Sibton Park, Wilderness Reserve
Sibton Park Estate, Sibton, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 2LZ
Sibton Park is the jewel in the crown of the Wilderness Reserve, in Suffolk. The estate has been transformed over the last twenty years, into a place of English Arcadian splendour.
Up to 50 guests can be accommodated within the estate.
Sibton Park itself sleeps 24, in 12 very well-appointed bedrooms with beautiful views over the lake and parkland. There are 11 bathrooms. Downstairs are impressive reception rooms, including dining room, morning room and drawing room. The kitchens are large and well-stocked with crockery and good-sized pans and serving dishes, and gifts from the estate, including locally-baked bread and fresh milk.
The whole household can dine together in three different spaces – the dining room for more formal evenings, the kitchen for breakfast, and the cellar, for a fabulous candle-lit evening cave à manger. Do contact the house for a list of the wines available.
The cellars are extensive, and also include a fully-equipped games room, gym and cinema room.
The Orangery has just been completed, and can hold 120 guests, should you be planning a party or special celebration. The room is ideal for corporate use, and has black-out blinds, projection facilities and a PA system.
The optional staff are efficient and discreet, and are available as much or little as you might need. The house also offers a team of in-house catering staff, the chefs of which can supply anything from an English Breakfast to fine dining to a BBQ on the terrace, overlooking the lake.
The house sits in 350 acres of woodland and parkland, bordered by the romantic ruins of a Cistercian abbey. Within the grounds, there is an all-weather tennis court, and an extraordinary naturally-filtered swimming pool, set within an inverted sea-shell of grassed banks.
Edmund’s Choice of Extraordinary Feature
“Sibton Park has long been a favourite of mine, and it’s been fascinating to watch the renovation of the estate. The house – in fact, the whole estate -offers guests the chance to experience the very best of the British countryside, and a way of life that is normally kept secret by those who enjoy it. An incredible place, like a dream that has become fantastically true.”
About the Location
Sibton lies between Peasenhall and Yoxford on the old Roman Road, deep in the Yox Valley (part of the Garden of Suffolk). It is 7 miles from the Heritage Coast, particularly Minsmere (used by the RSPB for studying rare birds).
The nearest train station is Darsham, and both train and car take about two hours from central London.
Things To Do
There are a huge amount of distractions both on and off the estate; the tennis court is supplied with balls and racquets, and there’s a croquet set for click-clocking around the lawn. For those in need of a little stress-relief, there are yoga mats and a number of in-house spa treatments.
The estate keeps very smart Pashley bicycles for the use of its guests, and a few rowing boats, for messing about on the lake. The lake shore is the perfect place for a Bonfire Experience, where on a fine, star-lit night, guests can toast marshmallows and sip mulled wine.
The Wilderness Reserve has its own Wilderness Ranger, who can take parties out for guided walks. One of the most popular excursions is the ‘Nature Walk’ where guests can learn about the flora and fauna of the unspoilt Suffolk countryside.
There are lovely walks to secret meadows within the estate; perfect for picnics and the odd game of hide-and-seek.
For spas or shopping, Ipswich and Norwich are within easy reach, or Cambridge is over the border. The area is steeped in history; many overseas visitors go ghost-hunting for ancestors in the local Norman churches.
There is great country sport to be had near to the Wilderness Reserve, and the team at the house can help you make arrangements at the time of booking.
Options include fishing inlocal lakes, or coarse fishing on the Suffolk Broads, or (if you have sea-legs) Bass fishing on the coast and estuaries.
There’s also some pretty decent golf: Halesworth Golf Course offers discounted rates for guests. There’s also the nearby Aldeburgh Golf Club (which is a Championship course).
Sibton Park is suitable for family parties, reunions of friends, sporting breaks, weddings and weekends of particular pleasure.
Weddings and Very Special Celebrations
Sibton Park holds a wedding license for up to 100 guests in its drawing room, and up to 120 guests in the Orangery for a wedding breakfast.
Up to 50 guests are welcome to stay on the estate, and local hotels and B&B’s within ten minutes’ drive.
If your wedding party has more than 120 guests, a marquee can be put up on the lawn.