• Countryside Marshland, beaches and birdsong
  • Country life Watermills and windswept walks

Flat as a pint of Adnams left in the sun, evocative East Anglia has more in common, topographically at least, with just-across-the-North-Sea Netherlands than the hilly counties to the west.

Suffolk’s colour palette – all coppery rushes, yellow gorse bushes and silvery waterways – is about as English as Gouda, too. Essentially rural, the county relies heavily on farming, and any motoring jaunt will take you past fields of fat pink porkers, wallowing in marshland mud. This means that Suffolk butchers’ shops are full of wonderful sausages, hams and bacons – but fresh fish is also sold all along the coast. Close to the beautiful cities of Cambridge and Norwich, Suffolk is not the rural backwater that many believe it to be. Indeed, its blend of ravishing scenery and sea air attracts affluent weekenders up the A12, many of whom have bought second homes – creating urbanite outposts in the increasingly fashionable towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes Although nearby Cambridge and Norwich have small airports | the nearest major aviation hub is London Stansted | to which Ryanair flies from Glasgow | Newquay and Derry (www.ryanair.com). Fly there with easyJet from Belfast | Edinburgh | Glasgow and Newcastle (www.easyjet.com).
  • Trains Trains from London Kings Cross to Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds take around 45 minutes; Liverpool Street to Ipswich takes an hour or so.
  • Automobiles It’s a couple of hours’ drive to the Suffolk coast from London | along the initially functional and then scenic A12. The Breckland region around Tuddenham takes about the same time to reach from London – go up the M11 and then take the A11.
  • Taxis There is a taxi rank in Ipswich, but cabs need pre-ordering elsewhere. Try Southwold Taxis (+44 (0)1502 723400) if you’re near the coast, or Darren’s Taxi (+44 (0)1638 609119) in Bury St Edmunds if you’re in the Breckland.