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Suffolk Tourist Guide

Thorpeness (and Peter Pan!)

Thorpeness Windmill and house in clouds


If there was ever a village that deserved to be called ‘fantastic’ it is Thorpeness, built at the start of last century by a wealthy Scottish barrister with a penchant for mock Tudor and Jacobean architecture. Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie was a Scottish barrister who made his money designing railways and bought some land from north Aldeburgh to south of Sizewell where he created Thorpeness as a holiday village centred around the Meare.

House in the Clouds

Thorpeness is full of quirky buildings, some of which are more than meet the eye. For example, Ogilvie ingeniously disguised the village’s water tower as an overgrown house, the striking ‘House in the Clouds’ above, lest it offend the eye! This 5 storey house is still in use today and overlooks the golf course on one side, with views of the boating lake, village and beach on the others.

The Meare is an artificially created, shallow boating lake covering 3 acres, with several streams running off the main lake with landings marked with names on a Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands on the Meare contain locations found in J. M. Barrie's novel such as the Pirates Lair, Wendy's home and many others which children are encouraged to play on.


(Image courtesy of Sylvia Speak at What can you spot in this one? Don't worry, it's not real!

J.M. Barrie fans of all ages can find his work realised at the Meare boating lake where islands and coves are given names taken from Peter Pan. It's no wonder he was inspired by this magical place, which is great fun for kids of all ages. The boating lake is open for hourly rowing boat hire from Spring until the end of Summer and occasionally in Autumn weekends on fine days (call 01728 832523)


The Dolphin Inn

The Dolphin Inn

At the heart of the village is the impressive Dolphin Inn where you'll be warmly welcomed into the restaurant & bar with a great selection of local food, whiskeys, ales & wine - all of which can also be enjoyed in the large beer garden. There are also Four-Star bedrooms available so you can stay in Thorpeness. Please click on the link above for full details.

Thorpeness Lake

(Images courtesy of Sylvia Speak at

Thorpeness Hotel, Apartments & Golf Club


One of the great attractions of Thorpeness is the Thorpeness Hotel, Apartments & Golf Club which is a 1930s, Art Deco Hotel & Restaurant overlooking the Meare. There are 36 bedrooms, many with fantastic views of the Meare, the House in the Clouds, the beautiful gardens and the golf course. The same group also offer over 40 self-catering apartments, each sleeping between 4-13 guests, close to Thorpeness Beach & Aldeburgh. All are fully equipped to make your stay as comfortable as possible, and make ideal accommodation for large families or group holidays. For more information on their self catering properties please see Aldeburgh Bay Holidays

In the Hotel's restaurant you can enjoy traditional British fare whilst watching other guests play golf – if you intend to play a round later in the day, this is the ideal spot from which to gain a few tips or to check out the competition! Golf tuition is available, and the course makes for a fun family activity, a great way to unwind, and also a unique corporate or society pursuit. Also on the grounds are 7 tennis courts and eye-catching landscaped gardens, so there's plenty to do in Thorpeness!


The Thorpeness boating lake, Almshouses, library, beach and a large community centre are also prominent and attractive features of this village, which is an ideal holiday spot for families on the Suffolk Coast. Check out Beach View Holiday Park which is located close by and offers a variety of self catering options from Luxury Lodges through to campsite pitches, plus rental caravans and apartments on site overlooking the beach. So all are catered for in this fantasy village!

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About the author - Sarah Quinlan is the owner of the Suffolk Guides. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahinSuffolk or Google+
Suffolk Tourist Guide
Suffolk Tourist Guide