SUFFOLK TOURIST GUIDE

Places to Go and Places to Visit in Suffolk

There's plenty to see and do in Suffolk and here we've highlighted the top 10 places to go and places to visit in Suffolk. There are lots more but for the sake of clarity and brevity here are some of the highlights. At the bottom of this article you can find other links for related features such as Days Out and Things to do in Suffolk, but for 'Places to Go' this is the 'place to be'!

Ickworth house bury st edmunds, suffolk

Places to Go and Places to Visit in Suffolk


1) The National Trust has several properties in Suffolk including Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds. This impressive looking neoclassical mansion with its famous 'Rotunda' is now a Hotel and wedding venue as well as an art gallery. The attractive, landscaped gardens, which were England's earliest Italianate gardens and over 4 sq miles of 18C landscaped parklands with ancient oak trees, are also a key attraction.

On display at Ickworth House are fine old masters including those from Suffolk's famous son, Gainsborough, Hogarth, Reynolds, Titian, Velasquez and Zoffany. Ickworth also houses the second largest collection of silverware in the National Trust. The Italianate Gardens include box avenues, the Temple Garden, the Spring Garden with snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells plus the stumpery - a magical secret garden with the ferns and woodland plants for children to explore and enjoy.

There is also a children's adventure playground, woodland trim trail and family cycle routes, trails, crafts and events, plus several cafes and a large car park with trolleys for physically impaired visitors. Find out more about this spectacular building here - Ickworth House, National Trust, Suffolk.


Places to Go and Places to Visit in Suffolk



2) Staying in the Bury St Edmunds area (pictured above), another unique Place to Visit in Suffolk is the Theatre Royal which was built in 1819 and is one of the three oldest playhouses in Britain (and the only Theatre run by the National Trust).

Places to Go Suffolk


This recently restored Regency Theatre is a fully working Theatre and you can see a variety of performances including year-round comedy, light entertainment, drama, childrens work, dance and music. Additionally you can take a tour of the Theatre and hear about the venue - the only one in the world where you can see the works that thrilled audiences in the time of Jane Austen & Emily Bronte in their correct historic context! See Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

Make a day out of it and perhaps have a look at Greene King Brewery Tour or the Pakenham Water Mill too?
pakenham water mill places to go suffolk

Pakenham Water Mill is an 18th C watermill and is the last working water mill in Suffolk. The mill is on a Domesday site where, for almost 1000 years, millers used simple technology of water power to produce stone-ground wholemeal flour from locally grown wheat. Now owned by the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust, a team of dedicated volunteers continues the tradition. There is also a working windmill in the village too so a trip to Pakenham is a must for Mill enthusiasts!

Places to Go and Places to Visit in Suffolk



3) Moving to the beautiful village of Long Melford, one of the most attractive in Suffolk, you must visit. Melford Hall
places to visit in suffolk

The turrets of Melford Hall have dominated the view for over 500 years. The Hall is the home of the Hyde Parker family but it is now leased to the National Trust so that visitors can tour the building and explore family life at Melford. Beatrix Potter was a relative of the owners and regular visitor, so you can follow her footsteps and discover what inspired her here.

The magnificent church and almshouses in Long Melford are also well worth a look while you're in the area. Find out more about the village & what's on at Visit Long Melford


sutton hoo places to visit

4) There are few places in the world that are as historic as the burial mounds at Sutton Hoo, which is near Woodbridge. This is a unique archaeological site, often described as 'page one of English history'. Discovered in 1938, the remains of a large ship-burial of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king were found under a mound at Sutton Hoo. The iconic warrior's helmet, shield, gold and silver treasures were all discovered here, and are on display, along with an exhibition telling of our forefathers, the Anglo-Saxon warriors. There is also treasure that was buried for over 1300 years and a full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber on display.

The large estate is a popular site for bird watching and includes walks with estuary views, Suffolk Sandlings heathland and woodland trails.





5) Suffolk is well known for its huge skies and magnificent light which have inspired artists through the generations, from Constable to Maggi Hambling. Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury and his house is a museum with several of his paintings and etchings on display. They also run art classes at Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, so find out what is on by clicking on the link above.

framlingham castle places to visit suffolk

6) Framlingham Castle - the view from 12thC Framlingham Castle must be one of the most impressive sights in Suffolk (and there are many!). The Castle is a must see for visitors to Suffolk. It has a curtain wall, towers, ramparts and several internal buildings from different periods in English history! So the 12thC frame houses several other buildings which are history pieces in their own right. Take one of the audio tours on offer from English Heritage and get a full sense of this incredible battlement, scene of Mary Tudor's rally cry to supporters in 1553! There are a variety of themed games and interactives for younger family members too.

lavemham guildhall

7) Lavenham Guildhall of Corpus Christi A visit to the enchanting village of Lavenham is a must for any visitor to Suffolk, as it is the best preseved Medieval village in the UK & you can easily imagine yourself back in Tudor England! The Guildhall is a large & extremely well preserved early 16th-century timber-framed building in the heart of the main square in Lavenham, and is run by the National Trust. Here you'll find a local history museum & exhibitions on the medieval cloth industry which was the areas main industry and rom whiuch Suffolk derived a lot of its wealth. There is also a walled garden with dye plants used since middle ages, and dressing-up boxes for children, as well as regular events, walks, talks and exhibitions throughout the year. Find out more here - Lavenham Guildhall

helmingham hall gardens

8) Helmingham Hall Gardens - open from the beginning of May until the middle of September, Hemingham Hall is a Tudor Hall surrounded by a wide moat with drawbridge. However the attraction is not the Hall but the gardens, especially the walled garden which contains beds of vegetables, herbaceous borders and ancient fruit trees. Additionally there is a henr and knot garden, and also a magnificent rose garden. Cream teas & snacks are served in the Coach House tearoom, and the grounds often host events during the year - classic car meetings, Suffolk Dog Day etc so keep any eye on What's on Suffolk for details of those.
This is THE place to be in the Spring! Find out more here - Helmingham Hall Gardens

Suffolk Punch

9) The Suffolk Punch Trust is the place to be to see a living, working part of Suffolk's history. Enjoy a visit to Hollesley to visit this rare breed of working horses, have a look round the stud and the museum or have a ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Check out Suffolk Punch Trust

10) Other great Places to Go -
Thorpeness places to visit

The House in the Clouds, Thorpeness, is occasionally open for viewing during the Suffolk Open Days

Sizewell Visitor Centre

Not many countries can offer you a Nuclear Power Station tour! Sizewell B Visitor Centre has opened recently and you can now take a guided tour of the Station and find out how nuclear power is generated. Find out more here - Sizewell B Visitor Centre, Leiston

southwold lighthouse places to visit

Southwold Lighthouse is a fully functioning Lighthouse situated in the middle of the attractive Coastal town of Southwold. It was built in 1887, first lit in 1889, and is 31m high. There are occasional tours of the Lighthouse where you can admire the amazing stone spiral staircase that winds its way up the inside of the building (no hand rails though so not for the faint hearted! Believe me, I've done it! Below is a picture of me coming down the outside
southwold, places to visit

Book a tour of Southwold Lighthouse here


Orford Ness is an important nature reserve as the largest vegetated shingle spit in Europe in its own right, but it also has an amazing military history as you can see from the old air shelter pictured above. You have to take a short boat ride out from Orford Quay to this wild and remote shingle spit which adds to the appeal of this 'secret' and uninhabited island. You can see a variety of habitats as well as shingle flora and wildlife, including a large number of nationally rare species. Additionally, from 1913 until the mid-1980s Orford Ness was used as a secret military test site and today visitors can walk amongst some of the unusual and intriguing test sites and buildings - some of these experimentation buildings are open to visitors...

rspb places to go


RSPB Suffolk - the RSPB has several large reserves in Suffolk, including world famous Minsmere, so get your binoculars out!

ipswich places to go

Ipswich Marina has recently been developed and is a buzzy, thriving area which is the base for UCS, Dance East as well as several great restaurants and cafes, so visit today!

places to visit newmarket

Suffolk is famous for its racing history with Newmarket Races, Tattersalls Auctions, The Jockey Club and The National Stud, Newmarket is the only commercial stud farm in the UK that allows individuals to tour behind the scenes of a working thoroughbred stud farm. So find out all about this fascinating industry and maybe you'll be the first to meet a future Frankel!

 Related Content

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National Trust properties in Suffolk
Constable Country
Days Out in Suffolk
Things to do in Suffolk
Museums in Suffolk

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R3FSG – Suffolk Tourist Guide, Globe House, 24 Turret Lane, Ipswich, IP4 1DL