Best summer Suffolk reads

PUBLISHED: 11:43 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 20 February 2013

Best summer Suffolk reads

Best summer Suffolk reads

Martin Whittaker of Browsers bookshop in Woodbridge chooses some of the best volumes to help you make the most of our coast this summer

Martin Whittaker of Browsers bookshop in Woodbridge chooses some of the best volumes to help you make the most of our coast this summer

The Suffolk coast, with its shingle spits, occasional sandy beaches, small cliffs and lowland salt marshes, covered by huge skies and swept by north-east winds, intermittently threatened by the rising North Sea has a magic that sinks into your bones, whether you have been born here or are a recent visitor. Once the shipbuilding centre of the country, home to vast air bases and secret military stations, this coast has history aplenty. And you can still walk its coastal and inland paths and, just, find yourself in solitude for much of your journey.

Finial Press Footpath Guides
Map by Barry Hill
Illustrations by Nigel Casseldine RWA
Created in the Romany Studio Workshop, Tunstall
Published by Finial Press 1.99 each

The Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Path covers 50 miles of walking from Lowestoft to FelixStowe. The Sandlings Walk is a 60 mile route from Southwold to Ipswich linking the remaining parts of the Sandlings heaths. Each is featured in this informative and charming series of hand drawn maps. There are four in the series covering the Deben Estuary, Thorpeness to Orford, Southwold to Sizewell and Lowestoft to Soutwold. These are walkers guides, highlighting major and minor footpaths. Places of interest are featured with a paragraph detailing interesting information and pubs and parking facilities are clearly marked.

Coastal SuffoLk by Robert Simper
Creekside Publishing 9.99

Robert Simper is one of East Anglias most prolific authors having written over 30 books, many on maritime subjects. Coastal Suffok was published just last year. Covering the area from Harwich to Lowestoft and inland to Framlingham, Halesworth and Ashby this is, in turn, a history, celebration and guide. Profusely illustrated with photographs taken by Robert on his journeys through the area, Coastal Suffolk reminds the reader that he or she treads each step in history as they walk this fascinating coast. Imagine the occupied gibbets overlooking Wilford Bridge or go to Benacre Warren and think on the 100 men and 120 horses landing contraband goods as the Norwich and Yarmouth gangs joined forces in 1745. This was a truly East Anglian industry!

Suffolk Coast from the Air, Volume 2 by Mike Page & Pauline Young. Published by Halsgrove 14.99
Mike Pages aerial photographs of the Suffolk Coast are featured weekly in the East Anglian newspaper and his and Paulines books have been hugely successful. In this latest volume, Mike looks at recent landscape works designed to control the erosion threatening our coastline and compares areas which have sea defences and those that do not. But the book does much more than this, providing a fascinating perspective for walkers and residents on familiar landscapes now seen with Mikes birds eye view.

Peddars Way and Norfolk
Coast Path by Bruce Robinson
National Trail Guides 12.99

This is a serious walking guide to the 93 mile National Trail that comprises one ancient way and the more recent coastal path. Peddars Way starts in the Brecks near Thetford and embraces a Roman road that follows country lanes and footpaths through woods and wide, open landscapes as it makes its way north to the coast. It meets the Norfolk Coast Path at Holme next the Sea running past salt marsh, beach and cliff as it traces its route through this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Well detailed, this guide is perfect for those planning to walk the full length of the paths or for those dipping in for a few hours in one of the most beautiful parts of East Anglia.

Time Out Norfolk and Suffolk
Time Out Guides 12.99

Published this year, and the latest in the excellent Time Out series of guiddes, this is a perfect companion for resident and visitor alike. Keep it in your glove box when motoring through these two great counties and let impulse be your guide. Here you will find the best pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes (Browsers is mentioned!), town and village guides, seasonal events and festivals, from Latitude to the Aldeburgh Music Festival, places to visit, city guides to Norwich and Ipswich, touring routes helped by colour Ordnance Survey maps, and advice on when to take a picnic and when to eat locally.

Untold Tales from the Suffolk Sandlings by Valerie Fenwick and Vic Harrup. Butley Research Group 25
This must be one of the finest local history books published anywhere in the country. Profusely illustrated in colour, with a scholarly but accessible text, detailed bibliography and index, it is an investigation into the people and places of this little known part of coastal Suffolk. Using manuscripts, archaeological finds and recollections of the older inhabitants of the area, the authors illuminate the history of the peninsula that lies between the Deben and the Ore. As with all great history books, this one leaves you wanting to know more about the people, places, trades and landscapes in which we live.

Norfolk Beaches
by Steve & Alyson Appleyard
Red Flannel Publishing 9.99

While Suffolk has many fine beaches, a change of scene is always welcome and this is a hugely useful, lavishly illustrated guide for families everywhere in East Anglia. Norfolk has a large number of fine beaches and this guide features 50 of them. Whether you want a family holiday or to get away from it all, you will find the right beach for you here. Carefully researched by the authors, sometimes with the help of their grandchildren, useful details include parking (or lack of it), cafes, access points, visitor centres and interesting notes on local natural history.

Latest from the EADT Suffolk Magazine