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12 Date Ideas For Culture Lovers in Suffolk

12 Date Ideas For Culture Lovers in Suffolk

Suffolk is a county with huge historic significance. Its North Sea coast is rugged and untamed in places and picture-postcard perfect in others with its miles of golden sand. Castles and rivers, grand estates and enchanting woodlands all provide ideal places to escape and explore for free. Here’s 12.

1. A midnight walk through a medieval village

    Medieval Lavenham is right in the heart of Suffolk. It’s a small village which packs a powerful cultural punch. Building its wealth on wool, it was once the third-richest place in the UK. While there’s lots to do in Lavenham, and its businesses provide top-notch bars, restaurants, and hotels fit for a king, why not explore it while its residents sleep by walking the cobbles on a midnight date?

    2. Find fairies at an Italian mansion

      While much of historic Suffolk’s architecture can be traced to the Normans and Anglo-Saxons, Ickworth House’s architecture is Italian by design. This opulent mansion is set in miles of impressive mature gardens and parkland where cycling and walking trails will lead you through magical woodlands. It’s rumoured that fairies live and play here.

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      3. Explore a dramatic coastline

        The National Trust describes Dunwich Heath as a rare and precious habitat. They also say that it’s wild and dramatic. It’s all of these and more. Tucked-away sand dunes offer shelter from the North Sea breeze, while the spectacular seascape fuels conversation about the natural world. Sea air, endless miles of sandy beach and great company should be the ideal ingredients for a perfect date.

        4. Find love in a famous landscape

          John Constable was one of the most famous painters in the world, and his works commanded prices most of us only dream of. But you don’t need to own a Constable to see what he saw when he made this romantic landscape immortal through his paintings. A date on the banks of the River Stowe will lead you to the exact spot he perched on with his easel and brushes.

          5. Discover an Anglo-Saxon ship and a UFO landing site

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            Sutton Hoo at Woodbridge will provide you with an excellent date combination. Here, you’ll experience riverside walks and take in the sites surrounding an Anglo-Saxon ship burial ground. Though only the mounds are visible, and the National Trust exhibition and trails require you to pay an entrance fee, research it first and allow your imagination to run wild. Nearby Rendlesham Forest was once said to be a UFO landing site.

            6. Learn about the UK’s unique amber

              The Amber Museum offers an unforgettable journey through the history of locally-sourced amber. Impressive carvings, jewellery and other artefacts are great examples of why it became such a valuable commodity. This region on the south-east coast is where the unique deposits of UK amber have all been found. While jewellers’ price tags might be a little out of reach, there’s no reason why you and your date can’t hit the beach in search of your own precious stones.

              7. A date at Halesworth Gallery

                Renowned for showcasing local talent, Halesworth Gallery has various exhibitions throughout the year, usually including works by local artisans and more well-known artists. Suffolk has a long history of producing fine arts and crafts. What better way is there to understand a culture than life depicted through art?

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                8. Stroll through seafront gardens

                  Felixstowe Seafront Gardens underwent major regeneration work in 2015, providing a perfect habitat for both wildlife and people. The 1920s design will transport you back to its heyday, with plenty of spots to cosy up on a bench and talk sweet nothings or chat about the pretty flowerbeds.

                  9. Get the lowdown on Lowestoft

                    Lowestoft Heritage Centre is where you can learn everything about this intriguing place and its lost village. Dubbed as prime location for a traditional British holiday, Lowestoft has a lovely, wide, sandy beach, cliff-top lighthouse, and a signature ornate pier.

                    10. Get swept away at an old lifeboat shed

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                      The former Old Cromer Lifeboat Shed is now the site of the Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum. Named after Southwold’s lifeboat No1, the Alfred Corry, the museum portrays a fascinating tale about the important role lifeboats played, their crews risking their own lives day in and day out to save the lives of sailors and fisherman from their sunken vessels. Stories about bravery and valour, though undeniably sad, often spark romance.

                      11. Sunset, sailboats and sandpipers

                        The Broads are home to one of the largest inland waterways in the UK, making it a playground for boat enthusiasts. Categorised as a national park, its wetlands have been protected and conserved for over 30 years. Whether you love nature or the sea, a date on The Broads offers a chance to see rare wildlife and watch sailboats dance across the horizon at sunset.

                        12. A riverside lunch with a castle backdrop

                          Framlingham is a historic market town with links to royalty. In the centre of the village, you’ll find two of the oldest working post office pillar boxes, now a rare sight outside these quaint locations. But a trip to this idyllic countryside setting wouldn’t be complete without seeing its castle. Framlingham Castle is an old Anglo-Saxon fortress, and it was here that Mary Tudor became Queen Mary of England. Views are best appreciated from across the river, a lovely place for a lunch date.

                          Image Source: Lavenham via discoverlavenham.com; Ickworth House via artfund.org; Dunwich via nationaltrust.org.uk; River Stowe via gettyimages.com; Sutton Hoo via nationaltrust.org.uk; Amber Museum via nationalgeographic.com; Halesworth Gallery via foyers.photography; Felixstowe via thesuffolkcoast.co.uk; Lowestoft Beach via coes.co.uk; Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum via eadt.co.uk; The Broads via broads-authority.gov.uk; Framlingham Castle via english-heritage.org.uk.

                          Featured photo credit: Unknown via thesuffolkcoast.co.uk

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                          Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                          Listen carefully:

                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                          1. Pray Daily

                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                          3. Smile Often

                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                          First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                          8. Go Exercise

                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                          The Bottom Line

                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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