Peripatetic in Suffolk – albeit that we were based in Saxstead Green at a wonderful Airbnb. Janet and Colin’s log cabin was a brilliant stay centre which enabled us to explore the east Suffolk coast and around. On the way to our accommodation we stopped over in Bungay for an afternoon canoe trip which we’d booked with Outney Meadow Caravan and Camping. What a wonderful way to relax into our holiday! The trip took approximately 3 hours along the River Waveney around the Bungay Loop from the Outney Meadow Caravan Park upstream to the road bridge where the A143 crosses the water. At the bridge we turned and headed back to camp.
On Monday evening we drove back into Framlingham and explored the food and drink on offer at The Station Hotel. On offer were a marvellous selection of locally brewed ales from the Earl Soham Brewery. the beer, food and atmosphere was so good we booked to come back on Thursday evening with our friends from the ‘Diss Diners’!
Our first walking day was Tuesday, the weather was overcast but warm and I’d planned a circular route around Saxstead Green taking in Framlingham and its historic sites. Framlingham Castle is owned by The National Trust and is sufficiently intact to provide an immersive experience. Built in the 12th century by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, it was home to the dukes of Norfolk for over 400 years. It was where Mary Tudor learned that she had become Queen of England! The walking followed PRoW paths and bridleways most of the time (although those Suffolk land owners were a little neglectful in places and paths were either overgrown or non existent). However we stayed on course and circumnavigated Saxstead and Saxstead Green taking in Framlingham on the eastern side of the loop. the weather deteriorated gradually as the day wore on and we did end up with wet and aching feet by the time we returned to the cabin 😮
Tuesday we spent a quieter but very nice evening in The Cretingham Bell. A brilliant country pub with marvellous ale and superb food!
Wednesday brought the intrigues of the amazing site at Sutton Hoo. We thoroughly enjoyed walking around this hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben. It’s home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time… the Royal Burial Ground of King Rædwald of East Anglia and his treasured possessions. Everything was so familiar too as we had recently viewed the new Netflix film ‘The Dig‘, starring Carey Mulligan as the wealthy widow, Edith Pretty and Ralph Fiennes as the amateur archaeologist Basil Brown. After Sutton Hoo we drove to Woodbridge and (unusually for us) had lunch in the amazing spice bar ‘The Table‘. Glorious spicy food and cold lager seemed to suit us very well :-).
The charms of Woodbridge and Aldeburgh on the east coast provided a pleasant backdrop to a leisurely stroll before heading back to camp and then onward to another pub! The venue for Wednesday evening was no less impressive, The ‘Easton White Horse‘ is a beautiful, rustic sixteenth-century hostelry in the charming Deben Valley, close to the picturesque Suffolk coast.
Thursday… what can I say? Sometimes we walk out with such glorious weather and stunning scenery that I am troubled by the fact that it will end! Thursday’s trek was one such day. Warm and sunny with a light breeze, the route followed a section of the Suffolk Coast Path ANOB then through rich farmland and into Tunstall Forest. After a few miles of dense woodland the more open Blaxhall Heath provided opportunities for some wonderful photos of typical autumn scenery with the associated richness of colour and scents that this season brings.. Onwards to Snape Maltings and then – reluctantly – back to the car 🙁
Thursday evening was no less spectacular as we had arranged to meet up with dear friends (the ‘Diss Diners’) in The Station Hotel where we all enjoyed good food and fine ale in the company of good friends… a fitting end to our Suffolk sojourn!