With little planned for the day we decided to go for a walk. Of course we headed somewhere neither of us had been to before. Right on the outer radius for what we class as local, we chose to go to Orford in Suffolk.
The small town of Orford in Suffolk sits on the banks of the River Ore. The river divides Orford and Orford Ness, home to the regions nature reserve. Orford has a very proud little castle which sits overlooking the coast. The castle was commissioned by Henry II in the 12th century to act as a coastal defence against foreign invasion.
More recently (albeit still over 800 years ago) and rather a lot more bizarrely, the castle is associated with the legend of the Wild Man of Orford. The story goes …bear with me… a naked wild man, covered in hair, was caught in the nets of local fishermen around 1167. The man was brought back to the castle where he was held for six months before finally escaping from the castle. Later accounts described him as a merman and there are many carvings you can still see around the Suffolk coast depicting the story!
The village is so charming and quaint it looks as though it hasn’t been touched by modern life and it seems the locals love it like that. From wisteria covered cottages, to climbing the castle hill to get a great view over the reserve. Oh and the honesty box in the local unmanned newsagent. Not to mention the fantastic weather we had on the day!
Maybe one of Orford’s most famous features of recent years is this little bakery. Famed for it’s excellent bakes, slow food and chocolate. Not to mention that famous pink facade. You can eat-in or take-away so ideal if you want to bolster your picnic like we did. We have a new front runner for best sausage roll too (and maybe even the chocolate cake also took the crown…).
The castle is owned by English Heritage and for an entrance fee of £7.40 (correct at 2018) per adult you can enjoy the history of the area too.
Mostly though, Orford is great for the multitude of walks weaving you around the village, along the banks and over to Orford Ness. Sailing is also a massive part of the community and area.
Finally, how could we not recommend a few of the pubs? As we’re in Adnams county so most of the pub are public owned. But that’s fine with us. Try the Jolly Sailor!