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Ten Romantic Things in Suffolk

It may be thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer that we celebrate Saint Valentine's Day on the 14th of February each year. It is thought to have been a poem called The Parliament of Fowls written by the poet in 1382 that turned St Valentine's Day into a celebration of romantic love, when he wrote: "For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”

And here we are, over 600 years later, buying red roses and sending cards to our loved ones (or those we wish were our loved ones) on what is generally considered to be the most romantic day of the year.

You may prefer to ignore it completely of course, but if you are feeling the love this Valentine's Day, we have compiled a list of ten romantic things to do and places to stay or visit in Suffolk.

Aldeburgh coastline (c) Visit England / Diana JarvisAldeburgh coastline (c) Visit England / Diana Jarvis

1. Hex Cottage – The Wilderness Reserve

Nestled in a 4,500 acre country estate on the Suffolk coast, this dreamy thatched cottage is the perfect place for getting away from it all for a few days.

There is no electricity, so lighting and heating is by way of open fireplaces, candles and storm lanterns and cooking is done on the wood-fired range. Things don't get much more romantic than that!

Inside Hex Cottage at the Wilderness Reserve in SuffolkInside Hex Cottage at the Wilderness Reserve in Suffolk

2. Romance for Adrenaline Junkies

Research suggests that couples who play together, stay together, so what about a ride on a Go-Kart for an adrenaline-filled date?  Try off-roading at Beacon Valley Karts in Woodbridge; skiing at the dry ski slope near Ipswich; or swinging through the tree tops at Go Ape in Thetford Forest.

3. Stay in a romantic hotel

When it comes to romantic hotels, we are pretty spoilt for choice in Suffolk. Try Tuddenham Mill, the chic boutique hotel near Newmarket which has recently been awarded 3 AA rosettes for food and service.

The Crown at Bildeston is another romantic gem. Not far from medieval Lavenham, this Grade II listed former coaching inn has 13 individually designed rooms and a growing reputation for fine dining.

If bringing the kids with you on your Valentine's short break is unavoidable, you might like to consider The Ickworth Hotel near Bury St Edmunds. It is a family-friendly hotel in the stunning Ickworth estate, owned by the National Trust. They offer a baby sitting service, creche and kids' club for older children and they have three spa treatments rooms for adults.

Bildeston Crown, SuffolkBildeston Crown, Suffolk

4. Learn a new skill

Suffolk is a county known and loved for its ruralness, its areas of outstanding natural beauty and unspoilt heritage coastline, so what could be better than learning new survival skills to add to your list of achievements? 

Ray Chin runs Back to Wilderness, a company teaching bushcraft and wilderness survival skills,“Learning skills like these, can help people understand what’s right in front of them. The more we understand, the more inclined we are to be responsible and care a little more about what’s really important.”

5. Take a long distance stroll

Wrap up warm and walk part (or all) of the 50 mile Suffolk Coast Path along the stretch of heritage coastline in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Explore pretty fishing villages and elegant coastal towns as you go and don't forget to stop off for a warming portion of fish and chips en route.

The Scallop on Aldeburgh beachThe Scallop on Aldeburgh beach

6. Indulge in afternoon tea – with champagne!

There is something so decadent about taking time to enjoy a proper afternoon tea and if you add champagne into the mix, it then becomes perfect for a Valentine's Day treat.

Try the Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa, where you can have either a sweet or savoury afternoon tea or the Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds where you can sit in front of a roaring log fire. 

7. Take a trip to the theatre

The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds is hosting a concert of songs by the late Karen Carpenter called Voice of the Heart on Tuesday, 14th February.

Carole Gordon from the Blue Jeans Band & Singers will be singing love songs and timeless classics from more than 30 years ago.

8. Find Suffolk's most romantic spot

It is of course a matter of opinion when it comes to deciding where the most romantic place in Suffolk is.

For some it will be on a quiet beach along the heritage coast, for others it could be the middle of Thetford Forest, surrounded by nature and for others, it might be a pretty village, such as medieval Lavenham.

Whatever your taste, why not take a trip there this Valentine's Day? Pack a picnic (don't forget a thermos of hot tea!) or stop off at a nearby pub for a leisurely lunch.

Thetford forest Suffolk (c) euphroThetford Forest Suffolk (c) euphro

9. Learn to make chocolates

Instead of buying chocolates for the love of your life this year, what about learning how to make them together instead? Take a chocolate masterclass in Newmarket with Artistry in Cocoa.

10. Valentine's Day Tour of Newmarket

Explore Newmarket on a VIP guided tour on Thursday, 9th February. Starting off with a visit to a top Newmarket trainer's yard you will then go on a tour of the Jockey Club Rooms, have lunch at the Packhorse Inn and a visit to Dalham Hall Stud. Racehorses at Dalham Stud in Suffolk (c) Discover NewmarketRacehorses at Dalham Stud in Suffolk (c) Discover Newmarket

Know something we don't?

Let us know what your most romantic place in Suffolk is via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.