The Station Guest House at Woodbridge – https://woodbridgestationguesthouse.co.uk – is an excellent example of practical reuse of a potentially redundant station building. The station itself continues to operate as the first stop out of Ipswich on the line to Lowestoft and the building houses a high-quality café, the three-bedroom guest house, a florist’s shop and a taxi office.
The station was built for the former East Suffolk Railway and opened in 1859. A footbridge provides access both to the Ipswich-bound platform and also to the banks of the nearby River Deben.
I had a comfortable family room with a double bed and a single bed, with an en-suite which allowed me to watch people walking over the footbridge without them seeing me at my ablutions. It’s a corner room, so from one window I could watch the trains arrive and depart over the level crossings and from the other I could watch the boats riding the tide on the river.
Breakfast is served promptly at 9.00am at a reserved table in the café and the service is admirable. The only minor downside is that car-parking is £3.00 a day maximum and you have to feed the meter before the guy with the hi-vis jacket books you. The notice by the machine warns that photographs may be taken, which I read as a threat.
There’s really no reason to bring a car to stay at the Station Guest House. There’s a perfectly good train service that links with London and East Coast services via Ipswich.
Carla, the delightful lady who welcomed me to the Station Guest House , reeled off a list of places to have dinner as the café closes at 3.00pm. For most of my stay, however, I happily picnicked each night with more than enough tea and coffee and the sound of the trains through the open window.
Woodbridge itself is an attractive town. Beside the river is the Woodbridge Tide Mill, one of two remaining tidal watermills that are restored to working order and producing wholemeal flour for sale [https://woodbridgetidemill.org.uk] and on the opposite bank is the National Trust Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre [https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo], marking the site of the enormously significant Anglo-Saxon ship burial, excavated in 1939.