Thorpeness is a half hour walk along the beach from Aldeburgh and is a charming holiday village largely designed by the Scottish playwright and barrister Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie a century ago. He decided to create an idyllic model seaside village, inspired by the writings of JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan.
The village has a Meare (local for lake) and its several miles of shallow water can be explored in the summer time by rowing boat. A short walk from 2 The Dunes is the Thorpeness Country Club and here the tennis courts are often available during half term holidays as well as the summer months.
Also close by is the Thorpeness heathland golf course. The area is ideal for cycling and walking, both along the coast and inland countryside. It is a short walk to the famous 'House in the Clouds' and Thorpeness windmill. There are a number of shops and eateries including The Dolphin Inn, The Kitchen and a popular café next to the Meare (opening times vary according to the time of year).
Our top tips for things to do and days out
1. For a lovely 3-4 mile walk - turn left out of the front door and follow the road around onto the cliff top path walk towards Leiston. When you reach the holiday park turn inland to return to Thorpeness. (There is on OS map in the living room that shows all the footpaths). Come back via the Dolphin pub, open all year round, with an excellent menu and local beers.
2. Nothing beats a trip on the small ferry from Orford to the Ness, which is looked after by the National Trust. You can take a picnic and wander round the ruins left behind after WW2.
3. The Butley Oysterage is a fantastic down to earth old fashioned fish restaurant with the best puddings!
4. Leiston is a surprisingly interesting nearby town with an excellent green grocer, a fascinating museum and lots of DIY shops.
5. We often go to Saxmundum because it is the nearest train station, to pick up visitors. It also has a Waitrose should that be required. However the main draw is a great curios shop on the 22 Highstreet (where the dining table and some of the Art at 2 the Dunes came from). Say hello to the owner Hein Bonger.
6. The village shop is a must - stocking essentials, papers (though order in advance if you have a preference, great local produce from the local allotments, fresh crab, hams and cheeses as well as croissants/pasties/quiches which are all yummy.
7. Don't forget that across the road there is the Thorpeness Kitchen which does an awesome breakfast as well as a short fresh menu for lunch plus cakes. Round the side is the Emporium which is a source of quirky bric-a-brac. Also try the Mere café - a throw back to the 1950's - classic ice creams, cakes and sandwiches.
8. Make sure you make time to wander into Alderburgh where you will find a cornucopia of shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants. For great wine try the Adnams shop, Muchies serves a mean cappucino, beat the cues for classic fish and chips you can take to the beach.
9. For an educational trip take a visit to the Red House, where Benjamin Britten once lived. Probably best to book a tour in advance. The garden is deslightful and there is a small informative museum.
10. Snape Maltings is also a fantastic destination for food, drink and culture. There are concerts all year round as well as a world class collection of sculptures set in the picturesque landscape.