Changing of the seasons across the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

Though we’re always sad to say goodbye to the summer sun, the autumn brings its own unique brand of beauty to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. Red, yellow and gold leaves transform the woodlands, the hedgerows are packed full of edible treats and the trees are laden with autumn fruits. With most of the summer tourists long gone, the autumn is also a fantastic time to experience the beauty of the region’s beaches and explore the area’s natural charms.

If you’re heading to this stunning part of the country this September or October, here are a few ideas for how you can make the most of your autumn getaway.

Conker contest

Few things represent autumn better than the humble conker. Most of us remember playing conkers on crisp October days at school, and million of kids, and adults, across the country still indulge in a bit of friendly competition every autumn. With the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB home to some of the best horse chestnut trees in the country, it’s the perfect place to perfect your skills and find the next champion conker.
Tunstall Forest not only is home to such trees, but this Explorer Guide, which also takes in Blaxhall and Tunstall Commons, makes the perfect conker-picking autumn walk.

Red deer rut

The autumn is an active time for local wildlife and few animals are as busy as the red deer. Every autumn sees the red deer rut on Dunwich heath, with hundreds of animals congregating in the area. You can join one of the guided walks around RSPB Minsmere or head off on foot around the breathtakingly beautiful Dunwich Heath to see the spectacle for yourself.

Explore the hedgerows

The hedgerows across the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB are teaming with wildlife and plant life at this time of year. Pick yourself a few tasty blackberries, study the fungi that grow on the trees and the ground and forage for nuts in the local woodland. Take the time to stop and listen as you explore the heaths and you might just hear the bearded tit ‘pinging’ in the reed bed.
To find out where the best berry picking spots are, why not book a walk with one of our Suffolk Coast Greeters; local, friendly volunteers who will show you their favourite foraging spots. 

Stargaze

Though the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is a fantastic destination for star gazing throughout the year, the longer autumn evenings and clear, crisp skies make September and October especially good for amateur astronomers. Head to one of the deserted beaches such as Kessingland, Covehithe, Sizewell and Shingle Street or empty heathlands that dot the area to enjoy expansive skies, low levels of light pollutions and a carpet of shining stars.

With so many activities to enjoy, the autumn is a fantastic time to explore this unique corner of the country. Why not plan a break to Suffolk and see the county’s natural beauty for yourself?

 

By Cathy Smith on September 24th, 2016

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