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Suffolk is Simply Effective
A combination of old fashioned A-Boards, gossip, people counters, QR codes and creative campaigns made for an informative and memorable short break.
Whilst visiting Suffolk recently, I was really surprised at how connected so many remote locations are to e-commerce and information. A host of devices help visitors find their way, donate and pay for items in this East Anglian county; home to seafood, wetlands, long pebble beaches and big skies notably captured by Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.
There is a friendly atmosphere despite what I expect is great pressure on the natural and built environment. Beautiful river estuaries are home to birdlife on the mud flats and salt marshes that add such delightful colour and calls.
Suffolk can guide us
This fairly remote region welcomes visitors with ease. There are a host of devices that helped me find my way, suppled directional and content information, to donate in a tiny local museum and buy lunch in a pub garden. Whilst the roads are narrow and the parking lots filled with craters, there is space to accommodates camper vans, bikes, bicycles and of course cars. Some parking is even free.
The widely used Discover Suffolk QR Code (included in the image above), takes you to a very helpful webpage with information about a walking festival, interactive map, long distance routes, reporting problems on the trail, links to other social media, County-wide public rights of way and other news. Spot on!
The offline information board I enjoyed the most told the story of a former leper colony and its neglected patients living a precarious life outside their community, with only a bell to ring to warn people should they meet them along the lonely stretch of road. I felt a chill on that warm spring day.
It’s all very polite
Even the last grave of Dunwich is easy to find in the trees, although it’s poised for an inevitable tumble as the cliff face erodes and collapse into the sea.
Whilst pottering about inside a village church, I overheard the vicar discussing a burial: “I’m not safe to do burial’s anymore…not after another vicar fall in” she said. “I do hope there is enough space to put Joan”… a slice of local life without QR codes!
Suffolk is one of the few destinations where I have taken just as many photo’s of the signage as the landscape. There are also some imaginative gems from the locals sharing their feelings about the sewerage in the rivers. Never give up!
Visiting other regions is always a good idea. Whilst I feel as though I am on a busman’s holiday, I always come away with new ideas and in some instances reassurance that I am at least keeping up with the times. How about your region? Are your visitors as connected as Suffolk?
Links you will need
I am reading Landscapes of Detectorists that considers the popular BBC programme’s engagement with landscape, its ecological resonances and wonderful attention to place and identity. It’s really good!
I am currently running one-2-one business support clinics for business owners and marketing comms to review social media, to Google or not, film locations and working with the neighbours amongst other topics. You choose. If you are interested in booking a one-hour session, please get in touch in the usual way.
I also write a weekly Micro Travels with Mary newsletter that celebrates the 52 micro seasons across the year. Because four seasons are just not enough.
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