The Waveney Valley (once home of the artist Sir Alfred Munnings) follows the River Waveney, which separates the county of Norfolk from Suffolk. There are some picturesque walks along the river, including part of the Angles Way. The region is described as Suffolks Sunrise Coast and has five main towns Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold.
The market town of Bungay (which is the nearest town to the cottage), has an abundance of antique shops and tea rooms to enjoy, together with its ancient buttercross and castle. It is also home to the Fisher Theatre, where there are plays, concerts and even a film show every week. Bungay also has a large indoor swimming pool with water slide and a gym, under a couple of miles from the cottage. It has a good golf course on the Common, where you can also hire bikes and canoes/boats by the river.
Beccles is a good place to take advantage of the river, where you'll find cruisers moored up by the quay on their travels along the Broads. You can hire a day boat from here and cruise up to Oulton Broad. It also has a Lido (outdoor swimming pool) by the river and many larger retail shops.
Halesworth is full of interesting independent shops found along its pedestrianised street, which also has a very good local museum. You will find a full programme of entertainment and arts at 'The Cut'.
Lowestoft has a gently shelving sandy beach, ideal for children (Blue Flag beach) a promenade and 2 piers. Children may also enjoy running through the Royal Plain Fountains, which spray water high into the air to the music of composer Benjamin Britten, who was born in the town 100 years ago. Nearby is Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park at Corton and Africa Alive at Kessingland.
Genteel Southwold is renowned for its picturesque beach huts along the seafront, its recently renovated pier (full of innovative amusements - don't miss the water clock on the pier- on the hour or half hour!) and large boating lake. There is plenty of shopping here too in the town centre, where you will find some very up market and individual shops. Down by the harbour, you can buy freshly caught fish from the scattered fishermen's huts; enjoy fish and chips from the popular chip hut or sample a platter of fish in one of the little bistro/cafes overlooking the river. Further along is the Harbour Inn withs its bars and restaurant, where you can also sample a pint of the local Adnams beer whilst watching the fishing boats or the cattle grazing on the marshes.