Saxmundham via Woodbridge
Much of this remarkable coast had been off limit for daily commuters because there were so few direct services, but accessibility has improved with the addition of more through trains. Beyond Saxmundham the line continues to Lowestoft.
Those who can’t afford Woodbridge (see Ipswich) might consider Little and Great Bealings, or Grundisburgh (pronounced Grundsbra), which is cheaper and popular with families because it has a good primary school. A three-bedroom house overlooking the green in Grundisburgh can be bought for £250,000. Ufford is very pretty and unspoilt, and Wickham Market is also an unpretentious little town with a market square fringed with white-fronted Georgian houses. A three-bedroom cottage here would cost around £170,000. The station is a mile out of town.
Or you could journey on to Saxmundham and head for Aldeburgh, now hugely fashionable with North Londoners who keep weekend homes here. Most people find it enchanting (fresh fish to be bought off the boats on the beach every morning) and many like to retire here. Prices vary from £300,000 for a three-bedroom cottage in the town centre to £395,000 for a four-bedroom detached house near the beach. The internationally renowned music festival is held down the road at Snape, where long-held plans are being implemented now for Benjamin Britten’s and Peter Pears’s vision to create an entire campus for musicians, with new housing on site which is already coming on stream. Or there are four- and five-bedroom detached houses in the Edwardian seaside model village of Thorpeness that sell for £450,000 to £650,000.
Beyond the eerie sight of the now decommissioned Sizewell power station you come to the villages of Westleton and Middleton. These are hugely popular with escapees from the City who want to don Barbours, wellies and tweed hats and visit those wonderful vanishing cliffs at Dunwich (National Trust) or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve at Minsmere. Westleton has a village green and duck pond to go with its Suffolk thatch, colour wash and wattle-and-daub cottages. You could get a three-bedroom detached bungalow with quarter of an acre of land for £265,000. Yoxford is worth thinking about too. Peasenhall is pretty, and Framlingham provides the nearest classic country town, with a market square and old castle at its heart, and a good independent school, Framlingham College. Though it is rather too far for commuters.