Wednesday January 19th 2022


November 24th, 2010 by
Categories: Suffolk Towns A-Z

All is not what it seems in Thorpeness! This quaint and pretty little seaside village has an interesting history. Originally a small fishing and smuggling hamlet, situated just up the coast from Aldeburgh.
The Meare, Thorpeness
The Mill, ThorpenessIn the mid 1800’s a Scottish couple by the name of Ogilvie relocated to the area. They bought an estate which started at Dunwich in the north and ran down the coast to Thorpeness. It was their son Glencairn who changed the area and made Thropeness what it is today.

Glen had a vision of making Thorpeness a holiday village for the upper middle-classes of the early 1900s. Holiday homes were built and a 64-acre lake “The Meare” was dug. The lake was themed around J. M Barrie’s children’s story Peter Pan (Barrie was in fact a family friend). On the lake are numerous islands, Crocodile Island, Peter Pan’s Island and The Fort. Children are as captivated by the place today as they were in the early 1900’s.

House in the Clouds, ThorpenessOne of the most famous sights to be seen in Thorpeness is “The House in the Clouds”. This is actually a watertower which has been cleverly disguised. Nearby you will also find the mill which was also used to pump water for the village.

Glen Ogilvie sadly never saw the completition of his dream and although his family continued his work, eventually parts of the estate were sold off. Later buildings in the area did however continue in the same style, thus maintaining the very unique look of the village.

A full and detailed history of Thorpeness can be bought at the Meare side shop.

The Golf Club has a challenging 18-hole links course and after your game there is the Dolphin Pub which has a garden and offers great food.

Where to stay::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Westdene, Thorpeness
“Our family has been holidaying at ‘Westdene’ for three generations and it just gets better every year!

Whatever time you choose to visit this unique part of Suffolk, there is a never ending list of things to do.”

For families there’s the huge garden and all the attractions of Thorpeness are within walking distance; the Meare, where you can hire boats and explore the many islands, the Windmill, House in the Clouds, tennis courts at the Country Club and of course the beach.

Westdene is situated up an unmade, private roadway. It has light and spacious accommodation for 8 people with all mod-cons.

Ground floor: living/dining room with open fire, kitchen, utility room, fitted kitchen, twin bedroom, double bedroom, wc, bathroom with bath, wc and shower. First floor: Twin bedroom, double bedroom, new bathroom with shower and wc. Outside: Enclosed, south-facing garden with patio area and BBQ. There is ample parking at the front of the house.

4 Westgate, Thorpeness, Suffolk IP16 4NE. Tel: 0208 287 9258
Website E-mail

Previous Topic:
Next Topic:

More Stories

Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds

Behind the faces of the many Georgian looking buildings in Bury St Edmunds are houses of the 17th Century and earlier. [Read More]

Wickham Market

Wickham Market is situated to the north-east of Ipswich. Take the A12 from Ipswich for 15 miles, signposted at the end [Read More]


Village situated on the A12 south of Lowestoft and 20 or so miles north of Ipswich. Comprising of some charming houses, [Read More]


Situated on the Deben Estuary. Once an important shipbuilding town Woodbridge centre retains it’s old worlde [Read More]


Today it is hard to imagine that Walberswick until the start of World War I was a thriving port trading in corn, bacon, [Read More]