It’s Suffolk Day! Let’s celebrate all that we love about this great county
- Credit: Archant
Today, scores of exciting and fun events are happening across the county as people and organisations take the opportunity to celebrate all things Suffolk, writes Terry Hunt.
It really is a great idea – and long overdue. Yorkshire has had its own day for more than 40 years, so it's about time we caught up!
All of us who grew up in Suffolk, and the many people who have made the very wise decision to move here, all know what a brilliant place it is to work, rest and play.
Like hundreds of thousands of others, I truly love Suffolk and cannot imagine living anywhere else. I was born here 60 years ago, and – apart from a few years at university – I have lived in Suffolk ever since. I don't think I will ever be prised away now!
Why would anyone want to live anywhere else? Suffolk really does have it all.
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Let's start with the stunning coastline, from Felixstowe all the way up to Lowestoft. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be standing on top of the Martello Tower at Shingle Street, enjoying what must have been a 15-mile wide vista on a bright early autumn day. What a view! To my right, I could see the high-rise cranes at Felixstowe Port, and in the distance to my left I could just about make out the lighthouse at Southwold. Simply superb.
Suffolk's coast really does have something for everyone. There are busy resorts such as Felixstowe and Lowestoft, upmarket towns such as Aldeburgh, Orford, and Southwold, and so many fascinating smaller places such as the aforementioned Shingle Street (with that air of war-time mystery), Walberswick and Orford, with its magnificent castle.
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Plus, of course, there are places such as the world-renowned nature reserve at Minsmere and, my particular favourite, the hidden beach at Covehithe.
I'm sure you will have your own favourite spots, and my apologies if I haven't mentioned them.
Then there are the bustling market towns which are so much part of the county's unique personality. They really do have so much to offer, not only in terms of physical attractiveness, but with their independent and sometimes slightly quirky shops which it's so important we support so they can continue to flourish.
As everyone who knows me is very well aware, my personal favourite among the smaller towns is beautiful Framlingham, because I grew up nearby and went to school there, gazing at Ed Sheeran's 'Castle on the Hill' from my classroom window.
But I readily admit to being biased, and I know there are so many other wonderful small towns: Woodbridge, Sudbury, Long Melford, Beccles, Bungay, to name just a few.
We also have big towns, of course – the largest being Ipswich, the county town, which (mark my words) will be transformed inside the next decade, then there's wonderful, successful Bury St. Edmunds, and proud Lowestoft, which boasts Britain's most easterly point.
Alongside its natural beauty, we must not forget that Suffolk is very much a working county, famed for centuries for producing a big chunk of the nation's food. Agriculture remains hugely important in Suffolk to this day.
Then there are the thousands of other businesses, from the giants like BT and the Port of Felixstowe to the huge numbers of small entrepreneurs who make their living and create jobs for others through their never-day-die spirit and sheer hard work.
We have a fantastic, thriving food and drink industry. Oh, and let's not overlook that Suffolk is home of the worldwide racing industry!
So, today, let's celebrate everything that's good about Suffolk, and there really is so much.
Let's be thankful we live in such a beautiful, happy part of the world.
Most of all, let's have lots of fun to make it a fantastic first Suffolk Day!