Suffolk Coast

The prospect of that rare thing, sunshine forecast on a Bank Holiday weekend, was enough for the Warnes. The roof was off our car by 07.30 and we were on a journey into deepest Suffolk, leaving the dormant teenagers to slumber on.

Not quite hanging onto our hats, it has to be said; this is a pleasant trundle along sleepy lanes adorned with spring hedgerow, free range eggs and honesty tins. It’s like stepping back in time and was just what the doctor ordered.

Orford was our first stop. We headed straight for the working quay and watched the fishermen unload at the quayside. We were tempted by the boats bobbing about in the still waters. Alas, it wasn’t to be. The early birds may delight in catching the worm and the free parking spots, but the downside is they miss the river trips….

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We strolled on regardless to Orford Castle. A magnificent imposing structure located at the top of a grassy knoll, it has pride of place over the village. Built by Henry 11, it is beautifully preserved today by English Heritage.

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Coffee and a vegetable tart eaten at an outside table at Penny’s café is one of life’s simple pleasures. Pashley bikes aplenty, baskets heaving with fresh bread and pastries, this is a quintessentially English village where the locals speak with plummy accents and still wear their Sunday best.

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We hadn’t planned a day packed with history, but we stumbled across Leiston Abbey. Once more, we were bemoaning our lack of English Heritage membership. But not for long, as actually any visitor is free to wander around the ancient relics. And we did!

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Onto Aldeburgh next for a walk on the stony beach where a small crowd had gathered to watch the lifeboat being hosed down by an industrious team of RNLI volunteers. This seaside town is straight from the pages of a Boden catalogue. Youngsters in striped jerseys clutch colourful buckets and spades whilst their parents look longingly towards the many tea shops and designer outlets. Chips on the high street are not to be missed but watch out for the daring seagulls!

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