The Blyth Valley is a gorgeous part of Suffolk and you can journey through it by foot, bike and car. With numerous villages and towns to explore as well as historical attractions, wildlife and a variety of events throughout the year, we’ve complied a list of things that are a must for this summer.
Latitude Festival - Henham Park
This summer marks the tenth year of the Latitude Festival which is held in July at Henham Park. Latitude is said to share many similarities with continental European music festivals with musicians performing across four different stages. The festival isn’t solely about the music as Latitude also celebrates theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance and literature as well. Latitude Festival is on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17h July. For more information and to book tickets please see the website.
Halesworth Antique Street Market
On Sunday 28th August in Halesworth The Thoroughfare will be taken over by stalls selling an eclectic array of antiques, vintage and collectables. Expect to find all sorts from jewellery to clothing, stamps to toys. The market will run from 8am to 4pm.
Halesworth Airfield Memorial Museum
The Halesworth Airfield Memorial Museum is open every Sunday and Bank Holiday between April and October from 2pm until 5pm, and admission and car parking is free. The airfield was mainly used as an American base during the Second World War with the 56th Fighter Group and the 489th Bomb Group were based here. The museum is home to an extensive collection of memorabilia from the Second World War, with many articles specific to the airfield itself. As you walk through the museum you will get a feel of what it was like for the servicemen in the 1940s who were stationed here.
There is a variety of unusual architectural designs in Suffolk and Reydon is home to one of them. The Almshouses are Grade II listed buildings which opened in 1908 under Andrew Matthews, their benefactor and a successful businessman and were built a “Rest for the Aged”. Today, the buildings are still run by a charity for local older residents.
You can find the Almshouses on Covert Road, Reydon.
Walberswick Second World War Coastal Defences
In the summer of 1940 hundreds of miles of beaches were closed off from the public and were fortified with barbed wire, mines and gun emplacements. Today, only traces of these defences are visible but at Walberswick there is still evidence of the 2nd and 4th South Lancashires and other troops stationed close by. Pill boxes and slit trenches can be seen across the National Nature Reserve.
Winks Wild Flower Meadow, Metfield
Winks Meadow is rich in wildflowers with species such as twayblade, early purple orchid and green-winged orchid to name a few. With a wonder array of flora comesa selection of insect life including bees and a number of species of butterflies. The meadow is managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and you can find more information here.
Church Farm Reserve, Thorington
Church Farm Marshes is a nature reserve which boasts a combination of woodland, marsh and grassland areas. A variety of birds have been seen over the reserve including skylark, linnet and yellowhammer as well as barn owls and grass snakes. Church Farm Reserve is owned by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and you can find more information here.
Benacre Nature Reserve
This national reserve is on the coast of Suffolk and falls into the parishes of Benacre, Covehithe, Reydon and South Cove. The reserve is home to bitterns, marsh harriers and water rails and comprises of reed beds, lagoons, heathland and woodland. A National Reserve, you can find out more about Benacre Nature Reserve here.
There are lots of great walking routes in the Blyth Valley. The Circular Walk: Wenhaston, Mells & Blyford is just over 5 miles long and takes you on a tour of some of Suffolk’s more secluded countryside. Just over four and a half miles, the Blyford to Blythburgh Circular Walk conveniently takes you by the Queen’s Head Inn so you can enjoy a drink or maybe a meal before or after your walk. The walk From Source to Sea, starts at Laxfield and takes you through Heveningham, Halesworth and all the way to Walberswick and you trace the route of the River Blyth to the North Sea.