I discovered Laurence Mitchell’s writing in Hidden Europe magazine, where he takes the reader to some of the more off-the-beaten-track corners of our lovely continent. It is not surprising then, that Laurence is also the author of guidebooks to Serbia, Kyrgyzstan and Belgrade. But when he is not out exploring eastern Europe and beyond, he is working on projects a little closer to home. He is already the author of a “Slow Travel” guide to Norfolk and Suffolk, and through Cicerone has just released a new guide to walks on the Suffolk coast and heaths.
I have to admit I have never been to that part of the world, but reading the extract on Laurence’s blog and flicking through the website of the region, it was a further reminder of how many wonderful places there are for getting out into the fresh air that are perhaps less well known that the famous high places of our National Parks. The landscape on the pictures also reminded me of parts of the Baltic Sea coast here in Germany, that also suffer in the imagination when compared to some of the other regions such as the Alps, Lake Constance, the Rhine gorge and so on, but that has its own particular brand of melancholy beauty.
But back to Suffolk. Here’s a brief extract from the introduction:
“The sky seems enormous here, especially on a bright early summer’s day, and the sea beyond the shingle almost endless. Apart from the gleeful cries of children playing on the beach, the aural landscape is one of soughing waves and the gentle scrape of stones, a few mewing gulls and the piping of oystercatchers. Less than a mile inland, both scenery and soundscape are markedly different – vast expanses of heather, warbling blackcaps in the bushes, and a skylark clattering on high; the warm air is redolent with the almond scent of yellow gorse that seems to be everywhere. This is the Suffolk coast, and it seems hard to imagine that somewhere quite so tranquil is just a couple of hours’ drive away from London.
The big skies, clean air and wide open scenery of the Suffolk coast has long attracted visitors – holiday makers certainly, but also writers, artists and musicians. The Suffolk coast’s association with the creative arts is longstanding, and its attraction is immediately obvious – close enough to the urban centres of southern England for a relatively easy commute, yet with sufficient unspoiled backwater charm for creativity to flourish.”
We would like to wish Laurence all the best for the book, which you can find on the Cicerone website here. The photograph on this post is reproduced with permission from Laurence’s blog, which is well worth a read.