Suffolk is a place where the countryside meets the sea, not abruptly in cascading cliffs, but gently in estuaries, reed beds and salt marshes, where the past meets the present in beautiful undisturbed market towns and villages, and where couples and families meet to escape the pressures of modern life... for a weekend, for a week, or forever!
Suffolk is a county overflowing with great places to stay, from cosy rural cottages
to seaside accommodation, and a wealth of places to visit and explore, from tranquil riverside walks
, and lazy days of messing about in boats
, to seaside funfairs and even an international classical music festival!
If the UK was a nightclub, Suffolk would be the chill-out zone. However you choose to live the rest of your life, Suffolk offers the opportunity to step off the merry-go-round
, breathe, walk, cycle
, ride, wander where you will, and get back to what life is supposed to be.
From the Brecks in the west to the Sandlings in the east and from the Broads of the Norfolk border to the southern estuaries, Suffolk is a hugely rewarding county whether you explore on foot, by bicycle, by boat or on horseback. The gently undulating and ancient landscape is crossed by no less than 5,000km of way-marked paths, long distance footpaths and national cycle routes, both rural and coastal.
Along the way discover historic market towns such as Lavenham, Stowmarket and Sudbury, seaside resorts such as Southwold
, and Felixstowe, or any of Suffolk’s 28 nature reserves
, country parks and picnic sites, 18 National Trust and English Heritage sites, or 5 RSPB reserves.
Suffolk will spoil you for choice when it comes to seaside resorts, whether you’re staying or day-tripping. Lowestoft
offers all that could be expected from a traditional family resort, with clean sandy beeches, the Claremont Pier, Victorian gardens, donkey rides, amusements, fish and chips by the bucketful, and a show at the Marina theatre at the end of the day. At the other end of the county, Felixstowe offers a similar blend, including the famous Mannings Amusement Park, from which the same family has been entertaining visitors since 1946.
Central Suffolk offers the two coastal resorts which for many people represent the very best the county has to offer – Aldeburgh and Southwold are charmingly unaltered family resorts with award-winning pubs, galleries
, and gardens and quaint streets filled with independent shops. Southwold’s recently-restored pier and promenade lined with colourful beach huts have become signature images for the whole Suffolk seaside experience, whilst Aldeburgh has simultaneously retained the feel of a traditional fishing village and at the same time gained a world wide reputation as home to the Aldeburgh Festival of English arts.
It could be argued that you haven’t really arrived in Suffolk until you’ve stepped aboard a boat. With its long coastline, fishing ports, docks and especially its rivers, Suffolk is a county whose history has been shaped by water as much as by land. Today, sailing, river-boating
, canoeing, and indeed any and all types of messing about in boats have become an intrinsic part of the Suffolk leisure scene. For experienced sailors, the delights of the Stour, Orwell, Deben, and the Ore are already well-known, whilst amateurs can get on the water via numerous boat trips
and river cruises, or in safe haven like Alton Water. And even if you aren’t tempted to find your sea legs, simply sitting by the water at a busy boating centre such as Woodbridge, with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, is enough to make you feel you have the sea in your veins!
Suffolk Cycling and Walking
From the 23-mile long Miller’s Trail to the 88-mile long Suffolk Coastal Cycle Route
, Suffolk provides cycling which is a leisurely or challenging as you prefer. The county is low lying and level, with a delightful variety of landscapes from the Brecks in the East, through the wooded valleys of central Suffolk, to the dramatic coastal region, making it a cyclist’s dream. Families are also well catered for, with many attractions
and country estates featuring way-marked cycle paths that can be enjoyed at any age.
Walkers are similarly well provided in a county which boasts over 5000 km of waymarked paths
. The unspoilt physical beauty of Suffolk, and the variety of river, woodland, agricultural and coastal scenery makes walking especially rewarding. Wildlife enthusiasts will love the many areas along the coast which offer unique combinations of heath, wetland, reed beds and beach, providing a home to a wealth of flora and fauna.
The fertile lands, rich forests and abundant rivers of Suffolk have provided a livelihood since the earliest times and, largely untouched by industrial growth, the county remains a place where the past is very much in evidence. From the remarkable story of Sutton Hoo - still one of the most important archaeological sites in the UK – and the Museum
of East Anglian Life, which tells the intimate story of the day to day lives of Suffolk’s inhabitants over the centuries, to the grandeur of Framlingham Castle
, Ickworth House, Helmingham Hall, Belchamp Hall and Melford Hall, stunning historic houses and gardens, Suffolk is a delight to lovers of the rich heritage of English life.
As for the rich heritage of English beer – no visit to Suffolk should miss out tours of the centuries old Adnams and Greene King
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