Suffolk certainly isn’t shy of excellent days out for you to tick off during your stay. As well as excellent attractions, such as Southwold Pier, we have a couple of zoos, a slew of historic buildings and some beautiful parks to tell you about.
Activities in Suffolk
The famous Southwold Pier is one of the most iconic attractions in Suffolk county. It stretches 190 metres into the North Sea from the northern edge of Southwold town centre. It was historically built as a landing stage for steamships which came from the capital. It makes for a fine photo opportunity and exploring the pier’s shops and attractions offer a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.
You may have heard of Sutton Hoo. This famous site near Woodbridge was the setting for one of the most important and exciting archaeological discoveries in the country. A huge Anglo-Saxon ship burial was uncovered along with a vast amount of gold and jewelled artefacts in 1939. With World War II looming, Sutton Hoo was quickly excavated and its treasures were shipped off to London. For 80 years, the site was left in an admittedly lacklustre state. However, the National Trust have recently finished work on a £4-million project to revamp Sutton Hoo, transforming it into the kind of fascinating visitor attraction it deserves.
If you are interested in the history of the county, make your way to the excellent Ipswich Museum on Ipswich High Street and delve into its extensive exhibits, which range from local social history to the impressive Victorian Natural History Gallery. Admission is absolutely free, and the museum is open every day except Monday.
Lastly, if you’re visiting Suffolk with kids and you’re looking for a day out, try Pleasurewood Hills. It’s a family theme park with plenty of fun rides for the young ones to enjoy, including rollercoasters, a log flume and wildlife shows. Plus, it’s less than a 5-minute drive from our Lowestoft hotel.
Zoos are another great choice if you’re looking for days out for families. Africa Alive! is a fantastic Africa-themed wildlife park in Kessingland. It sprawls across 100 acres and is home to more than 80 species of wildlife, such as African lions, lemurs, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and much, much more. The animals have plenty of space to roam around, the park itself is immaculately maintained. Staff are friendly, there’s plenty of activities for the kids to fill their time, and prices are very reasonable.
Suffolk is blessed with brilliant National Trust properties. Ickworth House is among the most popular in the country, let alone Suffolk county. The unusual stately home is notable for its enormous bulbous rotundas (domes), Italianate design and sublime gardens designed by the maestro himself Capability Brown. Be sure to set aside a few hours to properly explore this stunning palace and its mesmeric art and silver collection.
Kentwell Hall is a privately-owned red-brick stately home, which dates back to the 11th century. It’s a fine example of Tudor architecture and has consequently graced television screens up and down the country as a popular filming location for period dramas. If you pay a visit, be sure to explore the surrounding parkland and gardens and visit the rare-breed animals on the farm.
One last history trip to tell you about is the impressive Framlingham Castle. It’s a large Norman castle with a beautiful workhouse within its walls, which has been turned into a museum with a delightful cafe and shop that’s managed by English Heritage. It’s free to walk around the exterior of the castle, but it’s well worth the reasonable price of entry in order to make your way up to the castle walls, which offer sublime views of the surrounding countryside.
If the weather’s kind and you’re wondering where to go to make the most of the sun, the Abbey Gardens surrounding the Bury St Edmunds Abbey are among the town’s most popular attractions. The beautifully-maintained 14-acre park is bordered by the historic abbey walls as is nearby to some of the best places to eat in Suffolk.
If you’re looking for something more expansive, RSPB Minsmere is one of the birdlife charity’s flagship reserves and makes for a stunning day out for wildlife lovers. The wetland reserve was a regular location for the BBC’s popular Springwatch television programme, which brought some of the nation’s rarest and most characterful wildlife into people’s living rooms. RSPB Minsmere has a large network of walking routes, and several hides where you can watch the resident birdlife without spooking them.
Lastly, if you’re staying with us at one of our Ipswich hotels, Christchurch Park is the city’s beautiful 70-acre park in the heart of the town. It makes for a lovely spot for a picnic and it’s also home to Christchurch Mansion, which is open to the public as a museum and gallery.