16 Muddy approved attractions in Suffolk
From the big-beast tourist destinations to our cool insider alternatives, read on for our pick of 16 unmissable attractions in Suffolk
Headliner: Fine dining French restaurant Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds has just been voted one of best restaurants in UK, and is a must-book if you’re in the area. If you’re staying in Bury make sure to pack roomy pants because there are plenty of other options for fab food, including the historic splendour of Tuddenham Mill, fancy French fare at Lavenham’s The Great House, and 1921 Restaurant, which serves modern food in one of Bury’s gorgeous period houses.
In-the-know intel: Our absolute favourite hidden gem here at Muddy (and something we’re almost reluctant to share) is Scutchers in Long Melford. Behind the doors of this unassuming period house you’ll find plate upon plate of the most delicious food in the county.
Headliner: There’s so much history in Suffolk it’s hard to know which pink thatched cottage lined streets to start with, but the headline attraction that gets the instagrammers flocking and the history buffs all excited is the medieval wool town of Lavenham. Every building is charmingly wonky and held up by ancient beams, in a rainbow of pastel hues. There’s the National Trust’s Guildhall at the centre of the town square and a really impressive wool church, plus you can have your picture papped outside Godric’s Hollow aka Harry Potter’s family home.
In-the-know intel: Ok, so the Suffolk coastline might not exactly be studded with crumbling old castles like Scotland or Northumberland, but we do have some pretty exciting historical defences worth a visit. Framlingham Castle is probably the most famous of these thanks to Ed Sheeran and is definitely worth a day trip and a guided walk around the battlements.
Headliner: There’s so much to do with the family in Suffolk. One of the most loved family attractions is Easton Farm Park, a farm turned kids’ dream with ride-on tractors, a soft play, a bouncy pillow and huge play area.
In-the-know intel: Too many crowds for your liking at some of the more well-know family haunts? Try West Stow Anglo Saxon Village & Country Park, where you can step back in time to AD420 and spend a magical day discovering how life used to be in Suffolk.
Headliners: Haven’t heard of Southwold? Where have you been? This pretty seaside village is known as Chelsea-on-Sea and is rather posh darling, but still maintains its lovely Suffolk charm. The beach is sandy and has dunes to mess around in. The best way to enjoy this beach? Book one of the candy-coloured beach huts and pretend you’re rolling in it as people walk by jealously watching as you quaff champagne in your £100,000 shed!
In-the-know intel: Looking for somewhere a little less crowded with Chelsea tractors and Mulberry handbags? Try gorgeous Covehithe down the coast, which has eerie petrified trees poking out of the sand and is a much more rustic option.
Headliner: Bedford Lodge Hotel’s Spa, in Newmarket, is a real destination for lovers of a good pamper. The supersize spa is housed in its own swanky recently refurbished building and is an idyllic place to spend a day. There’s an onsite restaurant, so you don’t even have to take your robe off to eat. Read my full review here.
In-the-know intel: The Gainsborough Spa just outside Cavendish is right in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, so silence while you have your treatment is guaranteed. This hidden gem is a gorgeous place to head for spa day and has a real Suffolk feel to it with the many beams and the al fresco countryside courtyard.
Headliner: If you like to watch your action rather than take part yourself then a day at the races in Newmarket will be right up your street. This world famous racecourse is the place to see some of the best horses on the planet race, plus Frankie Dettori is always around with his special dismount to please the crowds. The racecourses are really spacious and beautifully manicured with lots of eating options and viewing spots to cheer on your chosen gee-gee. Plus, during summer the race course hosts Newmarket Nights – racing followed by amazing live music from some really well-known pop acts. All in all, a fab day out.
In-the-know intel: Want to see Suffolk from a different perspective? How about from 13,000 feet in the air? Yep, if you’ve got a head for heights you’ll be delighted to hear that UK Parachuting is based near Beccles in Suffolk (there’s also a centre in Peterborough for any Cambs readers), and jumps from here include incredible views of the Suffolk coastline.
Headliner: I think the above picture says it all really! Helmingham Hall is an incredible moated mansion in Suffolk and the gardens are just as impressive as the architecture. There’s a mixture of parkland filled with herds of red deer and more formal gardens like a classic parterre, a stunning walled kitchen garden with exquisite herbaceous borders and beds of vegetables, a herb and knot garden and a rose garden, which is simply stunning and Instagram gold. There’s a tea room and shop too to enjoy after a walk round the estate.
In-the-know intel: For something a bit different from your average stately home garden how about a visit to the quirky indoor garden at the super cool Urban Jungle in Beccles. It’s essentially a tropical jungle wonderland and plant nursery, where you can shop for all sorts of fabulous exotic greenery and gifty bits and also enjoy a delicious meal at a table nestled among the olive trees, ferns and cacti. If you fancy a quick trip to the Med while you’re staycationing in Suffolk, this is the place to go!
Headliners: Snape Maltings is a world-class arts centre (and also a shoppers’ paradise), home to the Snape Proms and the Aldeburgh Festival, as well as a huge amount of performances throughout the year.
In-the-know intel: For a theatre experience like no other book yourself a show at Bury St Edmunds’ Theatre Royal, the sole surviving example of a Regency playhouse in the country.