Still loads to do as the nights draw in

Posted 10/11/2021 : By: Will & Sarah Draper

Here at Badwell Ash Holiday Lodges the nights are drawing in now the clocks have gone back. The weather is still mild though, and we haven’t had too much rain (Suffolk is apparently the driest county after all!). Despite the shorter days there is still plenty to do! Guests in the recent weeks have been walking, bird watching, fine dining, Christmas shopping, cycling, sight-seeing, stargazing, hot-tubbing and sauna-ing, and of course fishing.

We are blessed with numerous walks around us, some starting right out of our front entrance, and we have plenty of walking books that guests are free to borrow. In the area we have wonderful Thetford Forest, the Little Ouse trail, the Two Mills walk at Pakenham, the SSSI at Knettishall Heath and Bradfield Woods nature reserve. The coast is around an hour away and there are fabulous walks around Southwold/Walberswick, Aldeburgh and Woodbridge. 

Twitchers will delight in the variety of birds we have here on site. For example, our pair of kingfishers are regularly seen, prey birds and owls are all around including newly-arrived red kites, woodpeckers are still busy, and we have a large population of resident tits and finches. Further afield we have several bird reserves in Suffolk, which is the home of the British Trust for Ornithology. Our favourites are RSPB Minsmere, and RSPB Lakenheath Fen.

We have enough fine-dining around us to fill your week’s stay. Our local White Horse does a cracking Sunday roast. The Leaping Hare restaurant at Wyken Vineyards was voted Suffolk Restaurant of the Year 2020 and is awesome for lunch and dinner. Pea Porridge in Bury was recently awarded a Michelin Star - the first in Suffolk! Maison Blue and 1921 in Bury and the Great House in Lavenham also get a mention in the Michelin guide. 

We’re surrounded by great shopping towns, with Bury St Edmunds our favourite; it has it all from quaint medieval streets filled with curiosities, to a modern shopping centre, and a great street market twice a week. 

When it comes to cycling, the main advantage of Suffolk is of course the lack of hills! There are very good routes to burn off some calories all around, complete with refuelling cafes and pubs, for example to Bury St Edmunds (9 miles), Thetford (14 miles), Newmarket (27 miles), and for the more adventurous Cambridge, Norwich, Southwold and Aldeburgh (35-40 miles).

In-line with the weather, fishing has inevitably cooled off in the last couple of weeks. Fish are poikilotherms; they are cold blooded and derive their energy from the water around them. As it cools, fish start to conserve energy by moving around less, and feeding less often. But don’t despair! Fish are still being caught including carp, just a little less often. 

After a tough day of activities, the best part awaits as you relax in your warm cosy lodge, in the hot tub (fun on a clear night to stargaze), in front of the TV, or in your luxurious four-poster with a good book.