The little Suffolk town of Leiston is just a few miles inland from two of Suffolk’s great coastal landmarks. This is a small family-friendly town with good local amenities, in an area with a great quality of life. The ever-popular beach and seaside resort at Aldeburgh and the UK’s ground-breaking nuclear power station at Sizewell have very different claims to fame on the map here. These contrasting places are both important to the local economy, both bring in visitors and employment to the area and are part and parcel of life in this part of the county.
The A12 is the principal road route through Suffolk, from its starting point at Brentwood and the M25 in Essex all the way to Lowestoft via Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich. The B119 from Leiston connects with the A12 at Saxmundham, 5 miles away. Public transport in rural Suffolk is all about making connections. Local bus services connect you with Saxmundham, Halesworth and Aldeburgh, and direct train services from Saxmundham station connect with Lowestoft and Ipswich for onward journeys to London Liverpool Street and Norwich.
Leiston has a range of local shops for the essentials. Saxmundham has a wider choice, including a Waitrose, a Tesco Superstore and a great indoor Farmers’ Market every Friday. Aldeburgh is a good option for boutiques and gift shops as well as cafés, pubs and restaurants. Leiston Leisure Centre has activities for all the family with a swimming pool, sports hall, gym, squash courts, an indoor climbing wall and indoor bowls. For rainy days, the much-loved Leiston Film Theatre is Suffolk’s oldest surviving cinema. Today it’s right up to date with a great programme of films and theatre.
Leiston Primary and the Alde Valley Academy Secondary School look after the town’s school-age children. You may be interested in a different option; Summerhill, which showcases a very different approach to education, is based in the town.
Out and about
The Suffolk coast speaks for itsel, with the lovely coastal towns of Southwold and Thorpeness giving Aldeburgh a run for its money. You’ll be close to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - it really is beautiful and unspoilt. RSPB Minsmere is to the north, and if you head south, a day out at the Snape Maltings and at historic Orford with its castle and the Orford Ness Nature Reserve are a must. A bit further afield, Woodbridge, on the River Deben, is a wonderful market town just outside Ipswich.