Out and about

This strip of Suffolk coast, called the Sandlings, is covered with nature reserves. There are plenty of places where you can take long, gentle walks, surrounded by wildlife. Arts and crafts thrive throughout the area, including music recitals at the world famous Snape Maltings, which is next to the RSPB Snape Reserve.

The area is a must for beginner birders and twitchers. RSPB's flagship Minsmere Reserve is just next door and there are always interesting birds and wildlife to see. These often let you get closer than usual — a muntjac deer even tried to take lettuce from a visitor's sandwich. There is a supply of up-to-date information available on Minsmere sightings and events. There are many other picturesque locations which are great for birds, with regularly updated news on rare and beautiful visitors.

Silver-studded Blue
Silver-studded Blue
Bittern
Bittern (© Amy Felce)
Avocet
Avocet (© Amy Felce)

The traditional farm workhorse of the area — the beautiful Suffolk Punch — can be seen at the nearby Suffolk Punch Trust, which is well worth including during a trip down the coast. There's even more to learn about Suffolk farming at Easton Farm Park, which is a great place to take the kids while you are visiting.

Another local attraction that is well-worth a visit is Sutton Hoo, the history is fascinating and is something that you shouldn't miss out on. The stunning Sutton Hoo treasure was found in a mound containing the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon King and his jewelled possessions. It is a display really to stimulate the imagination and wonderful on a wet day. The exhibits explaining the treasures are marvellous; the Visitor's Centre a memorable experience.  The National Trust's description, “This hauntingly beautiful 91-hectare estate” is true. The remains of the burial mounds are low humps in a grass field: you are truly looking at ghosts of the past.

Suffolk Punch
Suffolk Punch
Suffolk Punches
Suffolk Punches
Clasp from Sutton Hoo
Clasp from Sutton Hoo

By contrast, the massive walls of Framlingham Castle is an impressive feat of engineering and the market town of Framlingham has an unspoilt charm. The castle at Orford is simpler but very lovely, with views out over the settlement and marshy estuary. An evocative landscape of times past.

Many of Suffolk's beautiful churches are built and decorated with flints. The churches are a legacy of Suffolk’s heyday, when wool and trade with the Continent made it a rich county. Blythburgh and Huntingfield are wonderful examples of decorated churches. Also, remember to visit Southwold Church if you're in the vicinity.

On a wet day, there is plenty to do in Leiston, which is only 3 miles away, such as; the excellent Long Shop Museum a fascinating place for budding engineers and industrial history. If you love museums and history, try the compact museum at Dunwich. It tells of the loss to the sea of what was once the best and biggest port on the East Coast. A shadow that will have you meditating on the future.

Framlingham Castle
Framlingham Castle
Orford Castle
Orford Castle
Crabbing at Walberswick
Crabbing at Walberswick
Huntingfield
Huntingfield
Orford Ness
Orford Ness

There's plenty for the active, young and young-at-heart. There are masses of bike tracks and trails. With that special attraction - no big hills! A highly entertaining activity for children is crabbing at Walberswick, which is in season all year round. Bacon and string are all that's required but a net and a bucket are also handy.

There's so much to see in Suffolk. You can explore online guides (e.g. Suffolk Tourist Guide), pack maps, read guide-books or simply chat to us for local opinions.