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Suffolk's most unique experiences

With a bunch of quirky towns and villages, stunning coastline and countryside, not to mention a fascinating history, it's no wonder Suffolk is home to a great choice of attractions. If it’s authenticity you’re after, then you will be well suited here too, with unique experiences that you can only try in Suffolk.
West Stow Anglo Saxon VillageVisit the fascinating West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, surrounded by acres of ancient woodland

Coastal voyager

Despite its peaceful appearance, the pretty town of Southwold is home to one of the most adrenaline pumping attractions in the county: the Coastal Voyager. Book this experience and you’ll be taken for an exhilarating ride out to sea on a 9M Rigid Inflatable Boat with a deep V hull from Southwold Harbour.
 
There’s a range of rides on offer including The Blast; a four hundred horse power thrill that is great fun for both rainy and sunny weather; The Drive of Your Life - an opportunity to privately hire the Coastal Voyager and experience, with the aid of the skipper; A visit to the Seal and Wind Farm at Scroby Sands; or the more relaxing River Blyth Cruise.
coastal VoyagerRide the thrilling Coastal Voyager out of Southwold Harbour

Bury St Edmunds' Ghostly and Macabre tour

If you’re a fan of ghosts, ghouls and ghastly tales, then the Ghostly and Macabre Tour of the historic town of Bury St Edmunds is for you. Running every other Friday until the end of March, the tour takes you to some of the town’s most haunted places.

Starting at Moyse’s Hall Museum, you will hear the story of the Red Barn Murderer – William Corder, whose trial, conviction and execution brought thousands to the town, before moving on to Market Cross and then to The Nutshell pub to hear the stories of witches, mummified cats and local folklore.

Walk along the darkened streets of Bury St Edmunds and listen to tales of screaming skulls, mysterious ‘monk’ like figures appearing in cellars, burnings and hangings and more, before ending the tour in the Great Churchyard where the guides recall the stories from the Abbey and the famous Grey Lady.

Tours take place weekly until 22nd March and the 90-minute tour costs £6 per person and starts from outside Marks and Spencer on the Cornhill at 6.30pm. Numbers are restricted to 20 guests per guide; perfect to hear the stories close up and maybe experience something out of the ordinary ... Due to the content of the tour, participants must be aged 14 years or over.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, you can book a private tour at The Apex.

Angel Hill Bury St Edmunds (c) Martin PettittView of Bury St Edmunds through Abbey Gate

Ring Quest at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

One of England's great archaeological sites, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village has lots to explore with indoor galleries and a fascinating recreation of an Anglo-Saxon village, surrounded by unspoilt countryside. There’s also 125 acres of woods, heathland, rivers, lakes and nature trails to explore.

Immerse yourself in Suffolk’s history; watch a film, dress up as an Anglo-Saxon and say hello to the rare breed pigs and chickens. Tolkien fans will absolutely love the annual ‘Ring Quest’ event (taking place in February half term) where you can hunt for runes, meet a Hobbit and Gandalf and visit the sites where the fan-made short film Born of Hope (2009), a prequel to the J.R.R. Tolkien-based inspired movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings, was filmed.

Ring Quest at West Stow Anglo Saxon VillageTolkien fans will go wild for Ring Quest!

Kayak your way around the Suffolk Coast

If you really want to see the Suffolk Coast from a different point of view, a Nomad Sea Kayaking expedition is a must. These professionally-run guided tours are ideal for visitors who like to get out and get active, and offer you the perfect opportunity to make the most of the county’s stunning shoreline.

The training programmes cover the basic skills needed to safely paddle a kayak along the Suffolk coast. Once you’ve completed the 'Introduction to Sea Kayaking' course, you can develop your skills further with training in navigation, safety and rolling.

Sea Kayaking NOMAD micro-gap experienceExperience Suffolk by water with Nomad Sea Kayaking

Tour Suffolk's Famous breweries

Suffolk is home to two of the UK's most famous breweries: Adnams in Southwold and Greene King in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds.

Located in the seaside town of Southwold, the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, has been brewing since 1872. Behind the walls of a stunning Victorian building on East Green lies one of the most modern breweries in the UK. In 2010, Adnams added a micro distillery too. So whatever your tipple of choice, be it their Ghost Ship Ale or the Copper House Distillery Gin, you’re in for a treat!

You can tour the brewery or distillery and costs £20 per person. They take approximately 1 hour and are followed by a tutored tasting, which takes around 30 minutes. The tours are only available to over 18s and booking is essential as spaces are limited.

Or head to historic Bury St Edmunds and book a tour of Greene King; a leading UK brewer and pub company that has called Bury St Edmunds home for over 200 years.

Fine British beers have been crafted here at the historic Westgate Brewery since 1799, using locally malted barley and water from 1,000 year old chalk wells. The daily tours of its Georgian-era brewery last 1 hour 40 minutes and cost £16 per person (over 18s only), taking you around the historic working brew house to see where many of the nation’s favourite ales are brewed, including Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, which is famously named for the brewers who used to work at Bury St Edmunds’ Great Abbey hundreds of years ago.

The tour also includes a trip up to the roof for one of the best panoramic views of the market town and finishes with a tutored beer tasting in the Greene King Beer Café.

Greene King Brewery TourBuild your brewing knowledge with a Greene King tour

Hidden works of art at Christchurch Mansion

Christchurch Manion is a Grade I listed Tudor mansion built in the 16th century by the wealthy Withypoll family. Owned by the town of Ipswich since 1895, today it houses an important collection of works by artists including the biggest collection of John Constable and Thomas Gainisborough paintings outside of London.

Whilst there, join one of the ‘Peep into the Past’ tours which take place at 11am from Tuesday to Saturday and 2pm on Sunday from March to November.

Other temporary exhibitions and events take place at the venue throughout the year, so it’s well worth checking what’s on before you head to the attraction.

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, SuffolkGet a cultural buzz at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich

National Stud & Racing Day Tours at Newmarket

Newmarket is one of the most important names in British horseracing. If you’re a fan of thoroughbreds, you’ll relish the chance to get behind the scenes and find out a little more about the sport and the magnificent animals that make it what it is on a National Stud Tour. The only remaining commercial stud farm in the UK which allows individuals, small groups and large parties the chance to see behind the scenes of a working Thoroughbred stud farm.

Tours last approximately 90 minutes and are taken by coach and on foot; on the tour you will explore the beautiful 500-acre site and discover the history and purpose of The National Stud as a commercial Thoroughbred breeding operation. The tour takes place on a working commercial stud farm, so be prepared for some hands-on aspects at certain times of the year, depending on the season and the activities happening on the stud when you visit.

Tours cost £11.00 per person (Child/Adult/Senior), children under 5 are free and do not need to be included in the booking process.

For the racing fan, a Race Day Tour is the ultimate experience! After a driven tour around the town of Newmarket you will visit the fascinating National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art where you can learn about the royal connections to the town and the history of where racing began, right here! From there you will head to the Racecourse for an exclusive behind the scenes tour including the weighing room, royal box and commentators' box. You can experience the excitement of race day too as you step inside the Parade Ring, meeting the owners, trainers and jockeys just before the race!

Race Day Tours cost £130 per person, which includes the tour and Premier Enclosure entry.

Discover NewmarketTake a behind-the-scenes tour of a working Thoroughbred stud farm at The National Stud

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Set sail along the River Orwell from Ipswich quayside and enjoy brunch, lunch, a sunset supper or candlelit dinner on board the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant.

Meals are freshly cooked on board using local produce, with menus featuring English cooked breakfast with American hashbrowns and hot American muffins with apple pie and cream for brunch; Thai fishcakes, Stilton mushrooms, smoked duck break, slow roasted lamb shank, beef wellington, roasted vegetable and pine nut lasagne, white chocolate and whiskey bread and butter pudding, Suffolk strawberries and cream and triple chocolate brownie for lunch and dinner.

The vessel can take up to 12 passengers so there is ample space on deck and in the wheelhouse and a comfortable dining saloon to enjoy the 2 hour cruise which sets sail from Ipswich’s Historic Marina. Alternatively, you can privately hire the boat for dining with up to 18 guests. Every cruise includes an informative commentary on both the intriguing history that made this area and the wildlife which now inhabits it.

Allen Gardiner River CruiseEnjoy sumptuous dining aboard the Allen Gardiner

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