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East Anglia Future 50

Suffolk hotspots set to reap the rewards of Brexit

PUBLISHED: 05:29 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:14 27 March 2019

Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads.  Picture: James Bass

Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2013

On the eve of what was supposed to be Brexit Day, it remains unclear what leaving the European Union actually means.

Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads.  Picture: James BassCarlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads. Picture: James Bass

The only thing we know for sure is Brexit has caused uncertainty – and there is probably more to come.

And while the ordeal has hung like a dark cloud over British businesses for two years, a silver lining is slowly beginning to emerge.

Andrea Powell Travel featureAndrea Powell Travel feature

For the Suffolk tourism trade the uncertainty created by Brexit could pose an opportunity.

Amanda Bond, of Visit Suffolk, believes the county could soon be capitalising on its greatest strengths; the beautiful and diverse landscapes, paired with its rich history.

Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads.  Picture: James BassCarlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads. Picture: James Bass

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Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads.  Picture: Nick Butcher.Carlton Marshes in Suffolk Broads. Picture: Nick Butcher.

“Tourism is one of Suffolk’s leading sectors and a major contributor to the local economy, generating £1.9bn and employing 42,000 people,” she said. “It is hugely significant to the people who live and work here.

Gondolas moored at sunset in Venice. Picture: LJMGondolas moored at sunset in Venice. Picture: LJM

“Whatever the difficulties surrounding a post-Brexit Britain, it’s important that tourism in Suffolk continues to prosper, allowing holidaymakers to travel freely and enjoy the benefits of taking a break in our wonderful county.

“Suffolk is the perfect alternative to a holiday abroad as it has such a broad offering with a great selection of self-catering holiday homes, hotels and camping and glamping sites.

Southwold seafront.  Picture: Nick ButcherSouthwold seafront. Picture: Nick Butcher

“And Suffolk has two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 50 miles of diverse coastline; and some of England’s prettiest villages at the heart of the county.

“The East of England benefits from some of the driest and warmest weather in the country – it makes exploring Suffolk’s great outdoors a complete pleasure.”

Aldeburgh Beach. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown.Aldeburgh Beach. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown.

Along with jitters over the falling value of the pound, the increased cost of travelling abroad has resulted in record bookings for holiday firms in the county – with cottage rental firm Best of Suffolk reporting one of its strongest years in 2018.

So, with Brexit looming, we have compared some of the best Suffolk ‘staycations’ – will holidaymakers swap Marrakesh for Martlesham this summer?

Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.

Instead of Venice will they visit The Broads?

While the Italian city boasts the most famous waterways in the world – can it really compare with the breathtaking beauty of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads?

Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.

Venice is lauded all over the globe for its endless maze of canals but The Broads’ is home to more than 25% of the nation’s rarest wildlife and dotted along its labyrinth of water lanes are countless idyllic villages to stop and explore.

Instead of the French Riviera will families flock to Southwold and Aldeburgh

Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.Rendlesham Forest. Photo: Simon Parker.

With it rows of colourful beach huts, enviable beaches and famous pier, Southwold cuts just as majestic a figure as any stretch of coastline along the French Riviera.

The town’s Victorian pier is home to a number of weird and wonderful attractions at the Under the Pier show and also provides astonishing views of the town.

Aerial View of Amazon Rainforest, South America  Picture: GETTY IMAGESAerial View of Amazon Rainforest, South America Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Suffolk truly is spoiled for choice when it comes to picturesque seaside towns - with Aldeburgh just a short drive away.

Aldeburgh mayor John Darling points to the uniqueness and peacefulness of the two towns as the heart of their appeal.

Southwold's iconic beach huts. Picture: Nick ButcherSouthwold's iconic beach huts. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said: “We are a little part of old England that has held its own, along with Southwold.

“It’s just a bit different, with good restaurants, a lovely walk along the front - people love to come and see the famous scallop.”

Instead of trekking through the Amazon Rainforest will adventurous travellers take a wander through Rendlesham Forest instead?

The Amazon Rainforest may be home to some of the world’s most exotic animals but just think of the distance, not to mention the cost.

Why fly more than 5,000 miles to the heart of the jungle when you can drive up to Rendlesham and explore seemingly endless miles of walking, running and cycling routes.

And if it is exotic creatures you are after Rendlesham Forest is certainly the place to go. In 1980, a series of unexplained lights led to speculation of alien activity at the site and special UFO trails allow visitors to retrace the steps of the infamous extraterrestrial visit.

After all, you can hardly get more exotic than aliens.

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