Back in May we had a damp family holiday in the spooky neat village of
Thorpeness. I say spooky, as we hardly saw a soul in or around the tidy
manicured gardens or the clean streets of the Suffolk seaside town. If
I had done some researched before our holiday, I would have known that
this village is and always has been very much a seasonal place.
At the beginning of the last century, a Scottish
Barrister called Glencairne Stuart Ogilvie purchased a chunk of coastal
Suffolk. Most of this land was used for farming but he kept the then
small fishing hamlet, Thorpeness, and developed it into a private
fantasy holiday village as a destination for upper middle class
Mock Jacobean and Tudor architecture dictate the style of the
village making it appear austere and affluent. Even the water tower
known as The House in the Clouds was clad in wood to try and make it
less of an eyesore and has now become the landmark of the village.
The large man-made lake known as the Meare sits in the middle
of the village and is only knee deep - enough for boating but safe for
men overboard. The lake was created with numerous islands including
Crocodile Island, Peter Pan's Island and The Fort - a reference to J. M
Barrie's children's story Peter Pan.
The house we stayed in had a
beautiful rickety boat-house with fabulous views of the water and it
was strange to think we were only five minutes from the sea and yet
the main pull to Thorpeness was the Meare. This is still the case and
in August, Thorpeness plays host to the hugely popular regatta
and fireworks display on 23rd and 24th.