As I performed yet another five point turn on a pitch black country lane I questioned my planning abilities to organise a fitting weekend for my mum’s 70th birthday. I was late to the party and had all the food and drink including that evenings dinner in the boot of my car. After yet another drive by trying to locate the ‘small farm track just after the footpath sign’ I finally committed to pulling into what looked like the entrance to a field. I have never been more pleased to see a lone figure wandering around in the dark – my mum, the one woman search party!
Sensibly my parents had arrived at our accommodation for the weekend in the light and having followed the directions word for word had found the property without any fuss. They had delighted in spending the preceding hours exploring the tower and admiring the sunset views from its upper floors.
Yes, you read that correctly, we were staying in a tower for the weekend. To be more specific we were staying in Freston Tower in Suffolk which is owned and managed as a holiday let by the Landmark Trust. The Trust have properties all over the UK, as well as a few in Europe. This was my families first landmark and it seemed entirely fitting for such a momentous birthday.
The tower was beautifully restored and equipped, with a room on each of its six floors. The views across the Orwell estuary got better and better the higher you climbed. It even had its own ‘roof terrace’ where you could feel the full force of the January gales that were blowing that weekend!
Its location was perfect for a weekend as we had walks on the doorstep. The first day we enjoyed a walk along the estuary taking in Pin Mill and walking as far as Shotley Gate. My sister and I made it into a round trip while my parents took the bus back to the start. On the Saturday evening we ventured further afield for a celebration meal at The Sun Inn in Dedham. Appearing to be a simple village pub, appearances were deceptive as we really enjoyed a delicious meal in their restaurant.
The next day we visited Constable Country and had a great walk around Dedham Vale. From family holidays we knew the area well, like Norfolk is it a timeless area and one that it is a joy to return to. There would be plenty to keep you entertained for a week with day trips out towards the Suffolk coast and gorgeous Suffolk market towns like Bury St Edmunds to explore. The tower was less than 20 minutes by car from Ipswich or Manningtree so easy to access by train.
I think we all agreed that choosing a Landmark property had really elevated the weekend from lovely into something truly memorable. I can’t wait to explore more of their unique properties.