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horses at National Stud

Discover why Suffolk has a long established love of the horse

Suffolk has a long established love of horses dating back centuries.  From the naming of the majestic and mighty Suffolk Punch to becoming the home of horseracing.  Find out where you can get to see some of the greats of the county. 
National Stud Foal with mother at the National Stud in Newmarket

The National Stud Newmarket

One of the best ways to learn why the sport of kings is so popular and made its home here in Suffolk is on a Discover Newmarket tour.  Part of the tour visits the National Stud and allows you to see the thoroughbreds up close and find out how the champions of the track from yesteryear still have a part to play today.  Listening to one of the many knowledgable guides, you will be taken on a relaxing tour to see how the stud manages their four-legged guests and their role in breeding the next generation of racing champions. 
National Stud tour

Enjoy a tour of the National Stud in Newmarket

The Suffolk Punch

The Suffolk Punch is one of the oldest breeds of English horses and their history dates back to the 16th century.  The Suffolk Punch is part of a trio of Suffolk animals which form the Suffolk Trinity, the other two being the Red Poll Cow and the Black Faced Sheep.

This majestic and mighty horse has worked the land, been to war and even played a part in regenerising the Pakistani horse bloodlines.

Although still one of the rarest horse breeds, their numbers are gradually increasing due to the love and perserverance of many devoted fans.

One of the best places to meet the horses is at the Suffolk Punch Trust, where not only are the horses bred but the horses are trained for demonstrations, including film work.  Here, there are plenty of equine activities to see, you are also welcome to bring your dog on a lead and explore the surrounding countryside.  Make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy some home-cooked food in the cafe.

Suffolk Punch horse sculpture by Kate DentonSuffolk Punch sculpture by Kate Denton at her studios in Lavenham

National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art

One of the newest attractions in Suffolk is the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket, set within five acres in the centre of the town.

There is plenty to see here for both the racing enthusiast or art lover.  Starting with a tour around the museum, you will discover more about the fascinating evolution of the thoroughbred horse.  Enjoy a ride on the racehorse simulator to experience the thrill of racing and view sporting exhibits and artwork in the Packard Galleries in Palace House. 

There's even more to see outside, with a centre where former racehorses come to stay.  Here you will learn and watch how these fine-looking animals are retrained for their new life away from the starting stalls and tracks.  

image of painting at Palace HouseMake a day of it at the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art

Discover Newmarket Tours

We've already mentioned the National Stud Tours but there are many more that can be taken around the historic town of Newmarket on a Discover Newmarket Tour

Retrace the steps of royalty on a walking tour, take an early morning trip out to the 'gallops' to see the horses put their paces, or indulge in a champagne and afternoon tea tour.  Each tour gives you the opportunity to find out more about the sport of horseracing, the history and the horses involved. 

Wild horses in Suffolk

Suffolk's landscape is precious and it is now with the help of horses that the damage that has occured over the years is being restored.
In the Brecks, a diverse landscape of lowland heath, woodland and grassland, is Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve.  Whilst walking along waymarked trails you can catch a glimpse of the wild Exmoor ponies who are playing their part in protecting Suffolk's diverse wildlife habitat.

The nature reserve has plenty of space for the children to run and play before relaxing with a picnic. 

Sit back and watch Visit Suffolk's film 'Wild' which was filmed at Knettishall Heath to see for yourself how lovely it is. 

Wild Ponies at Knettishall HeathWild ponies at Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve 


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