What is Suffolk like?
We cover the whole of Suffolk and the fringes of northern Essex along the Stour Valley, to the Waveney Valley on the Norfolk border, and across to Bury St Edmund’s.
Property in Suffolk
Ipswich itself is somewhat under-appreciated when it comes to property. The town itself boasts some very fine enclaves which offer a superb array of houses, from handsome Victorian villas to spacious post-war family homes. But it is for the country and coastal property that people come to Suffolk.
The historic market town of Bury St Edmunds is a major draw, while the countryside that inspired Constable holds many pretty villages.
Rural cottages, townhouses and country estates
Although some areas are easily commutable from London — and in high demand as a result — second homes make up a major part of the market, with an unlimited choice of quaint rural cottages, handsome village houses, smart townhouses and substantial country houses and estates.
For smart urban locations in Ipswich, head to the Victoriana of Christchurch Park or the leafy post-war Belstead Road and Bucklesham Road areas. The Rushmere Road area has a more villagey feel.
For commuting convenience, look around Manningtree, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss.
For perfect villages, try Nayland, Stoke-by-Nayland, East Bergholt, Orford and Grundesburgh.
For everyone’s market-town ideal, head to Framlingham, Long Melford, Lavenham and Dedham; or, slightly bigger, the delightful cathedral town of Bury St Edmunds.
For chic coastal communities, look in Aldeburgh, Southwold and Walberswick.
The local scene
Suffolk contains some of the most exquisite villages and small towns in England, and an atmospheric coastline dotted with upmarket resorts. With a wealth of active rural communities, it is the perfect combination of timeless beauty and upmarket modern living.
In addition to its thriving rural scene, which comes together at the annual Suffolk Show, the county is noted for its superb cultural profile. The Aldeburgh Festival, founded by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in 1948, is one of the world’s leading arts and classical music events, attracting internationally important artists to Aldeburgh and the Snape Maltings concert hall. Bury St Edmunds boasts the 18th-century Theatre Royal, and its cathedral hosts a variety of concerts.
Suffolk’s small coastal towns are noted for their sophistication and beauty, with Southwold, Aldeburgh and Walberswick particularly desirable. The coast is popular with sailing enthusiasts, with marinas at Woolverstone, Ipswich and Levington. Inland, myriad heritage sites include Framlingham Castle, numerous superb ‘wool churches’ and the perfect medieval town of Lavenham.
Mainline services from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street take 70 minutes.
The A14 is Suffolk’s main artery, bisecting the county from Newmarket to Felixstowe. The lack of motorways is a major part of the area’s rural appeal.
Schools in Suffolk
A clutch of excellent independent schools includes Woodbridge School and The Abbey School, Woodbridge; Framlingham College; Brandeston Prep School and Ipswich Girls’ School, Ipswich; and Orwell Park School, Nacton.
The leading state schools are Debenham High School; Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham; Farlingay High School, Woodbridge; and Northgate High School, Ipswich.