Words by Anne-Claire Heels

WHAT’S THE BUZZ? Peaceful. Calm. Restful. On Suffolk’s quiet Shotley Peninsula you’ll find Woolverstone Marina & Lodge Park. The marina sits on the River Orwell just a few miles south of Ipswich and the wide span of the Orwell Bridge, and behind it on 22 acres of woodland you’ll find luxurious modern lodges set discreetly among the trees, blending into the landscape perfectly. If you want a break where you can get away from the hustle and bustle, and enjoy a bit of proper downtime, this is a great choice. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes nearby, and a sailing school at the marina. Get your hiking boots on and follow in the footsteps of Swallows & Amazons writer Arthur Ransome, walking through picturesque Pin Mill and the National Trust’s Cliff Plantation, soaking up watercolour views of sailing boats and seabirds out on the mudflats and creeks of the estuary. Head all the way down to Shotley Gate where the two rivers that run either side of the peninsula meet the sea. See the fascinating sight of the enormous cranes at the Port of Felixstowe across the Orwell loading and unloading gigantic ocean-going vessels, or hop on the Harwich Harbour Ferry for a tour of the harbour or a quick jaunt across the Stour to Essex.

Woolverstone Marina & Lodge Park setting - Bramble

Woolverstone Marina & Lodge Park setting – Bramble

WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE? Contemporary and comfortable. We stayed in Bramble, a luxurious two-bedroom lodge, sleeping four. The design is all simplicity and clean lines, with stylish touches such as rose gold-coloured pendant lights, cushions and curtains with geometric patterns, and subtle colours including soft greys, light blues and pale wood. Both bedrooms have large en-suite bathrooms (one with a shower, one with a bath), and the open-plan kitchen/diner and living room were welcoming and spacious. All the lodges have an outside deck, and you might see squirrels or even deer, if you’re up early enough, while silently enjoying your morning cuppa. The lodges vary in size – some can accommodate up to eight people – each one has a decent-sized dedicated parking space, and some are also dog-friendly. And there’s smart TV and super-fast WiFi should you want to stay connected.

BEST SEA VIEW? You can’t see the sea from the lodge park itself, but the marina is only minutes along the track with its tranquil waterside views and superb sunsets. Watch everything from modern yachts to a vintage Thames sailing barge gliding by while you enjoy a drink in the on-site Loch & Quay bar/restaurant situated next to the marina.

Woolverstone Marina & Lodge Park - Bramble

Woolverstone Marina & Lodge Park – Bramble

HOW ABOUT THE FOOD? The lodges offer self-catering breaks, and to that end the kitchens are fully equipped with gas or electric ovens and hobs, as well as microwaves (and dishwashers.) Right by the marina is the on-site bar/restaurant, which serves quality pub staples such as scampi and chips, steaks and burgers. There are nearby village pubs doing food too, and plenty of restaurants in Ipswich, if you’re staying for a while. A few miles up the road is Suffolk Food Hall, a must-visit if you’d like to pick up some of the region’s fine foodie wares – it has a busy café and a play area for children.

HOW ACCESSIBLE IS IT? There are specially adapted lodges for those who need easy accessibility, ask when booking.

WHAT WILL IT COST? Prices for a mid-week break (Mon-Fri) start from £236 next year. MDL Berth Holders should contact the park direct quoting your MDL account number for 10% off any lodge booking. Open all year round.

HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01473 780206 or book online at mdlmarinas.co.uk/holiday-parks/woolverstone-marina-and-lodge-park

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