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An historic county on Britain's east coast which is mainly flat farmland with a calm shoreline

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Constable Country
Suffolk is a county on Britain's east coast. It is mostly flat, with very few hills, making it the perfect place for growing crops. But despite this sleepy atmosphere, with its quiet farmland and calm shoreline, Suffolk has a long and fascinating history. Humans have been living here for many millennia, which has led to plenty of important archaeological discoveries, particularly from the Bronze Age. These include many swords, knives, spearheads and daggers, hinting at less peaceful times in Suffolk's past!

Saxon burial mounds at Sutton Hoo
Photo EccyLad
Many of these items are on display is Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St. Edmunds, which is one of the region's best loved market towns. After viewing the museum, you can investigate more of the local history by making a visit to the nearby Abbey Gardens. This award-winning attraction is built around the remains of an ancient Benedictine Abbey, which was once the most important building in town. Very close by is St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, which features a striking 47-metre tower that was completed in 2005. Entry is free, but as your explore, make sure to leave time for the gardens themselves, which are rightfully popular. They include many different sections, including a "sensory garden", which focuses on smell and touch, rather than just sight.

Bury St Edmunds Cathedral
Photo .Martin.
Of course, Suffolk's beauty isn't just contained within its gardens. The county's countryside is so attractive that it has inspired many artists throughout history. The most notable of these are Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable, two local men who went on achieve international fame and recognition with their landscape paintings. Part of the county has even become known as "Constable Country", after its appearance in so much of his art.

Flatford Mill in Constable Country
Photo garyt70
Several of the two men's original works can be seen at the Christchurch mansion, a Tudor house in the county town of Ipswich. As the largest settlement in the region, this is also the best place for shopping, food, and accommodation. Tourists here are particularly advised to take a look around the waterfront, which has recently been redeveloped. On sunny days, there's nothing more relaxing than joining one of the boat trips, and drifting down the River Orwell.

Christchurch Mansion and Park
Photo AndrewH.uk
Suffolk's coast features several other destinations which will certainly be of interest to budding sailors. One such place is Woodbridge, which in Tudor times, was a significant port. Today, it has a pretty marina, and fine riverside walks. The quay has a beautiful watermill, which is in full working order, and still turns at high tide. Close by the town is the resort of Felixstowe, which is a more traditional seaside resort, with a pier, and several amusement parks.

Boats in Woodbridge Harbour
While much of the county's inland is taken up by farms, there's still lots more to see. Newmarket, in the west, is the home of British horse racing, with two race courses, extensive training facilities, and the National Horseracing Museum. Framlingham Castle, meanwhile, was where Mary Tudor lived in the 16th century. She was sitting inside these walls on the day that she learned she'd become the Queen of England.

Framlingham Castle and Mere
Elsewhere, Suffolk tries to make as much use as it can out of its green, grassy flatland. This is the home of the annual Latitude Festival, which draws thousands of people from all over the country with a wide selection of music, comedy, poetry and theatre. Another notable place is the beautiful, but decidedly unnerving Rendlesham Forest. In the 80s, several people reported seeing UFOs here, resulting in a mass of TV and newspaper coverage! So when you visit Suffolk's quiet, relaxing landscapes, make sure you keep one eye on the sky.

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