Over the last week, I have had the great fortune to prepare a series of short walks for The Thorpeness Golf Club and Hotel. The romantic façade of the Hotel retains the charm that the Ogilvie family brought to the area when developing the eclectic buildings, now known as Thorpeness, for their family and friends use during the early 1900’s. The golf course itself was built by James Braid, recognised as one of the world’s best.
The setting for hotel and course is breath taking, adjacent to The Meare which was inspired by JM Barrie (Peter Pan) with references to that book around the Meare and islands. Surrounding the whole is wonderful Suffolk Coastal countryside, Sandling Heaths, woods, reed beds and of course the coast itself. The estate sits inside a SSSI and is managed accordingly in partnership with various environmental groups.
The walks will take you around just some of the pleasures to be had in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; coast, woods, plantations and of course the heath land. With luck, you will get a glimpse of the wildlife that inhabits this wonderful and relatively unique area. The flora is also beautiful at various times of the year with gorse, heathers and rhododendron giving amazing splashes of colour.
Not only is there the natural history and environment to enjoy but also our industrial heritage can be taken in with one walk. Many people do not realise the importance of the quiet town of Leiston during the industrial revolution, but this is the home of one of the world’s first assembly production lines. Now a fascinating and educational museum for all to enjoy at The Long Shop.
These walks are free to use, but if you are not a resident at the hotel please have the curtesy to pop in and enjoy some refreshments in the amazing setting of Braid’s Bar, which is dog friendly as Skye and I discovered.
Photographs taken during the walks can be seen on our Facebook page (not too many due to grey and drab weather), the walks are also available free of charge through www.viewranger.com