Clos­ing date:

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Walks Drives -

den sur­rounded by ma­ture trees that rus­tle with the sea breeze. Win­dows open, you awake to the sound of seag­ulls and wood pi­geons. It’s a short stum­ble down the Moor­ings’ steps, across the high street and on to the sea for an early morn­ing dip.

The coast road north of Alde­burgh skirts the beach and the pretty North War­ren Na­ture Re­serve. Apart from the graz­ing Pol­ish ponies, thou­sands of swans and ducks use the marsh­land dur­ing the win­ter. Bit­terns, wood­larks and nightin­gales pro­vide the sound­track over the sum­mer months.

By the shin­gle beach is The Scal­lop – a 15ft-high sculp­ture that cel­e­brates the life of Brit­ten. The con­tro­ver­sial metal in­stal­la­tion split the lo­cal com­mu­nity when it was un­veiled in 2003, caus­ing a storm of protest far greater than any­thing blown in by the sea.

A mile or so up the road is Thor­pe­ness, still a sleepy fish­ing ham­let in the late 19th cen­tury. Although many homes had been swept away by the sea, that didn’t stop mil­lion­aire Glen­cairn Ogilvie spend­ing a small for­tune cre­at­ing a fairy-tale hol­i­day vil­lage on a grand scale.

The fan­tas­ti­cal com­plex in­cluded a 70ft-high cot­tage on stilts – known as the house in the clouds – a boat­ing lake with Peter Pan is­lands and a rash of mock Tu­dor homes along­side a lux­ury coun­try club.

A con­crete brick-mak­ing ma­chine was im­ported from Aus­tralia to do the job, man­u­fac­tur­ing blocks from shin­gle dug on the beach. The per­fectly pre­served vil­lage is now a quirky tourist at­trac­tion.

In­land on the B1353, the road passes though Leis­ton, next door to the RSPB site at Mins­mere and a pop­u­lar start­ing point for walk­ers. The town is also

Em­peror Ak­i­hito and Empress Michiko of Ja­pan first met 61 years s ago, where? (a) At the Royal Court in Ky­oto (b) At the High Court in Tokyo (c) On a ten­nis court in Nagano


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