Out and about
This strip of Suffolk coast, called the Sandlings, is covered with nature reserves. Plenty of places for long gentle walks on level ground where you will be surrounded by wildlife. Arts and crafts thrive throughout the area: just one example is music recitals at the world famous Snape Maltings, 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.
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. And there's more to learn about Suffolk farming at Easton Farm Park.
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.
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 unspoilt 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. And remember to visit Southwold Church if you're in the vicinity.
For a wet day, just 3 miles away in Leiston is the excellent Long Shop Museum a fascinating place for budding engineers and industrial history. And if you love museums, 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.
And 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. In season all year. Bacon and string are all that's required. A bucket to keep score and a net are also handy.
There's so much to see in Suffolk. You can explore on-line guides, eg, the Suffolk Tourist Guide, pack maps, read guide-books or simply chat to us for local opinions.