A Norwich writer recently asked how you set about reviewing a nature reserve but went on to describe Orford Ness as wild, unspoilt, windswept, charismatic and hard underfoot (among other things). He or she was absolutely right. It's all those things and more. Certainly no place for the smart townie looking to spend a few hours in the countryside. There are few facilities here, no shop or even a shack at which you can buy a hot drink. And there is, just one loo. When the wind blows, as I'm told it does nearly all the time, it can be a very cold place. The walkways are clearly marked and the wardens patrol the area on bikes but I'd hate to be lost out there. Perhaps it's why so much trouble is taken to check you on and off the island. Those things aside, there's plenty to see in terms of wildlife and plenty to think about in terms of what the site once housed - wartime buildings, prison camp and the little-known atomic bomb testing sites. I'm still not sure whether the signs warning against touching any odd piece of metal you might come across are there for the visitor's safety or merely to add to the mystery. Either way, the walks and the short boat trip to the island are not to be missed.
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