12 charming riverside pubs in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 13:48 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:10 25 April 2018
Suffolk is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful waterways - the River Waveney, the River Deben and the River Stour all offer stunning scenery that captures the heart of locals and visitors alike. There is nothing better than enjoying dinner and a drink by the water, so here are some of the county’s prettiest riverside pubs…
1. The Maybush, Waldringfield
Perched on the banks of the River Deben, The Maybush Inn offers its visitors panoramic views of the stunning surrounding area. You can enjoy the pub’s renowned food from the expansive outdoor patio, where you’ll look out to the river and watch the world go by. The menu makes the most of local food sources, offering seasonal game dishes and all the pub favourites – you can sample a taste of the region through the Adnams beer battered fish and chips, or try the Suffolk pork and apple burger. This pub is a hotspot for walkers, birdwatchers and fishermen, where you can watch the local wildlife complete with a pint in hand. The Maybush is conveniently located close to the town of Woodbridge, and has access to the spectacular nearby beach, perfect for a leisurely stroll after lunch.
2. The Ramsholt Arms, Ramsholt
Further downstream along the River Deben you’ll find The Ramsholt Arms. Being the only south-facing pub on the river, it is the ideal location for spending a summery evening as you watch the beautiful sunset. The pub boasts a sun-soaked terrace where guests are served an American-style BBQ during the summer months, as well as freshly caught seafood sourced from the local area. The dessert menu is also enough to get stomachs rumbling, with the rum and white chocolate bread and butter pudding being far too good to resist! Sit on the terrace by the banks of the river and even go crab-fishing on the nearby jetty, the perfect activity for little aspiring fishermen.
3. The Henny Swan, Henny
Nestled in the tiny village of Henny, and situated just 2 miles from Sudbury is The Henny Swan. Having chosen from the pub’s extensive range of draft beers, you can enjoy a pint in the spectacular surroundings of the River Stour. You won’t be short of places to sit in the spacious gardens, the ideal spot for kicking back and relaxing on a summer’s day. Unique to this pub is its Inka Oven which is an enclosed BBQ where many of the meats on the menu are cooked, giving them their delicious smoky flavour. Try the Inka cooked rump steak, or the rib of beef which is perfect for sharing. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hire canoes and go on an after-lunch paddle up the River Stour.
4. Judes Ferry, Bury St Edmunds
Situated on the banks of the idyllic River Lark, Judes Ferry is a must visit this summer. Its glorious gardens reach right down to the water, with ample places to sit amongst the beautiful flowers. You’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views out to the river in an atmosphere where you can’t help but relax and unwind. Although the menu features all the traditional pub favourites it also has an Austrian twist with a special schnitzel menu, making it that little bit different. On Sundays you can sample the Carvery complete with all the trimmings, and when the weather isn’t quite so sunny you can curl up in the cosy interior next to the log burning fire.
5. The Shipwreck, Harwich Harbour
The location of the Shipwreck Bar and Restaurant will be pretty hard to beat: perched on the end of the Shotley Peninsula where the River Stour meets the River Orwell, you’ll be met with stunning views out to Felixstowe and Harwich. Sit out by the waterside with a pint of the locally brewed Adnams beer, where the expansive green space makes the most of the vista that surrounds you. The renowned weekly specials often feature locally caught seafood, as well as a good selection of vegetarian options on the menu. The Shipwreck acts as the bustling hub of the peninsula where you can watch the comings and goings of the container ships from the Port of Felixstowe, before staying overnight in the luxurious accommodation offered by the Shipwreck Loft.
6. Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe
Down the coastline you’ll find the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry, nestled within which is the hidden gem, the Ferry Boat Inn. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the mouth of the River Deben, this little pub can be reached by either a bracing coastal walk or by meandering through the local golf course. A burning log stove and beautiful beer gardens will await you, where you can sit and take in your waterside environment. On the menu there is a fantastic selection of meat and fish, all of which have been locally sourced – for vegetarians and vegans, there are also a number of good options. A trip here is like stepping back in time, since this pub was originally built in the 15th century as a home for the Ferry Master before moving on to become a hostelry for travellers and fishermen.
7. The Anchor Inn, Nayland
Set in the beautiful village of Nayland, The Anchor Inn is a piece of history having served the Dedham Vale for over 500 years. The spacious gardens resting on the bank of the River Stour provide fantastic al-fresco dining in the summer months, but the open fires inside make this pub a favourite all year round. With its own smoke-house, The Anchor Inn is proud to be able to offer home-smoked specialities. Although the curing process can take months the end results make it well worth it, such as the Anchor Burger complete with smoked bacon and smoked cheese. There is also a menu especially for your little sailors, making this a great spot for families.
8. The Wilford Bridge, Melton
With dogs welcome too, bring the whole family along to the Wilford Bridge, situated at the head of the River Deben and conveniently in the proximity of the town of Woodbridge. The idyllic surroundings of this rural pub are perfect for after-lunch strolls by the river, with the world famous Sutton Hoo being just a short distance away. They are renowned for their superb Sunday roasts, but the menu also offers a wide selection of seafood such as the monkfish and salmon kebabs. Thanks to its location close by to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area you will be spoilt with stunning views out over the water, the perfect setting for enjoying a glass of wine on a summer’s evening.
9. The Waveney Inn, Burgh St Peter
Forming part of the Waveney River Centre and resting on the scenic Norfolk Broads, the Waveney Inn is an ideal location for dining al-fresco. Among their most popular dishes are their fantastic home-made burgers, as well as their Pepperell steaks provided by the local butcher. The interior is quirkily furnished with the work of artist Mark Ward, and if you fancy staying the night you’ll be very well-catered for in one of the sumptuous boutique rooms. You’d be following in the footsteps of the wherrymen who used to stop off here when it first opened in 1879, where the pub was at the site of an important ferry crossing.
10. The Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill
Although just ten minutes away from Ipswich, you’ll feel a world away at the Butt and Oyster. It is positioned on the picturesque banks of the River Orwell with the large patio area forming the pub’s focal point, acting as the perfect spot for taking in the surrounding views. The sunsets alone make the trip to this pub well worth your while. It has a rustic character inside and the bar is filled with kegs of ale meaning that it retains a traditional feel. The superfood salads on the menu are a fantastic option for a hot summer’s day, as well as classics like gammon steaks, all of which can be enjoyed outside as you look out over the stunning waters.
11. Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham
Well-known for its fantastic food, the Tuddenham Mill will provide you with a wonderful summer dining experience. The mill itself is an enduring Suffolk landmark, with a mill recorded on this site for over 1000 years. The Tuddenham Mill stream meanders through the grounds of this lovely hotel and restaurant, and even today continues to provide power to the water wheel. You can settle down in the peaceful gardens as you listen to the ripple of the stream, whilst sampling some of the amazing menu which includes dishes such as malt glazed guinea fowl. If you can’t bear to leave behind this site of tranquillity, stay overnight in one of the ‘nook’ rooms which make the most of their beautiful surroundings.
12. The Wherry Inn, Geldeston
For a traditional country pub in a pretty rural village, look no further than the Wherry Inn at Geldeston. With the River Waveney flowing nearby, find a spot in the beautiful courtyard and patio areas where you can try one of the pub’s famous sharing platters or burgers. The Rowan Craft Marina is just a two minute walk away – here you can hire a boat for the day and explore the waterways, or potter along to the nearby market town of Beccles. Alternatively, you could embark on the four and half mile walking route which makes the most of the rural area that you are surrounded by. On your return sample the pub’s afternoon tea menu, complete with fantastic cakes and of course scones with cream and jam.