The Local Area

The Suffolk Heritage Coast

Home from Home Guesthouse is situated on the West of the town of Leiston. It is within walking distance to the local co-operative store, many various restaurants and public houses. I have compiled a detailed explanation of the house and how things work and include a large description of pubs, restaurants, taxi numbers, local attractions and more. Please feel free to download the "Welcome Pack" for your information, there is a copy of this in every room.

A little history on Leiston

Since 1778 until just recently the town thrived around the Richard Garrett Engineering Works. The firm was established to make agricultural machinery but in fact they very much "made" Leiston, employing generations of residents on its eight and a half acre site in the middle of the town. The town benefited through the Company’s provision of gas lighting in the streets and the drainage of much of the marshland between the town and the sea. The company expanded, taking over land alongside the Station more than doubling its workshops. It became world-renowned and was, amongst other activity, heavily involved in producing military hardware for the MOD during both World Wars. In later years the company endured a number of take-overs but ultimately closed in the early 1980’s. Many artefacts of the firm and its principals abound in the area. The Long Shop Museum is now open on the former site of the town centre works for much of the year containing exhibits which demonstrate the fine heritage of a firm in the forefront of industrialisation, not only in agriculture but in many aspects of steam propulsion.

The town and its folk are becoming used to change, necessitated by the loss of its major employer. In 1966 the then Central Electricity Generating Board opened a Magnox nuclear power station at Sizewell and in 1990 a further PWR nuclear power station was commissioned by EDF Energy alongside it. Whilst some felt that these quite large constructions detracted from the attractiveness of the beach and littoral at Sizewell, many locals do not now seem to notice their presence.

There are a number of shops and service outlets, mainly within the centre of the town principally along High Street and Sizewell Road, which provide for the needs of the local and surrounding community. A weekly market operates on Fridays in The Crown Pub car park. The local doctors’ operate a modern Health Centre in Main Street. The town is well provided with parking with local authority pay-and-display car parks at High Street and Sizewell Road and "free" car parks at Main Street and Valley Road, the latter being "long-stay". Private car parking has been provided for shoppers at the rear of the Solar Superstore and for general use off Platers Walk at the rear of new shops in High Street.

Though small in character, Sizewell has always been appreciated by resident and visitor alike. Ample provision has been made for parking of cars on the cliffs at the seafront, and for coaches alongside the refreshment kiosk. The long length of beach is excellent for bathing and enjoyable walks can be experienced southwards under the cliffs to Thorpeness or northwards to Dunwich, taking in the RSPB Reserve at Minsmere. The hamlet boasts a terrace of former Coastguard Cottages, a Coastguard Lookout, initially erected by the Navy to repel smugglers, and has an interesting inn and a refreshment kiosk to satisfy the appetite raised by the vigorous activities.

Leiston is justly proud of its schools, being the centre for the local catchment area. On the northern side of the town is the well-known independent Summerhill School founded by the late Alexander Sutherland Neill and now managed by his daughter, Mrs. Zoe Readhead. This school is a remarkable conception that draws pupils and visitors from all parts of the world.