This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, with this year’s theme being ‘connecting with nature’. We understand that our beloved classics give us the ability to drive to some beautiful spots but sometimes its best to get out from behind the drivers seat and take a walk.
70% of adults in the UK say that their mood is lifted when spending time outdoors. We understand that not everyone has access to vast landscapes, the time to take big trips or the privilege of fitness to take large hikes, however, you can still appreciate nature by taking a small walk or a picnic in your local green space.
You can use the hashtag #ConnectWithNature to get involved in the Mental Health Foundation online as they explore the positive benefits of spending more time outside.
We’ve made a list of our top destinations in East Anglia for you to enjoy, and that act as great backdrops for photos of your classic!
You may have heard of the Brecks when linked to Thetford Forest, which is part of this stunning forest landscape. Situated in Breckland, The Brecks straddles North Suffolk and South Norfolk and has the best overall climate of the UK. Fantastic for everything from Red Deer spotting to mountain biking, walking and the more adventurous high ropes. Grimes Graves, a Neolithic flint mine thought to be Europe’s first industrial centre can also be found as well as St George’s Distillery and Oxborough Hall.
East Anglia is famous for its ‘tree of life’ map of estuaries, rivers and streams. The Norfolk Broads is the youngest National Park in the UK and is host to calming walks, characterful windmills, cycle paths and traditional pubs. Best admired from the water, boats of all sizes can be hired on the Broads.
Taking a walk out in Suffolk and Essex’s Constable country is sure to give you a peace of mind as you stroll through the never-ending grassy fields and age old forests that inspired the painter John Constable. Dedham Vale provides the perfect roadside backdrop for your classic motor, giving you the choice of woodland or a charming town. Equipped with accessible walks, cafe’s and row boats, Dedham Vale also features the Stour estuary which is perfect to paddle board or row down.
From Covehithe to Shingle Street, Suffolk is host to a huge selection of stunning beaches, most of which are connected to interesting local history, forests, or an equally stunning village. Aldeburgh and Southwold are well known for their coastal life and make a wonderful accessible and social beach day, however if you fancy something more secluded, Bawdsey or Shingle Street provide a quaint taste of coastal Suffolk.
Sea Spalling And Horsey Gap
The Norfolk coast is home to great stretches of sandy beach and wild seals basking in the sun. Cromer and Sherringham are both great options, however for the best views of the local seals, Horsey Gap comes top trumps. If you do decide to take a walk down Horsey Gap, it is important you keep your dog on a lead as both seals and dogs are known to attack each other. Please remember these are wild seals and should not be approached. We recommend taking some binoculars or a long zoom lens on your camera so that you can enjoy the beach without putting the seals at risk.
For those who can’t travel far, most towns and cities have community parks that can be accessed via public transport and are accessible for wheelchairs. Ipswich has a great array of outdoor spaces such as Hollywells Park and Christchurch park. These community green spaces make great settings for a picnic or a quiet place to read. Places such as Foxes Farm also open their Sunflower fields in the summer, which makes the perfect spot to walk around and pick your own flowers.