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Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk Tried and Tested blog series, featuring Arlo Cottage – a pet-friendly holiday cottage perfectly positioned in the heart of Orford.

Arlo Cottage Tried and Tested

In this edition, our Portfolio Manager Hannah and her husband James enjoyed a summers weekend in the exquisite Arlo Cottage.

From soaking up the local history with a trip to Orford castle and enjoying local walks, visiting the Suffolk Wildlife Trust location of Captains Woods to embracing the village life with visits to local pubs and tea rooms, Hannah and James were spoilt for choice on things to do during their stay.  When they weren’t out exploring, Arlo Cottage proved the ideal base to relax.

This sleeps two, pet-friendly holiday home sits in a prime position and is just moments from the main square, quay and castle, meaning there’s no need to hop into the car to explore Orford; everything you need is right on your doorstep.  It offers the perfect base for couples to enjoy all year round, a homely sitting room with wood-burning stove for the cooler months, and a lovely patio area for the spring and summer months, perfect to enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

As always, our highly commended #TriedandTested puts real people in real holiday homes and gives us the opportunity to share our real experiences with you.  There’s no fancy equipment.  All the photos are taken on our phones, so what you see is what you get.  Find out how Hannah and James got on during their summer weekend at Arlo Cottage in Orford, in this edition of #TriedandTested.

Arlo Cottage Tried and Tested

Arlo Cottage, Orford

Arlo Cottage has undergone an extensive renovation to bring you, our guests, a charming pet-friendly holiday cottage in the heart of Orford.  Its boutique space oozes with style and luxury and is perfect for couples to enjoy.

Arlo Cottage Living Room Tried and Tested

On the ground floor, you’ll find a homely sitting room, bright and charismatic, creating the perfect space to sit back and relax.  The wood-burning stove is a great addition to the room and perfect for those cooler months.  The modern kitchen/dining room with bi-folding doors has everything you could possibly need and opens up to the tranquil patio area, perfect to enjoy alfresco dining.

Arlo Cottage Kitchen Tried and Tested

The first floor homes a king size bedroom with vaulted ceilings and everything you need to unpack and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.  The bathroom screams boutique hotel, with its stunning freestanding bath and walk in rainfall shower.  If you love a soak with a good book, this is the bath for you!

Arlo Cottage Bathroom Tried and Tested

Outside you’ll find a quaint patio garden, perfect to relax in with a hot drink or glass of wine.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner or a BBQ, the patio table and chairs are great for alfresco dining.  Plus, you might even spot a familiar seagull too.

Arlo Cottage Patio Tried and Tested


Location, Location, Location!

Situated on the bank of the River Ore, Orford is a traditional fishing village on the Suffolk coast.  Offering something for everyone, it’s a great destination to unwind and explore all Suffolk has to offer.

Loved by walkers, cyclists, bird watchers and more, Orford ticks a lot of boxes.  An historic castle, built for Henry II in the 12th Century, the village also boasts one of the most attractive churches in the UK.  This coupled with river cruises, crabbing, and a spot of bird watching, makes for a great holiday.  Plus, with plenty of eateries, including three pubs, tea rooms and the renowned Pump Street Bakery, there’s no need to get the car out again until you reluctantly have to head home.

Orford Castle Arlo Cottage Tried and Tested

First Impressions

As soon as we walked in the door, we knew we were somewhere special.  The luxurious décor gives a warm and inviting home to retreat to and its wonderfully clean.  We were able to pull up directly outside the property and unload and then park our car closely for the weekend.

Welcome Pack

We soon found the generous welcome pack in the kitchen, which comprised of a delicious bottle of wine and some tasty chocolate biscuits, both of which we enjoyed on our first evening whilst making the most of the sunshine in the courtyard garden.

Arlo Cottage Welcome Pack Tried and Tested

Our First Evening

After unpacking and getting ourselves acquainted with Arlo Cottage, we decided to go and explore Orford and enjoy the warm summer evening on offer.  We were spoilt for choice with three fantastic pubs to choose from.  On this particular evening, we opted to enjoy the outdoor seating at the Kings Head, located just moments from the property.  Being an Adnams pub, they had lots of local beers, ciders, wine and gin on offer.

Kings Head drinks Tried and Tested Arlo Cottage

After our drink, we wandered down to the Quay, which proved to be the perfect spot to enjoy the peaceful surrounding and views on offer.


Making the most of the brand new kitchen on offer, we decided to cook up our evening meal and enjoy Arlo Cottage.  The kitchen has absolutely everything you need, and the detailed instructions meant that everything could be easily used.  The dishwasher is a great asset too.  We were able to easily clear away and make the most of our evening.

Arlo Cottage Kitchen Tried and Tested

Our First Day

After a relaxing night’s sleep in the luxurious king sized bed, we woke up, ready for a full day of exploring, but first things first, breakfast!

Arlo Cottage Bedroom Tried and Tested

We opted for breakfast with a view at the Riverside Tea Rooms, a fantastic spot to enjoy a bite to eat whilst watching all the activity at the Quay.  James and I each had a very tasty sausage and bacon bap, washed down by a hot drink.

Riverside Tearooms Breakfast Orford Tried and Tested

Before heading back to the cottage to get our things, we noticed The Pump Street Bakery was open, with a short queue. We took our opportunity and joined the queue.  With so many tasty treats on offer, it was hard to choose, but we opted for a sweet treat for after our walk and a breakfast pastry for the next morning.

Exploring on Foot

After scoping out the many local footpaths, we opted for a walk across the fields to the neighbouring village of Sudbourne and to visit the Suffolk Wildlife Trust location of Captains Wood.

Captains Wood Sign Tried and Tested Arlo Cottage

The walk took us out of Orford via the playing field, which is perfect for those with children to enjoy, and out across the neighbouring fields.  We couldn’t believe how quiet the footpaths were, which meant we were able to see the array of local wildlife, including a Marsh Harrier.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to capture this; however, it was an incredible sight.  Around halfway, we stopped for a drink and a wander around Sudbourne Church, another memorable historic site.

Bluebells Captains Wood

Captain’s Wood is a fantastic private ground full of an array of wildlife and deer.  It is well known for its vast spaces of bluebells in the spring.  On our particular trip, we were lucky enough to see two buzzards and the local deer.  The walk was beautiful and a total of 7.5 miles.  Orford has so many local walks on offer, perfect for those who love exploring on foot, cyclists and, of course, those furry friends.

A Well-Earned Treat

After our walk, it was time to rest our feet and enjoy a well-earned drink and our sweet treat from Pump Street Bakery in the garden.

Relaxing in Arlo Cottage Garden Tried and Tested

Our Second Evening

On our second evening, we opted to enjoy a meal out at one of the many eateries on offer; however, we had the hard choice of which!  As we had such exceptional weather for our trip we decided to head down to The Jolly Sailor to enjoy the evening sun in the vast garden.  There was such a variety of tasty meals on offer, with a specials board full of locally caught fish options.  It was a perfect evening catching up over a local glass and munch the delicious food.

Local History

During our visit we decided to soak up some of the local history and visited the local church and Orford Castle, both thought to have been built between 1165 and 1177.  The church was built as a chapel to the existing parish church in Sudbourne and years later was used as a concert hall. I wasn’t expecting the church to be so spacious, it’s wonderful to walk around and take in all its history.  The castle is currently going through an extensive restoration, applying new lime renders to the facing of the keep, to ensure that it is still around for people to enjoy for many years to come.

If I Had More Time, I Would…

…Enjoy a Meal at Butley Orford Oysterage

Located in the market square, it’s owned and run by Pinney’s of Orford and offers mouthwatering locally caught oysters, smoke delicacies, fresh local fish and shellfish.

…Travel to Orfordness

Orfordness Arlo Cottage Tried and Tested

Unfortunately, due to the popularity of these trips we were unable to visit on this last minute break.  It is, however, on our to do list for next time.  Whilst the historic lighthouse has been removed, you are able to enjoy their Red, Blue and Green walking routes, taking you around the ness, past the public buildings, radar receiver building, including the island of secret exhibition in the NAAFI.  At the height of the Cold War, the atomic weapons research establishment and the Roya Aircraft Establishment used Orfordness for development work.  Now an array of wildlife can be seen on the mixture of grounds, including grazing marches, saltmarsh, shingle and lagoons.

…Take a Trip on the Lady Florence

Lady Florence Tried and Tested Arlo Cottage

Lady Florence is perfect for a different and exciting dining experience.  The vessel cruises the calm waters on the River Alde and Ore, serving freshly prepared fine food and drink.

What Other Guests Say

Like us, previous guests also describe Arlo Cottage as beautiful and in a great location!

The Verdict: Arlo Cottage

We loved everything about Arlo Cottage.  The owners have worked incredibly hard to create a stunning holiday home.  Everything has been thought about from, high-quality bedding and fluffy towels to a delicious welcome pack and super comfortable furniture.  Orford really did have everything you could need, so much so we didn’t use our car once over the weekend.