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Explore 4x4

48 Hours in Suffolk: Food and Adventure in The Brecks

Suffolk might not be the first place that springs to mind in response to the question: “Where shall we go for an action-packed weekend?” But perhaps it should. This is a county that offers canoeing along some of East Anglia's most scenic rivers, 'speed-blast' boat trips along the heritage coast, biking holidays through Constable Country, indoor karting and even year-round skiing.

The Brecks lies in the west of the county, just north of Bury St Edmunds and straddles Norfolk and Suffolk. Spanning an area of 1019 square kilometres, it includes Thetford and Kings Forests, which are collectively the largest lowland forest in the UK. With ancient heathland and miles of trackways and paths, the Brecks area is Suffolk's playground for lovers of nature and the great outdoors.

We have put together a two-day itinerary for the Brecks, which includes a mix of outdoor adventure; excellent, locally produced food and drink and luxurious overnight accommodation.

Thetford forest Suffolk (c) euphro
Thetford forest Suffolk (c) euphro

Day one

On arrival in the Brecks, head to Wyken Vineyard for a look around their seven acre vineyard and lovely formal garden, before setting down for lunch in the Leaping Hare restaurant. Don't forget to sample some of their award-winning wine (they produce 12,000 bottles per year) and if you happen to be there on a Saturday between 9am- 1pm, you will also be able to browse the farmers' market.

After lunch, make your way to Brandon Country Park to take part in one of their events or go for a walk along one of the four nature trails or eight mile cycle trail.

For something a bit different, you could book a private workshop in advance. Try a mindfulness meditation walk through the forest, or a bushcraft (survival skills) workshop to learn how to make fire, bake bread or make tools out of wood.

Back to Wilderness Buschraft Workshops
Back to Wilderness - buschraft workshops in Brandon Country Park ©GTS Photography

Overnight accommodation

A relaxing evening and good food will be in order after all that fresh air. Book a stay in the four star, boutique hotel Tuddenham Mill, which has a three rosette restaurant and was voted Best Restaurant in the Suffolk Food & Drink Awards 2016. Luxurious accommodation at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk
Luxurious accommodation at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk

day two

Work off your full English breakfast at the outdoor adventure centre Go Ape in the heart of Thetford Forest. Make your way through the tree tops using high ropes, tunnels and zip wires or whizz through the forest on a self-balancing segway.

If you've still got some energy left, hire a bike from Bike Art (right next to Go Ape at the High Lodge Forest Centre) and cycle through the forest on 40 miles of off-road cycleways.

Choose from the family-friendly Shepherd Trail or if you're an experienced mountain biker, try the Red Beater Trail, with its crests, dips and bomb holes. This ride also boasts 'The Beast' which is a roller coaster stretch near the end of the trail, with tight corners and other adrenaline-busting challenges.

Swinging through the trees (c) Go Ape
Swinging through the trees (c) Go Ape
Time for lunch. A fifteen minute drive will take you to the Elveden Estate where you can enjoy a meal made with local produce and stock up with locally made goodies to take home with you, from the estate farm shop.

Spend the afternoon with outdoors activities company Explore 4x4 who offer 4x4 driving experiences, clay pigeon shooting, skid pan driving, blindfold driving, archery, military escape and survival adventure and more.

Round off your 48 hour trip to the Brecks with a tour and tasting at The English Whisky Company if time allows. It's a 30 minute drive to the St George's Distillery. The tour lasts around an hour and includes a tasting of this fine, English single malt whisky.

Outdoor adventures with Explore 4x4
 Outdoor adventures with Explore 4x4

Travel Inspiration

For more travel inspiration, read our articles on ideas for spending time in Suffolk.

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