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Eastern - Ipswich and the Suffolk Coast

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in eastern england

Ipswich and the Suffolk Coast

1. Sutton Hoo

This hauntingly beautiful estate is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Walk around the ancient burial mounds and discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions. Explore the award winning exhibition, the full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber, stunning replica treasures and original finds including a prince’s sword. Look inside the Edwardian house or enjoy beautiful seasonal colours on an estate walk.

2. Orford Ness

The site of secret military testing, from the early experiments with RADAR to munitions in WWII and missiles and communications during the cold war, Orford Ness is a 7 mile long spit of land and shingle which has separated the village of Orford from the sea since Tudor times. The Ness is also an internationally important nature reserve, with rare flora and fauna fighting to survive on this wild and remote extremity of eastern England. Visit the 'Black Beacon' and soak up the atmosphere.

3. Ancient House Museum, Ipswich

This atmospheric crooked house tells the remarkable story of Thetford and local areas, known as the Brecks. Discover rich collections alongside audio guides, films and animations. Meet local people from Thetford's past, from the revolutionary philosopher Thomas Paine to the Sikh hero Maharajah Duleep Singh,and from rabbit warreners to railway workers. Take time out in the beautiful courtyard garden and visit the new museum shop located in an oak pavillion.

4. Southwold

Southwold is a quintessentially English resort town. With fine old buildings, a long sandy beach, open heathland, and the local Adnams Brewery, the town offers much of interest, but it is the sea and Southwold's links with it that make this a wonderful destination at any time of the year. The working lighthouse, beach huts, award-winning pier, busy harbour, cliff top cannons and of course the beach make Southwold an attractive destination for days out and holidays for families and couples.

5. Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

Discover Ipswich's historic past with a visit to the beautiful Christchurch Mansion, in Christchurch Park, just five minutes walk from the town centre. See period rooms from the sumptuous Georgian Saloon, to the more humble Victorian wing with its displays of children's toys and dolls houses. Don't miss the biggest collection of paintings by Gainsborough and Constable outside of London, along with collections of other artists inspired by the beautiful landscapes of East Anglia.

6. Speedboat and Seal Watching Trips

Take a seal watching boat trip from Southwold with Coastal Voyager - an open top speedboat RHIB, Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat. A variety of trips and cruises are available, from seal watching at Scroby Sands, to Sea Blast!, a high speed boat trip straight out to sea. Have a go behind the wheel yourself under the instruction of the skipper, or enjoy a more tranquil experience on the River Blythe cruise. Combine a walk with a sea voyage with the Walker One Way at Sea package.

7. Landguard Fort, Felixstowe

Landguard Fort is the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England in 1667 and the first land battle of the Royal Marines.Today, Landguard Fort offers a wide variety of  tours, exhibitions and events.  These range from guided historical tours of this impressive building and its coastal gun batteries, to Haunted Ghost Tours, art installations, musical performances, poetry readings and historical re-enactments. Facilities include a gift shop and a cafe serving light refreshments.

8. Dunwich Heath Coastal Centre and Beach

Tucked away on the Suffolk coast, Dunwich Heath offers you peace and quiet and a true sense of being at one with nature. A rare and precious habitat, the heath is home to species such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, ant-lion and adder. From July to September the heath is alive with colour; a patchwork of pink and purple heather and coconut-scented yellow gorse. Stunning views, good food and tea and gifts can be found at the old Coastguard Cottages nearby.

9. Aldeburgh and the Aldeburgh Festival

Escape to Aldeburgh and let the stress of everyday life evaporate into Aldeburgh's wide atmospheric sky. Take a walk on the beach, take time out to recharge your batteries! Aldeburgh is best known for its annual arts festival, the brainchild of composer Benjamin Britten (1913-76) who lived and worked here for most of his life. Outside of June, when the festival takes place, Aldeburgh is the quietest of places, with just a small fishing fleet selling its daily catch from wooden shacks along the pebbled shore.

10. Orwell River Cruises, Ipswich

Take to the water for a relaxing journey around the historic waterways of Ipswich, Harwich Harbour and the River Orwell - voted ones of the most beautiful rivers in England by the Royal Yachting Association. A purpose built vessel, the Orwell Lady, runs regular, scheduled cruises, leaving from Orwell Quay in Ipswich Wet Dock. Learn about the maritime history of the area, from sumuggling and shipbuilding to industry and warfare. Experience gentle wooded river banks and farmland upstream, to the historic Harwich harbour and the bustling modern container port at Felixstowe near the sea.
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