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Top 10 most unusual attractions in the UK (well, Suffolk, actually)

Discover 10 hidden and unique attractions, and unusual things to do in Suffolk this autumn. From Escape Rooms and WWII secrets to befriending our best-loved animals, create your own memories with our cool and fun list of fab family days out in the East of England.
Frankel in The King's Yard NewmarketFrankel in The King's Yard at the new multi-million pound attraction in Newmarket. (c) Mark Atkins

1. Little Hall Lavenham

This gem of an attraction is a fine 14th century timber-framed historic house sitting proudly in the main square of one of the most picturesque villages in the country. Little Hall mirrors the changing fortunes of Lavenham during the wool trade and now acts as a shrine to the artistic Gayer-Anderson twin brothers, who shared a common interest as collectors of fine art and unusual artefacts from around the world. Wander through the seven rooms and discover unusual treasures, including exotic Persian panels in the study and an upstairs chamber with its striking crown-post.

 

Don’t miss: If you’re visiting for a day, consider a pamper session at Temple Spa at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel & Spa on the high street. Sit in the outdoor jacuzzi and soak in the atmosphere of this truly historic village.

Little Hall LavenhamDiscover treasures inside this historic gem in the picturesque village of Lavenham.

2. Puzzle Room at Suffolk Food Hall

The trending sensation of escape rooms are popping up all across Suffolk. Let’s start our adventure with Suffolk Food Hall’s Puzzle Room, located on the outskirts of the historic waterfront town of Ipswich, on the River Orwell. Choose your mystery: solve the vanished lab-room challenge or catch the Orwell Dockyard gang. Based in farm buildings, the challenge combines authentic props and links to local heritage and farming. Suitable for ages 9 to 90!

Don’t miss: Once you’ve completed your challenge, relax in The Cookhouse Restaurant with a spot of lunch – you deserve it!
Suffolk Food Hall Puzzle RoomUp for a challenge? Try the Puzzle Room at Suffolk Food Hall.

3. Suffolk Escape Room

The Suffolk Escape Room is based on a glamping site in Saxmundham on the Suffolk coast. The theme encapsulates the local mystery of UFO sightings at Rendlesham. The mystery: you are a band of determined UFO hunters who have hacked a security base where rumours circulate of unexplained activity. Is this a secret military installation disguised as an abandoned farm complex or are mysterious forces at work? Could this be Britain's Area 51? A perfect group adventure suitable for ages 10+.

Don’t miss: The Suffolk Escape Room is situated at Happy Days Retro Vacations, an American Style Trailer Park in the Suffolk countryside. Perfect for a mini-break with family or friends.

The Suffolk Escape Room on the Suffolk coastChallenge the UFO theory at the Suffolk Escape Room.

4. WWII Royal Observer Corps Control Centre at Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

Discover the fascinating history of Bury St Edmunds Guildhall, dating back nearly 800 years, in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds. Take a journey through time as live re-enactors guide you around the oldest continuously-used civic building in Britain – see the banqueting hall, the Tudor kitchen, the court room and the World War Two Royal Observer Corps Control Centre – the only surviving room of its kind in the country.

Don’t miss: Discover screen-used props and costumes, plus replicas, memorabilia and more, from the likes of Star Wars, Dr Who and Star Trek – plus original space race artefacts at the 10th annual Sci-Fi & Action exhibition at Moyse’s Hall Museum (20th Oct – 25th Nov).
Bury St Edmunds GuildhallThe WWII Royal Observer Corps Control Centre

5. bawdsey radar

Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block is the world’s first, sharing the global story of radar in a new and fascinating museum. Through interactive galleries, it details the origins of radar and how it impacts our daily lives, as well as telling the story of how men and women who worked in top secret developed radar technology that helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Don’t miss: The Boathouse Café is a great pitstop to refresh ahead of beachcombing adventures on Bawdsey Beach (the shortbread is a must!). Oh, they also provide binoculars to indulge in a bit of wildlife from the comfort of your own outdoor dining spot on the balcony.
Bawdsey Radar MuseumLearn about the origins of radar at this fascinating museum close to Bawdsey Beach.

6. oasis camel park

Set in the Suffolk countryside, a trip to Oasis Camel Park is like no other. It’s the only park in the UK where you can touch and see camels close-up, along with awesome llamas, donkeys, goats and meerkats. And what else is great about this attraction, I hear you say? Things are free once you’re in! From riding a train and cuddling a pet, to hanging out with the extraordinary camel – the kids will love a day out here this autumn.

Don’t miss: Sunday 14th October is their ‘family fun day’ event which includes free donkey rides and llama walks.
Oasis Camel Park SuffolkRide a camel at Oasis Camel Park

7. The Tide Mill Living Museum

The Tide Mill experience is a unique ‘living’ museum and one of the last surviving working tide mills in the country, located in Woodbridge on the stunning River Deben (a tide mill has been on the site for over 800 years). This iconic, historic building is spread over three floors incorporating CGI imagery, interactive models and audio stations, brought to life by the technical know-how of the millers. 

Don’t miss: Explore the Anglo-Saxon treasures of Sutton Hoo or head to the town centre for a deli-style café experience and boutique shopping.
The Tide Mill Living Museum SuffolkLearn all there is to need about producing flour at The Tide Mill Living Museum.

8. Flatford wildlife Garden

In the historic hamlet of Flatford, on the River Stour, is Flatford Wildlife Garden - a wildlife nature reserve where John Constable used to paint. In this little oasis of calm and tranquillity sits a wildflower meadow and orchard designed to nurture wildlife. Whether you are seeking inspiration or having a family day out, the location is hard to beat – well, Constable thought so! Watch out for family-friendly activities during the school holidays in the heart of Constable Country.

Don’t miss: Wonder through Flatford and visit the National Trust’s John Constable exhibition, which is free to enjoy.

Flatford Wildlife GardenSpot wildlife at Flatford Wildlife Garden in the heart of Constable Country.

9. Museum of East Anglian Life

Containing over 40,000 items on a 75 acre site, Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian Life is one of the grandest open-air museums in Suffolk, consisting of 15 historic buildings, miles of woodland and riverside nature trails and rare breed animals. It’s a great place to discover how the region’s people lived, worked, and socialised down the centuries.

Don’t miss: Cider and Song Festival (18-20 October) – everything apple, inviting cider and apple drinkers alike.
Museum of East Anglian LifeExplore this open-air museum in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.

10. National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing and Sporting Art

We all know that Newmarket is the home of British horse racing - the sport of kings. But did you know the town now boasts a magnificent new visitor attraction which celebrates the town's equine history? The National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing and British Sporting Art brings to life centuries of history through interactive galleries; a chance to meet celebrated retired racehorses in the Rothschild Yard (who love a pat and a cuddle!); watch daily demonstrations of retired horses in the Peter O’Sullevan Arena and spot some of the finest sporting art in the world (Stubbs and Munnings are just two of the 'greats'). If you’re with the little ones, they will simply love to ‘have a go’ on the racehorse simulator – and who knows, you may have a jockey in the making! Family trails are available from reception, so you can make the most of your visit.

Don’t miss: Join a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour with Discover Newmarket: from visiting a racing yard and the National Stud, to watching the famous Tattersalls Bloodstock Auction House, which attracts the wealthiest owners and industry figures from all over the world.

NHRM_Horseracing_newmarketGet up close with some of our horsing greats at the National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing and Sporting Art. (c) Mark Atkins

WHAT ELSE?

Discover other parts of Suffolk by exploring more experiences, attractions and things to do in the county.

 

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