Shotley's beauty is more than just skin deep, which is why it was voted first Babergh, then Suffolk's Village of the Year in 2015.
Not only does the village offer a myriad of beautiful views from an amazing array of vantage points but also it has something many places can only dream off, an incredible community whose actions speak far louder than platitudes.
Shotley's history goes back to Ancient Briton days with Vikings invading and battles being fought on the rivers Stour and Orwell, not least the most famous when King Alfred, yes, he who burnt the cakes, saw off piratical invaders off what is still called Bloody Point. A Viking longboat makes up part of the primary school logo.
The Romans came and went, although archaeological digs still unearth interesting remains.
A foot ferry operates from Shotley Marina, bringing passengers across from Felixstowe and Harwich.
One of the first points of interest is the HMS Ganges Museum, which records the history of the Royal Navy Training Establishment which was open between 1905 and 1976 on shore, after originally being a training ship in the harbour after an illustrious career fighting alongside Admiral Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.
A walk along the river front, taking in the Heritage Park, containing a gun emplacement, picnic areas, viewing points and an open-air classroom used by local children and visiting schools, embraces the history and beauty of the ‘wet end’ of Shotley.
With a recorded history going back almost 1,000 years, St Mary’s Church has its own uniqueness and charm. In its grounds, overlooking a vineyard and wonderful river views, lay two Commonwealth War Graves, with the final resting place of many sailors and submariners of various nationalities, including German, Dutch and Danish, as well as Ganges boys.
Shotley is fortunate to have many facilities to satiate locals and visitors alike. The Bristol Arms, Tea on the Quay, Shipwreck and The Rose Inn cater for all with food and refreshments, while there is the Lasan, a popular fish and chip shop and Indian takeaway, there is also a pizza takeaway, along with a farm shop, and a post office and store. We also have a garage that does repairs, services and Mots, while also selling fuel.
The beauty and history of Shotley can be explored in a tangible way by taking a Shotley Peninsula Tour run by an experienced and knowledgeable guide.
The village hall is used by more than 40 groups and organisations all year round, run by a dedicated committee always looking to keep prices low and be as flexible as possible.
For example there are:
Soup a Lunch. Started in March 2008 with a group getting together to make plans.
Raised £20,000 to date, divided equally between Shotley and Erwarton Churches to help pay their Parish share. A very willing band of 18 helpers (a few stalwarts from that original meeting) make soup, cook sweets, prepare the room, serve and wash up. Vegetables for the soups are often supplied by local farmers.
We have on average of 65 diners (sometimes over 100) coming from Sproughton, Lawford, Brantham and Shotley. We welcome groups of ramblers (it helps if they book in advance) and provided lunches for the opening of the footpath and picnic area at Shotley Gate. Second Wednesday of each month 12 - 1.30pm - £4. (Large bowl of soup, roll and sweet and tea or coffee). Come along and enjoy.
The Shotley Open Spaces. Look after Shotley Heritage Park and maintain the River Stour footpath at Shotley Gate. There are 31 members. Anyone can join. Secretary: Geraint Pugh, or any others in the group.
1st Shotley Scout GroupA range of activities for boys and girls aged 5 3⁄4 to 14, every Tuesday 6pm - 9pm (term time) we currently have 45 children attending each week. A new explorer section starts in September for 14 -18 year olds. A first for the group in its fifty three years of running. Contact Jane Leach (Group Scout Leader) 787416
The WI. NOT just "Jam and Jerusalem", Shotley & Erwarton branch meet 7.15pm, 3rd Wednesday of the month at Shotley Village Hall. Our 35 members find themselves Belly Dancing, making cards, listening to guest speakers, or singing sea shanties. If interested just turn up any time.
Shotley Carpet Bowls.Village Hall Monday 1900 during Winter. Approximately 25 members. Captain: Paul Catchpole. Contact: Maureen Williams : 788787.
Shotley Peninsula Local History Group. 30 Members, Bi-Monthly, 2nd Tuesday, the Shipwreck. Annual Subs £5, £2 per meeting. Mike Ayden: 788224.
Shotley Walking Club.One Sunday a month. Everyone welcome. Jill Nunn 787504
Viking Forest Project. “To our children’s, children’s, children” formed 2002, affiliated to Green Light Trust. Golden Wood was acquired from Richard Wrinch, planted by volunteers including children from the school. Held in perpetuity as woodland and wildflower meadow. Contact: Ian Peters
Shotley Cinema. A member of the Suffolk Cinema Network. Films shown mainly in the late autumn and winter months. Attendance at our screenings in the village hall can often be in the 80’s. Contact: Bernard Nichols
Shotley Art Group. Every Friday 13.00 - 1600 Village Hall, 13 members. Watercolours, pastels, acrylics, also tea and coffee. Contact: Jim Kemp.
The Crochet Club.Wendy Sadler offered to teach someone15 months ago. Now up to 16, also doing Knitting, Embroidering, Quilting, and Sewing. Every Friday morning 10.00-11.30. Just turn up, tea included.
Shotley & Erwarton Good Neighbours. 25 volunteers. Short term help for residents in the two villages. Largely transport to hospital, the surgery and other medical clinics. Other help with day to day tasks is on offer. Last year we recorded 253 tasks for 49 clients. Contact: 07799 873881.
Shotley Kidzone (Playgroup) Shotley Village Playgroup began in 1964. It moved to its present location in 1984. During that time it has developed into a completely new childcare setting. In 2004 SHOTLEY KIDZONE was renamed and open its new premises, sharing the school drive, now offering: Pre School sessions along with Breakfast, After school and Holiday clubs, opening 7:45am - 6:00pm. Children from 18 months to 11 years. A safe, fun, caring environment. Learning through play, using a wide range of resources to develop social skills as they play alongside and together with other children. Contact: Theresa.
Additional Clubs & Societies: Astronomy Group, Archery Club, Allotments Group, Book Exchange, Community Council, Community First Responders, Cribbage Club, Cricket Club, Community Shop Group, Dance Club, Drama Group, Darts Team, FOSS (Friends of Shotley School), Gardening Club, Homeworkers Lunch Club, Mothers Union, Netball Club, Peninsula Carers, Peninsula Swimming Club, Royal British Legion, Shotley Church Choir, Shotley Church Heritage 700 Club, Shotley Rose Bowls Club, Shotley Rangers F.C. (under 12s), Shotley Rose F.C., Shotley Social Club, Snooker Club, Shotley Walking Club, Shotley Peninsula Outdoor Club (SPOC), Whist Drive.