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Suffolk, England
Rendlesham Forest UFO trail
Creative Commons AttributionRendlesham Forest UFO trail - Credit: Bluewave

The remote cottage in which the Brotherhood hold Padma hostage is located in an unspecified part of rural Suffolk.

The county, always predominantly agricultural, was once part of the kingdom of East Anglia, which was settled by the Angles in the 5th century AD. It became a unified county in 1972 when East Suffolk, West Suffolk and Ipswich were merged.

Like neighbouring Essex, which it borders to the south, Suffolk is largely flat, its rural areas comprising vast wetlands and forests – areas of great natural and majestic beauty. The Suffolk coastline is composed of relatively unresistant rock, and as a result is eroding. Attempts to set up coastal defences have so far failed to arrest the erosion, and it remains a significant concern for the county.

The forest featured in the novel is likely to be Rendlesham Forest, the site of Britain’s most infamous UFO incidents in 1980. The forest covers 1,500 hectares and comprises diverse woodland.