The Potting Shed sits within the grounds of the owner's other holiday cottage, Brickyards and feels so remote and peaceful, you’ll hardly believe it’s only 65 minutes from the M25. The compact cottage sleeps two adults (plus an additional child on a small raised double bed up above the bedroom door) and enjoys a riverside setting close to the banks of the River Stour in Shotley. From the sitting area beside the river you can watch the Birds at low water feeding on the mud, or the skeins of geese flying overhead. A short walk along the riverbank takes you to the Bristol Arms or up the lane to The Rose Pub. It’s wonderful for couples (or small families with one child sharing the bedroom) who want to unplug from their busy, stressful lives and recharge their batteries in the beautiful natural surroundings. Its probably the dawns and sunsets over the river you’ll remember most.
The Shotley Peninsula is an area within the larger Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stretching from the village north to Kessingland. You could easily spend every day of your holiday exploring somewhere new, from rivers to heathland and forests, and fantastic shingle beaches with seaside attractions. The AONB status protects the environment, allowing flora to flourish where it attracts a wide variety of birds and wildlife and, especially in spring and summer, swathes of wildflowers. The Old Brickyards are also in the heart of a site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) and on the banks of an RSPB nature reserve.
Suffolk is a foodie’s paradise. The quality of food and drink produced in the region is outstanding, and there are a wealth of independent shops, pubs and restaurants selling it. The Suffolk Food Hall is nearby in Wherstead. It is 8,000 square feet of deliciousness! You can get everything here whether you’re after a wedge of local cheese and freshly baked bread for a simple picnic, or some fresh fish or meat for a summer barbecue. They also run a variety of cooking workshops and have an excellent restaurant.
Spending time outdoors is easy in Shotley. Make sure you take comfortable shoes because there are miles of footpaths taking you through the gorgeous Suffolk countryside and along the coast, or maybe you’d prefer to cycle or horse ride. A boat trip will give you a different view of Shotley, take the foot ferry across to Harwich or to the Napoleonic fortifications at Felixstowe, or just grab your binoculars and walk along the riverbank to Mistley or to the old barging pub at Pin Mill.
There’s no such thing as a bad weather day when you stay here. You can watch the squalls sweeping down the Stour, or sit indoors in front of the woodburner watching the birds in the garden. If it’s cold, head indoors to a museum, or do a brewery tour. RSPB Minsmere holds bird watching events all year round. Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge are great for shopping, or wrap up warm and sit on the beach at Aldeburgh with a paper wrapped packet of steaming hot fish and chips. If its warm and sunny bask on the patio or head down to the small sitting area beside the river to soak up the tranquillity.
The Potting Shed is perfect if you want to relax with nothing to distract you from enjoying time in the most extraordinary setting. There are no deadlines, no difficult decisions, just endless ways to relax and enjoy yourself.
Carl Scott joined Independent Cottages in August 2017
Compact yet offering everything needed for self-catering, accommodation comprises:
Outside: There is a large patio outside the conservatory with large slate table for dining outside (BBQ provided). Guests also have access to the riverside where there is an additional small sitting area for relaxing by the water and enjoying the views. The surrounding garden offers plenty of space to relax with a small pond and stream (care should be taken with young children).
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