Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Suffolk

"SUFFOLK, a maritime county on the E. coast of England, is bounded N. by Norfolk, E. by the German Ocean, S. by Essex, and W. by Cambridge. It lies between 51° 56' and 52° 37' N. lat., 0° 23' and 1° 46' E. long. Its greatest length from Southtown, a suburb of Great Yarmouth, on the N.E., to the south-western border, is 68 miles, and the extreme breadth 52 miles. The area is 1,481 square miles, or 947,681 acres, of which about 820,000 acres are arable land, meadow, and pasture. The population in 1801 was 214,404; in 1851, 337,215; and in 1861, 337,070. In the earliest times of which we have any record, it was inhabited by the Iceni, a British tribe, and subsequently formed part of the Roman province of Flavia Cęsariensis. It was afterwards occupied by the Angles, and formed part of the kingdom of East Anglia. In 654, Penda, king of Mercia, attacked the East Anglians, and in a battle fought near Blytheburgh, slew their king. The Danes early commenced their ravages along this coast, and in 871 defeated and took prisoner Edmund, king of East Anglia, whom they put to death for refusing to renounce Christianity. His body was removed from Hoxne to Bury, which received in consequence the name of Bury St. Edmund's, and a monastery was erected to his honour. In the division of the kingdom under Alfred the county was included within the Danelagh, and at the time of the Norman conquest was held by Gurth, brother of Harold II. The surface of this county is generally flat, or gently undulating, there being no eminence in the whole county worthy of notice. The highest ground lies towards the W., through which, some miles to the W. of Bury, and thence to Thetford, runs a chalk dyke, which crosses this part of England in a north-easterly direction. This ridge separates the watershed of the N. from that of the S. of the county, the streams on the upper side flowing into the Little Ouse and Waveney, while those on the lower side fall into the Stour and Orwell, or directly into the German Ocean. The north western districts bordering on Cambridgeshire partake of its marshy, fenny nature, and in some places the land is secured from overflow of the rivers by large embankments along their course. The coast line, 52 miles in length, is for the most part regular, and convex to the sea. The bays are generally shallow, and the headlands have little prominence. The principal harbours are formed by the estuaries of the Orwell and Stour on the S.E., and of the other rivers which flow into the German Ocean. The shore is in most places low and sandy, and occasionally marshy; but low cliffs, composed of alternations of clay, sand, and gravel, are found on both sides of the estuary of the Deben, and at some other points. These are being slowly undermined by the sea, while at some places the reverse occurs, and accessions of land are being formed by the accumulation of marine deposits. Lowestoft, Southwold, and Felixstow are much resorted to as watering-places. " From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

Charming quiet scenery, with some beautiful villages and unspoilt coast; good for a peaceful break Suffolk's strongest and most individual holiday appeal is to adults. Its gentle scenery inland and on the coast makes for a relaxing break, and many of its villages are really special - Long Melford, Lavenham, Cavendish and Clare are classic English villages which draw visitors from all over the world for their harmoniously colour-washed timbered buildings. The first two in particular have plenty of places to visit.

Plenty of other less famous villages and small towns have glorious churches, appealingly timbered and plastered buildings, and the abundance of antique shops that always seems to accompany such scenery. The county has several distinctive gardens, and rewarding buildings such as Euston Hall, Somerleyton Hall, Ickworth at Horringer and Framlingham Castle. The collection of music machines at Cotton is fun, the new small brewery at moated medieval St Peters Hall in South Elmham makes for an unusual visit, and anyone interested in racehorses could spend a very enjoyable weekend based at Newmarket. The Anglo-Saxon site at Sutton Hoo will now be getting easier and more interesting to visit, and there's a good range of interesting places to see in Bury St Edmunds.Constable country, around East Bergholt by the border with Essex, has had more than a comfortable share of summer visitors, but it is very pretty, and people interested in traditional British painting can easily combine visits to Flatford Mill, Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich (free) and Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.The open-air museum at Stowmarket is excellent for an undemanding family day out, and the Kessingland wildlife park, particularly strong on African animals, is another family favourite. Children also enjoy the various attractions at West Stow, and there are several good farm and country centres.Suffolk's coast is largely unspoilt. Even in summer you can walk for miles along fairly empty beaches and long stretches of bird country: these wide sea and skyscapes are very restorative. Southwold, Walberswick, Aldeburgh and Orford are ideal for a seaside stay in understated civilised surroundings. By contrast, Lowestoft, England's busiest fishing port, doubles as a summer beach and boating resort, and has plenty to do; Felixstowe is another place successfully combining commercial port with low-price family beach resort.Walkers who want views and bracing contours will find much less for them here than those more interested in natural history. Suffolk is excellent for cycling, though - quiet back roads, lots of villages, gentle gradients without being dead flat, and accident figures suggest the county's roads are the safest in England.

Alan Walpole

Strawberry Corner Main Street
Suffolk England

Wildlife Art Gallery

97 High Street
Suffolk England

Escape into Art
Escape into Art on a relaxing art day or short break

Choose from Watercolour, acrylics, pastels or drawing and charcoal for either beginners or intermediates.

All materials, tuition and delicious buffet lunch included

Only £65

Luxury en-suite accommodation available in the idyllic and beautiful Suffolk contryside that inspired Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and many other artists

30 Coblers Way Acton
Suffolk England
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