From seaside fun to music and food festivals, Suffolk’s coast, towns, villages and countryside offer something for everyone.
Looking for the perfect staycation this summer? It’s time to discover the magic of the UK’s Far East with a trip to the coastal county of Suffolk. Popular with holidaymakers for centuries, this captivating corner of the country now offers an exceptional year-round destination experience. As a result, it’s become the go-to place for everyone from culture vultures and foodies to families looking for a classic beach break.
There’s so much to see and do in Suffolk, we could fill a book. But here’s our top 10 ideas for summer activities that could help to make your holiday one of your best ever.
1. Hit the beach
With 50 miles of coastline, Suffolk is the ideal place to enjoy a day at the seaside. How about the genteel charm of Southwold with its multi-coloured beach huts and quirky pier amusements? Or there’s friendly Lowestoft with miles of golden sands and traditional seaside attractions.
2. Step back in time
From stately homes to Napoleonic forts, Suffolk has many historic buildings and landmarks to explore. Take a tour of Ickworth House, a magnificent Georgian Italianate palace set in exquisite gardens and parkland. Or visit the mystical Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo.
3. Take in a festival
There’s an eclectic range of summer festivals across Suffolk, focusing on everything from art and books to crafts and artisan food. Latitude, FolkEast and the Aldeburgh Festival lead the line-up of not-to-be-missed music events.
4. Feed your soul
With many well-respected field-to-fork producers, Suffolk is home to talented chefs who make the most of the excellent local produce, cooking up everything from haute cuisine to traditional pub favourites. Don’t miss the chance to try Aldeburgh’s famous fish and chips or oysters and smoked treats from Pinney’s of Orford. For restaurants, the historic riverside town of Woodbridge is a good choice, with everything from fine dining to pizza and pasta.
5. Go shopping
There’s a great range of high street brands and independent stores in the County Town of Ipswich and the Georgian market town of Bury St Edmunds. Alternatively, drop into Snape Maltings or the Suffolk Food Hall for a more individual shopping experience.
6. Visit the Ipswich Waterfront
With its luxury yachts, pavement cafes and stylish eateries, the Ipswich Waterfront is steeped in Riviera chic. Stroll along the dockside or go for a scenic lunch or dinner cruise on the river.
7. Get away from it all
Despite its popularity, Suffolk has plenty of tranquil beauty spots where you can escape the crowds. Clear your head with a walk from the tiny coastal community of Shingle Street or chill out on one of the country’s most secluded beaches at Covehithe on the Sunrise Coast.
8. See picture perfect villages
With glorious churches built on the wool trade, Suffolk’s ancient hamlets are some of the most picturesque in the UK. Time-honoured favourites are medieval Lavenham with its lovely Tudor Guildhall and nearby Kersey, an archetypal ‘chocolate box’ village.
9. Enjoy the great outdoors
On two feet or two wheels, there are many wonderful seaside and countryside trails to explore. Visit the world-famous RSPB reserve at Minsmere, ramble through the beautiful landscapes of Constable Country, go for a riverside ramble along the Orwell or walk the Suffolk Coast Path through the county’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wherever you choose, you’ll find plenty of welcoming inns or tea rooms for some well-earned refreshment.
10. Try your hand at watersports
Whether you fancy a spot of sailing or a leisurely canoe excursion, Suffolk has some really good facilities for water-borne activities. Southwold has its own surf school and the watersports centre at Alton Water Reservoir offers everything from paddle boarding to windsurfing.