Suffolk Heritage Coast – Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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If you here for a longer stay then day two is a good time for some bird watching before you see some other sites in the area. Just down the road from Dunwich Heath is another oasis of wildlife, this is the RSPB Minsmere. Grab your binoculars and camp out in one of the many hides they provide while looking for Dartford Warblers and many more species. Aim to get to the bittern hide early, as spotting these birds among the reed beds is always popular. Alternatively head to the reserve’s western edges and its Island Mere hide, this is good for spotting marsh harriers on the hunt. The reserve’s café does a really tasty Suffolk sausage and bacon bap even the bread is locally baked. If you see nothing the trip is worth it for the bap alone.
Once you have recharged for the afternoon, then make for Minsmere’s most iconic spot, the Scrape. However when it’s hot keep an eye out for adders hiding in the shade of gorse bushes. Four hides surround this artificial wetland, known for its rich birdlife. During summer is the best time to visit, when you can spot avocets, terns, moorhens and bearded tits, but it’s good year round. This area is not just all about the birds. You will also see otters that dot Minsmere’s waters, while its woods are home to a large population of red deer. Later in the day head south to the ruins of 14th century Leiston Abbey which is among the best preserved religious sites in Suffolk. Finally complete the day with a drive to Westleton or Eastbridge for some home cooked food in one of the many local pubs.
Staying for the third day gives you a chance to explore a wider area. You can take a drive north of Dunwich to wander more of Suffolk’s coastal towns. Southwold has become a popular seaside destination, and many of its buildings hark back to the Victorian era, while its namesake museum houses fossils and artefacts dating back to Viking rule. South of Southwold you should head up Gun Hill for grand views of the coastline. Here you can also see the six cannons placed there to mark the 1672 Battle of Sole Bay. Going further south, you can spot bitterns, marsh harriers and herons in the marshes of Town and Havenbeach.
Now it’s time to head back to Southwold and spend lunch in one of its many cafés. In the afternoon take a drive to Walberswick, which will take about 20 minutes, this is Southwold’s idyllic little sister. Once here then take the ‘foot ferry’, which is a rowing boat, across Southwold Harbour. Now you can take a three hour Coastal Voyager cruise, you can either glide up the estuary of the River Blyth to spot ospreys, cormorants and gulls or head up the coast to Norfolk to spot common and grey seals basking on Scroby Sands. When you return head back across the harbour, watching out for the multi-coloured beach huts and the ruins of St Andrew’s church. Then finish your day at charming The Anchor Inn while sampling the village’s famous crab.
That’s the end of our short trip to Suffolk Heritage Coast. So why not experience it yourself?
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Page added on: 10 October 2018
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