Suffolk holidays are all about top-notch food, plenty of seaside nostalgia and stretching your legs in the great outdoors. Alongside a jam-packed festival calendar, this coastal county uncovers beautiful heathlands, fascinating Anglo-Saxon history and ample opportunities to enjoy the open water. Looking for inspiration for your Suffolk holiday? Our list of 10 things to do in Suffolk should give you a head start.
Visit the First Light Festival in Lowestoft
If your Suffolk holiday happens to fall over the summer solstice, don’t miss the First Light Festival on Lowestoft’s South Beach. Wayne Hemingway is the creative brain behind this unique festival held in June. And it crams more than 100 cultural activities into a 24-hour itinerary. With everything from top musicians and astronomy talks to storytelling and an activity-packed zone for children, this festival has something for everyone. Oh, and it’s free too.
Soak up some nostalgia in Southwold
Speaking of nostalgia, you’re going to get plenty of that in the seaside town of Southwold. One of the best things to do in Suffolk is to just spend an afternoon perusing Southwold’s charming curio shops and antiques, walk along the lovely hut-lined beach and get your fill of family-friendly fun at the arcades along the Victorian pier, which extends 190 metres into the North Sea. End your day with popcorn and a film at the delightful Electric Picture Palace cinema on Blackmill Road. Find out more about Southwold beach and all the other lovely Suffolk sandy stretches in our blog about the best beaches in Suffolk.
Visit the Sutton Hoo burial site
Get a glimpse of Suffolk’s most intriguing history by visiting Sutton Hoo, a former burial site near Woodbridge. Dubbed The Valley of the Kings, these royal cemeteries uncover some fascinating stories. In fact, the 90ft ship which was buried here with an Anglo-Saxon king is considered the richest ship burial in the whole of northern Europe. Check out The High Hall – a brand new exhibition centre set to open in summer 2019.
Learn to surf in Southwold
If you and your gang are looking to hit the water during your Suffolk break, check out the Southwold Surf School. Considered the best surf school in East Anglia, it’s open to all ages and offers various types of tuition, from a 45-minute taster session to private surf lessons for couples, groups and families. Bike hire, Stand Up Paddle-boarding (SUP), a kid’s club and beach yoga are available too.
Soak up some history in Bury St Edmunds
Book a guided history tour of Bury St Edmunds, the Suffolk market town known for its imposing cathedral and 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Bury has fascinating connections to the Magna Carta and you’ll discover all sorts of tales, from the pilgrims who came here some 1,000 years ago to the legend of St Edmund, the city’s Patron Saint. Don’t miss Theatre Royal – Britain’s last surviving Regency theatre – and the glorious Abbey Gardens.
Connect with nature on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB
Pack your hiking boots and hit the Suffolk Coast and Heaths which comprises a web of footpaths and bridleways across its stunning landscape. Check out the area’s official website for both short-distance routes and more heart-pumping hikes, such as the 42-mile trek around East Anglia’s beautiful estuaries.
Take a foot ferry across the rivers and estuaries
East Suffolk is a great place to enjoy from the water. So, hop on one of its ferries, which offer fantastic coastal views and connect the rivers and estuaries of the Suffolk Coast. Choose between the Walberswick Ferry, the Bawdsey Ferry, the Harwich Ferry and the Butley Ferry (which is said to date back more than 400 years). It’s a great day out for the kids.
Treat your taste buds at the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
Considered one of the best food and drink festivals in the UK, don’t miss this event in the lovely setting of Snape Maltings. Held in late September, The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival places a strong emphasis on locally-sourced and foraged produce. So, leave yourself plenty of time to discover beer and food matching demos, chef masterclasses and artisan producers.
Take a brewery tour
Discover the home of real Suffolk ales at one of two top breweries in Bury St Edmunds. At Greene King’s Westgate Brewery – home to its own ‘beer café’ – watch traditional brewing methods in action within their historical brewhouse. And the acclaimed Old Cannon Brewery offers fascinating tours, where you can check out their fine collection of lagers, ales, bitters and seasonal beers. Check out their special St Edmunds Head, created in homage to Bury’s Patron Saint.
Soak up the community spirit at Aldeburgh Carnival
Head to the town of Aldeburgh for its annual carnival. It’s been running for more than 170 years and today, its lively mix of activities and entertainment will add a real sense of nostalgia to your Suffolk holiday. Think traditional Punch and Judy shows, petanque competitions and a vibrant atmosphere, thanks to its carnival procession and impressive firework show.