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Pictures of Orford

a Seaside Town in the county of Suffolk

About Orford

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Orford lies on the beautiful Suffolk Heritage coast, it is mostly known for its internally important nature reserve which occupies the landscape between the River Alde and the sea - this is the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe, it is renowned for its flora and fauna.

The town has associations with Benjamin Britten, Orford Church was the setting for some of the great composer's works, these include Noye's Fludde in 1958, and at a later date his beautiful Curlew River. Other aspects of the town's 20th century history include the use of the spit for radar experiments during the 1930's.

Orford's early history began at the time of the Doomsday Book when it was naught but a small hamlet, but in less than a century it had become a busy port with a huge defensive castle, built by Henry II. Orford Castle has a remarkable, well documented "Royal" history and is unique in shape, it is the earliest castle for which the entire building documentation still exists, this is kept in the Public Records Office in London. All that is left of the castle is its magnificent keep, which is perfectly preserved and one of the best of its kind in the country.

Visitors to the castle will enjoy exploring the network of passageways, large "airy" rooms, and love the views of the village from the battlements. The castle is in the care of English Heritage, it is open to the public with ample material being available illustrating the life of the castle since its inception so very long ago.

Apart from its historic castle, Orford has an impressive 12th century church which is well worth spending time in. The village spreads out from a wide market place surrounded by attractive properties in a rich array of architectural styles. Orford Quay offers a lively scene where visitors can enjoy plenty of boats and small river-craft.

Orford retains a tranquil atmosphere, it is ideal for people wishing for a relaxing time just messing around in boats, crabbing, walking, bird-watching, or just to sit, soak up the peaceful charm of the place whilst enjoying wonderful views.

A ferry takes you to Orford Ness and to Havergate Island, music lovers can enjoy concerts in the local church or at the nearby Snape Malting's and Aldeburgh, both are just a short drive away.

The area offers an excellent choice of accommodation, plenty of old inns, atmospheric restaurants and cafe's for visitors wishing to make a longer stay to experience the beauty of the Suffolk Heritage Coast and all that Orford has to offer.

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