East Anglia

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thesshhh | 19:38 Sat 01st Dec 2018 | Travel
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For tourists visiting East Anglia for the first time, where are the loveliest places to go and stay? Recommendations for gorgeous guest houses would be good too


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I live in Suffolk, so I reckon that I know a thing or two about East Anglia.

The first thing to say is that, for an initial visit, it might be best to concentrate on a particular part of East Anglia, as the area is bigger than some people seem to allow for. (It's a two-hour drive from Cromer to Cambridge and even longer from Hunstanton to Colchester). However I'll try to cover some of the best bits across the whole of the region.

Many people regard the coast as the real gem of East Anglia, with many Sunday supplement writers declaring Southwold to be the finest seaside resort in the country. It's rather upmarket (with beach huts priced at £150,000 and a tiny terraced house anywhere near to the seafront costing over a million pounds) but it's still unpretentious, unlike it's snooty neighbour, Aldeburgh. It's extremely attractive, with lots of independent shops, superb Adnam's pubs and lovely restaurants.

The North Norfolk coast is also deservedly popular, with Wells-next-the-Sea probably being my own favourite place. It's a delightful town, with a bustling working quayside and lots of (often upmarket) independent shops. It's also packed with good pubs and restaurants. (When I had to decide where to go on my birthday this year it was Wells-next-the-Sea that I headed for. It's impossible to have a bad day there).

There are other interesting towns on the North Norfolk coast too, such as Sheringham.

Coming inland, the best town or city has to be Norwich. It's packed with historical attractions, great pubs and restaurants, several good theatres, etc.

If you were looking for a smaller town to visit in Norfolk then Holt should be near to the top of your list; it's absolutely charming.

Suffolk's most popular tourist town has to be Bury St Edmunds, which is attractive and fairly upmarket.

However Ipswich has re-invented itself over the past few decades and, far from being the drab, boring place it was when I was brought up there, now has a lot going for it. In particular the redeveloped Waterfront area is now very attractive and packed with good bars and restaurants.

If it's picture postcard places in Suffolk that you're looking for though, Lavenham ought to be top of your list.

Cambridge is, of course, world famous for its history and its colleges but the city centre itself doesn't immediately leap out at me and shout about it's attractiveness. It's a city where you have to do your research first, before visiting, to ensure that you discover all of its gems (of which there are many).

Those are just the first few places which come to mind. If you tell us about any special interest you might have (museums, bird-watching, theatres, etc) I might be able to be more specific with my suggestions.
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Fab response, thank you
As one born and bred in Suffolk and still a frequent visitor, I beg to differ re Southwold and Aldeburgh! I love them both but Southwold is the pretentious one - full of the Chelsea set and with prices to match London. Aldeburgh to me seems much more "normal". And while in that neck of the woods, don't miss Orford - fabulous smoked fish and a bakery to die for plus the added bonus of a great castle and wonderful views.
as Chris to visit Norwich..great shopping great pubs...special mention for walnut tree shades...great eating well as Cathedral which is a must...going up the north coast..cromer, Happisburgh..sheringham..and Blakeny point for bird watching..Burnham Thorpe...Nelson's birth place where his father was rector..Walsingham..if you are of christian faith to see the shrine to the virgin Mary....
Having been born and brought up on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, I love both counties. You didn't say if this is a summer or winter break but if you like seals you can see them in the summer off Blakeney Point and in winter on Hornsey beach near Great Yarmouth, which is also a lovely beach. I agree, Norwich is a must. It's a beautiful city full of history and, if you are that way inclined, there are some good museums, the Bridewell and
Norwich Castle to name two. You could learn how the Canaries football team got their name! There is also a good steam museum at Thursford with all things steam. Loads to do and places to see. As I still have relatives dotted around both counties, I'm afraid I don't know good places to stay.
East Anglia covers a big area, can you be more specific. I live in Norfolk and would be happy to help.

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