Suffolk - West Suffolk & The Brecks

Bury St Emunds Suffolk by St Edmunds, Suffolk's third-largest town, was once one of the royal towns of the Saxon kings ©

This area is home to some of Suffolk’s most enchanting countryside, a rural landscape of rolling farmland and sleepy tucked-away villages – an area ripe for Slow exploration.

These two regions are quite distinct: the Brecks, the arid, sandy heath and forest region that straddles the county boundary in the northwest of Suffolk, and the western region of the county that lies immediately south of this and has Bury St Edmunds at its centre.

Both regions have historical interest well beyond what one might expect. Thetford, the Brecks’s largest town, just over the border in Norfolk, was once home to the monarchs of East Anglia and the seat of a bishopric. Brandon nearby has long been a centre for flint mining, an industry that dates back to Neolithic times. Bury St Edmunds is a place apart, the capital and burial site of the Saxon King Edmund. The area south of Bury St Edmunds is home to some of Suffolk’s most enchanting countryside, a rural landscape of rolling farmland, sleepy tucked-away villages, narrow country lanes and high hedgerows – an area ripe for Slow exploration. Although focusing primarily on Suffolk, this chapter will occasionally make brief inroads into Norfolk in order to get a fuller understanding of what the Brecks region has to offer.

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