A case can be made for most British counties as a tourist mecca, and Suffolk may well be among the best ‘must see’ counties of all. It’s low lying country, part of the Netherlands flat Anglian region of the South East coast. Its natural beauty speaks for itself and inspired many of John Constable’s landscape paintings. You could walk the Constable trail if you wished – it runs for 90 miles. There is also a museum and gallery to Suffolk’s own Gainsborough in Sudbury.
Don’t miss Bury St. Edmonds, home of The Nutshell, the smallest pub in the World. As the fabulous town museum shows, the town was also the epicentre of the tyranny of Matthew Hopkins the notorious Witchfinder General responsible for the deaths of many innocent people in the mid-17th century English Civil War years. The abbey ruins here are among the best you’ll find anywhere.
Ipswich, the county capital and the biggest town you’ll visit has the Suffolk Food Hall, promoting local produce in the biggest all year round farmer’s market you’ll ever see.
Suffolk has many air force bases so you will thrill to jet fighters roaring across the sky during low level exercises in many areas. Blink and you’ll miss them.
Stowmarket, just outside Ipswich has one of Britain’s best owl sanctuaries and they are open to the public. If you prefer more exotic wilder wildlife get yourself over to the Halesworth Oasis Camel Centre where you can feed and even ride real camels.
Sports fans won’t be disappointed with Ipswich Town Football Club and Newmarket Racecourse within easy reach.
Try to time your visit around the Latitude Music festival in July or the Ipswich Maritime Festival in August and see the spectacular tall ships.
Don’t forget to visit the coast, and especially Felixtowe, a traditional seaside town with a delightful shingle beach, complete with pier, prom and ice-cream vendors. They even have a miniature road train to transport you along the coastal prom area here. If you want something more exciting there is also an 18th century coastal defences fort you can go round at Languard. If you need somewhere more formidable there are castles at Framington and Orford to explore.
If you prefer woodland to water then see the wood for the trees in the Thetford Forest, with 47,000 acres of pine forest to explore on well designated paths with lots of guided tours and activities. available.
History screams at you from all sides in Suffolk. St. Edmond was England’s patron saint until the dragon slaying George usurped him. Saxons were very active in the region and there is a Saxon mead hall you can go to in Lavenham. Suffolk was famous as a wool producing region, as commemorated in many towns and villages such as Long Melford.
You’ll be spoilt for choice as to what to, see and visit. Whether you are in Suffolk for a weekend, week, fortnight or month, you won’t take it all in, so plan your visit carefully, and work out a route to travel, as well as the best provisioned full amenities campsite to use as your base-camp.
The county is easily reached from London and there are many great campsites to choose from. The tourist websites even coin the local phrase ‘Glampsites’ for some of them, meaning glamorous campsites. Advance booking is advisable especially in summer. You can find out about VW hire for your journey here at http://www.vwcamper.com happy Camping.
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