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Cliff Cottage, Suffolk

Muddy says: Open, spacious, airy, barefoot with the best views in East Anglia; you’ll kick your shoes of when you arrive, and who knows where they’ll be a week later.

Hidden down a sandy lane, we’re minutes from the tiny hamlet of Iken, perched high above the River Alde. Expect endless estuary views and big sunsets.

Are we in the UK? Really? It feels like somewhere far wilder and more exotic — East Africa maybe, or New Zealand.

 

LOCATION

Cliff Cottage sleeps 7: a master bedroom with en-suite, a smaller room with a double bed, a twin bed-room with another bed under the eaves and a family bathroom. You can book Friday to Friday.

Open, spacious, airy, barefoot; you’ll kick your shoes of when you arrive, and who knows where they’ll be a week later. That view follows you everywhere and sunlight pours into the open-plan, glass-fronted kitchen.

The sitting room is a cosy, family space riffing on a nautical theme; deep sofas, board-games, maps and a model sail-boat. No surprises that the Alde Estuary is renowned for its boating.

When the temperature drops, this room comes into its own: wine, friends, Monopoly, a roaring fire and endless views. *Sigh… checks availability for NYE*

In summer, spend evenings outside munching on smelly cheese & Rosé, listening to the honk, squawk, shriek of avocet, curlew, heron… plus the occasional whooping water-skier.

The River Alde is an SSSI* and renowned for its avian life; be sure to bring mossy spray though, the midges are vicious.

 

OUT AND ABOUT

The walks really are stunning and you won’t see a car for miles, either head down the steps from the garden to the waterline and bear right towards Iken church in the distance.

Or for Snape Maltings (more on this below), head back up the sandy drive then follow the raised, wooden walkway which takes you through the estuary, surrounded by rushes.

It’s flat, stark, wild and very different from anything we’ve come across in the UK. The walk itself, though, is an easy, pushchair friendly twenty-minutes. My eight- and three-year-old managed it, with the promise of ice-cream at the end.

If you’re a runner like me, then bring your trainers. Cliff Cottage to Snape Maltings to Iken church and back is a good hour-long, flat run through dreamy countryside.

[Read Muddy Hants’ full review of Cliff Cottage]

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire