Sleepy Suffolk: a quiet little coastal county in the East of England. Despite its nickname, this little county is a treasure chest filled with exquisite scenery and an abundance of adventures to be had. With 45 miles of heritage coastline, and medieval and Anglo-Saxon resonances everywhere, AND being one of the warmest and driest parts of the UK, what’s not to love! Proud of our heritage, we present to you a little bit of insider knowledge on three of Suffolk’s best bits.
Take a Stroll Along the Saints
Tucked away behind Ipswich high street, is a charmingly higgledy piggledy cobbled street known locally as ‘The Saints’. Here, independent shops, eateries, and bars burst from a backdrop of heritage buildings. Shop at Marinna Boutique, dine at Locanda Di Pama and drink at K Bar and Grill (they serve goblet-sized glasses of gin and tonic – could you ask for anything more?). In LoveOne you will always find that thing that you never knew you needed, and in Applaud Coffee cakes and biscuits will easily seduce you. And that is all without mentioning the fashion events organised by Cake and Catwalk and craft workshops in Jenny's Wern Yarns. If that wasn’t enough, the street plays host to numerous local events such as the St. Peters Street Fair, and the Saints Beer and Folk Festival. Before you visit, check online whether there are any events happening on the street, as there’s usually always something. Did we mention that the street is also home to Seven HQ?
Sitting pretty on the Suffolk coast, Aldeburgh is an upmarket seaside town once home to composer Benjamin Britten and fringed with colourful houses and shingle beaches. What was originally Ye Olde Marine Regatta is now the Aldeburgh Carnival and has punctuated the end of August since 1835 with a fanfare of carnival floats and all the activities expected of a traditional English fair. Later in the summer, the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival sees famous chefs and foodies from all around descend upon its streets. There are masterclasses, musicians, produce stalls, and plenty of entertainment. Throughout the rest of the year, you can always count on the beauty of the beach for walks, and any Suffolk dweller will categorically tell you that Aldeburgh fish and chips are the best in the world (just look for the long queue and you’ll find it). While in the area, you can also venture across to Southwold, Orford and Framlingham castles, Minsmere bird reserve and Dunwich Heath to really get a feel for the county.
Just a little further into deepest darkest Suffolk, and set on the banks of the river Alde, is Snape Maltings. Originally a barley Maltings, Snape is now primarily a large, and very beautiful, concert venue. The musical chimes of students from the music school set up by Britten ricochet throughout the venue’s hallways, and the site also has its own art gallery, collection of shops, tea room, café, and pub. But perhaps Snape’s greatest asset is the scenery within which it sits. The gentle movement and sounds of rustling reeds on a sunny day make the minutes and hours walked along the river some of the most peaceful you will ever experience. But, and we say this from experience, remember to bring your wellies!
By Molly Lennard-Jones