TourSuffolk

Thorpeness

Often described as the weirdest village in England !!

An Introduction to Thorpeness in Suffolk

House in the Clouds
Thorpeness Golf Course
Thorpeness Meare
Meare Boats
Holiday Home

In the late 19th century, Thorpeness was nothing more than a small fishing hamlet - but that was before a wealthy Scotsman called Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie came along. After buying the village and its surrounding land, he set about transforming the place into a strange fantasy world, where he could holiday with his family and friends. The first step was to erect lots of new buildings, from small houses to to a large library. Everything was done in mock Tudor and Jacobean styles. The structures might be several centuries too late, but what they lack in authenticity, they make up for in attractiveness.

What the Ogilvie family created has often been described as "the weirdest village in England", and you can see why. Still, for the 400 permanent residents, Thorpeness is home. Some of the families that live here are descendents of the craftsmen who helped build it in the first place. The Ogilvie family have sold a lot of the land, but they're still regular visitors here. During the summer, when the population swells by four or five times, they get to show off the product of their ancestors' strange imagination.

You can walk your dog along the track from the golf hotel to the village centre past the House in the Clouds. Alternatively dog walks include the beach and the sand dunes south towards Aldeburgh.
Children love messing about in boats on the Meare, where all kinds of boats can be hired.

Thorpeness Street Map

Thorpeness Map


Thorpeness Guided Picture Tour


We start our tour of Thorpeness at the Meare or Thorpeness' lake. Visitors can rent boats, and drift across the surface. It's only one metre deep, so it's calm and safe. Some of the rental craft have been here since the lake's opening day. They're named after the tireless workers that built it in the first place, as a tribute to their achievement. A building at the head of the lake, houses a shop selling refreshments and gifts.
Thorpeness Meare
Rowing boats moored at the edge of Thorpeness Meare
Meare Lake
The office/shop at the head of the Meare
Meare Boats
Messing about in boats on the Meare

Scattered across the Meare are various landing bays, coves and islands. The names of most locations reference the stories of Peter Pan. Their creator, the author J. M. Barrie, was a personal friend of the Ogilvie family. Some of the islands even have recreated versions of places in Neverland, where children are encouraged to play. There's the pirates' lair, Wendy's house and Captain Hook's castle. You might also spot an alligator lurking near the shore. Don't worry, this is another reference to Peter Pan - it's not real!

When Thorpeness was built by Ogilvie, the only eyesore was the water tower. He decided to hide this ugly construction by turning it into a house. It looks like a normal home - except it's six storeys up in the air. The building's known as the House in the Clouds, and it's the biggest symbol of Thorpeness' persistent strangeness. Back when the House in the Clouds was a water tower, its water was pumped upwards by Thorpeness Windmill. It's still standing, just next door, and during the summer months it's open to the public for a few hours a day. Its white wooden walls make it the second most eye-catching structure in the village.
House in the Clouds
The House in the Clouds
Thorpeness Windmill
Thorpeness Windmill
House in the Clouds
The House in the Clouds
Thorpeness Windmill
Thorpeness Windmill

Many of the buildings in Thorpeness village are in a mock Tudor style and range in size from grand structures to small holiday cottages. Scattered among the buildings are a village pub, a shop, a country club and a restaurant/cafe.
Thorpeness Buildings
Grand buildings in the centre of Thorpeness
Almshouses
Almshouses
Brasserie Emporium
Brasserie Emporium, a restaurant/cafe and craft shop
The Dolphin Pub
The Dolphin Pub
Holiday Home
One of the many grand holiday homes in Thorpeness

Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club is situated in the heart of the village, adjacent to the Meare. The hotel has 36 bedrooms and is surrounded by a 18 hole James Braid golf course established in 1922. The hotel also has a fabulous garden overlooking the Meare.
Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club
Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club
Thorpeness Golf Course
On the Golf Course
Hotel Gardens
The gardens at the hotel


GUIDED TOUR INDEX

VILLAGE SIGN

Thorpeness Village Sign

SUFFOLK PICTURE TOURS

MAPS TO DOWNLOAD

Suffolk Map
Thorpeness Map
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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

My Day Out

WHERE TO STAY

Thorpeness Hotels

SUFFOLK HOLIDAYS

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