East of England

Places to visit and things of interest in the East of England.  The East of England comprises the coastal counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, together with Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.  On the coast are intriguing seaside towns and salt marsh – where you’ll find some of the best bird and seal watching in Britain.  There is the Broads National Park, a unique area of waterways and windmills.  Inland, are delightful old market towns and pretty villages – flint is a feature of Norfolk and decorative plastering – pargeting – is a feature in Essex.  In the west of the region are rolling hills – though Norfolk barely makes it above sea level in places.  The East of England is rich in heritage, from the treasures of Sutton Hoo through the colleges of Cambridge to the power of the enormous aircraft museum at Duxford.

The gardens at Sandringham

Sandringham, the Queen's Norfolk house

Sandringham is the private Norfolk home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Unlike the monarch’s other properties, such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, which are owned by the Crown Estate, Sandringham is one of two residences that the Queen personally owns – the other being Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.  She inherited Sandringham from her […]

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Blickling Hall, visit Britain

Blickling is an extensive estate and stately home in Norfolk, with walks, gardens and a splendid house to enjoy wandering around.  People will tell you that it was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, but don’t believe a word of it.  Anne was indeed probably born at Blickling, in 1501 or 1507, but there is no visible

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Boys toys? A visit to Duxford

Spitfire, Battle of Britain, Duxford

Having been weaned on tales of Douglas Bader, Stamford Tuck and Guy Gibson, I get quite excited visiting places like Duxford.  IWM Duxford is home to most of the Imperial War Museum’s collection of rather large exhibits – mainly aircraft.  And, when I say ‘places like Duxford’, to be fair I’m not sure there is

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A short visit to Southwold

Visit Southwold

It is said that Britain’s seaside towns are looking tired: unfortunately, in many cases, that’s true.  But there doesn’t seem to be too much wrong with Suffolk’s Southwold.  So we’re just going to show you a few photographs of this lovely little East Anglian resort, taken on an all-too brief visit on a warm, cloudless,

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Kings and carols

King's College, Cambridge

Every Christmas Eve, millions of people all round the world tune in to their TVs or radios to listen to carols from King’s – or ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ – from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The broadcasts are an essential part of Christmas for many; for some, they mark the beginning of the Christmas celebrations,

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The Cambridge American Cemetery

American Cemetery, WW2, England

Something like 3 million US citizens passed through the United Kingdom during the Second World War.  The Cambridge American Cemetery commemorates almost 9,000 Americans who died while based here, or en route, in those years of conflict.  They died at sea on convoys transporting essential supplies, troops and military equipment, across the Atlantic; they died

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What really happened at Orford Ness?

Orford Ness, a ten-mile long shingle spit on the Suffolk coast, is one of the most extraordinary places in Britain. Its environment, part natural, part man-made, provides a perfect, and in places rare, habitat for an enormous variety of flora and fauna. But, more than that, for the greater part of the 20th century it

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From a house in the clouds to a fort

Thorpeness, meare, House in the Clouds, Suffolk

We are in the east of England, on the Suffolk coast.  The town of Aldeburgh was once a thriving Tudor port; that’s where we’ll find the fort. And Thorpeness, well – Thorpeness was purpose-built in the 20th century – and that’s where we’ll find our house in the clouds. Few people now will have heard

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Tracking down Britain’s secret SOE

Arisaig, Lochaber, SOE

The tiny village of Arisaig, nestling on an inlet along the beautiful Morar peninsula, has a wonderful little museum.  The Land, Sea and Islands Visitor Centre tells visitors all about the local flora and fauna in this relatively remote part of West Scotland. But it also includes a fascinating section on one of Britain’s clandestine

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Orford Castle – and a merman

Orford Castle, Suffolk, British castles

There’s not much left of Orford Castle, except for its keep – but that’s absolutely spiffing.  At the cutting edge of medieval castle design in its day, the keep has managed to survive for 800 years, still dominates the surrounding Suffolk countryside and coast; and the views from the top are terrific. Orford Castle was

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Stories behind Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo, bit about Britain

Above is a representation of the warrior’s helmet from Sutton Hoo.  That helmet has a challenging appearance.  Fearsome, haunting and spine-tingling, it demands that you imagine the man who may have worn it, and picture what he and his world were like.  The image has drifted in and out of my dreams for years, such

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A bit about Constable Country

Willy Lott's House at Flatford Mill

ABAB’s regular reader (thank you – the cheque’s in the post) will know that my knowledge of art could be sketched on the back of very small postage stamp.  Nevertheless, in the endless pursuit of intriguing stories and occasionally stimulating bits of Britain, which may attract and amuse, the intrepid Bit About Britain team set

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