The seaside village of Thorpeness was originally a small fishing hamlet and in the late 19th century, so the stories go, a route for smugglers into East Anglia. However shortly after the turn of the century industrialist and local landowner Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie, embarked on turning the area into private holiday village for his friends and employees. The central feature of this idealised project was the man-made boating lake, or Meare.
These days Thorpeness is open to all and has become a popular holiday destination. The Meare is still in use and boats of all sizes can be rented by the hour. Many of these are the original boats dating from the first creation of the Meare and they still bear names given them by the workmen who dug the lake.
The lake is also home to a large colony of swans – buy an ice cream from the cafe, find a bench and see how many you can count. The most I’ve seen at any one time is 54 – beat that!