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10 Things to do in Suffolk over the Bank Holiday

Written by Andrew Woodhouse on

With the lovely long days, and warmer weather the Spring Bank Holiday is a wonderful time of year for a weekend away.  If you’re looking for some inspiration or are searching for a last minute bank holiday getaway, there’s lots of wonderful things to see and do in Suffolk.

For some great May bank holiday accommodation, we offer an unbeatable choice of VisitEngland inspected self-catering cottages starting at just £32 per person per night!

To help whet your appetite, here is a round-up of what's on in Suffolk over the Spring bank holiday weekend:

  1. What’s Tasty in Woodbridge Food Festival
    Visit the beautiful riverside town of Woodbridge over the Spring bank holiday for you chance to savour a mouth-watering selection of locally produced and reared food and drink. Live cooking demonstration by Vernon Blackmore from The Table and Ugur Vata from the Gallery. Supported by local businesses including The Cake Shop Bakery – winner of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery 2014 and Friday Street Farm.

    Where: Market Hill, Woodbridge IP12
    When: Saturday May 24 May, 10am-3pm
    Accommodation: view our handpicked selection of VisitEngland graded Woodbridge holiday cottages by clicking here.


  2. Lavenham Art Festival
    Lavenham Art Festival is a fabulous bi-annual celebration of local artists, potters, printmakers, quilters, sculptors, spinners and jewellery makers. The Lavenham Art Society will also be exhibiting artworks in the historic Lavenham church. Refreshments provided by The Great House Restaurant will be available in Lavenham’s historic Market Place.

    Where: Market Place, Little Hall, and throughout Lavenham
    When: Saturday 24 - Monday 26 May 2014
    Accommodation: visit our Suffolk Wool Towns page for lots of wonderful self-catering cottages in Lavenham, Kersey and Long Melford.


  3. Helmingham Hall Gardens - Plant Heritage Spring Plant Fair
    The Plant Heritage Spring Plant Fair is a colourful and fabulous day out for gardening enthusiasts, all set against the stunning backdrop of the beautiful, moated Helmingham Hall.
    In addition to thousands of plants including exotic and unusual varieties this will be a fun-filled day out for the whole family with live music, food and drink, lifestyle stalls, homemade lunches and teas and gardening tips on everything from creating striking floral arrangements to successful vegie growing!
    There will also be an opportunity to take a tour around the magnificent grade 1 listed gardens designed by Lady Xa Tollemache – winner of many Chelsea Flower Show  gold medals. Places on the tour are limited, so advance booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Tour cost: £10 each.

    Where: Helmingham Hall, Helmingham, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6EF (free parking)
    When: Sunday 25 May 2014, 10am-4pm (tour at midday)
    Cost: Entry to plant sale £6 including admission to Helmingham Hall Gardens. (Tour of gardens is an extra £10)  Tickets can be bought in advance by calling 01473 890799.
    Accommodation: Helmingham Hall is less than 10 miles away from all of our VisitEngland inspected Woodbridge Cottages so it’s easily reached by car if touring this beautiful area.

    'The Hide' in Hasketon is also located approximately 7 miles away from Helmingham Hall.


  4. Hoxne Music Festival 2014
    Hoxne is an historic Suffolk village and is famous for one of the UK’s most exciting archaeological discoveries – the Hoxne Hoard – which consisted of over 15,000 silver and gold Roman coins (now housed at the British Museum). This beautiful village hosts a bi-annual music festival featuring everything from classical music to jazz and rhythm and blues.

    Where: St Edmund's Village Hall, Goldbrooke, Hoxne, IP21 5AN and St Peter & St Paul Church, Green Street, Hoxne, IP21 5AZ
    When: Friday 23 – Saturday 25 May 2014
    Accommodation: We have a number of lovely self-catering holiday properties in this area of Suffolk including The Pottage in Hoxne, The Farm in Gislingham (approximately 10 miles away) and Sunnyside Cottage in Laxfield (approximately 9 miles away).


  5. Southwold Lions Club Spring Bank Holiday Fete
    The annual May Bank Holiday Fete organised by The Southwold Lions Club will be officially opened at 11am by the Town Mayor. This fantastic Southwold event provides fundraising opportunities for local Southwold charities and groups.

    Where: Southwold Common, Southwold
    When: Monday 26 May 2014 from 11am


  6. Southwold Model Yacht Regatta
    Sailors of any age and ability are eligible to join in the fun at the Southwold Model Yacht Club Spring Regatta and newcomers are always welcome! If you are curious to find out more, do drop by to speak to one of the club members. The club also has a small number of boats available to borrow should you want to have a try! Don’t forget to pop over to the Tea Pavilion at Southwold Boating Lake afterwards for a cuppa !

    Where: Southwold Model Yacht Pond, North Parade Southwold, IP18 6BN.
    When: Monday 26 May 2014 from 2pm.


  7. Bury St Edmunds Festival
    Bury St Edmunds - home of Suffolk’s only Cathedral is yet again hosting a fabulous Festival featuring music, exhibitions, music, film and theatre.

    Where: various venues all over Bury St Edmunds.
    When: 16-25 May 2014.


  8. LeeStock Festival
    LeeStock festival is organised in memory of local musician Lee Dunford, who died at the age of 17 after being diagnosed with Hodgkins. The Lightning Seeds and Acoustic Terrorvision headline the festival with proceeds going to the Willow Foundation, which organises special days for people with serious illnesses.

    Where: Melford Hall Park, Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 9AA
    When: 24-25 May 2014
    Accommodation: we have some lovely Suffolk holiday cottages nearby in Long Melford and Lavenham – all of which have been inspected and graded by VisitEngland.


  9. Bawdsey Radar Exhibition
    Bawdsey Radar played an incredible part in Britain’s military history during the last century, and in 1937, became the world’s very first radar station.
    The interactive exhibition tells the story of Bawdsey Radar and reveals how a group of engineers and scientists came together in the 1930s to prove that radio waves could locate ships, aeroplanes and other targets. Discover how the world’s very first radar station played a pivotal role in the 1940 Battle of Britain. For more information phone: 07821 162879. 

    When: 25-26 May 2014 from 12.30pm -4.30pm
    Where: Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block, Bawdsey Manor, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3AZ
    Contact: for more information phone: 07821 162879. 
    Accommodation: Suffolk Secrets offer a range of self-catering cottages nearby in Woodbridge, Bawdsey and Alderton.


  10. Suffolk Walking Festival 2014 Walks
    Discover Suffolk on foot! Here’s a small selection of the Suffolk Walking Festival walks taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday. Advance bookings essential by visiting the website.

    Churches and Chapels of Bury St Edmunds (Walk 55)
    A tour of the past and present places of different religious houses in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds.
    Date and time: Saturday 24 May, 10.00am
    Meeting place: walk starts at Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1UZ
    Duration: 2.5-3 hrs / Distance: 2-3 miles
    Cost: Adults £4.00; children 16 and under, free

    Sutton Heath – Tiptoe Through The Heather (Walk 57)
    A heathland hike through the wilderness with big open skies. Accompanied by the fluting notes of the Woodlark and other heathland specialities such as the diminutive Dartford Warbler, sometimes to be seen perching on a frond of heather.
    Date and time: Sunday 25th May, 10.00am
    Meeting place: Sutton Heath (south car park) – map reference: TM306475
    Duration: 3 hrs / Distance: 5.5 miles
    Cost: Adults £4.00; children 17 and under, £2.00
    Accommodation: there’s lots of lovely self-catering cottages in the Sutton Heath area including Bawdsey, Alderton, Shottisham and Woodbridge. Click here to view all of our holiday properties in this area.

Andrew Woodhouse

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Suffolk Secrets - The Finest Choice of Holiday Cottages