Published: Tuesday 6th Feb 2018
Written by: Chloe Baker.
Suffolk is full of natural wonders. Our farmland is notoriously luscious, our countryside walks are timeless and wildlife thrives. Here are some of our favourite things about Suffolk’s natural benefits…
With glorious countryside, beaches and woodland, it’s no surprise that wildlife thrives here in Suffolk. Here in our luscious county, we are lucky enough to have so many places where wildlife spotting is a given from the woods of Dunwich to the marshes of Minsmere. Nothing beats the sheer excitement of seeing a bird of prey or spotting a cute and fluffy family of otters. Wildlife is happy to call Suffolk its home and we also have some wonderful attractions, home to animals of the more exotic kind.
With it being home to BCC’s Springwatch for the past couple of years, it’s no surprise that the RSPB Minsmere is absolutely brimming with wildlife. This Area of Natural Beauty is protected by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as is home to some of the UK's rarest wildlife. Visitors can enjoy guided walks, coastal lagoons and nature trails. The reserve also has many facilities ensuring you can spend the whole day exploring with a picnic area, café and gift shop. Minsmere hosts events throughout the year, for more information on them, visit our What’s On area.
Located in the west of Suffolk and not far from Bury St Edmunds is Lackford Lakes. The wildlife oasis is a haven of lakes, reeds, meadows and woodland. A changing environment throughout the year, guests can enjoy a range of species from birds to butterflies to dragonflies. Lackford Lakes also has a visitor centre with stunning views of the nature reserve from the upstairs gallery whilst enjoying a coffee and a cake.
Africa Alive is a fantastic wildlife park just fifteen minutes from Southwold in the village of Kessingland. Guests can enjoy a full day out discovering over two hundred species from Africa including lions, monkeys, cheetahs and hyenas. The park has an amazing centrepiece where zebras, giraffes, white rhinos, ostriches and many other species live in harmony in a beautiful open space. The park also puts on some great displays in the summer including Bird of Prey shows and performances from The Mighty Zulu Nation.
Here in Suffolk, we’re extremely lucky to have luscious land where farming thrives. Because of this, the county is induced with delicious and local ingredients which you can use to cook in your Suffolk Secrets holiday cottage or take home. Below are just some of the places where fantastic ingredients can be found.
Suffolk Food Hall
Voted the best local food venue in the UK by the Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars, Suffolk Food Hall is run by Suffolk farmers who are proud to provide quality local foods as well as an unforgettable experience to the hall. Found just south of Ipswich under the Orwell Bridge, the venue hosts butchers, scratch bakery, fishmongers, a wealth of fruit and veg and a divine delicatessen. The enjoyment extends to the home and garden department, restaurant, café and views along the river in an Area of Natural Beauty.
Snape Maltings Food Hall & Fresh Food Pantry
Snape Maltings Food Hall is proud to support local producers with an extensive array of foods, many of which are sourced from the maltings area. On the first Saturday of every month, the food hall holds the ever popular Farmers Market with an exciting array of fresh produce. A trip to the market is the start of a fantastic weekend in Suffolk, and arriving early means you won’t miss out on the more popular products.
Friday Street Farm & Café
Along with working closely with local suppliers, Friday Street Farm also stocks produce grown on their very own farm including potatoes, raspberries, potatoes and strawberries. In the summer, the farm allows guests to pick their own strawberries and nothing tastes better than a fresh Suffolk strawberry. As well as a fantastic array of fresh produce, the farm has a wonderful café which is a celebration of local ingredients. We would highly recommend the sausage rolls made from onsite handmade pastry and sausagemeat from pigs weened just 500yds from the farm.
Suffolk is full of health benefits. The natural surroundings mean that many outdoor activities are available whilst fresh sea air fills your lungs, and some time away to enjoy yourself is sure to do anyone the world of good.
Research tells us that being by the sea has huge health benefits both physically and mentally. For one, being close to the beach increases physical activities such as walking, swimming, surfing and many other past times. Furthermore, salt water heals and helps fight conditions such as arthritis and bronchitis and is great for the skin increasing its elasticity and hydrating it. Then there’s the seaside diet, which is packed full of fresh seafood containing important omega three and essential acids that promote brain cell growth. Last but not least, rich sea air is said to contain negative ions which accelerate your ability to absorb oxygen and balance your serotonin levels, a body chemical linked to mood and stress.
Discover a New Hobby
Here in Suffolk, there are so many activities to partake in, many of which are great workouts and so much fun that you won’t even realise you’re doing exercise. Why not try surfing at the Southwold Surf School, where beginners classes are available from April to October. Aldeburgh has a fantastic bike hire centre, Aldeburgh Cycle Hire, and the surrounding area has many trails which takes you through coast and countryside. The centre also offers guided rides, led by an experienced instructor who will make your bike ride fun and memorable.
Feel Good Factor
We all know that the point of a holiday is to feel good. Naturally, Suffolk leaves its holidaymakers feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and full to the brim of quality food. We strongly believe that whether you’re visiting Suffolk for a short break or a fortnight, any amount of time spent in a Suffolk Secret’s holiday cottage will leave you feeling good.