As well as experiencing the charm and natural beauty of Suffolk, this Christmas how about staying in a cottage named… ‘Christmas’, meet Scrooge, learn to bake Lebkucken and go on a Turkey Buster Walk.
Here are some highlights of the best festive experiences and places to stay over Christmas and the New Year.
Why not celebrate in a cosy cottage named ‘Christmas’? Christmas Cottage at Benhall Green is an enchanting period cottage with a pretty enclosed landscaped garden. It’s situated on the edge of the Suffolk Heritage Coast and Heaths district, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A Suffolk Secrets property, Christmas Cottage sleeps four and weekly prices this December start from £376.
Close to the historic town of Bury St Edmunds and a short drive from Lavenham is Brighthouse Farm from Farmstay East Anglia, a timbered Georgian farmhouse with a 300-acre arable farm and three acres of picturesque gardens. Plus there’s a log fire in the TV room. Bed and Breakfast from £30.00 to £50.00 per person per night.
An Adnams hotel, The Swan at Southwold is holding a New Year’s Eve Party with a six-course menu for £128 per person. Start off with a glass of bubbly and canapés before embarking on a six course culinary feast. The entertainment begins with a house DJ and an evening performer. Stay over for a luxurious start to 2013 in the Swan Hotel Room with prices from £199.
Food and drink…
Getting Ahead of Christmas at The Swan at Lavenham on 29th November aims to ensure Christmas preparations get off to a bang. Arrive at 10.30am for coffee and homemade biscuits and take part in a cookery class with the head chef, complete with recipes and samples and a two course lunch. The cost is £35.95 per person.
Plus, everyone deserves a break at Christmas so why not treat yourself to Christmas Day lunch at Tuddenham Mill? Here you”ll find a beautifully converted historic watermill set in a picturesque location on a mill pond, surrounded by 12 acres of Suffolk countryside. Christmas lunch costs from £85 pp.
Adnams Yuletide beer is a wonderful dark ruby winter warmer. Try this on a brewery tour and stock up on stocking fillers from one of the official top 50 brands in the country in the shop. Adnams Brewery Tours on selected dates throughout November and December at £10 pp.
Food Safari is holding a Festive Baking in a Day course on 1st December for £160 pp at its converted barn at Saxmundham. A hands-on course led by chef and Food Safari cookery teacher Peter Harrison, you’ll learn how to make some delicious treats such as Christmas puddings, Lebkucken (German ginger biscuits), Italian Cantucci, Stollen and delicious Christmas liquors. It also includes a three course lunch.
Christmas markets, festivals and crafts…
Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre between 23rd and 25th November includes stall holders from across Europe, children’s entertainment and street entertainers. The cathedral will offer ‘Shopper’s Carol Services’ on Friday and Saturday at 2pm and 3pm and a ‘Living Nativity’ can be found in the Cathedral Courtyard. Visit Santa in his grotto in the Abbey Gardens and the Greene King stage will host three days of music ranging from traditional jazz to modern day rock.
The Christmas Craft Fair at Museum of East Anglian Life returns on Friday 30th November with 20 stalls. Choose your Christmas gifts from in the atmospheric Tithe Barn, along with the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto and buy Christmas trees – the Christmas Craft Fair is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.
To celebrate the launch of the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten, Britten’s two great Christmas choral works are being performed on Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm at Snape Maltings concert hall.
A Ceremony of Carols is a scintillating tour de force for trebles and harp, a carol collection both powerfully atmospheric and joyfully celebratory. Tickets from £10.
After the concert stay at The Brudenell in Aldeburgh which is magical at Christmas and New Year, and enjoy lavish treats such as mulled wine, Christmas afternoon tea, entertainment and delicious food. Prices per night in December start from £75 per person.
On Saturday 1st December, St Peter’s Band hold a free Christmas Concert by the Waterfront at Ipswich from 7pm. There’s plenty of restaurants along the Waterfront for a pre-Christmas meal and The Salthouse is a chic and luxurious hotel with rooms from £110 per person.
The Apex at Bury is holding Xmas Party Nites on selected nights throughout December. Enjoy a three course meal and let your hair down this Christmas. Meal at 7.30pm, music & dancing from 9pm until 1am. £45 pp. Afterwards put your feet up and be pampered at 4 star boutique hotel and restaurant The Angel, a few minutes walk from the Apex.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland…
There’s nothing like a walk in the fresh, crisp winter air and November sees the reopening of The Sailors’ Path, an ancient route on Suffolk’s heritage coast linking the historic seaside town of Aldeburgh with Snape Maltings, home to the Snape Maltings centre and world famous Aldeburgh Music Festival.
Taking in views of the meandering River Alde, the ancient woods of the Blackheath Estate and expanses of marshes and reed beds, The Sailors’ Path offers a stunning variety of landscapes.
The Festive Foray at RSPB Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve takes place on Sunday 9th December from 1-4pm. Take a stroll around the reserve just before Christmas to see wildlife spending the winter at Lakenheath Fen. Mince pies and mulled wine will be provided as a post-walk treat.
The 90-minute Turkey Buster Walk at Ipswich Town Centre’s Tourist Information Centre takes place on Friday 28th December at 2.15pm and allows those who have overindulged to shake off the excesses with a walk around Ipswich.
For more information about Visit Suffolk visit http://www.visitsuffolk.com or follow @Visit_Suffolk on Twitter.