Explore Three Diverse Parts of Suffolk History

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Posted on: 04 November 2013 by Ruth Barton

There are many beautiful places to explore in the UK and Suffolk is one of them. If you’re from the UK then Suffolk can be a great location for a long weekend away or a staycation. It is a lovely place to visit with lots of walks to go on and a broad range of attractions - meaning that no matter what your taste is, you’re bound to find somewhere that you’re curious to explore.

Ickworth Estate in Suffolk

For a bit of grandeur and Italian style to brighten up any gloomy English day, try the Ickworth Estate. The country estate built in the early 1800s was home to the Hervey family. Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol commissioned the property to be built by an Italian architect – the idea being to create a villa for their Suffolk grounds. The Estate covers 70 acres of gardens and woodland containing Italian gardens, a deer park, walled gardens, a canal, a church and even a vineyard. There are a range of walks you can take that cover different attractions within the grounds, see the national trust website for details on suggested walks. A great walk in the Ickworth estate was picked up by the Guardian because of its beautiful views and chance for wine tasting. If all the wandering gets too taxing, you can always stop in at the West Wing restaurant for a break and a piece of cake.

 

 Flatford Mill and Bridge Cottage

If you’re in the mood for something a little more traditionally English, quaint and artistic you might enjoy visiting the Hamlet of Flatford. Flatfort and the surrounding areas inspired the work of the romantic painter John Constable – his works are some of the most wanted and valuable pieces of British art featured in both the V&A museum and the Tate Britain. There is even a walk of the places that his work was based on, see here for more details. Whether you’re a fan of John Constable or not, it’s easy to see why he was so inspired by the picturesque views around Flatford.

 

Orford Ness

If you’re looking for something less traditional and a bit more out of the ordinary, then Orford Ness could be for you. This area has a somewhat unusual and dark history, it was once a secret army testing sight during both world wars and the cold war.  It is now a nature reserve owned by the national trust but aspects of its ominous past still remain- unexploded bombs can still be found in the restricted areas. Whilst it maybe an odd choice of somewhere to visit, it is hard to deny it conjures up a sort of mystery and intrigue. The National Trust has created a fun spy themed quiz trail around the area to make the history come alive for children. The Guardian even included Orford Ness as one of their top 10 walks a few years ago calling it the best walk for history, see here for the exact route they suggested.

Suffolk has a lot to offer with a variety of walks meaning there’s something to suit everyone. This guide covers just a few of the great places to visit in Suffolk. If you want to stay for a long weekend to fully explore the area, there are some great places to stay, click here to discover some beautiful Suffolk cottages. The county also has a fantastic selection of hotels and B&Bs all year round.

 

Image credit: musical photo man

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