What's Special About the Suffolk Coast and Heaths
Yoxford Antiques Centre
The Yoxford Antiques Centre is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. They offer a wide and interesting selection of collectables and antiques, set in several acres of lovely natural gardens. An onsite café named the Flying Goose means that you can spend as long as you wish browsing the Centre and can have a well deserved break of a coffee and cake before continuing or having a stroll around the grounds.
RSPB Minsmere is a truly beautiful nature reserve, with so much to offer. The BBC’s Springwatch chose to broadcast from here due to its huge diversity of habitats all in one place. You can easily spend a whole day down on this reserve exploring the woodlands, wetlands and coastal scenery. Beautiful birds such as avocets, marsh harriers and the elusive bittern can be spotted at this reserve, exciting for both avid birdwatchers and amateurs alike.
As well as being a fascinating place full of wildlife, the reserve also has a rich history, something definitely worth investigating. A row of anti-tank cubes can be seen on the coastal dunes at the reserve, intended to keep the enemy out during the Second World War, as invasions were predicted to come from the sea. The remains of a small chapel can also be found on the reserve, at the site of the original Leiston Abbey. Inside these remains lies a small pillbox from the aforementioned war, as a ruse to keep it entirely hidden from potential invaders from the sea. The reserve takes action to preserve these important monuments as well as they preserve the beautiful natural habitats that surround them.
Halesworth is a small market town 20 minutes inland from the coast. There is so much to do in this town that it would be wrong to not mention it! The Cut Arts Centre is a fantastic place, just on the edge of the town, with plenty going on daily. It is dedicated to promoting the arts: music, theatre, dance, comedy, cinema, and Art Exhibitions and also now has a licenced cafeteria and bar. It’s perfect for a night out in the area, just visit their website for information about what’s on when you are in this area.
Halesworth also has two museums, the Airfield Memorial Museum and the District Museum. The former is dedicated to the history of the area during the Second World War and the latter, a fascinating place for those interested in the more general history of the area, which spans many decades and centuries.
Step back in time
Just down the road from Saxmundham lies the town of Leiston, and just outside of the town is home to the magnificent Leiston Abbey. It is one of Suffolk’s most impressive monastic ruins, from the 14th Century, it has some fascinating architectural features. Surrounded by countryside, it’s a perfect area to take a stroll and admire the historical Abbey from afar as well as walking amongst it and taking in the impressive stonework and imagining the many and varied lives that have passed through and around these ruins.