Why I love Suffolk - Simon Eyre

Blogger Simon Eyre

Blogger Simon Eyre - Credit: Contributed

Memory 

The stunning locations and friendly hospitality received from many of the village youth football clubs whilst shuttling my son from match to match. Such pretty, out-of-the-way places, where local people make you welcome, and you can watch your child playing the game you love. Where else do football grounds have such scenic backdrops? 


Landmark 

This may be a controversial choice, but I find the Sizewell B Power Station mesmerising. Whether you are pro or anti-nuclear power, the sheer scale of the bright white dome catches the eye from miles away yet seems to now belong in the Suffolk vista. All things being perfect, I personally would not build such an enormous structure in Suffolk’s wild landscape, but it is already there so we should try to make the best of it. I am fascinated by the contrast between the stark modern architecture of the dome against its rugged backdrop of rolling waves, oil-stained sailor’s huts and sea worn old fishing boats. It has become an integral part of Suffolk’s coastal landscape, whether we like it or not. 

Day out/attraction  

On a summer’s day, there’s little more relaxing and revitalising than kayaking on the river Alde at Iken or along the leafy broads around Beccles. Calling at a water-side pub makes the day extra special and you can work off the calories on the paddle back. 

Town or village 

Southwold has everything one could need for a day out, including the beach, the pubs, the cafes, restaurants, chip shops and, of course, the wonderful pier and promenade. If you visit out of the peak season, the only thing Southwold doesn’t have, thankfully, are the crowds. 

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Shop 

I always try to support local businesses so, unglamorously, my 'go-to' store is Fishers’ Hardware store on Saxmundham High Street. It is miniscule compared with the cavernous DIY shops of Ipswich, but the friendly, helpful staff are always willing to check their Tardis of a stock room to find whatever widget you need. 

Beach 

For solitude and nature’s beauty in its most rudimentary form, walking along Covehithe is a beach is for solving life’s problems. Breathe in the fresh air and replenish the sole. Due to erosion and onshore drift, the seaside landscape differs on each visit. Skeletal marooned trees, lagoons full of flocks of migrating birds and the tumbling waves of the North Sea. The best time to visit is the golden hour around sunset or sunrise, when the hues are most vivid and the skies menacingly dramatic. 

Export  
I was about to opt for the excellent smoked fish and seafood from Pinney’s of Orford or maybe Blythburgh pork (the best in the country) but I wanted to pick something that I would likely order in if I moved away from the county. I therefore select Adnams’ First Rate gin.  

Pub 

The Crown at Great Glemham has it all. A cosy, traditional country pub with a great food menu and an ample choice of craft beers on tap. The friendly staff and owners offer a heartfelt welcome every time. The Crown is perfect for that romantic dinner for two, a sneaky beer after a countryside hike or even larger family celebrations. 

Find Simon's blog at reluctantbackpacker.com