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10 reasons why you should escape to Suffolk this year

You want beautiful countryside, coastal escapes, good food, and award-winning attractions? OK – look no further than the broad skies and wild shores off Suffolk in the East of England.
Maggie Hambling Scallop Aldeburgh SuffolkMaggie Hambling Scallop on Aldeburgh Beach
With big names from the TV and film industry living and holidaying here, Suffolk should be on your holiday hitlist this year. Celebrity news presenters live here. It attracted artists Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Benjamin Britten. Ed Sheeran ruddy loves Suffolk. And even Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift have graced Suffolk beaches with their presence. Here's our top ten reasons why you should escape to Suffolk in 2018:

1. A PLACE TO STAY

You really are spoilt for places to stay – whatever your budget. In Suffolk you’ll discover woodland campsites, idyllic glamping, cliff top caravan parks with dramatic vistas, spa hotels oozing glamour, lakeside fishing lodges, and self-catering within teensy fishermen’s cottages and country houses. Whether you’ve got a couple of hundred pounds to spare, or thousands, your holiday awaits.
guest accommodation Framlingham in SuffolkAccommodation full of character and charm

2. FOOD AND DRINK

This is the home of world class breweries and distilleries, and of some of the very finest ingredients our fair isles have to offer. Free-range pork. Rare breed beef. Fish and shellfish caught by day boats off the coast. Hand-picked samphire. Asparagus. Strawberries. Bean-to-bar chocolate. Suffolk offers rich pickings indeed. Restaurants such as Maison Bleue (award-winning French modern), 1921, The Unruly Pig, Wyken Vineyards, Pea Porridge and Tuddenham Mill are all incredible eats. That’s not to mention all the award-winning pubs, cafes and farm shops too. You will not go hungry!
Pump Street Bakery_Orford_SuffolkPump Street Bakery in Orford, producers of delicious bites and chocolatier

3. BEACHES

Oh, the beaches. Again, you are totally spoilt. If rugged coastlines are your thing, make for the other-worldly stony shore of Shingle Street, where strange sea vegetables unfurl from between the pebbles, and where you could spot shark’s teeth and amber. Felixstowe has seen a tide of change in recent years and offers so much for a family day out – excellent fish and chips, gourmet ice cream parlours, a sandy beach, fantastic modern pier amusements and, of course, crabbing at Old Felixstowe. The seafront gardens are beautiful too. Aldeburgh and Southwold are tops for fashionistas and foodies. Thorpeness has charm and a magical meare. Lowestoft brings more sandy fun, while wild sand dunes of Walberswick are just stunning.
Lowestoft pier and promenadeBeach fun at Lowestoft

4. Country parks and woodlands

Simply the best for a picnic, kicking about a football or flying a kite. Suffolk has loads of country parks and woods to make the most of. We rather like Clare Castle Park, Christchurch Park, Thetford Forest, Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve and Brandon Country Park.
High Lodge Thetford ForestWalking and cycling trails at High Lodge in Thetford Forest

5. suffolk attractions

If you have children in tow they won’t get bored, with so many attractions on the doorstep. National Heritage Centre for Horseracing, Oasis Camel Park and Easton Farm Park have animal encounters sorted. Visit West Stow Anglo Saxon Village and Sutton Hoo for a history trip. Head to RSPB Minsmere for a spot of nature. Join in the fun at Kentwell Hall for historical re-enactments. Ride the train and see the animals at Africa Alive! Go wild at Tree Top Adventures at Go Ape Thetford. Cycle off-road at High Lodge. Hop aboard Orwell River Cruises in Ipswich. Or battle it out on the American-style crazy golf course at Ufford Park. As well as our stunning beaches and countryside. Phew. There’s just too much to do.
Baylham House Rare Breeds FarmPet the animals at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm

6. health and fitness

Is fitness your thing? Let us whet your appetite with many outdoor adventures. Run one of the many races put on by local clubs throughout the year. Sail, surf, kayak and paddle board on Suffolk’s creeks or on open water at Alton Water or Lackford Lakes. Climb The Cragg at Stowmarket. Or try the more difficult cycle routes at High Lodge, Thetford Forest.
Lackford Lake sailing in SuffolkOutdoor adventures at Lackford Lakes

7. outdoor adventure

There are so many adventures to be had. Take on the high ropes challenge at Go Ape in Thetford Forest (or go on Segway). Step inside one of the biggest laser battling arenas in the country at Planet Laser in Bury St Edmunds. Check out one of the go-karting tracks. Whizz along on dry land at Flo-Ridaz – a hovercraft driving experience in Mendlesham.
Go Ape forest segway (c) Go ApeSegways at Go Ape, Thetford

8. walking and Cycling

Walkers and cyclists alike will love Suffolk's wild and expanse landscapes. Great for outdoor activities, Suffolk sports miles and miles of off-road cycling and quiet country roads await cyclists, with lovely routes including the 69-mile Painters Trail around Constable Country, The Saints cycle around the Bungay area, and the marked paths within Thetford and Rendlesham Forests. Keen walkers will love The Sailor's Path in the Suffolk Coast and Heath's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wherever you stay, you’re never far from a brilliant walk.

Woodland Walk at Kentwell Hall in SuffolkGet off the beaton track and explore Suffolk

9. Arts and culture

Suffolk is the home of Constable, Gainsborough, Benjamin Britten and more recently, Maggi Hambling. There is a simply enormous arts and culture scene, traversing music, art, theatre, literature and photography. World class facilities includes the Jerwood Dancehouse and Snape Maltings. Top acts regularly appear in Suffolk’s theatres. Then there’s the pull of festivals such as Latitude, and literary events like Slaughter in Southwold.
Aldeburgh Beach Lookout projectionUnique art and culture - Aldeburgh Beach Lookout

10. places

There are simply too many wonderful places to visit. Beautiful Bury St Edmunds with its independent shops and clutch of award-winning restaurants. Medieval Lavenham (with its links to Harry Potter). Southwold, where you can ‘whack a banker’ on the pier. Boating at Shotley Peninsula. Constable Country in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The list is endless.
Lavenham, SuffolkMedieval buildings and crooked houses in Suffolk's Wool Towns. Pic: Lavenham

Explore other parts of Suffolk here

This is an article by the EADT and adapted by Visit Suffolk

 

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