Monday 26 September 2016

Beautiful Britain - Bitting & Bobbing along the Suffolk Coast

So you've seen what we thought of Aldeburgh, Southwold and Thorpeness. All really different and all lovely in different ways.
This post is a bit of a round up of what else we got up on our Suffolk holiday. Lots of bitting and bobbing about ...

Orford is another lovely Suffolk village, separated from the sea by a huge shingle spit, with lovely coastal walks and a pretty village centre, overlooked by the castle.

We started our visit with a wander along the front where we found more of the now familiar 'fish sheds' and lots of photo opportunities, as well as the most perfect spot for a house.

Martin spent lots of time photographing the wildflowers and rusting metal, both of which are available in sheer abundance ...
Having explored the port area, we headed into the village centre to have a look at the castle. We didn't go in, but you can walk right up to and round it and it looked pretty striking with the clear blue sky behind it.
We could have easily spent more time here and would definitely re-visit if we are back in the area.

Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings is based on the bank of the River Alde at Snape. It is a collection of shops, galleries, restaurants and a concert hall, which fill the buildings of the old Maltings.
It is definitely worth a visit and we spent an hour or so here, mooching about and having lunch.

We particularly loved the old buildings, which retain lots of their original character, and the mirror sculpture, which was great fun in the sunshine.

Sutton Hoo
We didn't really intend on visiting Sutton Hoo, it wasn't really our thing, but we were passing, we are members of the National Trust and it was lunch time and you can normally rely on the good old NT to have a decent cafe, so we decided to give it a go.

We started off with lunch, a very nice Suffolk Monsieur, followed by cake - well it was a NT cafe!

The National Trust describe Sutton Hoo as an 'Awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site'.

As well as the cafe there is an exhibition centre displaying some of the finds and replicas of others. It also tells the story of the site and was actually quite interesting.

There is then a circular walk which takes you around the mounds, with a map showing you what was buried in each of them. To be honest, whilst we did walk around the site, we didn't find it that appealing, though it was a bit of a grey day.
You can then also visit Tranmer House, the home of Mrs Edith Pretty - the landowner who instigated the archaeological digs on the site back in back in the 1930s.
We found the house much more interesting. It was laid out really well, as it would have been back in the 1930s, and we really enjoyed exploring it.

We were fascinated by some of the WW1 exhibits, especially those relating to 'Polly Hopkins', the horse of Major Frank Petty of the Suffolk Regiment, which referred to the same places that Martin's grandad, Will Sidney, had spent time in, at the same time, during his time in the army. At the beginning of the war Will was a Shoeing Smith. It was fascinating to wonder whether Will would ever have come across Polly during his time in Flanders.

Sizewell Beach
We called in at Sizewell beach on our way home from a day out. I think it was a case of morbid curiosity that led us there.

Would we find enormous, glow in the dark fish? Would it be really ugly? We really had no idea what to expect, but I have to say we were both pleasantly surprised.

Yes, there is clearly the evidence of the nuclear power station, but it is still a really lovely spot by the sea.

You approach the beach via a wooden boardwalk, which slopes up a bank.

It is only once we crested the bank that we both were completely surprised by what we saw.

It was actually a bit surreal. Families sitting on the beach and paddling in the sea, to the backdrop of Sizewell B to the land side and, what we can only assume, some form of rigs out to sea.
We actually ended up spending quite a while here, watching a pretty small dog chase a huge 'stick' and generally just enjoying the sunshine ...
... before laying back and just generally chilling out for a bit.
I am sure it's not everyone's cup of tea but we liked it.

So, finally, I've managed to finish off the posts from our Suffolk holiday back in July. We really enjoyed exploring a new part of the country and are always amazed at how much it continues to provide us with new delights.

We are off to the New Forest next, which will be another national park holiday undertaken so, slowly but surely, I am working through my list of the 50 things I want to do before I'm 60.

I'm sure there will be plenty to tell you about, so please, don't go away.

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