Landguard Fort, Rendlesham Woods & Aldeburgh


We didn’t really start out with a plan today, only that we’d head over towards the east coast. There are very few English Heritage properties in this part of the country that we haven’t been to before but Landguard Fort just outside Felixstowe is one of them. As we were heading in that direction we decided to go there first and then make our way over to Aldeburgh.

Built at the mouth of the River Orwell, Landguard Fort is the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England in 1667. The current fort was built in the 18th century and has had various modifications in the 19th & 20th centuries. Most recently it was used during WW2 and subsequently abandoned a few years after the end of the war, leaving it to decay until it came into the hands of English Heritage. Forts of this nature are not usually in the scope of my general interest as I tend to prefer ruins of old castles or abbeys, however we both took out an audio guide to listen to as we went round and I really quite enjoyed it.

It was such a beautiful day that afterwards we decided to take a walk in the woods. We’ve been over this way many times before and remembered a walk we did in Rendlesham Woods some years back. We pretty much always have a pair of trainers in the boot of the car just in case, so we headed over there and spent a few hours following the trail and sitting on a tree trunk talking. Travel is often a hot topic for us, so we were discussing the trips that we have coming up soon and also our next round the world trip, which although not for a while had us really excited about some of the things we are going to do.

Rendlesham woods became famous in 1980 with ufologists after a number of reports of unidentified craft landing and sightings of unexplained lights over a three day period.  There were very few people here today though and we were mostly kept company by a pair of buzzards soaring high above our heads.

Details of Forestry Commission walks can be found here:

Landguard Fort

Although we’d set out to go to the coast this morning, by the time we reached Aldeburgh it was late afternoon. I really quite like Aldeburgh as a seaside town, it is a tourist town, there are some souvenir shops but there is an absence of any amusement arcades, fair grounds and candy floss/rock shops. It also remains a working fishing community where fresh fish are caught and sold daily from huts backing on to the stony beach. No trip to the seaside is complete without partaking in a visit to the local chip shop, so we got some dinner from there and sat on the beach listening to the waves eating it.

There was a woman sitting on the beach in her dressing gown and slippers, it’s not the first time we’ve bumped into this lady. We got talking to her last time we were here – she lives in the apartments that look out over the beach and she treats it like her back garden, so she brings a tray of tea out onto the stones, sits down and watches the sea while she drinks it, it makes me smile every time we see her.

I’m not sure I’ll ever have enough photographs of boats, so after we’d eaten John sat down by the shore skimming stones while I went off and took a few more for my collection. It was really busy in Aldeburgh, so I was expecting a long drive home traffic wise, fortunately though the roads were pretty clear.

The rest of the weekend was spent taking walks along the canal, going to the cinema to see the latest of the Bourne films, The Bourne Legacy and eating Caribbean food. September and October are going to be busy months travel wise with trips to Belgium, Portugal and Crete, I really can’t wait to go exploring pastures new!