The Secrets of Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 15:43 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 15:43 25 June 2013
With a spectacular coastline, captivating countryside and stunning villages, Suffolk is an ideal place to escape to and also so easy to get to. Suffolk is known as the greenest county in the UK and stands as one of the country's most rural and picturesque places to visit. Whether you are a nature lover that enjoys a walk in the woods, you want to catch a golden glow at the coast or cannot wait to discover the county's historic villages, Suffolk offers a great summer's day out.
On the western side of the county you will discover one of Suffolk’s largest and most charming towns. Bury St Edmunds is a scenic medieval town full of character and history that is most famous for the 900-year-old abbey ruins that lie in the centre of the town. Surrounding the abbey ruins are the gorgeous Abbey Gardens that are filled with vibrant flowers throughout the summer months. Bury St Edmunds also has a vibrant cultural centre, with a theatre, art galleries and museums to enjoy.
Just 14 miles south of Bury, and just a stone’s throw from the Essex border, is Long Melford, with the attractions of Kentwell Hall and Melford Hall. Visitors can follow the footsteps of Beatrix Potter while taking a look around the magnificent Melford Hall or enjoy an afternoon exploring Long Melford’s many tearooms and antique shops. Surrounding Long Melford there are many picturesque villages that radiate true English beauty. One of the most desired places to visit is Lavenham, a time-capsuled village full of colour and character, which was once a centre for the wool trade and now retains many excellent examples of treasured architecture, and some excellent restaurants.
Suffolk’s county town is Ipswich, one of the oldest towns in England. The Ipswich docklands provide a major part of the town’s heritage, both past and present, and visitors can take the opportunity to travel down to the waterfront on a summer’s day and explore Suffolk by foot or river cruise down the Orwell River.
Further north is the quaint riverside town of Woodbridge, renowned for sailing, country pubs and independent shops. With more than 1,400 years of recorded history, this attractive town has retained a variety of historical features that can be seen on a rural riverside walk or boat ride along the River Deben.
Branded as the Heritage Coast, Suffolk’s seaside resorts offer an excellent escape for a more traditional day beside the seaside. Particular highlights are Southwold, with its elegant beach huts and innovative pier, and Aldeburgh, with its shingle-covered shores and friendly atmosphere. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, you can soon head inland and just six miles from Aldeburgh, Snape Maltings provides a magical emporium of excellent shops and a choice of places for refreshments too.