Our first visit to the county of Suffolk and unlikely to be our last – the area is awash with beautiful little country villages, coupled with a lovely coastline, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Our first stop was at RSPB Minsmere and, as we arrived, the heavens opened so we decided to move on to Southwold for breakfast, which proved to be a good move – a lovely seaside town which was on our list of places for photography with the pier being the focal point.
Following breakfast and a walk around the town – punctuated with numerous stops where Kathy accosted as many dog owners as she could (this has become a major feature of our trips out – dog owners, you have been warned!!) – we decided to head back to Minsmere where the coffee had to be sampled before taking a wander around the area.
The walk took us along the beach – unfortunately, overshadowed by Sizewell – before taking us inland and back to where we started – a very pleasant (and dry) walk, although Minsmere proved a bit disappointing for me but this could well have been due to the weather.
Next stop, having bought the provisions for the evening, was the B and B – a rather grand farm house, tucked away in the middle of nowhere – where we were warmly greeted by Rufus, Rosie and Rodney (a cat and two dogs) who kept Kathy amused for the next half hour!
We had been hoping to do a sunrise somewhere on the Sunday but the weather forecast wasn’t great so we decided to give it a miss and we awoke instead to flooded roads everywhere, with it having poured down through the night.
Instead, we took ourselves off to Dunwich Heath, which had been recommended to us and proved to be a lovely walk through heath and woodland – once again, Kathy was in her element when we stumbled across a group of woodmice on the path – they took no notice of us and had to be shepherded to safety to avoid anyone stepping on them (we later found out that there was a possibility that they could have been poisoned by waste from the nearby caravan site).
Following a recommendation from one of the National Trust volunteers, we drove into Dunwich village – another quaint little coastal village – where we parked up for a wander and found the museum, before returning to the car park where the visit was abandoned due to WW3 breaking out between two women outside the café – it was quite funny to watch but not somewhere to grab a coffee!
Another recommendation we’d been given was Walberswick beach, only a few miles on from Dunwich, so off we went – and what a delight it was. A lovely beach, where we’d planned to arrive just after high tide, in order to photograph the various groynes running along the beach.
Things were going extremely well, with a number of pics taken, when things took a turn for the worse – please note, rogue waves and groynes that appear out of nowhere just don’t mix – as Kathy found to her misfortune, when she landed with a bump!
Fortunately, no broken bones but there were several bruises and Kathy swears that the groyne must have moved - plus it pays to double check tide times as we’d arrived about an hour too early!
By now, we were well in to the afternoon and thoughts turned to where to go for sunset – we weren’t expecting any sun, as it had clouded over but were determined to get some shots at the coast – so we decided to make our way back to Southwold to scout out some possible locations – mainly ones that featured the pier.
On the drive back, we headed through the village of Blythburgh and spotted a church sat next to a river – another terrific opportunity to grab some pictures – or so we thought! It would have been good, but the light was rubbish and the sun refused to come out so, instead, we had to make do with a pint and a meal at the local pub – not a bad outcome!
By the time we arrived at Southwold, the town had quietened down and we could make our way to the beach in the hope that no other photographers had pinched our intended spot – fortunately, aside from a couple of guys fishing from the beach there was no one else around and we set up undisturbed, waiting for the tide to come in (yes, we’d got it right this time!) which was due to coincide with the start of the ‘blue hour’, which is the hour after sunset and would be ideal for some photographs.
As it turned out, the clouds parted and we actually saw some sun, which made for some good images, prior to getting the actual pics we were after – long exposures during the ‘blue hour’, which we’ve posted on our Facebook page (www.inkphotography.co.uk).
Then, to cap off a terrific weekend, we were treated to a stunning display of the raw power of the ocean as the tide reached its high point, with waves crashing in against the sea defences – absolutely awesome.
Once again, we’ve found a location that we’ll return to time and time again, I would think - Southwold being a particular highlight and still plenty more to explore.