Archive for Ipswich

Feb
13

Travel Adventures On Your Doorstep

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Whenever we think of travel, it usually conjours images of airports, exotic destinations, unfamiliar languages and the like. One thing we all tend to overlook are the travel adventures on our own doorsteps. I’m more than happy to admit I’m guilty of this and I’m sure a lot of you are too.

I live in the county of Suffolk in England and these are just some of the places people from far and wide come to see;

 

Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo Visitors Centre (Photo: Sharon Hall Shipp)

 

In 1939, a 7th century burial mound was discovered not far from the town of Woodbridge. A ship had been taken from the nearby River Deben and a burial mound, believed to be for an Anglo-Saxon king was constructed here. Many of the treasures that were discovered are currently on display at the British Museum in London. The visitors centre at Sutton Hoo is run by the National Trust and all the up to date visitors information can be found there.

Constable Country (Dedham)

Will Lott's Cottage, Dedham

This is on the Suffolk / Essex border but I’m claiming it anyway. The artist John Constable painted a number of wonderful works of art, the most well known being “The Hay Wain” (1821). Will Lott’s cottage which is featured in the painting can still be visited and its lost none of its charm over the years and the area has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

Southwold

Southwold Beach Huts

Southwold is a little town on the North Suffolk coast and is a wonderful place to visit. It has everything that one would look for in a quintessential English seaside town. The sandy beach is lined with colourful beach huts or you can take a stroll on the award winning pier. From the cliffs overlooking the North Sea are a number of cliff top canon and a working lighthouse. The town is popular with day trippers and those wanting to stay a bit longer.

 

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle (Photo: topcastles.com)

The magnificent castle in the market town of Framlingham has over 800 years of history waiting to be explored. From its origins when it was built in post Norman England, Framlingham Castle has served various roles including a Poorhouse as well as forming part of the defences against any possible German invasion during World War II. The castle is looked after by English Heritage.

 

Newmarket

Newmarket Races (Photo: Jonathan_W)

350 years ago, the “Sport of Kings” was born in this Suffolk town. Today, Newmarket is still the home of British Horse Racing. It is home to a large number of training stables and the racecourse has two courses; The Rowley Mile Course and the July Course. Between them, they host meetings in Spring, Summer and Autumn. Entrance to meetings can be very reasonable leaving you a bit more money as you try to pick a winner or two. In addition to the races, music concerts are also held here and often feature leading artists.

 

Bury St Edmunds

Abbey Gardens (Photo: Running in Suffolk)

This historic market town is packed with history. At it’s heart are the cathedral and wonderful Abbey Gardens. There are a number of museums in the town including Moyse Hall Museum which dates back to 1180, Greene King Brewery Museum and the Suffolk Regiment Museum. If you are looking a great place to eat or stay, the Angel Hotel in the heart of the town offers superb food in a wonderful ambience. Whilst you are in town, you can also visit Britain’s smallest pub, the Nutshell. The bar measures just 15′ x 7′ and was first opened in 1867.

 

Clare

St Peter and Paul Church, Clare (Photo: Cuthbertian)

Hidden away in the Suffolk countryside is the old wool town of Clare. Some buildings date back to the time of William the Conquerer (it appears in the Doomsday Book as ‘Clara’) and there are many unique and charming structures including the 13th century Priory and more than 125 listed buildings. The timeless beauty of the village is all part of its appeal to visitors who can come here on a day trip or stay a bit longer in one of the local B&Bs.

 

Orford Ness

Orford Ness

The shingle spit of Orford Ness was for many years a top secret area under the control of the Ministry of Defence. One of the many projects believed to be run from Orford Ness was Cobra Mist, a beyond the horizon radar system. Today it is owned by the National Trust and is popular with bird watchers. Some of the old military buildings remain as is the lighthouse which some believe was the source of the strange lights witnessed in Rendlesham Forest in 1980. The well documented UFO incident is sometimes referred to as the British Roswell. If you do plan to visit Orford Ness, make sure you wrap up warm as the wind can be biting.

These are just some of the places within an hour of where I live. You don’t have to look too hard close to home to find interesting places to visit. If you fancy a day trip close to home, do a bit of research, you’ll be surprised what is going on right on your doorstep.

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Mar
20

Super Moon, was it really that super?

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Saturday 19th March 2011 we were told was the day when the earth would see a Super Moon. This natural event is when a full moon occurs that is within 90% of its orbit to the earth. The orbit path of the moon is an oval shape which accounts for the variance. There are a number of Super Moons each year but the one on 19th March was almost perfect and the last time the moon was so close to the earth was in 1993.

In the days running up to the 19th March, the expectation grew of a superb natural show and luckily where I live in the East of England, the skies were clear. However, I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I had expected a large imposing full moon which may even have been tinted slightly orange but in the end, it just looked like another full moon to me.

Thats not to say full moons aren’t spectacular but in my opinion, the show didn’t live up to the hype. Thats not to say some spectacular photos didn’t appear but I believe these photos could have been produced at most full moons using the same equipment. For example, I found this photo taken in Greece:

Photo: Associated Press
Source: http://www.tbd.com/blogs/weather/2011/03/extreme-supermoon-on-march-19-makes-astrologers-wet-their-pants-9251.html

 

I also took a couple of photos from my back garden and below I’ve compared the image from the 19th March 2011 with one I took using the same camera and lens in June 2009 in Egypt. Compare them and see if you think there is any noticeable difference between the two images?

Full Moon, Egypt, June 2009

 

Super Moon, UK, 19th March 2011

How was the Super Moon for you?  Were you impressed or was it a bit of an anti-climax?

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Since 1884, Portman Road has been the stadium for Ipswich Town Football Club who presently compete in the Championship in England. It’s a all-seater stadium having a capacity of just over 30,000 and is located in the heart of Ipswich, simply two or three hundred metres from the train station that’s on the mainline from London.

The stands at either end in the arena were rebuilt in the last few years and you will find plenty of executive boxes together with other suites created to host corporate events in.

Before the mid-1980s, Portman Road was primarily a football venue even if there were periods when cricket has been played here during the summer and for the duration of the First World War, the arena was also used by the British Army for a training camp. Of course, the vast majority of supporters simply knew Portman Road being a football stadium.

In March 1985, the American Evangelist, Billy Graham visited Portman Road as part of his tour of the UK and approximately 8,000 Christians came to view him. With income becoming a growing number of critical to clubs, further possibilities were looked at to utilise the arena throughout the summer months as there was no football.

During the summer time of 91, Status Quo become the first of plenty of leading music superstars and groups to play at Portman Road. Having said that it was subsequently over a decade prior to another giant music act played Ipswich as Elton John performed at the arena. Subsequently, momentum has increased with quite a few foremost pop stars performing including Tina Turner, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, REM, Dire Straits, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart and most lately, Pink.

Summer time live shows at Portman Road are going to carry on as they definitely are of benefit of the football club and the local community.

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