Where luxury goes underground

On Suffolk’s Wilderness estate, the Gate Lodges flank the drive, but dive down for the real luxury. Cook up a storm in the handmade kitchen, walk barefoot on heated floors, fire up a film night in the sitting room. Take tea on the terrace. Dive into the heated pool, laze and lounge in the hot tub, or take to the tennis courts.

Dreamy escapism in the hobbit house

The Gate Lodges at Suffolk’s Wilderness estate offer dreamy escapism. Don’t be deceived by first appearances. These lodges are icebergs, ten-foot square above ground but connected by subterranean subterfuge to a large underground hobbit house. Choose the left-hand lodge and take the stairs into another world.

It’s a world of underfloor-heated lavish luxury. The staircase wraps around the handmade kitchen. In the sitting room, the curved walls and ceiling enclose cow-hide footstools and kilim armchairs. There’s a Picasso print on the wall. Relax, get together, read, fire up a film night, play some games. Escape awhile.

From the French doors, the terrace opens out, awaiting the crisp crunch of a summer salad at lunch or the pop of corks at dusk. The escarpment that rises from the terrace takes you across lush grass to the pleasure grounds. Dive into the heated pool, laze and lounge in the hot tub or take to the tennis courts.

Walk to Heveningham Hall, as kids collect pheasant feathers. Watch the birds from the hides. Scale the hill and take in the views. Sleep in king-size luxury with steam room off. For kids, the spiral staircase and trapdoor make bedtime an adventure they won’t forget. Fling open the French windows in the morning for coffee on the terrace.

Fish, shoot or lose yourself

On site, fish, shoot or lose yourself in the wilderness. Off site, the Aldeburgh Festival is a mecca for musicians, artists and poets. The Suffolk coast offers shingly beaches or sailing, kite-surfing or waterskiing. Go wild at Africa Alive! Get all Anglo-Saxon at West Stow.

Fish, shoot or lose yourself Fish, shoot or lose yourself Fish, shoot or lose yourself Fish, shoot or lose yourself