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16 stunning self-catering stays in Suffolk & Cambs

This might look like a bit of a brute from the outside, but inside this 19th century Martello tower is a thing of beauty. It’s set in an area of outstanding natural beauty along the River Deben and you can enjoy the stunning scenery from the wow-factor circular room and roof terrace at the top of the tower, complete with a cool circular kitchen and outdoor fire. Definitely the place to book with up to 6 friends to celebrate the end of lockdown in style!

The calming interiors of this cute little circular cottage that sleeps 6 are the perfect antidote to being holed up inside your cluttered house for months (or is that just my house?). Easton is a wonderful village with its quirky wobbly wall and pretty pub. Plus, it’s home to Easton farm park, so if you’ve got kids in tow there’s a obvious activity to keep them busy.

Holiday homes don’t get much better than The Perch in Southwold. We’ve walked past this one a million times and always wished it was ours, never realising that it actually could be for a week! It sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms and is near our favourite end of Southwold beach (Gun Hill with its sand dunes and white sand beach walk down towards Walberswick). It has featured on Channel 4’s Homes by the Sea and has won an award for building excellence. Our favourite bit? The balcony with views across the sea and beach, which is just calling for you to sit and work your way through a crisp bottle (ahem glass) of wine.

Welcome to the dragon house, the coolest and quirkiest house in Suffolk. Accommodation isn’t actually in this movie set of a house, but in the just-as-quirky outbuildings, namely the Upper Barn, The Granary, The Coach House, The Gate House and The Stable. All have wow-factor decor and oodles of charm, but still retain that home-from-home feeling.

You wouldn’t believe it, but this barn actually dates back to the 19th century. It’s had a rather modern makeover though, and as the name suggests the five suites are surrounded by five acres of stunning gardens and woodland. It’s all scandi/ industrial chic inside and you can take the whole place over for one helluva party or book a suite on a B&B basis.

There are campsites and then there are campsites, and this tiny one in the heart of Suffolk is of the luxe variety. The charming secret garden is home to an eclectic mix of fun and romantic little boltholes like a gypsy caravan, bell tents and yurts. We love the Barn Owl Yurt, above, which is rather romantic and magical with all those fairy lights. It also slightly reminds us of a rather funny scene in Bridget Jones’ Baby!

If you’re going to the broads, you might as well stay on the water, there’s so much of it! And you can do just that at Hippersons Boatyard, near Beccles, which is a unique self-catering boatyard full of houseboats and quirky glamping pods. We’re rather taken by Secret Water, the first luxury floating pod in the UK! It sleeps up to 4 and comes with the hire of a rowing boat and gorgeous views of Beccles Bridge and the Waveney Valley from the deck.

These charming cottages are so tranquil and beautiful that you’ll fall in love with stunning Suffolk all over again. There are four chic cottages to choose from, all set within the historic surroundings of Letheringham Water Mill, and with views over River Deben. The Hayloft and The Old Stables can be rented out together for a family of 8 – the perfect option for families who haven’t seen each other since lockdown started.

If you haven’t heard of Wilderness Reserve yet, then I’ll let you into a little secret… it is rural heaven on earth. There are lots of no expense spared cottages peppered round the 5000 acres of stately grounds of Sibton Hall (which you can hire for weddings or holidays if you have a rather large family!). Each of the properties is out-of-this-world stunning with interiors to die for. We particularly like Moat Cottage, which sleeps 12, with its deck over the water complete with a hot tub.

Want to be Harry Potter’s next door neighbour? This cute cottage in the West Suffolk wool town of Lavenham has views out over the famous Harry Potter house, De Vere House, that was used as Godric’s Hollow in the blockbuster movies. The entire town is like a movie set and this little cottage is an idyllic spot to call you own, with its calming period interiors and cute, secluded cottage garden.

The clever folk who renovated these four former corrugated metal farm buildings in 2018 have turned them into a thing of beauty. Take over the entire property with 16 of your nearest and dearest or just rent one for the family. Inside you’ll find open plan, high-end interiors (the sort that make you want to completely redo your own house). Barn one is our pick as it includes the quirky silo, which houses a gorgeous master suite and circular kitchen. Outside there are landscaped gardens, and an orangery, that is just screaming out to host one helluva party. 

If you love architecture and clean modern lines, this is the holiday house for you. The Ellis-Miller House is an award-winning holiday let designed by the architect Jonathan Ellis Miller as his own home in the late 80s mostly out of steel and glass. It’s a wonderfully calming place to relax and is just 5 miles outside the glorious town of Ely.

A boat in Ely – well that’s nothing new. Or is it? How cute is this cool conversion – a boat turned upside down to create the quirkiest little glamping spot. The 1945 boat, that used to sail out of Penzance in Cornwall, overlooks a beautiful forest and open fenland and somehow has space for a kingsize bed, kitchen and walk-in shower.

Oh là là, have we crossed the channel and taken a trip into rural France? Not so, ma cherie. Believe it or not, this is Horningsea in Cambs and this heavenly setting is within the 23 acres of private parkland that the two luxurious Cambridge Country Cottages call home. The interiors are just as chic and the views may be flat, but stunning all the same.

There’s just something about water that makes everything seem tranquil and alright. So if you’ve been missing the sound of lapping waves or the rippling sound of a lake then get yourself booked into one of these cute waterside lodges in Landbeach. Bird watchers will be in ornithological heaven with all the water birds flitting around, plus you can while away your days fishing in the lake.

You might as well aim high when it comes to your first post-lockdown getaway, and you can’t get much higher than Suffolk’s famous folly – House in the Clouds, in Thorpeness, the fantasy seaside holiday village created by an eccentric millionaire in the 1920s. The views from ‘the room at the top’ are incredible. There are five bedrooms and a games room, plus a lot of stairs. Don’t worry though, each landing has a little resting spot for when you’ve had too many G&Ts.

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