The Suffolk coast feels detached from the rest of the county: the road and rail lines from Ipswich to the seaport of Lowestoft funnel traffic a few miles inland for most of the way, and patches of marsh and woodland make the separation still more complete. The coast has long been plagued by erosion and this has contributed to the virtual extinction of the local fishing industry, and, in the case of Dunwich, almost destroyed the whole town. What is left, however, is undoubtedly one of the most unspoilt shorelines in the country – if, that is, you set aside the Sizewell nuclear power station. Highlights include the sleepy isolation of minuscule Orford and several genteel resorts, most notably Southwold and Aldeburgh, which have both evaded the lurid fate of so many English seaside towns. There are scores of delightful walks around here too, easy routes along the coast that are best followed with either the appropriate OS Explorer Map or the simplified footpath maps available at most tourist offices. The Suffolk coast is also host to East Anglia’s most compelling cultural gathering, the three-week-long Aldeburgh Festival, which takes place every June.

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