Do something different this summer in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 11:58 17 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 February 2013

Do something different this summer in Suffolk

Do something different this summer in Suffolk

Tired of traipsing round the same old museums and sitting on the same old beaches? Don't worry, because there are plenty of activities in Suffolk to add excitement to your summer. Laura Vincent has a few suggestions

Tired of traipsing round the same old museums and sitting on the same old beaches? Dont worry, because there are plenty of activities in Suffolk to add excitement to your summer. Laura Vincent has a few suggestions


Challenge the family and discover the exciting world of clay target shooting, one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. Whether its purely a have-a-go taster session youre after or an individual improvers session, an action-packed day awaits! Your enjoyment is at the heart of the friendly and structured CPSA Method programme, where youll be in the safe hands of Fulton McIntosh a qualified CPSA level 1 instructor and familiar figure on the local shooting scene. A three stage approach is recommended, including have-a-go taster sessions, individual or small group coaching, and concluding with an Into the unknown! session. A fantastic opportunity to discover a new sport!

Situated in Lakenheath Clay Target Centre in Suffolk, on the A1065 Brandon Road, IP27 9PP. Full details can be found at For Have-a-go and Individual sessions, prices are at 40 per person although family discounts are available. For groups prices lie at 35 per person.


Explorers wanted! Take this award-winning treasure hunt in any of the locations around Suffolk and see if youve got what it takes to become a true local explorer. This fun-filled treasure hunt provides a great chance to get everyone out in the fresh air and explore beautiful hidden gems of Suffolk that often go unnoticed. All hunts are pre-written and downloadable, so either purchase and print the hunt yourself or view it on a mobile phone that has access to the Internet. Locations include Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Newmarket and Aldeburgh and no knowledge of the area is required as directions, clues, maps and answers are included in the purchase. The hunt is suggested to take around two hours, although this can easily be extended to a half or full day if stops are made along the way to visit museums, shops and cafs. Hunts are available 24/7 and can be completed any day and time.

For more information visist or phone 01904 491549. Admission starts from just 4.99, personalised hunts are available for 10.


Have you ever wondered what makes the flavour of Orford oysters unique, how much milk goes into a traditional Suffolk cheese, or why East Anglian barley makes arguably the best beer in the world? Discover the answers with Food Safari.
Specialised gourmet Field to Fork days take you behind-the-scenes at some of Suffolks best food and drink producers, such as Pinneys of Orford (oysters and smoked fish) and the Wild Meat Company (game) where you will hear the fascinating stories behind these products and see how they are produced. Workshops go beyond a traditional cookery school combining farm walks, wild food forays or catch and cook fishing trips with hands-on butchery or fish skills workshops and cookery demonstrations; each day culminating in a gourmet feast, usually at The Anchor at Walberswick.
Events include Wild Meat In a Day, Catch & Cook days, and a Beer Safari and why not try a Childrens Food Safari; ideal for all the family and the perfect introduction to the field to fork concept for children aged between 6 and 12. Parents will join the feast and all the family will leave inspired to try something new at home.
Food Safari can also create bespoke events for private parties, corporate away-days or family celebrations.

Food Safari, 26 Double Street, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 9BN. Cost is 150 per head or 275 per couple. 75 for the first child; 15% off further children in the same family accompanied by the same adult. This includes an apron and a pack of recipes from the day, as well as the adults lunch and refreshments. For more information visit or contact Polly Robinson Tel: 01728 621380 or email


For those seeking an adrenalin-filled thrill, take a leap of faith with Suffolks parachute and freefall training school. Based at Beccles Airfield, near Lowestoft, and with 25 years of experience, this friendly aviation centre boasting a team of professional instructors and great facilities is an ideal venue for parachute and freefall training. It makes full use of the uncongested airspace on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and jumps take place at heights of up to 13,000ft. Provisional membership to the British Parachute Association is included with each jump. The upper weight limit for AFF/Tandem jumps is 15.5 stone and you need to be in good health with average fitness for these jumps. If you are over 40 you will need a doctors stamp on a medical form, which will be sent with the information pack. If you are over 16 (minimum age) and under 18, you will require parent/guardian permission. There is no upper age limit for these types of skydive, however, special permission needs to be obtained if you are aged 50 or over. Spectators are more than welcome to come and have use of the bar and diner facilities, watching the action from the viewing area.

Buy online at and follow the links to parachute jumping in Suffolk or call 01959 578100, Quoting Ref:PCHNO2 for Tandem Jump price 235 and Quoting Ref:PCHNO3 for Accelerated Free Fall Course price 375. A DVD recording of tandem jumps can be made at a cost of 99 payable on the day but must be booked in advance. The training school is open 7 days a week


Discover and explore your creative potential this summer with Watershed Studios and its renowned, professional yet affordable painting breaks.
Now firmly established as a popular and successful venue for top quality art courses, Watershed Studio specialises in single and two day courses, with approximately 50 workshops on offer during 2010 catering for all abilities and preferences. Courses range from a weekend of Landscape Painting to a day focused on Abstract Watercolours, so theres something for everyone.
Owned by Andrew and Allison Bond, along with Andrews parents, Watershed Studio finds itself in a beautifully converted barn at the edge of the family farm situated in St Osyth, Essex; a picturesque and historic village with some ideal painting locations. The beautiful views over the open farmland and the occasional visit from a spirited chicken or inquisitive farm dog only serve to inspire the creative process.
Watershed Studio is a great experience for art groups and clubs searching for a different and unique day out, with a majority of workshops including a delicious home-cooked farmhouse lunch.
Informal life drawing days without a tutor are also a popular choice, with a relaxed atmosphere created by the mutual consensus between the artists and model.
Whether you are a budding artist or someone simply looking for a challenge, this is an exciting day out.

Watershed Studio Studio, Cleres Hall Lane, St Osyth, Clacton on Sea, Essex, CO16 8RX Prices range from 25 for an Informal Life Drawing Day to 195 for a three-day Country Gardens in Oils or Acrylics course.
For further enquiries and a full list of 2010 courses and prices, visit or call Allison Bond on 01255 820466, or email


Take one lush, green forest, add some breathtaking scenery and blend with a smidgeon of tree-top high wires, tricky crossings and wind-in-your-face zip wires. What do you get? Go Ape! With 26 courses open nationwide, Go Ape tree top adventure in Thetford Forest, Suffolk, is a great day out during the summer holidays. Nothing compares with spending long, lazy British summer days in the great outdoors with family, living life a little more adventurously.
Booking tree time couldnt be easier, visit or call 0845 643 2034.


Why travel across the world to foreign seas, when the ideal diving experience awaits you here in Suffolk! At Galaxsea Divers in Ipswich, they are passionate about providing you with the ultimate diving experience. More than Ipswich's friendliest dive shop; Galaxsea Divers provide a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Dive Centre, making it one of the best places in the world to learn to dive. There is a wide range of courses available accommodating for all abilities with a number of courses for children aged 8 or over, specifically designed to introduce children to the thrills of diving. All courses are taught by fully trained and experienced instructors, ensuring that your enjoyment and safety is paramount.
Galaxsea Divers also run diving trips of a lifetime to a number of destinations, including shorter trips to Pembrokeshire, Malta and the Red Sea and long haul trips to Australia and the Caribbean to name but a few. Completing their full range of services, Galaxsea Divers sell service and repair a range of top quality dive equipment, so why not join the free club and receive emails about upcoming courses, holidays, trips and socials before anyone else and begin your diving adventure!

Galaxsea Divers Ltd, 174 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8EE. For further enquiries visit: alternatively for information on prices call 01473 711818 or e-mail


Take a ride through history on an award-winning period country railway at Colne Valley and discover the beautiful line with relocated station buildings, signal boxes and bridges all lovingly restored and rebuilt. Discover a large collection of operational vintage steam and diesel engines, carriages and wagons that represent much of our railway heritage.
There is a plethora of activities available that cater for all the family, one of the most popular being a Day Out With Thomas. Ride in reserved seats behind Thomas and his friends, whilst enjoying the many free undercover games, face painting and free Thomas giveaways.
If its a more luxurious experience youre after, the Pullman Wine and Dine Services Programme is ideal. Enjoy a three course lunch or dinner served in opulent splendour aboard the beautifully preserved Pullman train. Murder mystery evenings are also perfect for special occasions.
Alternatively, experience the ambition of a lifetime with driver experience courses. You can take part in actual hands on driving, with lessons on firing and raising the steam and also a session on how the locomotive works, all under the guidance of a qualified footplate crew.
The farm park provides further scenic views, as you can ramble through its 30 acres and enjoy the peaceful, natural setting by the River Colne. This really is an attraction not to be missed.

Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DZ?Tel: 01787 461174 email: or visit Prices: Day Out With Thomas adult 12, children 9 and family deals are available. Driver experience courses are 195 and dining train activities start from 36 per person. Season tickets are also available.


Based on the River Orwell, Suffolk Coast Sailing provides sailing adventures for friends, families and businesses aboard a modern, fully equipped 10 metre yacht. You can explore the peaceful rivers and coastlines which inspired Arthur Ransome's novels Secret Water and We Didnt Mean To Go To Sea, experiencing the beauty of the local scenery and wildlife. There are numerous harbours, marinas and remote anchorages to visit, and several villages, waterside pubs and restaurants within reach. Both day trips and longer passages are available, and there are generous discounts for families with children.

Visit or call 07940016672 for details.


A firm favourite at Suffolk Magazine and winners of Suffolks Best Visitor Experience 2006 and 2007 (also 2008 and 2009 Runners Up), Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm offers a unique family experience. Bringing a sense of adventure to the countryside, Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is home to a range of rare animals including six small flocks of rare sheep, four breeds of cattle, pygmy goats, chickens and four breeds of pig.
A visit can prove an invaluable experience to a child, as it is wonderful to see the increased depth of understanding that can be achieved when young children first come into close contact with animals, whilst stressing the importance of securing the future of native breeds.
When visiting for the day, have a light lunch or bring a picnic and indulge yourself with a scrumptious Suffolk clotted cream tea or homemade cakes. Children can also buy souvenirs in the visitors centre to remind them of a brilliant day.
Baylham House also offers self-catering holiday accommodation that is self-contained within the farmhouse and is available throughout the year. It is equipped to a very high standard, will sleep four plus a cot and is classified by the Tourist Board with three stars. Explore the history of the farm, as it is located within a Scheduled Ancient Monument site embracing two Roman forts, an extensive Romano-British civilian settlement and the convergence of five Roman roads.
Additionally, adoption and sponsorship of an animal is a fantastic way of forming a personal bond with a particular animal on the farm and is the perfect gift. Adoption prices range from 40-240 dependent on the type of animal, sponsorship costs 30 irrespective of the kind of animal. Any number of people can sponsor a particular animal, however a currently adopted animal cannot be sponsored.

Baylham House Farm is situated six miles north west of Ipswich, between Ipswich and Stowmarket. It is off the B1113 down Mill Lane, mid-way between Great Blakenham and Needham Market. Open from 11am every day from mid February to the end of October. Entry costs 5 for adults, 4 for concessions, 2.50 for children 4-16 and under 4s go free. For more information e-mail: visit or tel: 01473 830264.


Follow the ale trail
See how Suffolks famous beer is produced using natural ingredients and traditional brewing methods. Head to the coast to Adnams and discover behind the walls of a Victorian building in the heart of Southwold one of the most modern breweries in the United Kingdom. Over the past few years the brewery has undergone a complete refurbishment with the replacement of the brewstream being the most recent update. Tours cost 10 per person. To find out more call 01502 727225.
Go west to find the home of Greene King. You can have a tour round their historic working brewhouse (including the best view of Bury St Edmunds from the roof, weather permitting). Start at the museum, tour the brewery and then taste the different beers in the Brewery Tap. Tours are for individuals and groups and are 8 per person during the day and 10 in the evening. Call 01284 714297.

Be a high flyer
Admire yesteryear aircraft and much more at the Rougham Air Show on the weekend of August 14/15. Call 01359 270524 for details.

Lose yourself
In the nicest possible way get lost at Carlton Marshes, 100 acres of beautiful grazing marsh, fens and peat pools waiting to be explored. Its not a complete wilderness here, there is a visitor centre (Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, NR33 8HU). Tel 01502 564250.

Wicket fun
Yes, the football season starts up again this month but you can still admire the Corinthian spirit of sport at village cricket level. There will be a village or town ground near you (Exning, Twinstead, Sudbourne Hall, Hadleigh, Sudbury, Easton are good examples) where sixes will be smote, wickets sent flying and catches dropped, all, usually, to good natured applause or in the latter case gentle commiserations.

Peaceful pastime
Looking for a leisurely-paced sport to try in the August heat? Try your hand at croquet there are clubs based at the Victory Ground, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds (secretary Chris Howell 01284 787728) or in the east, the Fromus Club based at Benhall Social Club, Benhall, near Saxmundham.

Get the hump
Specialising in members of the camel family the centre enables you to learn about the beautiful and unusual wool producing animals of the world such as alpacas, while being able to interact with them first hand. The tranquil location is perfect for long paddock walks to view and pet the rich array of animals.
The centre is located off the B1123 near Harleston (6 miles) and Halesworth (6 miles). Tel: 07836 734748

Owl magic
Use one of your days this summer for studying, visiting or simply enjoying the splendour of this magnificent species. The sanctuarys survival relies solely on public donations, so by visiting the centre you will be helping with the care and rehabilitation of numerous owls and birds of prey. The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT. Tel: 08456 807896.

Tour the National Stud, Newmarket
Youve missed the spring time bustle of the foaling unit but you should be able to catch mares and foals enjoying the sunshine and summer grass. Tours are twice daily at 11.15am and 2pm and run until September 30, then once a day for a month. Call 01638 666789 for more details.

Rally karts
For those that like the thrills and spills of racing Beacon Rally Karts at Martlesham, near Ipswich, have three off-road tracks for different age groups; 5-6 years, 7-15 and adults. Built in roll cages and safety harnesses make this a generally safe pursuit. Call 0845 644 1592 or go to for more details.

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