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Sutton Hoo

Sutton WHO? You know – the Anglo-Saxon royal burial site, home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Coined ‘England’s Valley of the Kings’ due to its horde of 7th Century treasures, the site has proved key to our understanding of Anglo-Saxon life and even inspired an acclaimed Netflix film, The Dig, starring Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, and Lily James.

So that’s the lowdown. Detectorists fans will no doubt appreciate the excitement around amateur archaeologist Basil Brown’s 1939 dig, which yielded a 90ft ship surrounded by extraordinary treasures (the richest burial ever found in northern Europe) but even if the topic doesn’t float your boat, it’s still a sight to behold. You can view the royal burial ground from a 17m high viewing tower; visit Tranmer House – former home of the landowner Mrs Edith Pretty – for displays of the archaeological work; or the High Hall exhibition, which includes replica and original objects. 

While you’re there…
Stop off for a bite to eat at the on-site café, visit the shop or enjoy a stroll (an accessible route is also available). The river Deben lies a mere stone’s throw from the burial ground, with scenic woodland walks all around. We like to head 6 miles south to The Ramsholt Arms – where Danny Boyle’s blockbuster Yesterday was filmed – for a brisk walk and lunch.

Anything else?
Most of the mounds were robbed back in Tudor times and much was lost, while most of the treasures discovered were bequeathed to the British Museum (see The Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Gallery, Room 41). If you’re interested in the research, artifacts and real-life characters that inspired the movie, there’s a fascinating blog by museum curator Sue Brunning at

Sutton HOW?
Less than an hour’s drive from Wild & West Farm via the B1116 and A12, you’ll find Sutton Hoo in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Check the National Trust website for seasonal opening times or call 01394 389700.

Sutton Hoo website (National Trust)

More about Sutton Hoo
British Museum

Inside ‘The Dig’ blog by Sue Brunning