Dunwich was at one time a medieval port of some size and importance, but the original village was virtually destroyed by a terrible storm in 1326. Further storms and erosion followed and now the place is little more than a hamlet beside a shingle beach. Two minutes’ stroll from the briny, The Ship at Dunwich is a well-loved old smugglers’ inn overlooking the salt marshes and sea; today it’s popular with walkers and birdwatchers visiting the nearby RSPB Minsmere reserve. The Ship keeps Dunwich on the map with its ancient fig tree in the garden, hearty meals, and ales from Brandon’s, Earl Soham and Green Jack – to name just three of the local brews on offer. The delightfully unspoilt public bar appeals with nautical bric-à-brac, a wood-burning stove in a huge fireplace, flagged floors and simple wooden furnishings. The Ship is locally renowned for its fish and chips, which include a choice of cod, haddock or plaice. Hot-smoked salmon and horseradish Scotch egg with homemade sweet pickled cucumber is a tempting light bite, as is the half pint of shell-on North Atlantic prawns in Marie Rose sauce. Hot dishes include slow-braised Blythburgh pork belly served with Lyonnaise potatoes, apple purée, red cabbage and local greens. Desserts continue in similar robust vein – Colin’s sticky toffee pudding with custard, cream or ice cream is one example.