as a tourist attraction.
Walking around Woodbridge combines some of our favourite things:
· you can do a loop walk, with marked footpaths and no backtracking
· in two hours or so, there’s a variety of scenery, on and off the water
· the walk can start and end in town, where you can explore further or, in our case, find a perfect little outdoor stand with tables along the river, and sit down and have a nice coffee
On a sunny, early autumn day, with just you and your partner, what could be better?