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The county of Suffolk in east England covers about 1,500 square
miles and has a population of little more than half a million. The name
Suffolk is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means the 'Southern folk' (as
opposed to the 'Northfolk' of Norfolk!). The county's main products are
sugar beet and cereals, fertilizers, farming machinery and the famous
Suffolk Punch breed of horse.
On its North Sea coast, Norfolk has shingle shores, sandy beaches and low cliffs and attracts a variety of birdlife. At Minsmere Bird Sanctuary, avocets and other wading birds can be seen. Inland picturesque villages nestle in the softly undulating landscape. Suffolk is largely farmland with some wooded areas with many crops cultivated alongside the cattle farms and smallholdings. In the west there is some high wooded (mainly pine) heathland around the racing town of Newmarket.
Suffolk's county town is Ipswich which was a prosperous trading port in the Middle Ages. Despite some poor later urban planning, Ipswich's tourist attractions include 16th century Ancient House with its exceptional plasterwork decoration and Christchurch Mansion Bury St Edmunds, the capital of the Saxon kingdom of Anglia, and the ports of Felixstowe and Lowestoft are Suffolk's other main towns. British horse racing's headquarters is at Newmarket in the west of the county.
Suffolk has no cities but makes up for it with plenty of historical towns and villages to explore such as beautiful Lavenham with its fine timber-framed buildings and Blundeston, a village just north-west of Lowestoft which has connections with Charles Dickens who was a visitor to the area and used 'Blunderstone' as the birthplace of David Copperfield. Towns within Suffolk include Aldeburgh Barton Mills Beccles Bungay Bures Bury St. Edmunds Clare Culford Park Debenham Eye Felixstowe Framlingham Framsden Hacheston Halesworth Haverhill Holbrook Ipswich Kesgrave Lakenheath Lavenham Leiston Long Melford Lowestoft Mildenhall Nayland Needham Market Newmarket Otley Saxmundham Sizewell Snape Southwold Stanton Stowmarket Stratford St. Mary Sudbury Troston Wherstead Woodbridge
Famous sons and daughters of Suffolk include the artists Constable and Gainsborough and the composer Sir Benjamin Britten
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