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I visited Orford over the weekend. It’s a really pretty town, but with a slightly sinister history. Orford Ness is perhaps best known for its part in military history. During both world wars it was used a weapons testing facility, and later as a development site for radar and Britain’s atomic weapons programme. From the shoreline, it’s possible to see the “pagodas” which were cells used to house the weapons during testing. The pagodas were ominous-looking concrete buildings designed to contain a blast (although originally they had aluminium roofs!).

We walked down to the quay and on the left is a great little tea room which serves up a mean ham and cheese baguette. The other great thing about Orford is Richardson’s Smokehouse were you can buy pretty much anything smoked: anything from Trout, to Eel, to garlic bulbs!

Plus, if castles are your thing, then it’s worth a visit to Orford Castle, built between 1165 and 1173 at a sky-high cost of £1413. Actually, even if they aren’t your thing then the views from the castle are great.


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