Why I Love Suffolk - Ben Heather

Ben Heather of Discover Suffolk

Ben Heather of Discover Suffolk - Credit: Contributed

Memory 

Landguard and Felixstowe. One of my fondest memories is a primary school trip to Landguard Fort and since then I have enjoyed many trips to Felixstowe. When we visit, we usually park at Landguard and explore the nature reserve before heading north along the prom towards the pier. No trip is complete without doing a bit of ship watching from the dock observatory car park. 

Landmark 

Orford Ness. I have been lucky to have had several trips to the mysterious Orford Ness including a ‘behind the scenes’ tour into the pagodas. The landmark that was the red and white lighthouse has now been dismantled but the 10-mile shingle spit, managed as a nature reserve, is still a great place to visit. 

Town/village 

It has to be Bury St Edmunds, my hometown. I was born at West Suffolk Hospital and grew up less than 10 miles south of here. The town has lots of character and heritage as well as an abundance of good places to eat and drink.  

Walk 

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Westleton to Minsmere. Parking at Westleton Common and heading east along footpaths to Minsmere is one of my favourite Suffolk walks. It is especially magical in Autumn when the bellows of red deer reverberate through the woods near Westleton Walks. 

Beach 

Covehithe. It is difficult to choose as we have so many great beaches, all with their own individual characters, but there is something special about the dynamic landscape at Covehithe. The coast at Covehithe suffers from one of the fastest erosion rates in the country and every time I visit it looks different. With less access compared to other beaches on the coast it is a good place to go to avoid the crowds. I have enjoyed a few dawn walks along the beach photographing the sunrise through the skeletal remains of washed-up trees, previous victims to coastal erosion. 

Pub 

The Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill. This is an excellent destination pub, with opportunities to enjoy a short walk to ‘earn’ a drink and a bite to eat whilst enjoying the views across the river Orwell. 

Place to eat 

Aldeburgh Fish and Chips (eaten out of the bag on the beach!). Having tried fish and chips all over the country, Aldeburgh Fish and Chips remain the benchmark to what all others are judged against. My wife and I have even enjoyed fish and chips on the beach here celebrating our wedding anniversary (with a miniature bottle of prosecco).  

Export 

Adnams beer. It is very hard to beat a pint of Adnams. I got a taste for it at the student union bar at Writtle College whilst studying towards my degree in rural resource management. Whilst my peers drank big brand lager, I developed a palate for something with more hops. 

Day out 

Hollow Trees Farm in Semer. With a young child, days out are different to what they used to be and this is one of my son’s favourite places to go. He loves nothing more than feeding the animals, especially the cheeky goats, and playing on all the farm themed play apparatus. My wife and I enjoy the farm shop and all the local produce.