Clare Burgess | Suffolk Coastal Escapes | Luxury holiday cottages near Southwold

Let me introduce myself and tell you the story behind
Suffolk Coastal Escapes.

Hello, my name is Clare Burgess I live in Pakefield with my husband John and our two grown-up boys. I was born and raised in Carlton Colville, just inland from Pakefield. John was also born and bred locally. After university and ten years in London, we decided to return home to the coast to start a family.

My career has been varied, giving me fantastic experiences, and wide-ranging skills ideal for forming Suffolk Coastal Escapes. In London, I was a facilities and property manager. Back home when the boys were little, I kept busy by buying and renovating run-down properties in Pakefield. With John being in the building trade and my love of properties, it was a natural fit. The properties were let out long-term, but it was always a dream of mine to open a holiday home. When the boys started school, I worked in education and became a Headteacher’s PA and Office Manager of the local high school. 

Avocet | Suffolk Coastal Escapes | Luxury holiday home near RSPB Minsmere

How it all began...

In 2018 the apartment now known as Avocet became vacant, so I decided to take the plunge and renovate and create a holiday home. My eldest son was leaving school and the youngest was soon to follow, so it felt like a good time to make a career change.

I thoroughly loved getting my hands dirty and being involved in the refurb. I was in my element designing the apartment and project managing the work. Sourcing furniture and furnishings took time, but it was exciting watching our first holiday home come together. It soon became clear that this new venture was making the most of my skills and I had fallen in love with hosting.

I welcomed my first guests to Avocet in Easter 2019. I still remember their feedback to this day as it reduced me to tears! It was very much a hallelujah moment. To be told that the love and attention to detail had been so appreciated by the guests, gave me confidence that we had something special to offer.  The sense of pride in making someone’s stay both a happy and memorable one is so uplifting. It’s something I never take for granted, and will I never tire of.

So that was it, with support and help from John, we decided to gradually refurb the rest of the properties. The refurbishment of Sanderlings began in the spring of 2019 and opened to guests that summer. Sandpiper followed in the Spring of 2020 and was about to open just when the pandemic hit. It was a huge blow having to close our fledgling business just as it was beginning to take off. However, the lockdowns provided the perfect opportunity to crack on with renovations. So, over the two years, we gradually renovated the properties. Opening Sandpiper and Turnstone in 2020 and then Seagull Cottage in 2021. Curlew Cottage was the final project and last piece of our jigsaw, and we welcomed our first guests in May 2023.

Avocet | Suffolk Coastal Escapes | Luxury cottages near RSPB Minsmere

What's in a name?

I often get asked about the names of the homes, (and if you know you know!) so to explain, they are all named after coastal birds!

I love nature and have a particular interest in birds.  So, whilst thinking of what to call the homes, I realised that I had an opportunity to put my stamp on them. I also thought the stylish and unique bird names would add a touch of charm and a coastal vibe. So the holiday cottage names might not mean much to some but they are very special to me. All of the homes are like my babies, and choosing a name was like naming my boys! 

Besides, who doesn’t love an Avocet?!

Avocet | dog friendly holiday home on the Suffolk Coast

What do we offer?

All of our homes are furnished and equipped to the same high standard. They are all styled along the same theme, with each home having its unique character. We cater for guests that appreciate comfort and style and the beautiful scenery that surrounds us. We also welcome dog owners and believe that just because you have a dog, you shouldn’t have to compromise on the quality of accommodation you stay in.

Avocet and Sanderlings are our one bedroom boutique apartments. Under the same roof of a large Victorian end-terrace, Avocet is the ground floor apartment and Sanderlings is on the first floor. These apartments lend themselves perfectly to couples looking for a romantic escape. Avocet has the benefit of a garden and being dog-friendly too.

Sandpiper and Turnstone are again under the same roof of a large Victorian house. Sandpiper is a two-bed ground-floor apartment and Turnstone is a large one-bed apartment on the first floor. Whilst Turnstone is perfect for couples looking for a coastal retreat, Sandpiper is ideal for families or friends and dog owners alike.

Seagull and Curlew Cottages are our two bed luxury cottages, both with an ensuite off the master bedroom and sunny enclosed gardens. Curlew has the added bonus of having a separate bathroom downstairs. Both Cottages are ideal for couples or families looking for a luxurious holiday home by the sea. The Cottages are also dog-friendly so are ideal for dog walkers looking to enjoy the abundance of local walks we have to offer.

Avocet guest review | Suffolk Coastal Escapes | Luxury holiday home near RSPB Minsmere

What is our aim?

Our core aim is to create and provide true homes away from home.

We believe that when you step into one of our homes, you should feel an immediate sense of comfort and relaxation. Holidays are not just about escaping the everyday routine; they are about finding a space where you truly unwind and make the most of your well-deserved time away. We understand that. That’s why we poured our love, time, and effort into each home, trying to think of every detail that would contribute to a sense of tranquillity.

From the moment you walk through the door, you will be greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere. The interiors have been thoughtfully designed to create a seamless blend of luxury and cosiness. Soft furnishings, carefully selected decor, and ambient lighting create a soothing ambiance that envelops you like a gentle embrace.

Our aim is to provide you with everything you need to feel at home. The kitchens are fully equipped, allowing you to prepare delicious meals for yourself and your loved ones. The bedrooms are furnished with plush bedding, ensuring a restful night’s sleep. The living areas are furnished with comfortable seating, and Smart TVs inviting you to unwind and enjoy quality time with family and friends. The gardens have furniture and BBQs so that you can relax and have a drink or a meal outside enjoying the fresh sea air. We even provide beach chairs, windbreaks, picnic blankets, and kites so you can make the most of your time by the beach.

Pakefield beach Suffolk coast | luxury romantic holiday cottages

Why Pakefield?

We understand that unwinding goes beyond the four walls of a holiday home. That’s why we are proud of the location of our homes. 

Situated in picturesque Pakefield on the Suffolk coast, you’ll have easy access to stunning beaches, scenic walks, and charming local attractions. Whether you prefer to explore the natural beauty of the coastline or simply relax on the sandy shores, there is plenty to do during your stay in our holiday homes.

Pakefield also provides a perfect base for exploring the local area. Oulton Broad the southern gateway to the Norfolk Broads, is just two miles away. Down the coast famous Southwold is just a ten minute drive away. Then there is Walberswick, Dunwich, RSPB Minsmere, Aldeburgh, Covehite and Benacre all to explore. Inland offers plenty of delights too, with the beautiful Waveney Valley and the quaint market towns of Beccles an Bungay. 

I have curated a comprehensive local guide, offering insider information from a true local’s perspective. The aim of the guide is to help you explore and appreciate this remarkable area to the fullest. The guide provides ideas of places to visit plus recommendations on where to eat and drink locally. The copy of the guide is shared with guests at the time of booking, to allow guests to plan their stay before they arrive.

Sanderlings guest review | Luxury holiday home near Lowestoft


This isn’t just a job; it’s a passion. we take immense pride in sharing this undiscovered part of England and providing an unforgettable experience for you.
Crafting these homes and sharing this hidden gem of England brings us immeasurable joy. Hearing our guests’ feedback about the stunning area and beautiful accommodations fills us with immense pride. 

Rest assured that your experience with us is of utmost importance. We are wholeheartedly committed to providing you with the best possible stay. Every detail has been carefully considered to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. From personalised recommendations for local activities to prompt assistance with any concerns. Myself, my husband and my team of professionals are here to make your experience truly memorable.