An Afternoon Visit to Orford, Suffolk

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Fall has come early this year, and although summer is my favorite time of year, England is really at her very best in autumn.  So this is a wonderful time to make the most of living in beautiful Suffolk for a few more months.  I hope to share some great day trips with you this fall.  The weekend after we got our news, we were struggling a little with being present here.  We decided the best course of action would be to head out on a country drive.  Halfway through the drive, we decided to pay a visit to Orford.IMG_0639Like many coastal towns in Suffolk, Orford was an important port and fishing village in the Middle Ages. And it still has a pretty cool medieval castle at the mouth of the River Ore.

I had a hankering for oysters that day, and this is partly what propelled us further toward the coast than we had planned on going for our country drive.  Orford has a cool pub, The Crown and Castle, that serves fresh oysters, along with an oysterage, The Butley Orford Oysterage.  Oysters are one of those things that I can get crazy cravings for, and the place we used to get them once in Bury St. Edmunds dropped them from their menu.  Alas!  Both of these places were closed when we arrived, not reopening for another three hours– too late for us.

So we did the next-best thing, and visited Richardson’s Smokehouse.  We picked up smoked sausages and cheddar, and went for a walk.IMG_0599Past beautiful brick homes, down a little walkway, and out onto some beautiful grasslands leading to the River Ore.IMG_0601IMG_0603We enjoyed some blackberries along the way, as well as the beautiful views (as always in England.)IMG_0607IMG_0605IMG_0609IMG_0614IMG_0608IMG_0615Up over this little hill, a view of the water greeted us.IMG_0622 We sat on this little bench and ate our cheese and the dark chocolate I always have in my purse, and just watched the ships sailing and the little rainshowers in the distance. IMG_0620IMG_0617When we had our fill, we got walking again, this time toward the pier, in search of a cider.
IMG_0616IMG_0629IMG_0633IMG_0634We ended up at The Jolly Sailor.  They have a really nice garden in the back, where we enjoyed our ciders.IMG_0638And isn’t this the cutest sand pit?  There is also a children’s playhouse.  And yes, Amelia’s fashion viewpoint right now is “prairie chic.”IMG_0636After these refreshments, we had one more very important stop to make.  Orford Castle.
It is pretty cool to be able to visit a castle so easily.  We didn’t go inside, beyond the gift shop, but the view from the stairs was pretty good!IMG_0643IMG_0646 IMG_0649Afterward, we walked all over the hilly grounds, and then found some footpaths to explore where we picked a few pounds of damsons.  What a super charming, fun and very English day!  I think we’ll go back again, when we know we can get oysters, too!

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