Here at Suffolk Secrets we love working and living in this beautiful county. We are not just telephone operators in a faceless call centre, we are all local folk with an enthusiasm for the abundance of things to see and do in our home county.
We work incredibly hard to find you the right Suffolk cottage to suit your needs. Because each of our self-catering cottages in has been personally inspected us, when you call us you will be able to talk to someone who has seen the property and can answer all your questions. If we can't answer it straight away, we'll know someone that can.
It's really important to us to provide a quality service and we are always happy to hear from our visitors with ideas or ways to improve our holiday cottage service.
Each member of staff has written a short piece about their favourite place in Suffolk, to give you some idea of some places to go or stay. Feel free to call us anytime and ask for recommendations on things to see and do in the area. We are always glad to help.
George Bradley, General Manager
I was born in Bury St Edmunds and now live in the coastal town of Aldeburgh and feel very lucky to have spent most of my life in Suffolk. My wife, our son Henry and I enjoy taking walks along the coastal path to Thorpeness and back again taking in the stunning scenery. Suffolk is blessed with many local food producers and the independent food offering is a real strength, I love spending the weekends mooching around farm shops, farmers markets and visiting great pubs in order to try something new.
Ann Dobson, Operations Manager
I moved to Suffolk over 25 years ago and I might be biased but I think it is the best place in the country! I have loads of favourite places, including Beccles, where I live, which is just a 20-minute drive from Southwold. It offers a good range of shops and eating places, along with a Saturday Farmers Market. The part of Beccles that makes it so special for me though is the River Waveney, on the Southern Broads network. All year round there are marked walks along the river bank to enjoy, and in the summer Beccles Quay is the perfect place to sit and eat an ice cream whilst watching the boating activity.
My job involves managing the operations team in our three offices who deal with bookings, customer and owner enquiries and also Suffolk Cottage Care, our new managed services arm of the business. I love the variety that this offers with no two days ever the same!
Angie Brown, Property Recruitment Manager
There is always demand for good quality holiday accommodation in Suffolk and part of my role involves meeting property owners to discuss how Suffolk Secrets can offer a complete marketing and booking service for a property and how we can do everything we can to make holiday home ownership hassle-free. One of my favourite areas to visit is The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which encompasses historic towns and villages and a rich natural habitat that is a haven for a variety of birds, plant species, wildlife and insects. This area also incorporates a beautiful walk from Snape to Aldeburgh called the Sailors Path. I am proud to be part of an organisation that has contributed to the upgrade of this pathway, through funds kindly donated by our customers.
Lorraine White, Special Projects and Housekeeping, Southwold
I feel very privileged to live and work in such a fantastic county, which I think is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the country. I am lucky to live in Wrentham (just four miles from Southwold), which is close to the lovely beach at Covehithe where many Sundays are spent with the family.
I love walking through the coast and heaths areas at Dunwich and Minsmere. I also enjoy playing golf at Halesworth and although I’m not very good, I relish the challenge!
I have been based at The Old Water Tower in Southwold for over seven years and love my dual role within the company. My main role is looking after our owners and housekeepers in the Southwold area. Lorraine Bolton has taken over the role of managing housekeepers in the Woodbridge area and Ruth Chestney now manages housekeeping in the Aldeburgh area. My second role within the company is Special Projects throughout Suffolk, acting as ‘House Doctor’ to those owners who require advice or support to improve their properties, before or after their VisitEngland Grading.
Tracy Walker, Maintenance Assistant
Southwold born and bred, I could not wish for a better place to be working. Having grown up in the town I am able to navigate my way around with ease, and around alot of corners lay fond memories of my childhood. The furthest I have ever lived away from the town is 8 miles. I love Suffolk as a county and could not imagine living anywhere else. I am particularly drawn to the coastal stretch with the mesmerising North Sea, but there are also some beautiful places further inland that I hold close to my heart. Framlingham Castle is a wonderful day out, as is Stonham Barns with their collection of owls and a beautiful Woodland Walk.
John Bethall, Maintenance
I am one of the lucky few that was born in the Aldeburgh area, and have never had reason to move away. I get to enjoy every day what our visitors pay to come and see. I work as part of the maintenance team and head out to the properties to help fix any problems that arise. Travelling as far North as Oulton Broad, as far South as Felixstowe, and most of the towns and villages in between, I never know from one day to the next where I may end up eating my sandwiches! My job is very varied, but that’s what I like about it, along with meeting the customers and owners and helping them in their hour of need. On my days off I like a trip to Felixstowe for a nice spot of lunch, followed by a wander along the front.
Russell Fairs, Maintenance
Having lived in Suffolk all my life I am delighted to now be working in and around Southwold where I grew up. In my maintenance role for Suffolk Secrets I am lucky enough to be able to travel around Suffolk and enjoy the countryside every day whilst visiting our properties. I have fond memories of my childhood in Southwold and particularly enjoy returning to the beach in my spare time. I also enjoy spending time in Beccles close to where I now live which has a great selection of shops, places to eat and a lovely walk along the river Waveney.
Rebecca Snailham, Reservations and Maintenance Assistant
After 7 years of employment with Suffolk Secrets I am now part of the Maintenance and Suffolk Cottage Care Team including Reservations. Back in 2009 when I started with the family company I was enlisted as a housekeeping assistant and moved on to be the photographer. Photographing properties was very interesting and after three years of doing that an image of mine made it to the front cover of the Suffolk Secrets brochure so I felt that was a high point to finish on. I am now involved with organising tradesman to attend to issue or quotes that come my way and I thoroughly enjoy the variety. My ties to Suffolk Secrets in Southwold have also allowed me to become a permanent resident to area for which I am most grateful.
Sally Owen, Brand Marketing Manager
Having grown up in Oulton Broad I have very fond memories of Nicholas Everitt Park and the golden sands of Lowestoft beach. After completing my qualifications in Hospitality Management, I moved to Surrey, where I worked in the golf industry for 15 enjoyable years. I met my husband Andy there and we now have a young son. The salty margins of Suffolk drew us back in Summer 2015 and we now live in Beccles, a beautiful market town on the River Waveney, just a short drive from a choice of beautiful beaches, perfect for bucket and spade days, splashing about in our kayak or long walks with the dog. My role at Suffolk Secrets is to manage all of our marketing activity and develop the brand to ensure that all who know us, know us for all the right reasons. I’m thrilled to be working for such a lovely company where people, both customers and staff are so highly valued. The team here are genuinely a pleasure to be with, and I will never tire of the stunning view from my office window!
Ruth Chestney, Reservations and Housekeeping Assistant
I am based at the office in Aldeburgh High Street – a busy place with people calling in for brochures, customers calling in to collect keys and to make further bookings and owners checking on their properties. My job is to take bookings and to assist with housekeeping to ensure the properties are prepared to the standard expected by our customers. One of my favourite places is Thorpeness. Even a few hours there can feel like a holiday. The walk from Aldeburgh to Thorpeness is wonderful whatever the weather and a visit to the tea shop by the Meare is a must.
Oliver Mummery, Property Recruiter
I joined at the beginning of 2013 and am the Property Recruiter for Aldeburgh and Woodbridge. I have worked in the property market so have excellent experience to help grow the Suffolk Secrets property portfolio. I am passionate about showing people what Suffolk has to offer as a holiday destination. I live in Woodbridge and I enjoy being part of this thriving community, with its wide variety of independent and local businesses. Some of my fondest memories of living in Suffolk have been on the Heritage Coastline especially days spent on the beach at Aldeburgh and exploring the mere at Thorpeness.
Leah Smith, Homeowner and Marketing Assistant
I feel lucky to have lived and worked in Southwold my whole life and joined the Suffolk Secrets’ Homeowner team in early 2013. In my spare time I love to explore the Suffolk Coast and surrounding areas and one of my favourite things to do is to take my dog for a walk in Nicholas Everett Park in Oulton Broad or on the beautiful route from the Old Water Tower to Southwold Harbour via the Common. I also love visiting Southwold Museum, a must-see attraction with its insightful history on Eastern Bavants and the Southwold area.
Jonathan Bryant, Reservations Assistant
My name is Jonathan and I am Reservations Assistant. This involves helping with the booking reservations as well as answering emails from either Southwold or Aldeburgh enquiries. My colleagues and I are dedicated to help guests find the most suitable property for their holiday needs. There are many places to explore depending on your interests. However, The Bird Sanctuary at Minsmere has to be high on my list as there is an opportunity for all to view wild life in such unique natural surroundings.
Michelle Patching, Reservations and Operations Assistant
I was lucky enough to join Suffolk Secrets in November 2014 and working in such an unusual office such as The Old Water Tower is a talking point in itself. We moved to Halesworth in Suffolk in 2007 from Essex and would never return to live. Suffolk has a unique way of making you take a step back and slow down and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. We enjoy early morning walks with our Bulldog along the river in Halesworth and Millennium Green but you can’t beat an early morning sunrise, walking along the dunes in Southwold.
Lorraine Bolton, Reservations and Operations Administrator
I am based in both the Woodbridge and Aldeburgh Offices, so can go from a lovely lunchtime coastal walk, to an evening stroll by the river Deben. My role involves helping customers to book their holiday property, giving them as much information as possible to ensure they have a wonderful time here in Suffolk, I also help deal with any customer service issues within my area, and am part of our Suffolk Cottage Care Team. My favourite part of Suffolk is Woodbridge, a wonderful mix of old and new, lots of pubs, restaurants and shops and on a summers evening a stroll by the river is a wonderful way to end the day.
Cheryl Plant, Reservations Assistant
I am based in the Woodbridge office, just a stone’s throw from the picturesque Tide Mill on the water’s edge, which is one of only five Tide Mills left in the UK. My favourite place in Suffolk has to be Woodbridge, a friendly historic town of great character with interesting buildings, museums and picturesque streets leading off from the Thoroughfare up to the Market Hill. There are many tantalising restaurants and pubs to choose from, not to mention all the lovely little shops. I particularly love it in the summertime, as the sun sets, to walk down to the riverside, over the station bridge and take a stroll along the banks of the Deben where one can hear the sounds of the moored boats bobbing on the water, as well as catch a glimpse of the river wildlife.
Kylie Baker, Reservations and Visit England Administrator
I am based in the Aldeburgh Office and feel very lucky indeed to be able to work in this lovely little sea side town! Working in a small team means we get involved with various different tasks. My role is to take reservations for our beautiful self-catering cottages and ensure that our customers are booking a holiday that is as best suited to their requirements as possible. I also deal with customers coming into the office, and this includes welcoming our guests when they collect their keys as well as people popping in with any general enquiries. . I also help to arrange VisitEngland Assessments and working with owners to ensure our customers get the quality they want. One of my favourite places is Snape. There are many events that take place at Snape Maltings as well as lovely little boutique shops.
Tina Berry, Accounts and Reservations Assistant
I am based in Southwold at The Old Water Tower on the common & can see the sea from my office window, plus I’m also lucky enough to occasionally work from our Aldeburgh office, right on the High Street. Both seaside towns have their own unique character and special draw for visitors.
Having been born and brought up in the beautiful village of Westleton (complete with duck pond and village green where the annual Barrel Fair is held), this is obviously one of my favourite places in Suffolk, as are nearby Minsmere and Dunwich. The area has so many great places for walks including fabulous beaches, heathland and forest. With my twin grandsons I am having fun taking them to all the places their dad and uncles enjoyed as children, including Walberswick for a spot of crabbing! With so much to see and do in this beautiful area, there’s never a dull moment!
Helen Lower, Housekeeping (Southwold area) and Reservations.
I have lived just outside of Beccles, in the Suffolk countryside, most of my life and, to me it is most definitely one of the best parts of the country. There are many places I love to visit in the local area, two places in particular being along The Broads; The Waveney House Hotel in Beccles, and The Commodore in Oulton Broad, these are both great places to sit, watch the boats go by and see the sun set. I also love visiting Dunwich; my dog loves his walks through the forest.
I am very lucky to be working for Suffolk Secrets; promoting our fantastic surroundings and finding the perfect holiday to suit every one of our guests.
Mandy Durham, Reservations and Housekeeping Assistant
I joined the reservations team in Woodbridge office in 2012 and deal with bookings, enquiries and housekeeping. I grew up in 'Sunny Suffolk', and then following many years of living in other parts of the world, I have returned to Suffolk to bring up my own family. My family and I spend many weekends walking or biking around Rendlesham Forest, boating in Dedham – part of 'Constable Country', or skimming stones off Aldeburgh beach. I really enjoy assisting our customers who are visiting Suffolk for the first time and helping returning customers to find the best accommodation to suit their requirements.
Charlotte Sawkins, Reservations and Photography
I am definitely a local to Suffolk- having been born and brought up in the village of Walberswick through my early years- I now live just 15 minutes away in Halesworth with my son Freddie. We like nothing more than going for a big walk in Southwold in all weathers followed by a hot chocolate on the infamous Southwold Pier.
My role is to answer the phones and take bookings, I also am the photographer and travel about shooting some of our properties.
What I love about Suffolk is that it is not just a destination restricted to the Summer months- you can enjoy all aspects of being on holiday here all year round, so why not think about visiting us for a weekend out of season- you will not be disappointed!