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Theatre in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards

You.Unplugged: This Autumn

Events for Everyone

Suffolk is a county with a rich cultural heritage, a fascinating history and a vibrant arts scene. As such, it has a lively programme of events which take place throughout the year.

Over the past few months, we've enjoyed a mass of festivals celebrating food and drink, art, crafts, music, walking and more. As we head into autumn, we focus on literature, poetry, dance, theatre and plenty of family-friendly seasonal events, as well as an ongoing sprinkling of food and music events.

Below is our pick of upcoming things to do this autumn in Suffolk....

A way with words...

Celebrate the spoken word in the pretty coastal town of Aldeburgh from Friday, 3rd to Sunday, 5th November. The 2017 Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival includes readings, discussions, workshops, art and film.

Further along the coast, the Ways With Words Festival of Words and Ideas takes places in Southwold from the 9th to the 12th November. Take the opportunity to engage with books and ideas combined with walks along the beach, visits to the quirky pier and perhaps the odd fish and chip supper or two...

In medieval Lavenham, the bi-annual literary festival takes place from 17th to 19th November. The programme includes speaker sessions in the stunning 16th century guildhall, a festive dinner at the iconic Swan Hotel and workshops in venues throughout this beautiful Suffolk wool town. The brand new Bury St Edmunds Literary Festival will be a feast of all things literary for both adults and children and takes place on Wednesday, 25th to Sunday, 29th October.

Dancing at the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich ©Rod Edwards
Dancing at the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich ©Rod Edwards

Dance, Music, Art and Theatre

With many excellent venues to choose from, there is no shortage of performing arts events taking place across the county. Jerwood DanceHouse on the Ipswich Waterfront is host to national and international dance performances throughout the year. Coming up is Double Bill on 20th and 21st October, featuring Scotland's national contemporary dance company, who will be performing here for the first time.

Also in Ipswich - the award-winning production of Grease will be on at The Regent Theatre from the 2nd to 7th October. The show originally opened in the West End in 1993 and so far has been seen by over 12 million people in the UK alone!

In nearby Felixstowe at the Spa Pavillion, the Vienna Festival Ballet will be performing Tchaikovsky's classic, The Nutcracker on Friday, 24th November. And if you are a fan of funny-man Griff Rhys-Jones, head to the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds on the 22nd October to hear his stories, anecdotes and reminiscences of his forty-year career.


Halesworth in the Waveney Valley will be hosting its annual art festival from 7th to 22nd October. Jazz, folk and chamber music; films, live performances, poetry, art and much more is all on offer at this popular festival which promises “ quality artists in small, intimate surroundings.”

FlipSide Festival in Lowestoft takes place during the the half-term holiday from Tuesday, 24th to Thursday, 26th October and is aimed squarely at families. The festival will be three fun-filled days of music, theatre, art, dance and literature which will appeal to children and young people in particular. Think puppet shows, craft workshops, drama and dance classes, storytelling, music, poetry and even beat-box and body percussion workshops.

FlipSide Festival in Suffolk
FlipSide Festival in Suffolk

'Tis the get spooked!

Yes, it's that time of year again when pumpkins make their annual appearance and broomsticks and pointy hats come out of the closet. Take the little ones to one of the many family-friendly Halloween events around Suffolk.

Head for Baylham House Farm near Ipswich as they host their Spooky Spectacular event from 21st to 29th October. If you want your children to learn a few tricks of the wizardry trade, send them to the School of Sorcery and Magic at Kentwell Hall in Long Melford. Their Halloweenies event is on from Saturday, 21st to Sunday, 29th October and those attending class can put their new-found skills to the test when school is out and they make their way through the magical woodland, riddled with all sorts of mystical challenges...

Landguard Fort in Felixstowe is hosting a Spooky Day on Saturday, 28th October. Billed as “a fun packed afternoon of gentle chills and thrills” it's a family event with a puppet show featuring the Three Silly Witches; balloon modelling and crafting sessions; and a creepy quiz around the spook-infested museum.

Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm
Meet the animals this Halloween at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm

For adults who enjoy (?) the thrill of some seriously scary Halloween action, a visit to Scaresville, Long Melford might be in order. The haunted village pops up in the grounds of Kentwell Hall each night from Wednesday, 4th October to Saturday, 4th November. Previously a winner of the Screamie Award (the title of the award tells you all you need to know), Scaresville is not for the faint-hearted. Don't say we didn't warn you!

And if that hasn't scared you enough, visit Bury St Edmunds on All Hallows 'Eve for a walking tour around the haunted town. Be prepared for a grisly journey of 'murder, executions, plague, riots, witchcraft and sightings of ghostly figures...'


Autumn just wouldn't feel right without a fireworks display (and toffee apples) and even better when the fireworks are accommpanied by music. The skies will light up over Christchurch Park on Saturday, 4th November for the annual Ipswich firework spectacular, music and dance event.

The ever-popular Big Night Out is on in Long Melford on Friday, 10th November with a massive fireworks display and bonfire.

Beer, Sausages and Science Fiction

Ipswich is the place to go to sample German beer and Bavarian street food this autumn. Join in one of the Oktoberfest events at the Corn Exchange on 6th - 7th October or Christchurch Park on 27th - 28th October. There's also the Saints Beer & Blues Festival on 20th and 21st October which will feature American craft beers and real ales.

The Long Shop Museum in Leiston near the Suffolk Coast is welcoming autumn with a real ale and toe-tapping traditional music festival on Friday, 20th to Sunday, 22nd October. Meanwhile the folks in Framlingham are hosting a sausage festival on Sunday, 8th October. Suffolk sausages will be sizzling throughout the town and there will be workshops, entertainment and lots of treats to try and buy.

Sci-fi buffs should not miss the Bury St Edmunds Science-Fiction & Action Festival at Moyse's Hall Museum from 21st October to 26th November, which will feature props and original artwork from Hollywood and TV. Wolverine's claws and Halle Berry's Storm costume from X Men will be on display, along with Captain Jean-Luc Picard's uniform, as worn by Sir Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Brewing in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards
 Brewing in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards

All about sports...

Get active this autumn and try out a new sport at the Festival of Sports in Bury St Edmunds. From Monday, 23rd to Sunday, 29th October all sorts of things will be on offer: netball, tennis, postnatal yoga, fun runs and more.

If the sport of kings is more your style, take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour to glimpse the world of horse racing. Visit the Gallops, a trainer's yard and the new National Heritage Centre for Horse Racing & Sporting Art in Newmarket on Saturday, 28th October on the half-day Short Head Tour.

Christmas Events in Suffolk

Is it too early to mention Christmas? Hopefully not, as there are some fantastic festive events to pop in your diary. 

Make a note of the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Street Fayre on Sunday, 26th November; the Lavenham Christmas Lantern Walk on Saturday, 2nd December, which is part of the Lavenham Christmas Fair (1st - 3rd December); Living History Christmas event at Ickworth House near Bury St Emunds on Saturday, 2nd December; Christmas craft markets at Blackthorpe Barn, weekends from 11th November to 17th December; and a range of Christmas events at Snape Maltings, including Santa sailing in on a barge to deliver his gifts,

This is just a small selection of events on offer in Suffolk this autumn. Keep an eye on our events list for more information


What events will you be enjoying this autumn?

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