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Relaxing in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards

Top Ten Things To Do This Weekend

As another long weekend beckons (and another one soon after that!), we have compiled a list of ten ideas for relaxing in Suffolk for three whole days...

For some people, the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to planning for a long weekend, is not to plan much at all. Sometimes it's nice just to drink tea, read a book or play Scrabble. But we suspect most people like to mix relaxation with a generous dose of adventure and exploration, so here are a few suggestions for a long weekend in Suffolk...

Walkers at Brandon Country Park

1. Ride a bike

Head to Alton Water on the Shotley Peninsula to hire a bike and cycle the 8.5 mile route around the reservoir. It's a scenic spot to spend the day with plenty of wildlife, places to picnic if the weather is nice, and there's a cafe on site too.

If you prefer cycling through woodland, head over to High Lodge at Thetford Forest and follow one of their cycling trails. There are four options, of different lengths and levels of difficulty.

2. Take a walk

There are so many wonderful options for walking in Suffolk. Guided walks take place around medieval Lavenham each weekend and there is a spring foraging walk at Nowton Park near Bury St Edmunds.

If you like wide open countryside, there are two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) on the Suffolk coast and in the Dedham Vale to explore, plus there are several long distance paths throughout the county.

Walking in Suffolk

3. Go shopping

A little bit of shopping with pauses for coffee and cake is always a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Try the larger towns of Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds if you are looking for high street brands as well as independent shops and don't miss some of the charming smaller towns too, with their boutiques, books and antiques shops.

Markets take place in many towns on a Saturday and there is also a Spring Garden Market at Halesworth on Saturday, 29th April  and Beccles Antiques Street Market takes place in the town centre on Sunday, 30th April.

The Arc, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk ©ShowCapture
The Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds ©ShowCapture

4. Go on an adventure

If you are in Suffolk with the children and are looking for a bit of adventure, go in search of aliens at Africa Alive! near Lowestoft  or Go Ape and swing from the trees in Thetford Forest! Swinging through the trees (c) Go Ape
Swinging from the treetops at Go Ape (image ©Go Ape)

5. Soak up some culture

We are fortunate to have a vibrant arts scene in Suffolk, with performance venues scattered throughout the county.

Playing this bank holiday weekend are The Counterfeit Stones at the Spa Pavilion Theatre in Felixstowe; Grammy-nominated singer Stacey Kent is at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds and the drama, dance and song extravaganza Because We Can Can Can is also at The Apex. 

Ipswich Choral Society is performing in the majestic setting of Snape Maltings  there's a March, Swing & Sing performance, again at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, by the GB Home Guard Band; and some light opera, The Drowsy Chaperone is being performed in Beccles, by the Waveney Light Opera Group. 

6. Go birdwatching at RSPB Minsmere

For a spot of wildlife watching, head to one of Suffolk's many nature reserves.

If birdwatching is of particular interest, join the Birdwatching for Beginners workshop at RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast. 

You could also join the team at RSPB Minsmere as they celebrate their 70th anniversary as an RSPB nature reserve, with a '70 species to spot' challenge (help is at hand if needed!).

Throughout April and May are regular Sounds of Spring (and breakfast) events at Minsmere which is early morning birdwatching followed by breakfast in the reserve's cafe. And if you are on the hunt for a pair of binoculars, you might like to check in on the Binocular and Telescope Open Days when experts will be on hand to offer advice.

7. Stroll along the beach

A walk along the beach is a nice thing to do at any time of year. When the weather is cold, it's invigorating, and when it's sunny and warm, it's one of the most relaxing things to do.

Make sure you follow your walk up with a warming and tasty portion of fish and chips!

Aldeburgh coastline (c) Visit England / Diana Jarvis
Walking on Aldeburgh beach ©Visit England / Diana Jarvis

8. Browse some art

Have a browse around an art gallery or attend an exhibition this weekend. There's the Spring Art Exhibition at Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, which you could combine with a visit to the launch of a new art gallery in the town, called the Really Very Nice Gallery, showing art, sculpture and ceramics.

Gainsborough's House in Sudbury has a fine collection of the artist's work and Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich has collections from Gainsborough, Constable and other artists.

For something a little more unusual, visit the Aldeburgh Beach lookout on Saturday 29th April, between 12 and 2pm to watch a continuous performance of music, song, art and poetry.

9. Jump!

If you are feeling particularly energetic, you could try your hand at a bit of freestyle jumping at Flux Freestyle in Ipswich. 150 trampolines are connected together so you can jump, tackle an obstacle course, throw basketballs hoops and more fun-sounding stuff...

10. Relax

Or simply slow down and our short film: Breathe to see what we mean!

Breathe - a short film by Visit Suffolk

What will you discover in Suffolk this weekend?

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