Living in Woodbridge
What is life like in Woodbridge
Woodbridge is a picturesque and peaceful town in the heart of Suffolk, a short distance from Ipswich and only 15 minutes or so from the beautiful coast.
It is comparable to the quaint neighbouring town of Southwold, and is made up predominantly of winding lanes, historic buildings, charming alehouses and mills along the Deben river. A number of independent shops are based in the town, ensuring a unique shopping experience for all.
There are facilities on the river for boating and towpath walks and bike rides, so Woodbridge residents have no reason not to get outdoors and enjoy their magnificent surroundings.
Woodbridge is closely linked to water, with the quayside known to many as the most iconic scene in the town. It is also famous for the delicious seafood that is served in its many restaurants and sold in its shops, with an annual seafood festival one of the highlights of the year.
The area around Woodbridge spent 300 years under Roman occupation following a failed rebellion led by Queen Boadicca in 59 AD. However, there is little evidence of this period remaining in the town today.
Some of the earliest records of Woodbridge date from the tenth century, which is around the time it was acquired by St Aethelwold, bishop of Winchester. The Domesday Book of 1086 describes the town as being part of the Loes Hundred.
There are many examples of buildings from the Tudor, Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras on show in Woodbridge today. It is also famous for the full working tide mill that stands on the banks of the river, and is one of only two in the UK.
Several famous people have been born in or lived in Woodbridge over the years, including writers Edward FitzGerald and Anne Knight, both of whom hail from the town. Residents include the likes of musician Brian Eno, actor Brian Capron and painter Thomas Churchyard.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Strolling through the historic Market Hill or by the river is a good way to spend time in Woodbridge, with these surroundings extremely pleasant and relaxing. Snapping up a bargain at one of the vintage markets is also a shrewd plan.
Alternatively, some people might like to examine the town's architecture, which spans several distinct styles. Hill House Hall is one of the best examples of this, as it dates back to the 14th century and was named by the Sunday Times as one of the top 100 hotels in the world.
The Tide Mill on the banks of the river is one of the most popular attractions in the town and attracts plenty of visitors each year. The working mill is fascinating in its own right, but as an additional feature it is also hugely popular with local artists, so checking out their work is a must.
One of the favourite events of the year for local people is the Woodbridge Regatta, which features food stalls, a raft race and sailing competitions.
Sutton Hoo is just a few miles away and is the site of the uncovering of a large Anglo-Saxon ship burial. This is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history and can still be explored by Woodbridge locals.Plenty of rural beauty can be found within a relatively short distance of the town, so heading out into the Suffolk countryside made so famous by Constable's paintings or to the world-renowned Norfolk Broads is a great way to enjoy the very best of East Anglia's green spaces.
Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to keep them entertained in Woodbridge, with numerous clubs and associations catering for those interested in bowls, cricket, football, tennis, yachting and much more.
Eating, drinking & shopping
The Riverside is one of the most highly recommended venues in Woodbridge, as it offers not only the chance to tuck into a delicious seafood dish on the quayside, but also a viewing of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. The restaurant and cinema is an unusual combination, but it is one that is a hit with locals.
Woodbridge's oldest business is The Cake Shop Bakery, and it remains a great place to purchase sweet treats for all the family.
Other excellent options for a meal in central Woodbridge include the Crown Hotel and the East Coast Diner, both of which are located in the town centre alongside chain restaurants such as Prezzo.
As with many historic and quaint small towns, there is a wide range of traditional pubs on offer in Woodbridge. These include the Anchor and the Ancient Mariner, with these establishments among the most popular of all. The Angel, the Cherry Tree and Ye Olde Bell and Steelyard are further pubs well worth visiting.
Many independent stores and boutiques are open to shoppers in Woodbridge, and residents will have plenty of opportunities to explore them fully. COOK is a food store that prepares tasty breads, pates, salads, puddings, tarts and much more that can be enjoyed by all.
Flower shop Lilac Thyme, butchery and smokehouse Five Winds Farm, Poppy's Pantry, Browsers Bookshop and The Suffolk Providore are other outlets that provide an excellent retail experience.
Schools & healthcare
Schools in Woodbridge are of a high standard, with both Kyson and Woodbridge primary schools rated as 'good' by Ofsted and St Mary's C of E said to be 'outstanding'. When it comes to secondary institutions, Farlingaye is also deemed to be 'outstanding', while the independent Woodbridge School is also highly rated among local people.
People who require medical treatment and care in Woodbridge can visit one of a small number of local surgeries, or head to Ipswich, which has its own large hospital with all the latest technology and relevant departments.
Woodbridge has its own train station, from where services run to a variety of destinations. It takes around 19 minutes to reach Ipswich and approximately 100 minutes to travel to London by rail, making Woodbridge a popular choice among commuters.
By road, the A12 is the key route in the region and passes Woodbridge. It provides access to the north and the south, as well as the A14 to the west, making it easy for people to travel to Ipswich, Norwich, London and other destinations by road.