Posts categorised as Site News

The Magic of Minsmere

11 December 2014
The scenic view at Minsmere

The scenic view at Minsmere

It is a common perception that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is just for the conservation of birds. The truth is that the RSPB also protects threatened wildlife and the goal is to have the towns, coast and countryside teeming with nature’s life.

At Minsmere, you can see the RSPB in action and at this specific site the RSPB specialises in protecting rare birds. One example of their success is that 30% of the UK’s breeding bitterns are found at Minsmere.

It’s a precise procedure, creating a natural environment. In the matter of the bitterns, special care is made to regulate water levels, keeping the reeds trimmed back so that the habitat will be more appealing to fish. Not only the bitterns benefit but so do the marsh harriers, otters, water voles, and bearded tits.

Cows keep the grass trimmed in the summer and in the spring it is mowed. Why? Because breeding lapwings need the grass short in the spring. The grass also needs to be damp for breeding waders and in the winter, wildfowl need some of the grassy areas flooded.

The Magic of Minsmere is a special walk where you can see some of the more than 5300 recorded species, history in action, and archaeological delights. This is a 3-hour walk, beginning at 10am on Tuesdays from now until January 27, 2015 and alternately on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 9:30am until February 28, 2015.

This time of the year rafts of ducks, typically teals and widgeons, gather on the Scrape and grazing marshes. However, there are also Bewick’s swans, smews and goldeneyes. On any given day there are hundreds of ducks in their finest plumage.

You don’t have to come only on Tuesdays or the weekend for the walk. Come anytime and see nature being restored and new life emerging. Start at the visitor centre, visit the café which offers the best of Suffolk food, walk along one of the nature trails that meander through the woodland, heathland and reedbeds.

There are hides where you can quietly watch the birdlife around you. Stroll to the beach area. It’s a way to return to a peaceful natural world as if you were time travelling into a bygone era.

You can get to Minsmere by bicycle from the railway stations at Darsham and Saxmundham. Avoid the B-roads if possible. Take the roadside cyclepath along the A12 from Darsham station to the turn for Darsham village and follow the lanes through Westleton.

From the Saxmundham station, go toward Eastbridge and follow the metalled road across the Minsmere river to the right turn to Scott’s Hall Farm. (Here’s a hint: Scott’s Hall Farm isn’t on the map so if you need a map, use Ordnance Survey Explorer maps 212 and 231.)

Of course, you can also take a bus and a demand-responsive bus will take you from the Leiston bus station from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday. Book a day ahead for the demand-responsive bus.

Or you can simply drive to Minsmere. From Broadland Sands Holiday Park take the A12 south and follow the signs to Westleton where you take the Dunwich road and then the first right. Go left at the crossroads, follow the reserve entrance track to Scotts Hall. The car park is another kilometre further along..

This time of the year the visitor centre and shop are open daily 9 am-4 pm and the café is open 10 am-3.30 pm from November-January. The car park, hides and countryside walks are open daily from dawn to dusk except for December 25 and 26.

Award Winning Snape Maltings

14 November 2014

There used to be a malting operation in Snape. Snape Maltings as it was called since it opened in 1846 was a huge industrial complex covering seven acres. It ran for nearly 120 years, malting barley. In 1965, George Gooderham bought the Maltings and began the process of turning this once successful granary into a modern complex of a completely different variety.

First there was the Concert Hall. Then there was the Craft Shop which opened in 1971. Nearly a half century later, the Gooderhams continue to run the family business, still known as Snape Maltings. But it is no longer an old granaries business. It is close to being a magical destination on the Suffolk Heritage Coast and well worth a visit when staying at Broadland Sands.

As well as the shops and the Concert Hall, there are holiday apartments and award winning homes. The Maltings is open daily from 10am to 5.00pm from November 3 until March 30. The rest of the year it is open until 5:30pm.

This is not merely a shopping adventure. The Concert Hall which is operated by Aldeburgh Music offers music programmes year round. The Quay Gallery on the River Alde allows independent exhibitors and crafts people to display their arts and crafts. There are exhibitions and workshops all year long.

shutterstock_99293786If you prefer to simply bask in the bucolic beauty of the area, the estuary of the River Alde is rich with wildlife and birdlife. It’s a paradise for bird watchers. There are several walks orchestrated in the area including the two-mile return Snape Warren walk along the river and the twelve-mile return Sailors Path walk from the Maltings to Aldeburgh.

There are also river trips that run from late spring to early autumn. Three quarters of an hour long, the river trip takes you from Snape towards Iken and back again along the River Alde.

Then there is the food. The Food Hall offers some amazing tasting experiences that vary from month to month. Upcoming in December is the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival Christmas market. More than four dozen food and drink stalls will be at Snape Maltings on December 20. It’s free to attend and there will be lots of free samples.

Any day of the year, you can have a snack at Cafe 1885, the Granary Tea Shop, or the Plough and Sail Pub. The first Saturday of every month, there is a Farmers Market with local food and drink from Suffolk folk who bring their best seasonal fruit, salads and vegetables to market.

Take a peek at the frequent suppliers at this market: Apple Butter Company from Brundish, B Chocolates from Snape, High House Fruit Farm from Sudbourne, Kenton Hall Longhorn Beef, Norfolk Grain Brewery from Harleston…well the list is very long and these are a tiny sampling of what you will find at the Farmers Market.

Make a day of visiting Snape Maltings or make a holiday of it. Let the history and the attractiveness of the place wash over you. Experience some of the great tastes of Suffolk. Enjoy the arts and crafts of the area. Explore your own creativity.

New Letting Caravans for 2015!

16 September 2014

First of the new caravans has been delivered for the letting fleet.

Be the first to enjoy these fabulous home from home holiday homes!

Book now for 2015!! You won’t be disappointed!!

Call 01278 792 222 or click here to visit our main site!

The Broadland Sands Club – October Entertainment

11 September 2014

Up coming entertainment in the Broadland Sands Club…ENJOY!

Sat 4th

Female Duo

Sat 11th

Male Vocalist

Sat 18th

4 Piece Band – Blues, Rock & Roll, Swing and Soul

Sat 25th

Male and Female Duo

Wed 29th

Male Vocalist

Fri 31st

Glow in the Dark Puppet Show

Sat 1st Nov

Halloween Party Night

For further information on Broadland Sands please call us on 01278 792 222 or visit our website!

A great family day out at Pleasurewood Hills …

18 June 2014

Enjoy-Suffolk_Rollercoaster-imageFor an exciting and entertaining family day out you don’t have to travel far from Broadland Sands Holiday Park. Pleasurewood Hills theme park is less than a 10 minute drive from the Broadland Sands site and offers a variety of exciting thrill, family and kids rides as well as live entertainment.

Pleasurewood Hills is situated between Corton and Gunton, near Lowestoft, covering an area of 59 acres. The park is over 30 years old and is home to the region’s largest roller coaster, Wipeout. Not for the faint hearted, this ride takes you backwards, upside down and whisks you around at a top speed of 50 mph!

In addition to other thrill rides such as The Jolly Roger and Timber Falls, the park is also host to family favorites such as Chairlifts and Wave Breaker and rides such as Woody Copter and Mini Twister are always popular with the much younger members of the family.

As well as the fun of the fair, the park also features other exciting attractions such as live entertainment. Due to arrive for July and August (2014), the park is excited to welcome The Acapulco High Dive show. Diving from a 25m high platform into a 2.8m deep pool, this team of world champion divers will take your breath away with their dare devils stunts.

Other much loved regular offerings include the Sea Lion Show and the Parrot Show. Both displays have long been extremely popular with visitors to the park and are guaranteed to make you laugh!

Half way through your day, be sure to stop for a lunch break! Whether you are looking for traditional fish and chips at the The Flying Fish or a pint and a takeaway pizza at The Merry Mariner, the park’s eating establishments cater for everybody.

Don’t leave the park without treating yourself or the kids to some goodies! The Emporium offers a wide range of confectionary as well as soft toys (you can buy your very own Woody Bear toy – the park’s mascot) and Woody’s Candy Cabin stocks everything from lollipops to chocolate!

NB: The park opens Friday-Sunday inclusive only during June and then changes to 7 days per week opening from 1st July onwards.* To check opening hours, current prices etc check the Pleasurewood Hills website for more information.

*As of 2014.