Commenting on this tiny island, Bill Bryson once said “if I parachuted you randomly into a place you would be within 5 miles of something globally important and significant, so much has happened in such a small area”. Suffolk is no exception. Locating myself in Woodbridge for a month, a beautiful market town 8 miles from the coast, I discover I am in easy reach of Sutton Hoo, an Anglo Saxon burial ground, Orford Ness, England’s very own Area 51, and Aldeburgh where back in 1948 Benjamin Britten started a little festival which has become arguably the best musical event in Britain. Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival (with fringe events continuing until October 11) is a good opportunity to sample the main edible players on the Suffolk coast, but it’s worth exploring the jewel in the foodie crown, Orford, at any time of year. With its 12th century castle and a coastal nature reserve just across the river, it is insanely picturesque. For simple, un-mucked-about food in unpretentious surroundings, nowhere does it better than Butley Orford Oysterage: they have oysters and salmon from their own smoke house. A boat trip will take you across to the spooky Orford Ness where intrigue hangs in the air. Top-secret military experiments were conducted here including the birth of radar (snooping on the Russians) and developing Britain’s atomic bomb. Go further inland and architecture geeks will go weak at the knees over Lavenham, a village that grew rich from the wool trade in the 15th and 16th centuries, then lost it all and went into decline. Because the local inhabitants were broke they didn’t have the funds to upgrade to the latest styles of architecture. What’s left is a Tudor time capsule, making it the most complete medieval town in Britain with a glorious ‘wool church’. Far grander and more ornate than a weaving village this size warranted, then, as now, the rich wanted to show off their wealth and this was how they did it back in 1525. Suffolk has long been a meeting place for artists, perhaps drawn by its moody skies and watery landscape. Turns out George Orwell, famous for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, spent part of his fledgling career in Southwold, a charming seaside town with neat little beach huts and a tat-free pier. OK let’s be honest, it’s the North Sea, Santa Barbara this is not. Like Nigel Slater said, the British aren't good at 'seaside'. But whichever way you turn, major milestones in history have taken place here that emanate far beyond these pebbly shores.