Suffolk Countryside - Things to do
From castles to farm attractions, medieval guildhalls to country walks, there’s so much to see and do during your holiday in the Suffolk countryside!
Here’s just a few of our favourite things to visit:
Situated near to our Parham, Badingham and Hacheston Cottages, Framlingham Castle is a must-see for families or those interested in Tudor history. This magnificent 12th century fortress towers above the town, and is famous for being Mary Tudor’s refuge before she was crowned Queen. Framlingham Castle, which is managed by English Heritage, offers some fabulous half term and summer holiday activities including Knights’ Tournaments, Horrible History Tours and Halloween Witches Hunts!
Hollow Trees Farm, Semer
If you’re staying near Lavenham or Monk’s Eleigh, don’t forget to visit Hollow Trees Farm for a great morning out with the family. Kids will love the farm trail which takes in Goat Mountain and Dirty Dave the tractor! There’s plenty of animals and livestock to say hello to including pigs, goats, turkeys and geese. When your energy reserves need topping up, have a cuppa at the onsite Woodlands Coffee Shop. In addition to cakes and lunches, they also offer a healthy children's menu which includes veggie snack bowls, homemade soup and jacket potatoes.
Lavenham’s Beautiful Guildhall
The stunningly beautiful Guildhall of Corpus Christi can be found adorning Lavenham’s historic market place. This remarkable building tells the histories behind the changing fortunes of Lavenham and its prosperous textile industry. Nearby, Little Hall is another historic attraction and houses a collection of Gayer-Anderson pictures, furniture, ceramics and sculptures.
Lavenham for Art Lovers
Lavenham offers a great choice of galleries including Lavenham Contemporary Gallery which features Paul Evan’s landscapes paintings. The Crooked House Gallery is also worth a visit and is housed in a beautiful, medieval building once owned by a wealthy cloth merchant. For wildlife lovers, a visit to Lavenham's Wildlife Art Gallery is a must with its contemporary and 20th century paintings and prints of animals and birds.
The Kersey Splash
Featured in adverts, TV programmes, artists' paintings and possibly even mentioned in Shakespeare's writings, Kersey's "Splash" - the ford that runs across its main street - is legendary. But don’t stop at this watery attraction, Kersey is a treasure in itself with its medieval houses, 12th century church and historic Bell Inn – famously featured in the “Meerkat” adverts.
The Longest Village Street in England?
Whether it’s true or not, locals will assure you that Long Melford has the longest village street in England. Whether fact or fiction, it’s a stunningly beautiful street to stroll down with its plethora of antique shops (think Lovejoy!), tea rooms, restaurants and boutiques. It also has a fabulous selection of art galleries including The Lime Tree which specialises in contemporary fine art and glass, The Jessica Muir Gallery which showcases new and established designer-makers and The Hunter Gallery which features paintings, prints, ceramics and furniture.
If you’re visiting Long Melford during the holidays, kids will love Kentwell Hall with its lively, costumed Tudor re-creation events. National Trust’s Melford Hall is also worth a visit – once a favourite haunt of the young Beatrice Potter.
Visit Suffolk’s Only Cathedral Town
Although not classified as a city, Bury St Edmunds is home to Suffolk’s only cathedral. Named after Edmund, King of East Angles (East Anglia) who was killed by the Danes in 869, St Edmundsbury Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit with its stunning Abbey and beautiful gardens. From the Abbey Gardens with its 11th century ruins, cross Angel Hill and walk up towards the Corn Exchange where you’ll find lots of lovely shops, cafes and a regular market. There’s plenty of galleries and museums to discover too including Moyse's Museum and Smith’s Row - an elegant grade I listed building which houses a fantastic selection of contemporary crafts from across East Anglia.
Housed in Laxfield’s magnificent 15th Century Guildhall, Laxfield’s Museum features early twentieth century shop interiors together with window displays, artefacts, costumes, farming exhibits and fossils.
Downtown Abbey Fan?
If you love Downtown Abbey a visit to Ickworth House will not disappoint. Surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland, Ickworth, a former family house, is now a National Trust attraction. The basement in Ickworth’s beautiful 18th century Rotunda, has been restored to its former glory and offers a real ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ insight into what it was like to work and live in this extraordinary home. Their “Living History” events featuring costumed cooks and servants, are extremely popular and are themed around preparations for certain holidays throughout the year such as Christmas and Easter
The scenic grounds at Ickworth Park are worth a visit in themselves featuring rural walking tracks, formal Italianate gardens, forest trails, a walled garden and a large adventure playground. Ickworth also hosts a lively school holidays’ programme which could include anything from bug hunting to nature walks, snail races to den building.