The tiny village of Dunwich was once the capital of East Anglia and a major sea port. In 1286 and the following years heavy storms battered the coast. The harbour and much of the town slipped into the sea and a prosperous metropolis with thirteen churches was lost. Today the village has a couple of hundred residents, one church and a pub, The Ship. On the beach, a few mechanical wheelhouses are what remains of a more recent fishing industry.
We are in Southwold for the week. Autumn is here and it’s not beach hut weather by any means. We have been walking the coast. Today was sunny, but with a strong wind from the south. With friends, we crossed the river Orwell at Walberswick and walked the long beach to Dunwich. In the distance, to the south of this ancient settlement, sits Sizewell nuclear power station, a twentieth century creation which dominates the skyline.
It is November, but Southwold is still busy. Families walk the sea front and the high street and the local shop keepers are thinking of Christmas. This evening, all tables in The Lord Nelson Inn were taken.