Suffolk & Sweden share the spotlight

By | Category: Travel news

While Suffolk and Sweden may be separated by the North Sea, the two areas share many similarities, particularly in their landscape, heritage and environment.

With sought-after Swedish artist Jennifer Saxell, who has seen similar features and links between Sweden and Suffolk and their fairy-tale magic, being the main feature of a new ‘Spotlight on Suffolk’ exhibition that opens at Sea Pictures Gallery in Suffolk today, Visit Suffolk looks at Sweden and its shared connections with Suffolk.

Sympathetic environment, rolling landscapes and getting back to nature…
Sweden and Suffolk both have a rich and varied landscape, defined by stunning scenery, an emphasis on nature and beauty that sells itself. Life is often lived outdoors in both locations and rolling landscapes and spectacular coastlines are part of their natural beauty.

Suffolk has the Broads in the north, the beautiful wool towns in the south, the greenery of the west and the stunning Suffolk Coast in the east. From coast to country, Suffolk has so much to offer with its rich heritage, boutique shops and stunning coastline.

In Sweden the north is snowy with an agricultural south and a mountainous and coastal west. Wilderness, forests, lakes, mountains, rolling landscapes, coastlines and agricultural countryside is on offer and visitors can enjoy diversity and picture-perfect settings.

Sweden, like Suffolk, is great for outdoor living with hiking, canoeing and cycling ideal ways to see the areas. They offer calm, vistas and a place to get away from it all.

Medieval Heritage…
Based in Ystad, the picturesque, well-preserved southern Swedish medieval market-town town featured in TV police drama Wallander, Jennifer Saxell’s rich, colourful, naïve-style pictures capture the fairy-tale magic of Scandinavia’s medieval heritage. She saw similar features in Suffolk and has responded to them in her own way – bringing the streets of Southwold, Cavendish, Lavenham and Clare dramatically and brightly to life.

Visby in Sweden is a medieval walled town with ruins, narrow cobblestone streets, a wide range of cozy restaurants and pubs, markets and a preserved town wall. The streets of Lavenham in Suffolk are like timber-framed avenues, and walking through the village itself is like walking through a medieval world. Lavenham was one of the centres of the wool trade in Suffolk in the Middle Ages and has been described as: “the finest medieval town in England.” With no fewer than 300 of its buildings listed as being of architectural or historic interest Lavenham is a joy to explore, while Ipswich houses twelve medieval churches.

Anglo Saxon past…
Ipswich is a county town steeped in history. Set beside the River Orwell, Ipswich is England’s oldest continuously settled Anglo-Saxon town. Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge is believed to be the burial site of King Raedwald, one of the most powerful rulers of the Royal Wuffings dynasty and is an extraordinary monument to Anglo-Saxon culture. Visit and discover an Anglo-Saxon ship burial with fabulous treasures that had lain undiscovered for over 1300 years. Helmets found are similar to ones found around Sweden.

Architecturally distinct…
Both Sweden and Suffolk are architecturally distinct; Sweden with its water ways, timber houses and log cabins and Suffolk’s thatched roofs, moats, timber-frames and flint. Red coloured houses line Sweden, while pinks are traditionally common in Suffolk.

Gastronomic hubs…
With a rich agricultural and coastal heritage, visitors can experience food that’s grown, reared, caught and made in Suffolk and Sweden from a wealth of producers. Fish and shellfish are renowned in both areas with Sweden famous for its herring and Suffolk for its oysters.

For more information about Suffolk visit
The Focus on Suffolk exhibition is on for six weeks and more details can be found on the gallery’s website at



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