Easter is always a time of excursions. Yesterday we went over to Orford to visit the Ness. From now until September the National Trust run boats (every 20 minutes) over to the island every Saturday, and on other days in the height of summer. The boat trip is short but to see the Ness fully you need a good 2-3 hours and when the weather is good it would be a great place to take a picnic. A system of arrows shows the routes and there are quite a few interesting buildings to encounter whilst you are there. The landscape is an interesting mixture of grazing land, low lying ditches and lagoons and the wilder expanses of shingle which are completely open to the North Sea and the north-easterly wind which was blowing yesterday! Now an SSI with interesting habitats and a vast array of bird and plant life, its previous military uses are very much in evidence, both in the buildings including the AWRE site, where weapons such as Britain's first atomic bomb 'Blue Danube' could be tested in the labs, known locally as 'pagodas' and in the debris and signs warning of the possibility of unexploded ordnance.
After a bracing walk we called in at Pinney's to buy some smoked prawns and the delicious taramasalata that they make and then went to the Butley Orford Oysterage for a mouth-watering lunch of sea food - wonderful! Later on to Aldeburgh, where the town was bustling, with several interesting shops and galleries, not forgetting to call at Ives ice cream shop too!
Spent a beautiful day in Harwich on Wednesday, exploring the Buoy Yard of Trinity House, looking at the lightships (there are 3 in Harwich at present), the lighthouses and the old Georgian town steeped in history with plaques to the Mayflower and Samuel Pepys amongst others. I also came across the Electric Palace, beautifully restored with a very active programme of films and jazz - it is one of the oldest in the country, celebrating its 100 years this year. For details of the programme see http://www.electricpalace.com