When things get a little too much and you need to get away from it all, The Suffolk Coast is the place to head. With over 50 miles of coastline, historic towns and villages and breath-taking landscapes, there are plenty of ways to escape the everyday...
1. Watch the sunrise at Britain's most easterly point
Not only does the town of Lowestoft boast a glorious sandy beach, it's also home Britain's most easterly point; Ness Point. An understated spot (although there's an exciting regeneration project underway), Ness Point is one of the first places to see the sunrise, and boy is it with the early start!
Head to Ness Point itself, or make your way to the beach to watch the sun rise into the sky from the horizon as flickers of light catch the waves.
2. Enjoy some alone time at Shingle Street
If you're in need of some time alone, then Shingle Street is where you should go. A desolate spot, despite it's name it is in fact the only settlement in Suffolk without streets of any kind, just a long line of bungalows and cottages facing directly onto the beach and the North Sea.
A haven for birds and wildlife, the shingle beach forms a sheltered lagoon with views across the marshes and the village of Hollesley or out to sea.
3. Discover the UK's rare birds at RSPB Minsmere
Spend a day exploring the trails at RSPB Minsmere and discovering some of the UK's rare birdlife. One of the RSPB's flagship reserves, you can enjoy a peaceful few hours wandering amongst the wetlands and woods, pottering along the beach, and pausing to watch some amazing wildlife.
Whatever time of year your visit, there is an amazing variety of birds, insects, flowers and other wildlife to discover including bittern, otter, avocet and red deer.
4. Take in the views at Suffolk Food Hall
Boasting breath taking views of the Orwell Bridge and Estuary, Suffolk Food Hall is one of the counties' gems; After stocking up on a range of local produce including meats, fish, cakes and pastries, cheese, ales and wine, visit the cafe and order lunch and a coffee and find a table outside where you can watch the boats sail out along the estuary.
Suffolk Food Hall also features a homeware store and nursery, so if shopping is your way to escape, you'll be suited just fine here!
5. Tuck into fish & chips on Aldeburgh Beach
After a bracing walk along the beach in the idyllic seaside town of Aldeburgh, pay a visit to Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop and tuck into the 'world's best fish and chips.' Whatever your choice, be it haddock, cod, or scampi, with mushy peas or scraps, choose it to go, and walk through the historic buildings onto the beach, where you can find a spot to listen to the waves crash and throw stones in the sea.
6. Walk out to sea along Southwold Pier
The Edwardian Pier at Southwold is an iconic view in itself, but head out along the prom and as you watch the waves beneath your feet, look back towards the town for a breath taking view of the town and historic lighthouse.
The Pier is home to the Boardwalk Restaurant, the menu includes fish and chips, Blythburgh sausage and chips and halloumi and chips. Or you could opt for a table at The Clockhouse Restaurant and tuck into morning coffee and cake, sandwiches and wraps, paninis and bakes. The Clockhouse’s Afternoon Tea is a popular choice with home-made scones, cream and jam.
7. Walk the walls of the 'Castle on the Hill'
The inspiration for Ed Sheeran's 'The Castle on the Hill', Framlingham Castle dates back to 1148 and has a fascinating past; for it was here that Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. The Castle is owned by English Heritage so you have to pay for entry but walk along the ramparts of the castle and you are greeted with some pretty spectacular views of the surrounding mere and next door Framlingham College.
For views of the castle itself, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve which surrounds the Castle and encompasses the mere is made up of wet meadows that are home to migrating birds such as marsh marigolds, delicate ragged-robin, and lady’s smock
8. Enjoy a day boating on the River Waveney
You may think that Norfolk is the home of the Broads, but the gateway to the northern and southern broads is in fact, Oulton Broad! The River Waveney travels to the market town of Beccles or towards Somerleyton and into Norfolk. This stretch is much quieter than the Norfolk Broads, so is the perfect place to get away from it all.
Boat hire is available from Hippersons Boatyard in Beccles and Oulton Broad Day Boats, both of which sit on the banks of the River Waveney. Start your journey in Beccles and mender up the river to Worlingham and on to Oulton Broad, or commence at Oulton Broad heading towards Burgh St Peter and onto Beccles, or travel north into Norfolk stopping at Haddiscoe and Burgh Castle.
Be the captain of your own boat, and you can truly escape the everyday!