Road Trips With Avis: East Anglia
East Anglia - Eastern promise
Discover an under-visited part of England with an Avis carThe flat lands of East Anglia pave the way for open landscapes reminiscent of African savannas. It all starts just an hour's drive from London ...
Test drive this two-day road trip for the best of East Anglia
Pick up your hire car from Avis Ipswich and head south on the A12 road for lunch at Dedham, tucked away in a miniature valley – Le Talbooth restaurant or Milsoms? Hard though it is to believe, you're only an hour from London.
Head for Ramsholt and another lovely pub, the Ramsholt Arms, before taking the winding B1084 through Butley to Orford for a night's kip in the Crown and Castle. After breakfast, drive to the pebbled beaches of Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. After fisherman's Walberswick and beachside Southwold, the spectacular A1120 should keep you smiling all the way back to the airport at Avis car hire Stansted to drop-off your Avis rental car.
High points en routeFlatford Mill – Heart of Constable country
Even if you've never heard of this mill near East Bergholt, you've probably seen it in John Constable's famous paintings, including The Hay Wain. Take a National Trust guided walk to discover the hidden secrets of this famous site.
The Ramsholt Arms, Woodbridge – Beer sipping and boat spotting
As well as serving lip-smackingly delicious fish and chips, the The Ramsholt Arms is located right next to the River Deben. This is no babbling brook, though: dozens of sailing boats bob about on a huge expanse of grey-green water under a massive sky.
Butley Orford Oysterage – Old school seafood
This tribute to the English tea shop is slap bang in the village's central square. Sit back on the old wooden chairs of the Butley Orford Oysterage while enjoying smoked eel on toast, washed down with a cup of Rosie Lee tea.
Aldeburgh – Life's a beach
Life in Aldeburgh has changed very little for centuries. You'll still find sailing boats dotted along the river at one end of town and working boats scattered about the beach at the other, much as it would have been in the late 1800s. Take a walk along the Victorian seafront and window-shop along the High Street.
Southwold – Lighthouse fantastic
The seafront here is awash with colour, courtesy of the beach huts lined up like brightly wrapped toffees in an old-fashioned sweet shop. Further back from the beach, Southwold's streets are lined with old curiosity shops and great pubs (try the Sole Bay Inn) serving local beer made just round the corner at the Adnams brewery. But remember not to drink if you are driving.
Free time on your hands? Take your pick from the following gems1. Snetterton – Get on track
It's not often you get to put your foot down properly, and Snetterton Race Circuit is one of the fastest tracks in the country so park up your rental car and book yourself a track day. By the time you've accelerated out of the first corner and along the back straight, your face will be fixed in a cheesy grin that will last all day.
2. Saffron Walden – History today
Audley End House, near Saffron Walden, is a magnificent stately home dating back to the early 17th century. Take an afternoon to wander round the lake and Victorian gardens, or come for one of the annual highlights, like the falconry displays and exhibitions of classic cars in the summer.
3. Snape Maltings – Bargain hunting
This collection of old granaries and malt-houses tucked away next to the River Alde is the perfect place to hunt for antiques. Head to the Antiques & Collectors' Centre, where you’ll find over 40 dealers, to rummage round for a bargain. Then take a walk along the river to Iken Church, which dates back to the 7th century.
4. The Cricketers¸ Clavering – Pukka tucker
Sixteenth-century pub The Cricketers is run by the parents of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. As a nipper he gained his appetite for cooking while peeling potatoes in the kitchen. Book yourself into one of the nine rooms in the Pavilion down the road, with a four-poster bed and ancient oak furniture, then nip back to the pub’s restaurant for a slap-up meal.
5. Whipsnade – All creatures great and small
Bald eagles, African lions and Aruban rattlesnakes are just some of the weird and wonderful creatures at Whipsnade Zoo. Set in 600 acres of parkland, there are over 2500 animals from all over the globe to see, many of them wandering around in huge paddocks that you can drive through.