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Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast in East Anglia

7 Things you can only do in Suffolk

If you’re planning a weekend away or a holiday this winter, head over to Suffolk; the county full of fabulous food, miles of stunning coast and beaches, some of the UK's prettiest towns and villages and an abundance of unique experiences.
 Only 90 minutes from London, the county is easily accessible from the Midlands, the home counties, Essex and Norfolk. Here's a snapshot of exclusive attractions available to experience in Suffolk. So, whether you’re planning an indulgent long weekend or are heading here after work on Friday, cramming in as much as you can before returning Sunday night, make sure these experiences are on your winter 'bucket list’.

1. Indulge your culinary curiosity

The “Infusions Culinary Experience”, otherwise known as ICE, is a cook school in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds; home to an impressive cathedral and plenty of independent shopping, cafés and restaurants. It offers team-building or one-to-one training with the opportunity to develop your culinary skills. ICE has not one but two Masterchefs of Great Britain amongst it’s fantastic full-time Chefs and, between them, they can design a bespoke day, either half or full, or whatever suits, for every kind of gastronomic desire for you and friends, plus the equipment and know-how to gratify every culinary curiosity and level of gourmet ability.

If you are food obsessive, the skilled and friendly team look forward to sharing your passion with you on the day and to offer “an experience you simply can’t get anywhere else”.


Ice Cook School for culinary courses in Bury St EdmundsLearn new skills at ICE!

2. Experience the golden age of cinema

A charming, intimate and cosy 70 seat cinema in Southwold, the Electric Picture Palace was created by The Southwold Film Society, offering modern film-goers “the experience of cinema-going in the mid twentieth century”. Be transported to the golden-age of movies as you are greeted by the commissionaire, shown to your seat by the uniformed usherettes and watch the “Tiny Wurlitzer” organ rising up mysteriously during the interval. At the end of the showing, The National Anthem is played (singing along is optional!).


The winter season’s programme features an eclectic mix of the usual blockbusters, local documentaries, black and white “Silver Screen” classics as well as national theatre live screenings. With film showings every Friday and Saturday night, this picture house classic is a must-visit.


Membership is required to attend screenings, but visitors and weekenders are welcome and may join for a season for just £3 (bargain!). Tickets are £6-8, £15 for the royal box and £10 for national theatre screenings. Whilst there, why not join one of the fascinating public or private tours?


This super cool venue is also available to hire for parties and events, and is even licensed for weddings, so if you’re dreaming of a quirky, Suffolk ceremony, the Picture Palace is a must-see!
Electric Picture Palace cinema on the Suffolk coast in SouthwoldThe stunning Electric Picture Palace in Southwold on the Suffolk coast

3. Watch the sunrise at the UK's most easterly point.

 For anyone looking for a serene and natural experience, this is the one…

Get up early (but not too early - it's winter!) and make your way to Lowestoft’s Ness point; the most Easterly point in the country and you’ll be the first person in the UK to see the sunrise.

Whilst Ness Point is a rather understated attraction, it’s remote location affords a peaceful contrast to some of the other compass point attractions such as Lands End or John O’Groats (no visitor centres or cafés so you can enjoy the unique experience alone or with a loved one).

If you have time to explore, wonder into the centre where you’ll find evidence of the town's once thriving fishing trade – immediately nearby Ness Point, you can see the old drying racks on the North Denes scrubland that fishermen used.

Just a short drive away (or a walk through the town and head over the bridge) you will find Lowestoft’s stunning beach. Walk along the wide, golden sands past the pastel coloured beach huts and stop in one of the seaside cafés for coffee, cake or a bacon roll to start your day.

Lowestoft beach on the Suffolk coastLowestoft - East Anglia's most easterly point

4. Catch a performance at DanceEast

The Jerwood DanceHouse, home to DanceEast sits right on Ipswich’s historic marina. It’s a truly inspiring place, architecturally abstract and artistically challenging, DanceEast’s slogan; ‘Move: Be Moved’ could not be more apt.


The company has been producing a range of innovative productions for three decades and work across a range of local, national and international projects. At any one time, DanceEast creates and peforms beautifully crafted and awe-inspiring dance performances to be seen anywhere in the country.


The winter programme offers a diverse range of performances including mind-bending concept theatre, inspiring contemporary dance, musicals and multi award-winning dance adaptations of Shakespeare.


If you are looking to immerse yourself in Ipswich’s cultural scene, allow some time to wander around the marina, grab a coffee at one of the trendy waterside cafés and eateries and, depending on the time of year, marvel at the visiting Tall Ships.


DanceEast performance centre in IpswichDanceEast performance arts venue in Ipswich

5. Wander through the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds Abbey Gardens are like no other public or historic garden you will have seen before; offering the chance to see every time-period evidenced over sprawling and historic grounds, which contain the remains of Bury St Edmunds Abbey; once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in the country.

The Abbey’s remains include the intact 14th century Great Gate and Norman Tower, the fascinating ruins and west front of the church. In 903, the site became the final resting place of King Edmund, which made the monastery a pilgrimage and went on to see it become established as an abbey in the early 11th century. The infamous history continued throughout the centuries - including the political fortune and misfortune of Bury St Edmunds (both of which can be discovered during your visit) and the development of the gardens. These were originally created in 1831, and over the years, additions have included the Appleby Rose Garden (boasting over 400 roses!), the Pilgrims Herb Garden (another sensory delight!) Sensory Garden, Water Garden and Aviary, among other things.

Visitors in 2018 enter the Abbey precinct - as they have since the 14th century, through the impressive Great Gate which is the Abbey’s best surviving feature and showcasing the incredible stonemasonry skills that have stood the test of time.

Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds in SuffolkAbbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

6. Join in the Sandlings Sessions at Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings was originally built in the mid-19th century to malt barley which would then be sent along the river Alde to London and exported on to Europe. These days, it is the site of a magnificent home-ware shop, amazing food hall and the world-famous concert hall which, in February, hosts the return of the Sandlings Sessions for 2018.

Hosted by one of the UK's top folk festivals FolkEast (which takes place later in the year between 17th - 19th August), the event offers workshops, performances and dance between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th February. Expect to be enthralled by the cream of national folk musicians who will be both delivering workshops and performing themselves, including The Young ‘Uns (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winning trio), John Spiers formerly of Bellowhead and Miranda Rutter among many others.

Notable events and performances to catch are the Friday evening ceilidh, (who doesn’t love a bit of singing, dancing and story-telling?!) Saturday evening’s performance featuring all the artists, and on Sunday, a walk along the River Alde, followed by (an optional, but recommended) stop in one of the cafés or eateries upon your return to the maltings. Passes range from £35 for Saturday to £45 for the full weekend, but there is already limited availability so book soon!

Sandlings Sessions at FolkEast on the Suffolk coastSandlings Sessions at FolkEast on the Suffolk coast

7. Solve the mystery of a Suffolk Escape Room

Featured in The Times Top 20 coolest campsites in Britain, Happy Days Retro Vacations not only boasts a selection of classic American airstream trailers for you, your loved one or friend to stay in, they’ve also recently launched their own Suffolk Escape Room; an interactive, fun experience situated in an original wartime Nissen Hut. Enter Area 5 and discover hidden clues and solve puzzles which will eventually lead to your safety and daylight!

 Alternatively, just outside Ipswich and located under the Orwell Bridge, you will find one of Suffolk's greatest food outlets and eateries. Suffolk Food Hall is a vast food hall selling the best of Suffolk’s fine fayre with experts on hand to give advise on the best cuts of meets to what delicious local cheeses to consume. It also houses a bakery, delicatessen, fishmonger, greengrocer, wine and beer merchant as well as a chocolatier. The café serves dishes made from the produce on sale, and you can tuck into a hearty roast in the Clockhouse Restaurant before embarking on one of two Escape Room challenges; ‘Escape the Gamekeepers Bothy’, and ‘Prof Campbell’s Disappearance’. Both rooms are housed within the farm buildings and are inspired by the county’s farming past.

The Suffolk Escape Room on the Suffolk coastThe Suffolk Escape Room on the Suffolk coast


Check out our blogs for more Suffolky things to do and see.


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