Thursday, July 22

More Suffolk, glorious Suffolk

I'm on a bit of a Suffolk roll now! After delivering the art, we had almost a whole day to fill. So I planned a long walk taking in all of our favorite spots around the town. We started from the Swan Hotel and turned left towards the sea. When we are able to stay in the town a bit longer, we always have a fish and chips meal at the Lord Nelson pub. Blazing fires in the grates in winter and a beer garden in the summer. Though most of the locals tend to sit on the ancient wooden benches at the front of the pub, on the street leading to the sea and watch the world go by. And who wouldn't do that, given a choice.

On  past this time, and we are on our way to the beach. Down some steps full of sand blown in from the North Sea, white and powdery, making me think of being four years old, and the  Portrush steps by the Arcadia Restaurant, going down to golden Atlantic beaches, and my heart pounding at the sheer excitment of it all.

Now this, is our favorite beach cafe but we don't have the time to stop more's the pity as I have other plans in mind. If we had the time we would order a pot of tea and toasted tea cakes and gaze out at the water and think of nothing really.   We turn left along the promenade.  Past the central beach huts and their fun names.
Shelley, Parbar, Linga Longa, Pumpkin, Summer's Lease, Tiddles, Charles II, Swan's Nest and on and on.

The sea comes in here at a steep incline and roars up the beach rattling the shingle as it comes and goes.

And then at the north end opposite the pier is the new cafe that I want us to try. I saw it in an article in The Coast magazine and it just looked like my kinda place!

Fresh flowers in a jam jar.

Second hand cane chairs and charity shop cushions and rugs...for the North Sea wind that rattles around.

Old coloured boats in a row, waiting for a trip on the lake, expecting a lot of giggling.

Baby ducks escaping from their mother.

and Canada Geese ( I think..put me right if I'm wrong) grazing on the edge.

We bagged a seat for two in a sheltered spot, lots of other people seemed to have read the same article and arrived.  We ordered cake for two and coffee for Alan with a pot of tea for me.

Chocolate cake with strawberries.

The cafe used to be the reception desk for people wanting to hire the boats.

We stayed there as long as we could, at least until we felt that it might be the decent thing  to get up and let some others have the prime seat!

From the cafe the path took us over the salt marsh and towards the main road into Southwold.  Even at the roadside'wild flowers found a little niche to seed and grow.

Dad used to wonder at the luscious growth of the vegetation in the Lakes in Cumbria, but as an old Cumbrian said to him," They can't help themselves, the air is so good". I think that is most probably true of this part of England as well. Not that Ireland's air isn't as good but he wondered at a land where the soil was made up of more stones than dirt! (being a farmer's son).

Salt marshes are magic places. The reeds move all the time whispering with who knows what wisdom. I have read in the nature reports by the blessed Simon Barnes, that bitterns are now aplenty in the Suffolk marshes, but I didn't hear their boom and I didn't see their long stretched necks. That means I'll just have to go back and wait for the joy that would bring me.


The raised path was skirted by wild flowers and insects, all the way along to the river Blythe.
So it took us a long time to walk it as I kept being sidetracked by the beauty.

We reached the river and stopped for a pint of Guinness at the Harbour Pub.
If you are wondering what Alan is doing wearing a cycling shirt on a walk in the country! Well, it came from a dear friend whose husband was and still is a serious cyclist, but age had put an end to his international outings. This is Italian and Alan, being a bit of a cyclist thought he'd like to wear it any way! I think it's fantastic if rather over the top!

The view as you sit at the Harbour is over the Blythe to Walberswick village.

Up over the heath is the village and the parish church.
The river is  a living, working place, full of all sizes of craft. Some for pleasure but still many boats going out on a daily basis and bringing back fish, which is  then sold at the two or three wooden huts situated on the banks.

Refreshment downed we cut back a bit and cross over the iron bridge to the Walberswick side.

A path through the heath is once again luscious with wild flowers.

Tucked in behind the sea walls was this little hideaway, looking like something out of  a story book. I thought that the colours used to paint it were
 quite Dutch. Anyone got an opinion? 

Back down to the river's edge and these wonderful wooden houses capture the imagination and send you off on a Swallows and Amazons reverie!

Now all that is left is to cross with the ferry man. It was from our many crossing here that Alan was inspired to make his landscape pots.

Then on along the harbour road with long horned yellow poppies and sea thistle growing by the edge.
Over the dunes with their cutsie little painted wooden houses and back to the Swan Hotel .

We're off now for another day of Prom Art at Grange-over-Sands on Sunday. Maybe we might see you there, If you think you know us, say hello!!  


  1. oh oh oh I want to be there!...The rattle of shingle on the east coast is like nowhere else. I love the colour combinations on the huts and I especially love the black one - a la Derek Jarman. Thanks for the vicarious visit Gerry, I'm off to the East Coast myself on Sunday....

  2. Fascinating post. I have only been a couple of times to Suffolk, but I remember it most fondly and would love to go back. Thanks for reviving memories.

  3. I feel like I've been walking with you!
    Love the cycling shirt and the ducklings!

  4. Lovely! Nothing quite like a pleasant stoll through lovely surrounds. I still can't get over your beaches though. So different to ours!

  5. Gosh I really enjoyed today' post Geraldine - my sister used to live in Lowestoft many years ago and my first husband (died in 1991) and I used to go down to visit her from Lincoln on our tandem. We used to cycle along this coast a lot - walberswick brought back memories, and Southwold. Lovely area.
    Grange on Sunday eh? We do go there for the day sometimes but unfortunately Sunday is a walking day this coming week.
    We have friends in Windermere and in Broughton in Furness, so it is easy to make the trip over that way from the Dales.
    Thanks for the trip today - lovely (PS loved that cafe)

  6. Thankyou all for your messages.
    Liz, have you been to Derek Jarman's hut? I would love to go. I used to live in Kent when I first started teaching and would love to go back.
    Natasha, I'm glad that you like the shirt. You know more than anyone that we can go a bit over the top at times!
    Ganeida, I would love to see the beaches near you.Can you put some photos up? I love the fact that coast can be so different, even in the small islands of Britian.
    Weaver of grass, I'm glad you know the area, you'll know what draw it can have on you. We love it.

  7. Oh I love your photos of Suffolk. The wooden buildings seem to be everywhere and fascinated me. I was very taken with Suffolk and feel another visit must be made in the future. Thanks for sharing your views :-)

  8. Donna, you too live in a beautiful part of the country. I love your collections of fabric. I do a bit in an amateur way for my own pleasure,especially eastern europe and asian stuff. I'm a bit of an embroidery and glizt fiend, but also love the softness of english design. Thanks for visiting.


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