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10 great summer days out in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:20 03 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:34 11 July 2018

Looking out to sea at Southwold (c) Gerry Balding, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Looking out to sea at Southwold (c) Gerry Balding, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


There's nowhere quite like Suffolk in summer and so it's very important that you make the very most of your time out about in the county. Here are 10 places that will help you do just that

Kentwell Hall

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9BA | T: 01787 310207

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Kentwell has so much to offer: famous for its Tudor re-creations, Kentwell has a full calendar of events running throughout the summer including Historic re-creations with over 150 fully costumed Tudors that lets the visitor immerse themselves into the sights, sounds and smells of a 1538 community.

One of Kentwell’s largest re-creations is their Tudor Hands-On event (18 - 23 August) that allows visitors to “have a go and get hands-on”. If you fancy butter churning, assisting in meal preparations for the Gentry, quill writing or helping the Woodmen, Potters or work at the Chandlers making candles, this is an event that adults and children will be enchanted and captivated by.

Other events include Kentwell’s fastest growing weekend, their Children’s Magic Weekend (21 - 22 July) with everything from witches, wizards, lotions & potions, wands and spells to flying owls and face painting.

If you are interested in WWI & WWII the Hall at War event re-creates how life was lived during these times. Whilst the Summer Garden Opera Weekend (10 - 11 August) provides the most delightful entertainment with stunning stage sets, live orchestra and Kentwell Hall as the backdrop to the evening. The gardens at Kentwell that extend to over 10 acres are summarised as just magical, and as one visitor quoted “there is a surprise around every corner”.

Kentwell HallKentwell Hall

Beacon Rally Karts

Martlesham, Woodbridge, IP12 4RP | 01394 610066


Beacon Rally Karts is an outdoor off-road karting centre on the edge of Woodbridge, ideal for families and individuals, using 4 sets of karts for ages 5 to 75.

They have three outdoor tracks complimented by four different karts sizes: kiddie for ages 5-6, child for ages 7-10, junior for ages 10-16 and adults aged 16-75. For safety they never mix their karts and you’re always racing against equal contenders.

The racing is fast, powerful and exciting, no matter which track or size of karts you’re driving. Adult karts can go up to 35mph, so it will take everything you’ve got to hold the best racing line.

They have a pit stop cabin selling hot and cold food and drink, which is open through their usual opening hours of Saturday, Sundays, Bank holidays and Tuesday to Sunday during school holidays. For safety you will be unable to race on a wet track. All race suits, helmets and gloves are provided while they ask driver to wear fully enclosed shoes and long hair tied back.

Beacon Rally KartsBeacon Rally Karts

Suffolk Coast Sailing

Shotley Marina, IP9 1QJ, Ipswich | 07940 016672

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Enjoy Suffolk’s gorgeous rivers and coastlines under sail, aboard their classic British Moody yacht. Bring your family, friends or business partners for a fabulous day on the water, or sign up for one of the day sails to share the cost with other like-minded people.

Their base at Shotley Marina offers almost instant access to the Orwell and Stour rivers, and the Harwich Approaches and North Sea are just minutes away.

Watch the seals whilst nibbling your lunch at Hamford Water, or circumnavigate the ‘Principality of Sealand’. Take a trip to Wrabness, or sail under the Orwell bridge to Ipswich.

Families especially welcome as kids go free on all our charter packages.

Suffolk Coast SailingSuffolk Coast Sailing

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel Jiggers Miniature Golf

Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel,Lakeside Avenue,IP16 4NH | 01728 452176

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- 9 Hole Miniature on the banks of the Meare

- Fun for all the family, £3.50 adults £2.00 for under 16’s

- Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children £10)

- Includes club and ball hire plus souvenir scorecard

- Bookings not required

- Options for groups and parties also available

For more information on party options call Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel on 01728 452176

Thorpeness Golf & Country Club - Jiggers Miniature GolfThorpeness Golf & Country Club - Jiggers Miniature Golf

Anglia Indoor Karting Ipswich Ltd

12 Farthing Rd Industrial Estate, Ipswich IP1 5AP | 01473 240087

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If you’re looking for something different to entertain the whole family this summer then indoor karting could be just the activity you’re looking for.

Anglia Indoor Karting offers karting experiences for ages 5+, with a Kubz karting track for 5-7 year olds, whilst the main multi-level circuit caters for 8 and above.

No experience is necessary and the centre is open 7 days a week. Families can book ‘arrive and drive’ sessions to race against each other and see who can set the fastest lap. Children’s Activity days are run every holiday and during Happy Hour children get 24 laps for the price of 12.

Indoor karting is also a great event for birthday celebrations, retirement parties and family get-togethers. Whatever the occasion there is an event to suit.

Anglia Indoor KartingAnglia Indoor Karting

National Horseracing Museum

Palace Street, Newmarket CB8 8EP | 01638 667314

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Come to The National Heritage Centre in Palace House, Newmarket this summer for a fun-filled family day out. 10am – 4pm daily. The site comprises of three complimentary attractions: The National Horseracing Museum in the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard Galleries, Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art in Palace House, and a chance to meet former racehorses in the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses.

This summer they are pleased to launch their first ever “children-only” behind the scenes tour of our Retraining of Racehorses yard. Learn all about how they care for the resident ex-racehorses and get involved in preparing the food, mucking out and exploring the Tack Room. The behind the scenes tours will be running every Tuesday in the holidays at 11am but keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.

When you’re ready for lunch you can enjoy the award winning on-site restaurant - The Tack Room - where you’ll find food for the whole family including a delicious children’s menu featuring locally sourced and organic ingredients. If you would prefer to make the most of the sunny Suffolk summer then don’t forget to pack your picnic blanket as you can order a picnic from the onsite Pantry Bakery and enjoy it in the historic Rothschild Yard surrounded by the resident ex-racehorses whilst playing a selection of garden games!

To make the most of your day out, don’t forget to explore all the galleries in the museum and the abundance of beautiful artwork on display in the Palace which was built as a home for King Charles II. Don’t forget to visit the retired racehorses and enjoy live demonstrations at 11.30am and 2.30pm daily.

National Horseracing Museum by Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2017National Horseracing Museum by Marc Atkins / Art Fund 2017

Explore 4x4

The Courtyard, Elveden Estate, Thetford, IP24 3TQ | 01787 320640

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Explore 4x4 provide the ultimate in Outdoor Activities and Survival Adventures.

Their activities are tailor-made to suit individuals, couples, families, corporates and other groups, offering experiences that you’ll remember for a lifetime. When was the last time you tried something for the first time? With an exciting range of activities from Clay Pigeon Shooting, 4x4 Off Road Driving to Weapons Through The Ages, there will certainly be something for you.

The enthusiastic team are experienced male and female instructors, with the majority having their background in the military or police. They will guide you through each exhilarating activity, making it their business to make your time with them very special.

Their exclusive location on the stunning Elveden Estate provides the perfect setting for your day out: with an award-winning restaurant, food-hall and home and garden shops you are guaranteed a very warm welcome from the Team at Explore 4x4.

Explore 4x4Explore 4x4

Bridge Farm Barns

Hadleigh Road, Monks Eleigh, Ipswich, IP7 7AY | 01449 740456


Nestling in the picturesque village of Monks Eleigh between Hadleigh and Lavenham, Bridge Farm Barns is one of those wonderful discoveries you make when touring through the British countryside.

Old Suffolk farm buildings have been converted into independent businesses and a wonderful tea room where you can indulge yourself in a homemade cake or two.
The barns are home to a fantastic gift shop, an art gallery showcasing Suffolk artists, a retro and vintage shop, plant centre, quilting workshop and a falconry business. You can easily spend several hours here browsing around this peaceful setting.

You will find good Suffolk service and a buzzing atmosphere as the shops and tea room are well supported by local people – this is not just a tourist destination. So if you are looking for a taste of “real” Suffolk, then you can’t go far wrong than putting Bridge Farm Barns on your list of places to visit.

Bridge Farm BarnsBridge Farm Barns

Beccles Lido

Puddingmoor, Beccles, NR34 9PL | 01502 713297

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Nothing beats swimming outdoors so visit Beccles Lido heated open-air swimming pool with its slide, springboard, giant inflatable, outdoor exercise equipment and kiddies adventure play area.

Enjoying stunning views across the Waveney river, there’s grassy areas, sunloungers, picnic tables, chairs to relax on, and an all-weather eating and spectating area with a café serving hot and cold snacks, drinks and ices. With lane swimming until 10am and most lunchtimes and evenings, Beccles Lido is perfect for a swim or family day out.

If you prefer a lazy day, why not take a trip on Big Dog Ferry, which runs passenger boat trips between Beccles Lido and Geldeston: a relaxing three-mile boat journey along the River Waveney with the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife en-route.

Stay on board for a round trip, disembark and enjoy a meal, drink or music at The Locks Inn, or walk one-way on delightful trails.

Beccles LidoBeccles Lido

Africa Alive!

Kessingland, Lowestoft, NR33 7TF | 01502 740291

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Explore the sights and sounds of Africa and discover lions, giraffes, meerkats, hunting dogs and many more animals from the African continent. This summer, back by popular demand, the Mighty Zulu Nation Theatre Troupe will perform daily at the park until the 9th September. The spectacular centrepiece of Africa Alive! is the ‘Plains of Africa’, the perfect place to spot five species of African savannah animals, including the graceful giraffe and heavyweight rhinos. During the summer months there is even the chance to get up close to these magnificent creatures with the ‘Plains of Africa’ experience!

As you walk around the park you will enjoy a bird’s eye view of the magnificent pride of lions from the viewing point ‘Lookout Lodge’ and visit ‘Lemur Encounters’, which offers you the chance to get right in with the action as you walk through the lemurs’ enclosure! The Park is also home to some other amazing primates including bushbabies, colobus monkeys, drill and the rare golden-bellied mangabeys.

The Park is set in 80 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside and also offers the chance to spot a wide range of British wildlife. Bird lovers can also enjoy spotting native nature from ‘Wader’s Lake’ boardwalk or seeing some African feathered friends on Woodland Walk.

Discover some amazing facts about the animals during the exciting feeding talks and seasonal ‘Bird of Prey’ displays, climb aboard the free Safari Roadtrain for an entertaining journey around the Park or look, learn and play in our fun-packed “Discovery Centre” and meet some of the smaller residents at the animal encounter sessions. The Park offers a great outdoor adventure play area, as well as restaurants, free car parking, disabled facilities and a gift shop, where you can find presents and gifts for everyone.

Africa Alive!Africa Alive!


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