Why you should explore your own slice of hidden Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 11:12 19 March 2019
Terry Hunt explores his 'hidden' Suffolk, some of it practically on his doorstep
Suffolk is full of wonderful surprises, even though I’ve lived here for almost all of my 60-plus years. In the last year or so, I’ve visited many parts of the county for the first time – places I simply didn’t have the time to go to when I was working full-time at the East Anglian Daily Times.
They have ranged from interesting to utterly stunning. Without exception, each has reinforced my passion for the county I am proud to call home.
The reason for this exploration goes back to my little health scare last May. After I keeled over in Ipswich town centre, I promised I would take better care of myself.
That pledge has translated into regular long walks in the Suffolk countryside, three or four times a week, anything between five and ten miles. It’s not power walking, but I don’t slouch either. Between three-and-a-half and four miles an hour is normal.
Constantly ringing in my ears are the words of my lovely heart doctor that playing golf “doesn’t count” as exercise. Sometimes I head off on my own, other times I have company. Either way, it’s fun, healthy, and it helps me get to know and better understand our beautiful county.
I’ve written before about the 60-mile Lowestoft to Felixstowe walk my sister Karen and I completed in November, when I saw so many wonderful parts of the Suffolk coast.
How could I never have walked along the Sailors’ Path between Aldeburgh and Snape, or through Dunwich Forest, or on breathtaking Kessingland beach? What had I been doing all my life? And as EADT editor I was supposed to know every inch of Suffolk.
Since then, my belated education has continued – exploring the beautiful Fynn Valley, a wonderful family walk through the lanes between Rushmere St Andrew and Tuddenham on a frosty day, with granddaughter Ava discovering the delights of jumping into icy puddles.
Bracing walks along Felixstowe seafront, usually from Cobbold’s Point to the viewing area at Landguard. A quick cup of tea and a biscuit at the viewing area cafe, then back to Cobbold’s Point. I’ve said before how much I think Felixstowe has improved in recent years. It really is a delight. An added bonus is bumping into people you know for a catch-up.
Then there is discovering real hidden Suffolk. I grew up in Cretingham, between Framlingham and Debenham, but there are still so many parts of that area I know nothing about.
An example was a 10-mile walk with my sister, starting at her home in Framlingham, meandering to Earl Soham and the wonderful Victoria pub, where we had lunch.
We were so close to my childhood home, and where I went to school, but I discovered new sights with every twist and turn, wonderful, hidden away farmhouses, isolated cottages, unexpected views, businesses beavering away. A real eye-opener.
I don’t recommend a near-death experience, but I have been determined to turn it into a positive. What can be better than discovering new parts of our county?
If you do get the opportunity, leave the car behind and head off into deepest rural Suffolk. I will wager that you’ll find wonderful and surprising parts of our county you had no idea existed. I know I have!