Historic Hidden Gems on the Suffolk Heritage Coast

The Suffolk Coast is packed full of historic gems hidden away except for the well-trained eye, but we will let you in on a few little secrets.

Our stunning slice of Suffolk has a lot to offer all year round. With world-class tourist destinations such as the beautiful coastal town of Aldeburgh, to the melting pot of culture and arts that is Snape Maltings, and let’s not forget the newly refurbished Sutton Hoo, there’s no wonder it is a hugely popular holiday destination.

But, did you know that Suffolk has a few other secrets up her sleeve, hiding in plain sight and all within close range of our luxury accommodation here at Mollett’s Farm?

Helmingham Hall Gardens.

Helmingham Hall stunning vegetable gardens and view of the hall

Just under a half an hour drive away you’ll find a moated Tudor Hall set in 400 acres of ancient deer park, Helmingham Hall.

The grade 1 listed building is as imposing as it is beautiful, but the real star of the show is the gardens. The original shape of the main walled garden actually predates the house by many years; it is believed to be of Saxon origin and was probably built to protect livestock.

The gardens boast an orchard, an apple tree walk, a wildflower garden, a classic parterre walled kitchen garden with herbaceous borders and vegetable beds. Behind which are the rose gardens, which are considered the jewel in the crown of Helmlingham Hall.

Helmingham Hall gardens

The Stable Shop is the perfect place for some gorgeous gifts for friends and family. If you find yourself in need of refreshment, adjacent to the shop in the old coach house, you’ll find a delightful tearoom, along with a fantastic coffee shop and ice cream parlour.

The Hall regularly hosts events and fayres such as the upcoming annual Suffolk Dog Day (Sunday 28th July 2019!)

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Exterior shot of the Red House

You’ve heard of Snape Maltings, but how much do you know about the man behind the music, Benjamin Britten? He lived at The Red House, Aldeburgh from 1957-1976 – along with his partner, the famous tenor Peter Pears.

Discover more about Lord Britten’s music, his life and his remarkable legacy, which put Aldeburgh and the Heart of Suffolk at the centre of the world music stage. The house tour offers the opportunity to peak around the couple’s studio, library and gardens. It makes for a wonderful learning experience.

Interior shot of the Red House Library

Older visitors may feel transported back to their childhoods when viewing some items and objects in the house. It has all been lovingly restored using photos of the property taken during the 50’s and 60’s, and the attention to detail is quite exquisite.

For visitors with a deeper interest in the magic and melody of the late composer’s life, you can book a unique opportunity to view publications, photos and a vast audio-visual collection at the Britten Pears Foundation archives on site.

Tickets to the Red House last all year, so you can return to this fascinating piece of Suffolk History, the next time you visit Mollett’s Farm!

Christchurch Mansion

Front view of Christchurch Mansion

Another jewel, this time in the crown of Ipswich the county town of Suffolk. Ipswich town is less than 30 minutes away from the serenity of Mollett’s Farm, although the hustle and bustle will make it feel like a world away! In the centre of Christchurch Park is a stunning Tudor mansion surrounded by acres of rolling woodland and vivid green lawns.

The mansion itself houses a museum and regularly changing exhibitions at the Wolsey Art Gallery.

Interior Shot of Christchurch Mansion

The museum showcases a traditional Tudor kitchen and a decadent Georgian saloon with an assortment of Victorian toys and games all preserved in the style of their era. In fact, the whole ground floor of the mansion remains largely unchanged since the mid 1500’s when it was first built by Sir Edmund Withipoll.

The gallery includes some fabulous Suffolk artists and the largest collection of John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough paintings outside of London. The ‘Peep into the Past’ tour runs daily, but you can also book a full tour by contacting the mansion directly.

Entry is free, but donations are very much welcomed.

There is also a lovely coffee shop for refreshments, although, on a beautiful Summer’s day, the park will be alive with families picnicking, children playing and birdsong, so why not grab a takeaway and explore the mansion grounds too.

Otley Hall

Exteriour shot of Otley hall over lake

Less than 25 minutes away through some of Suffolk’s prettiest countryside lies Otley Hall, considered the oldest surviving intact house in Suffolk. Another Tudor masterpiece, this stately home also boasts a moat but with a very different history. It has particular international significance as it was once home to one of the founding fathers of the United States of America – Bartholomew Gosnold

Unusually for a grade 1 listed building of this calibre, the home is still privately owned today. Luckily for us, the owners offer fascinating guided tours of the house and gardens, by prior arrangement of course.

Interior Shot at Otley Hall

The 10 acres of gardens include historically accurate recreations of a medieval orchard, a herber, and a knot garden. They are also home to 75 different species of birds, including some typically noisy peacocks (as we know only too well!)

Otley Hall’s gardens recently came 6th in “Top 50 Best British Gardens to Visit” and came second in the ‘gardens with significant architecture’ in a poll by The Independent, they really will make for a day trip you’ll be talking about for years to come.

After a day spent exploring your chosen Suffolk gem, your exploits are sure to have worn you out and you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep. Our studio stables and granary cottages are well known for their incredibly comfortable beds, and all feature our finest Egyptian cotton bed linen as standard. When paired with the peace and tranquillity you’ll find at our little farm, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy a great night’s sleep – ready for your next adventure tomorrow!

Don’t forget to check out our blog for more exciting Suffolk activities!