Life in Suffolk: Shotley Peninsula – The understated

Published: 22/10/2021 By Freya Crossley

Life in Suffolk: Shotley Peninsula – The Understated

The villages nestled between the River Orwell and River Stour offer a relaxed pace of life, with a strong sense of community.  Popular with sailors and walkers alike, the flat landscape and large, open skies showcase some of Suffolk’s most stunning sunsets.

The Peninsula is surrounded by water and if this wasn’t enough, between the villages of Stutton, Tattingstone & Holbrook lies Alton Water Park, a reservoir with 400 acres of nature trails, cycling routes, fishing spots and water sports.

You will often spot a home grown, seasonal fruit & veg or flower stall when passing through the hamlets of the peninsula, this is one of the great things that adds to its charm. Be sure to check out Amanda’s cake stall on Walnut Tree Lane, Harkstead if you fancy a home baked afternoon treat!  

If searching for produce stalls isn’t your cup of tea, then head down to Suffolk Food Hall where you will find an abundance of boujee treats, delightful homewares, The cookhouse restaurant, views over to the Orwell Bridge and if you are feeling up for it you can even try a workout class from one of the in-house sports businesses: Orwell Fitness (community CrossFit gym), Penny Jones Pilates or Field Fit (outdoor & obstacles).

Arguably the Peninsula is most commonly known for its notable private schools. Stutton houses The Royal Hospital School, which is an “independent co-educational boarding and day school for 11–18-year-olds, providing an outstanding, full and broad education enriched by a unique naval heritage and fit for the modern world. Founded in 1712 in Greenwich, London, it moved to its spectacular site, set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour, in 1933.” Ipswich High School in Woolverstone is “a vibrant day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3-18, set in an idyllic 87-acre campus in Woolverstone on the banks of the River Orwell. With approximately 450 pupils”. Holbrook & Stutton primary school and Holbrook Academy all have Ofsted ratings of ‘Good’ and Chelmondiston Primary School has just been awarded ‘Great’.

The Peninsula’s proximity to Suffolk coast is also a big draw, you can be in Aldeburgh in as little as 50 minutes, Dunwich in 1 hour and Southwold in just over an hour. Meaning that a seaside amble and explore is a common weekend pass time for those that live here. The most western villages (Stutton, Holbrook) are less than 15 minutes from Manningtree Mainline Station meaning a daily London commute is not out of the question for residents either.

Editors’ foodie spots: The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill (dog friendly) / The Freston Boot, Freston (dog friendly) / The Red Lion, Chelmondiston / Shotley Vineyard Supper Club with Gamekeepers Daughter

(This image was taken on a high spring tide)