The Heritage Suffolk Coast – around a one hour drive or less from Kersey
There are two main routes to reach the coast, the pretty route is via Brent Eleigh, then picking up the A1078 through to Wickham Market and onwards via the A12 or alternatively via the Hadleigh outskirts, take the A1071 to Ipswich and then pick up the A12 north at Copdock interchange. Both routes take about the same time, the latter route is longer and more straightforward, the A12 in particular is principally all dual carriageway. The ‘prettier route’ is just that – it meanders through mid-Suffolk and many picturesque villages and passes close to Saxtead Mill, a fully working restored mill that can be visited and flour bought.
The Suffolk coast is one of low marshes and reed beds interspersed with beaches of sand and shingle. There are RSPB nature reserves at Aldeburgh, Orford, and Minsmere, where you will see avocet, bitterns and marsh harriers, in addition to numerous butterflies and wildflowers. We’ve suggested places to visit along the coastal region that we know personally but there will be much more to discover in this area with its wide open landscapes and huge skies.
Woodbridge – a picturesque town with some interesting small shops and pubs. Well known for its Tide Mill on the river Deben, good riverside walks and a popular theatre. The ‘Spice Bar’ restaurant is recommended.
Sutton Hoo – just outside Woodbridge, Sutton Hoo is the site of two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of the 6th and early 7th century, one of which contained an undisturbed ship burial that had never been plundered. It is the richest ship burial (possibly for the East Angles King – Redwald) ever found in the whole of Europe. The wide number and wealth of artifacts found are of outstanding art-historical and archeological significance.
This site is of incredible interest for historians, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutton_Hoo
Hollesley Bay Suffolk Punches (01473 612639) this centre is unique within the UK, you’ll not find these magnificent horses in such numbers anywhere else. Wonderfully cared for, these heavy horses are thriving once again and it makes for a very entertaining and informative morning or afternoon out. It is around twenty minutes drive from Woodbridge.
Orford– A favourite and we feel is a very special place to visit. Orford offers a well preserved keep of a 12th Century castle built in the reign of Henry II and has an exhibition of arms and armour. The views from the top of the keep are outstanding. The small town supports a variety of businesses ranging from traditional (oak) smokeries, restaurants, pubs and tearooms. The Lady Florence combines an Alde river trip and serves excellent lunches and dinners, booking essential see (http://www.lady-florence.co.uk/)
Snape Maltings – With its concert hall inextricably linked with the
Aldeburgh Music Festival, the Maltings is thoroughly recommended. The complex has largely been renovated with more planned. It offers some excellent quality shops, tearooms, antique centre, monthly farmers market and top class concerts in season. The walks along the river Alde and surrounding countryside are enchanting.
Aldeburgh- almost exactly one hour from Kersey, Aldeburgh is almost everything and nothing! You’ll not find kiss-me-quick hats, fairgrounds or fast food shops – what you will find is a wide open shingle beach, real fishing boats (and their huts where daily landed fish can be bought), interesting shops of many descriptions and one of the very best fish and chip shops anywhere. Add some good restauarants ( The Lighhouse (01728 453377) in particular) and pubs and these are the ingredients that should give the visitior an excellent day out.
Southwold – This is not within one hour, it’ll take another 20 minutes to reach Southwold but its sandy beaches, new pier and Adnams Sole Bay Brewery…make it all worthwhile. The Swan (01502 722 186) is the flagship restaurant and pub and Adnam’s brewery is just behind – the perfect combination. The food here is excellent whether one chooses a bar meal or the (quite posh!) restaurant, booking is advisable.
Walberswick is a rowing boat ferry away from Southwold, this very pretty village hosts ‘THE BRITISH OPEN CRABBING CHAMPIONSHIP’ that attracted nearly 1300 entrants in 2009!
It has also been described as “Britain’s secret celebrity enclave on the coast” by a national newspaper!
There are two excellent pub/restaurants, namely The Bell & The Anchor, to choose from. The large well kept village green is overlooked by a tearoom and small gallery.
Dunwich – Further south is the ‘lost’ town of Dunwich; a once thriving town that was then capital of East Anglia some 1500 years ago – now almost totally swallowed by the sea but some Abbey remains can be found and there is a wonderful pub -The Ship Inn. This has been beautifully restored and it offers excellent ale and food. There is also a large unspoilt heath, a wide open shingle beach with a great good value Fish & Chip shop and café.
“More than anywhere, Dunwich embodies the elusive beauty of the Suffolk coast”
Vincent Crumb, Sunday Times