Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring The Dunes – a luxurious pet friendly sea front holiday home in an incredible position on Southwold dunes.
In this edition, Portfolio Manager Hannah and her friends and family literally ‘Tried and Tested’ The Dunes. They were the first guests to ever step foot in the luxurious Southwold holiday home, and the weekend was all about testing out the kitchen, cooking feasts for the party, checking that the property was equipped to the highest standard and that everything was comfortable and relaxing.
Long coastal walks, games afternoons by the fire, and enjoying Southwold’s bustling High Street all form part of Hannah’s #triedandtested family and friends break at The Dunes. Find out what they got up to, their recommendations and more in the latest Tried and Tested!
What’s Tried and Tested?
#TriedandTested is a long-running blog series that sees the dedicated members of the Best of Suffolk team ‘try and test’ our stylish places to stay with their families and friends, and share their experience with you, our guests! The thing that makes Best of Suffolk different is that we all live in, and love spending time getting out and about in, Suffolk. We also like nothing more than sharing our top travel tips with our guests. When you call our team, we are confident we can recommend anything from pubs near properties, to local walks, to nearby play areas based on our own extensive experience.
All the photos we take during our stays are captured on our mobile phones, without any professional photography equipment. What you see, is what you get, and we have such confidence in our properties that we share all aspects of our stays with you. After all, there’s nothing better than a personal recommendation when it comes to a holiday!
Let’s see how Hannah and her family and friends got on when they ‘Tried and Tested’ The Dunes.
The Dunes, Southwold
The Dunes is a super luxurious, newly refurbished, pet friendly holiday home, positioned on the sandy dunes in Southwold, alongside the sea with the most amazing views from every window.
The property boasts a large open plan kitchen/dining room on the ground floor, along with a living room with flame effect fire, cloakroom and bedroom with an en-suite. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, one with a balcony offering uninterrupted sea views, there is then a family bathroom and en-suite shower room. There is a spacious garden with large seating area, perfect for taking in those special views. An even bigger bonus is the much sought-after off-road parking for three cars! What’s more, there’s an electric car charging port at The Dunes too, ideal for anyone travelling by electric car!
Location, Location, Location!
Prepare to be utterly spoilt by the incredible location of The Dunes! Sitting in an exclusive position on Southwold dunes, you can enjoy the most spectacular views. Access to the beach couldn’t be easier right from the garden gate. Ideal for sea swimming, water sports or simply taking a walk by the sea. Fall asleep to the relaxing sound of the waves, and be greeted by incredible sunrises.
This exclusive location doesn’t mean a long walk to amenities either. The Dunes is close to everything – Southwold’s beach, harbour and the fashionable town centre with its popular shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and delis can all be reached easily on foot. The nearest pub and eatery is The Sail Loft, a family-friendly pub specialising in local dishes and seafood.
Take a short walk along the beach to meet the promenade at Gun Hill. The sandy beach at Southwold is adorned with a string of colourful beach huts that lead along to Southwold Pier and the town itself. Southwold is home to the Adnams Brewery and the town’s excellent pubs include one of our personal favourites, The Lord Nelson where you can try a range of Adnams bitters.
There is a pretty walk through the harbour and over a footbridge to the picture-postcard village of Walberswick, home to two good pubs and a long sandy beach.
The Dunes: First Impressions
Hannah and her husband James arrived first ahead of the rest of the party and were amazed at the finished result of a year long renovation. The owner has worked carefully with Best of Suffolk to create a luxury holiday let that impressed from the moment they opened the door. It was especially lovely to be able to park outside the property on the private driveway, a luxury in Southwold!
Once you step into The Dunes you instantly feel at home, with it’s warm and welcoming feel. The property has undergone a year long renovation to make the ultimate luxurious pet friendly beach retreat, and we can say this has been well and truly achieved. The property certainly has the WOW factor.
Welcome Pack Treats
In keeping with the luxury finish of The Dunes, the welcome pack was particularly impressive! A chilled bottle of fizz was waiting for us in the fridge and fresh flowers filled the room with a wonderful floral fragrance. The Southwold postcard added that extra special touch.
Putting the Kitchen to the Test
Once settled in, they quickly got acquainted with the kitchen, cooking up a storm. On tonight’s menu was chorizo pasta with a side of garlic bread. The Delonghi electric cooker with 5 ring hob was a dream to cook on.
The kitchen was beautifully equipped with everything you need, with an array of side/serving dishes, and glasswear for every type of drink!
Dining in Style
The large wooden table with bench seat and chairs was the perfect place to sit and enjoy the meal whilst chatting the evening away.
A Drink at the Bar
The neon light and array of ceiling lights on dimmers help to create the perfect mood. The bar area was a great hit with the party, with cocktail book, glass wear (including shot glasses) and of course the fabulous neon light ‘Life’s A Beach’!
Luxurious Sitting Room
After a hearty dinner, it was lovely to retreat to the ultimate cosy sitting room, with a glass of fizz and a good book, whilst enjoying the flame effect fire crackle.
In the heart of the room are two large sofas seating five, with two swivel chairs positioned to either enjoy the TV/room or during the daytime swivel to enjoy the view across the dunes. There is an additional luxurious armchair positioned to enjoy as a reading corner, or as part of the main room. For children there are two additional bean bags.
Time for Bed!
Before long it was time for bed. Sleeping eight very comfortably over four bedrooms, The Dunes also provides flexible accommodation for groups of friends or extended families thanks to bedrooms that can be king or twin beds according to your choice.
Ground Floor En-Suite Bedroom
One added perk of staying at The Dunes is that you have the bonus of a ground floor en-suite bedroom for those who might prefer to not climb a set of stairs to bed. This can either be made into a king or twin according to your needs providing flexibility.
The remaining three bedrooms are located upstairs on the first floor. Bedroom two is located at the front of the property, with large velux window. This wonderful room has a super-king zip/link bed with feature panel headboard and bedside table and decorative lamp. There is a freestanding hanging unit for your belongings, along with a full length mirror.
With views reaching out across the dunes with the lighthouse and pier in the distance. This light and inviting room features a king size bed, with bedside tables and stylish lamps.
Master Bedroom with Balcony
Located at the rear of the property, with French doors leading out onto the balcony with some of the best beach views in Southwold. Imagine waking up watching and listening to the sea! This ultra stylish and luxurious room features a super-king four poster bed, with artwork, throws and cushions offering calming tones. There is a dressing table with large circular mirror above and desk light. In the dressing area, between the en-suite and bedroom is a large full-length mirror and a large chest of drawers.
Southwold Sea Views
The master bedroom balcony offers space to sit back and unwind, either with a cup of tea in the morning watching the sunrise, or at the end of the day with a glass of wine. There are two relaxing chairs with table, or alternatively two breakfast chairs and table to enjoy as well.
Watching the Sunrise
As the group arrived in the dark, it was lovely to wake up on Saturday morning, and take in the beautiful views across the dunes towards the sea.
The sky was particularly impressive as the sun was rising, which quickly turned stormy, but who said you can’t make the most of the balcony in the rain – cue a giant umbrella!
We headed off in the morning for a long walk along the beach, stopping off for hot drink from Gun Hill Kiosk to help us warm up along the way.
Even on a cold and blustery day, Southwold remains as gorgeous as ever, with a sandy beach, colourful beach huts and pier.
You can do a perfect circular loop from The Dunes, up to the pier, across to the church, along the common and across the harbour, taking in the many sights (and food & beverage stops!).
Family Friendly Southwold Holiday Cottage
The sitting room is perfect to sit back and relax, with the ultimate stylish and cosy furnishings. The large Smart TV and variety of board games provide wonderful entertainment, especially on those colder winter days. On the Saturday it was very much a games afternoon, with things getting very competitive.
The sitting room is the perfect place for family and friends to congregate together, with lots of comfortable seating and bags of space. Watching the storm come in from sea was a magical sight!
Southwold Christmas Lights Switch-On
On the Saturday evening it was the annual Southwold Christmas light switch on. It’s a fabulous event, hosted by the famous man himself – Father Christmas. It was so lovely to see a wonderful turnout for the event, with Wrentham band beautifully providing the festive tunes, the butchers putting on a tasty BBQ, and a lot of independent shops providing mulled wine and other tasty treats. The lights as always looked fantastic, and certainly the perfect start to the festive season ahead!
A Long Soak in the Tub
After a brisk walk back to The Dunes, it was time to make the most of the gorgeous bath to warm up. A glass of wine was filled, bubble bath poured and a good book at hand – bliss. The Dunes really does offer everything needed to relax, and certainly feels ever so welcoming.
Dog Friendly Southwold Holiday Cottage
Whilst we didn’t have any four-legged friends in our party, The Dunes is ideal for anyone looking to holiday in Suffolk in pet friendly accommodation. With an enclosed garden and walks on the beach from the garden, it could not be more ideally suited to dog friendly holidays in Suffolk!
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Take the Foot Ferry to Walberswick.
You can choose to walk across Bailey’s footbridge or take the foot ferry over the River Blyth to Walberswick. There are plenty of extended walks on offer and yummy food at the many eateries on offer. Walberswick houses two award winning pubs, tea rooms and delis – you’re spoilt for choice! From the front of The Dunes you can see across to Walberswick.
…Eat in the Sole Bay Fish Restaurant.
Easily reached on foot from the Dunes you will find The Sole Bay Fish Company Restaurant. It’s a dog-friendly restaurant, take away and fishmonger! All the fish served is caught locally using their own boats.
…Go on a Southwold Lighthouse Tour.
Southwold Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1887 as a coastal mark for passing shipping and as a guide for vessels sailing into Southwold Harbour. Operated by Trinity House, Southwold Lighthouse is open on selected weekends. If you ascend the 37m high tower you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Southwold!
The Verdict: The Dunes
Hannah and her parties stay at The Dunes was to test everything in the property, ahead of it welcoming guests soon after. We are pleased to say it passed with flying colours! Prepare to feel completely and utterly relaxed and rested after your stay at The Dunes. From it’s luxurious furnishings, well equipped kitchen, stunning statement features including the neon light, incredibly comfortable beds and last but not least the views!
At The Dunes you feel that you are a million miles away from everyone, yet just a short walk from the bustling high street. Ideal for both families, friends and four legged friends, The Dunes really does cater for everyone’s needs.
We cannot wait to welcome Best of Suffolk guests here to make many happy memories. So why not get that well deserved break booked in?