Butley is a small village lying between Woodbridge, Orford and Sutton Hoo, where we have a lovely cottage that we use ourselves and also rent out. The countryside has its own particular kind of beauty. The Butley river estuary is wonderfully remote, superb for walkers, cycling and for bird and wildlife watching. You can get a real sense of the river by watching the short film A Thousand Tides about the bronze sculptor Laurence Edwards, who worked for some years at Butley Mill Studios. The area, including the river and the Butley and Boyton docks, feature in the Netflix film, The Dig, which is about the excavation of a 7th century AD ship and burial mounds at Sutton Hoo, and stars Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes ( see British Museum blog on the film and excavation). Another favourite place is Shingle Street, where lagoons come and go as the sea shifts the stones in never ending clatter. Shingle Street has been made famous by Lida Kindersley and Els Bottema, who created The Shell Line, a wonderful sculpture in the landscape. Shingle Street also recently featured in the film Yesterday.
In 2019 we were fortunate to be able to purchase a small patch of land to the west of the house. Late in 2020 this was planted with wildflower seed and in 2021 the meadow gave us its first display. You can read more about our meadow and our motivation for developing it here.
Our house is in two parts, an old cottage built in 1778 and a more recent extension built in 1990. The cottage contains the kitchen, dinning room, two large and airy bedrooms and family shower room. The extension contains the sitting room with fire place, upright piano and the principal bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
The house is surrounded by fields and woods; there are foot paths in all directions straight from the front door. A village shop opened last year and stocks a good range of essentials and other useful things. The Oyster Inn also reopened its doors and is a lovely place to spend an evening sampling the selection of local beers and dinning from their specials menu. The Suffolk Coastal Footpath and cycle route run right through the village. Local attractions include the Tide Mill in the historic market town of Woodbridge, the Norman Castle at Orford and the wonderful Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo.
Also close by is the RSPB nature reserve at Minsmere, outstanding music, jazz, other performance art and exhibitions at Snape Maltings, the home of Benjamin Britten and and the wonderful annual music festival at Aldeburgh. A little further afield is Southwold, a lovely sea side town that is home of the quirky Southwold Pier and the famous Adnam’s brewery.
If you stay at our house we would highly recommend a visit to the Pump Street Bakery in Orford. The best approach is to walk via Sudbourne Park, arriving just in time for opening at 10am on weekends. You will be served a wonderful brunch at their communal table that will fuel you for the return journey via the Butley river ferry that operates Easter to mid September.
The house will be ready for you on arrival. The kitchen is well stocked with pots and pans and an army of implements as well as an induction cooker with a double oven, microwave, dish washer, clothes washer and drier. We provide kitchen essentials such as salt, pepper, cooking oil, herbs (dried, and fresh from the garden), washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and bin liners etc. We ask our visitors to bring loo rolls and to purchase kindling for the fire.
You can see additional pictures here: Butley Gallery
We have had a wonderful week at the cottage. The layout worked brilliantly for us. Grandparents occupied the newer part of the house and the rest of the family in the older part. Highlights for us were the wood burning stove, the pond and gardens and variety of bird life. We have fallen in love with this area and hope to be back. Genna, Easter 2022
We have had a wonderful long weekend in this homely cottage. Butley has been a great base for us to explore this very interesting part of Suffolk. We would love to return and see the wild flower meadow in bloom! October 2021
Four days were transformative. We arrived a bit stressed, but the quiet and comfort of the cottage, the bracing sea and some long walks restored us. A really beautiful place to stay. September 2020
We celebrated a family New Year in front of a roaring fire in this spacious and well equipped cottage. The large and comprehensive collection of art books was a particular joy. We enjoyed Butley and Orford having stayed over 30 years ago…thankfully hardly changed, apart from a sympathetic refurbishment of the local pub. The location is very good for both walks and jaunts in the car. We especially enjoyed the woodland and coastal paths through piglet country to Snape…but beware of failing light in winter! A thoroughly good choice- we all loved it! Susan, New Year 2019
The cottage was amazing – lots of space for 5 people. Had everything we would need for the weekend. House was very clean and tidy. Would definitely stay again. October 2018
Only stayed one night as we were going to a wedding in Butley which was very convenient as the venue was in stumbling distance of the house. Really nice house, very easy to follow instructions for entry and we loved our short stay. Thank you! May 2018
Great base for exploring surrounding area. Ideal for walking to local pub which served excellent food. Loved the space in the property. Caroline, August 2017
Six of us stayed at the house for a long weekend. This was our second visit. The extension with a large comfortable lounge and the additional open staircase to the ensuite bedroom above it gives a spacious feel to the house. We all felt very much at home as there was a folding table in the lounge for the jigsaw fanatics as well as the large dining table. This time we explored some of the local walks as well as a visit to Snape and Aldeburgh. We also made another visit to the oyster restaurant. This time the weather was nice enough to enjoy the garden. So a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Jean, May 2017
We have spent amazing days here. Beautiful scenery, so peaceful. I guess we might be the first Koreans who stay in this cottage ever! We have only good memories about this cottage.The Oyster is the best pub in the world! Great staff, great food, amazing atmosphere! Tracy, May 2017
Very enjoyable stay in a spacious cottage. Was perfect. Tracy, April 2017
We had a great time, loved the set up of the property and really enjoyed cosy evenings by the fire. Short drives to excellent day trip venues: Aldeburgh and Southwold particularly popular with the kids. Julie October 2016
As a family we had a lovely time in this beautiful house. We have found everything we needed in the cottage and felt very comfortable. And we enjoyed the nice walks and the trips to the beach and the nice villages. It is definitely a lovely place to stay for a relaxing holiday. Ragna Aug 2016
Our friends and ourselves spent a lovely week in this cottage, accommodation was good, the area delightful. The cottage catered very well for our needs, with two separate wings it enabled us to have our own bedrooms and bathrooms which is something we always opt for. Highly recommended. Valerie Aug 2016
We had a great stay in Butley and were really lucky with the weather. What a beautiful place! Hope to come again sometime. Liz, August 2014
We all had a very relaxing time. I’m sure we’d love to come back again as it’s such a beautiful part of the UK. Richard August 2014
Delightful, tucked away, family cottage with plenty of light and space for my family of 4 (2 teenage boys) and my Mum. We had a really lovely week here. Lucy, April 2014
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Butley, and loved the house. We will certainly consider staying again and will recommend it to friends. Ann, May 2014
The house was IDEAL for our needs, particularly for the Aldeburgh Festival. We will certainly recommend it to others. Gordon, June 2013