Countyfile: Suffolk

Take the Sailor's Path for a taste of Aldeburgh

Put your taste buds to the test at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival (01728 688303;; from £6), which finishes today. The Victorian brick kilns of Snape Maltings provide a quaint backdrop for this celebration of local food, with tastings, workshops, talks, readings and appearances by chefs including Angela Hartnett and Valentine Warner. The Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival is only in its sixth year but already has its own Fringe (various prices), a lively diary of walks, dinners, and opportunities to meet producers, which will be available until 14 October in towns and villages from Beccles to Ipswich.

* Take a boat out on the Meare at Thorpeness (01728 832523;, as the curious seaside community celebrates its 100th anniversary. More than 100 boats, from punts to kayaks, are available to hire on this man-made lake which forms the centrepiece of a holiday village for the rich built by aristocrat Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie.

* October sees the completion of the renovations of the Sailor's Path. This six-mile route linking Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings was once used by seamen to commute between their homes and boats. Today's visitors will find there's more to this path than just a way of getting from A to B. The route passes through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with views of the River Alde and marshes. Hikers can expect improved access, interpretation panels and new waymarks, as well as a downloadable and printed guide, available at tourist offices and from

* Eye Castle (01449 676800; open until 31 October; admission free) is another piece of Suffolk history receiving some renewed attention. Money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other organisations is being used to enhance the experience for visitors at this Norman motte-and-bailey castle. There is also a plan to establish better links between the 12th-century structure and the market town in which it sits.

* Check out Suffolk's Wild Zone and Wildwood which opened earlier this year at RSPB Minsmere (01728 648281;; entrance £7.50) near Saxmundham. Children can learn about den building and hunt for bugs in the Wild Wood Adventure, or have fun finding out what it's like to be a bittern or a sand martin in the Wild Zone. There are also two more chances to join Birdwatching for Beginners (entrance £5), on 10 and 24 October.

* For more information see, and