Woodbridge is a charming historic riverside market town on the banks of the River Deben. It is a fashionable tourist and business destination known as the gem in Suffolk’s crown.
The town is a popular destination for walkers, nature lovers, sailors, golf enthusiasts, shoppers and lovers of fine dining. It is a perfect getaway for those looking for a relaxing and peaceful stay in a beautiful and historic part of England.
Sutton Hoo is the site of a historic Anglo-Saxon ship-burial thought to be that of Rædwald, the King of East Anglia who reigned from about 599 until his death around 624. From around 616, Rædwald was the most powerful of all the English kings.
In the summer of 1939, the Sutton Hoo ship burial was discovered. Archaeologists painstakingly brushed away layers of sandy soil to reveal the shape of a ship beneath a mound, and in the centre of the ship they found a burial chamber full of the most extraordinary Anglo-Saxon artefacts and treasures.
The most significant artefacts from the ship-burial are displayed in the British Museum but not before they were taken to The Bull where the archaeologists stayed and collated their priceless finds. Sutton Hoo is widely appreciated as one of the most important archaeological sites in the UK.
More details including how to visit the site can be found at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-ho
Woodbridge Tide Mill was first recorded as a working mill in 1170 when it was owned by Augustine Priors. It is one of the few remaining fully working tide mills in the UK and is a fascinating and remarkable living example of our industrial and cultural heritage. At the mill, you can discover what life was like for a miller and his family, and on certain days watch flour being milled in traditional fashion by the waterwheel and millstones.
More details can be found at: https://woodbridgetidemill.org.uk/
Other notable attractions in Woodbridge include:
The 16th century Shire Hall which is on the Market Hill and close to the Bull Inn
The 15th century St Mary’s church is just off the Market Hill and close to the Bull Inn
The Woodbridge Museum located near the Tide Mill on the historic waterfront.
The Thoroughfare with its many independent shops and places to eat.
The historic waterfront with its many quays and working boatyards.
The beautiful River Deben at Woodbridge which is perfect for sailing and boating
There are some lovely trails to try along the River Deben which is classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Head north along the river and this will take you towards Melton where you can cross the river at Wilford Bridge to visit the National Trust site and museum at Sutton Hoo.
Follow the river south and you will soon come to Kyson Hill. The National Trust owned area includes a grassy hill, surrounded by woods that slope down to the saltings and mudflats of the tidal Deben. It’s a great area for bird watching with many species visiting the estuary. Look out for egrets, oyster catchers, plovers, teals, little grebes, redshanks, black tailed godwits, and curlews as you make your way along the river.
The route then follows other paths back to the town through the countryside.
To extend your waterside walking, follow the river south and with a short detour along Martlesham Creek where you can cross over the creek and track back to the River Deben which takes you all the way to Felixstowe.
You can also head west through the countryside along the Fynn Valley Walk to Playford.
Just to the east of the town you will find Rendlesham Forest. The mysterious forest includes the UFO trail which takes you to some of the areas connected to the UFO sighting of December 1980.
For more details of the trails around Woodbridge try :
Walks near Woodbridge
The idyllic countryside around Woodbridge is ideal for those who love birdwatching. By far the easiest are the trails to the north and south along the River Deben.
Further afield, you can head towards a number of reserves that are great for birdwatching:
RSPB Havergate Island (30 minutes from Woodbridge)
Access is only possible on the RSPB boat, October Storm, which departs Orford Quay on the first Saturday each month except May, June and July. Numbers are strictly limited so advance booking is essential by calling 01728 688959.
RSPB North Warren (30 minutes from Woodbridge)
For great hiking or bird watching, the RSPB North Warren reserve near Aldeburgh is a fantastic and easily accessible getaway. Public footpaths lead you through a wide variety of habitats within a relatively small area. Access to North Warren is free and dogs are welcome, but please keep them under close control and remain on the paths.
RSPB Minsmere (40 minutes from Woodbridge)
There’s a choice of countryside walks through stunning coastal, wetland, woodland and heathland scenery, and various hides where you can sit and relax as you watch the wide variety of wildlife. Volunteer guides are often on hand to help, or, book a guided walk before you visit.
For more information about Woodbridge and the surrounding area, the following websites can give you more ideas: