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Cathedral Bury St Edmunds

Short breaks to Suffolk by train

Suffolk is an obvious choice to explore the great outdoors, countryside and coast, and also has the good fortune of being just 1 hour from London by train, making it easy to get to for that perfect short break getaway! Here we explore Suffolk’s hidden gems and attractions, brimming full of adventures and ready to welcome you.
Explore Suffolk by TrainExplore waterside towns and historic gems by train (photo: Woodbridge)

1. Woodbridge

Nestled on the River Deben, Woodbridge is a lively riverside town in the eastern part of Suffolk. It’s home to one of the oldest working tide mill in the country and Sutton Hoo (National Trust), which plays host to, quite possibly, one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon discoveries of all time. Take an amble through the town’s thoroughfare and spot on-trend coffee houses or indulge in tasty bites at one of its many stylish restaurants, after a busy day sightseeing or shopping some of the town's unique fashion brands (Homespun, Fanny & Franks or Shop at Anna, to name but a few!)

Explore FramlinghamDiscover Anglo-Saxon treasures in Woodbridge

2. Ipswich

Suffolk’s county town is an urban sprawl of cultural splendour. From visiting exhibitions, such as PhotoEast, to its main fixtures at DanceEast, New Wolsey Theatre and Red Rose Chain – there is plenty to keep you entertained. And Christchurch Mansion, with its largest collection of Constable masterpieces outside of London, is a must-visit. The historic centre is host to some great cafés and independent shopping, but it’s the waterfront which draws attention with its impressive yachts, cool cafés (Cult as a suggestion?) and renowned eateries (Aurora Bar and Restaurant and Mariners are just two). It’s great for a day out but a short break is recommended and the Salthouse Harbour Hotel is ideally located to unwind and watch the world go by.
Ipswich WaterfrontAmble along Ipswich Waterfront

3. Bury St Edmunds

Coined the ‘historic jewel in Suffolk’s crown’, Bury St Edmunds lives up to its title with heritage buildings en masse, ready to invite and tempt you to experience the tragedy, drama and greatness of its past. Among the old, you’ll find the new: independent shops, eateries, art galleries and more. And spring is the best time to visit as the whole town literally comes into bloom. For the most impressive display, Abbey Gardens takes some beating. Sit back and relax with a barista-style coffee or yummy ice-cream, before heading for a performance at the country’s only surviving Regency theatre – Theatre Royal or a pint in Britain’s smallest pub, The Nutshell.
Abbey Gardens, Bury St EdmundsAbbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

4. Newmarket

Not the most obvious place to holiday in Suffolk, but you’d be surprised at what’s on offer in this bustling market town. Newmarket is home to one of the country’s, and indeed the world’s, most engaging sports – horseracing. In the 1600s King Charles II selected Newmarket Heath as the perfect spot to pursue his love of the sport, and this deep-rooted interest has led to a new museum in its honour: Heritage Centre for Horseracing and British Sporting Art at Palace House. Go behind the scenes of sporting legends, visit the museum, spend a day at the races or simply escape to one of Suffolk’s most heavenly spas at The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel. To completely immerse yourself in horseracing history, stay at the Jockey Club Rooms – a private members club at the heart of the action.

Discover NewmarketNational Heritage Centre at Palace House

Travelling to Suffolk by train?

Find out more about these towns and others by clicking on our Explore  section.

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