Whether you think of the Newmarket races, Colman’s English mustard, epic skies, uninhabited beaches that stretch for miles, those pretty pink Suffolk houses, evocative churches or the gentle Norfolk Broads, you’re bound to have a firmly held preconception about East Anglia. However, England’s eastern hip is rich and diverse.
Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex pack a mighty weekend punch. You might head for the marvellous beaches fringing the curved coastline of Norfolk and Suffolk, where the bird-watching is as much of a draw as boating, crabbing and building sandcastles. Or to the wetlands of the Broads, once so popular for cheap holidays on bobbing cruisers, now a far calmer and evocative landscape filled with wild flowers and charming backwaters. Across East Anglia, there are stately homes, ruined castles, medieval churches and half-timbered wool towns; there’s music at Snape Maltings and in Aldeburgh, the setting for Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece, Peter Grimes, which also hosts a superb annual literary festival. In Southwold, you’ll find an arty crowd of actors and writers and good shopping too, as well as in other lively Georgian towns such as Holt and Burham Market.