The Suffolk Tourist Guide is here to help you during traditional UK holiday time when the sun disappears behind the clouds. It’s raining outside, but here is a list of everything you can do in Suffolk on a rainy day, as well as a separate list of rainy day activities for children!
There is no reason whatsoever why you should not treat yourself to a little bit of pampering on a rainy day. Seek out one of the excellent spas and unwind and relax until the sun comes out again!
Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa near Woodbridge, Suffolk, is one of our favourite destinations. You can dine here and even stay the night if you’re simply too relaxed to drive home. There is a variety of wonderful treatments available, and you can take advantage of several special offers throughout the year.
The treatment rooms at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa are great for escaping the rain, whether you want to take part in group treatments such as Rassoul Mud Therapy or simply relax by the pool. You can dine on a wonderful meal and have a drink by the pool or on the golf course if the weather improves.
If you’re anywhere close to Bury St Edmunds, check out the SK Clinic and Spa for a wide range of beauty and health treatments—you could spend the whole day there if you wanted.
On a rainy day, head to one of Suffolk’s wonderful coastal towns for some shopping! Dodge in and out of the stores among the showers to get a bargain. There are many independent boutiques, most of which sell handmade and one-of-a-kind items. Tourists and locals alike adore Aldeburgh and Southwold. Even when it’s raining, the Pier offers wonderful sights of the beach and the town, as well as the ‘under the pier show’ where you can play unique arcade games and visit the renowned water clock and restaurant. After finishing here, stroll into town and visit the intriguing Amber Shop to find out more about the history and buy a one-of-a-kind piece like the one pictured above.
Shopping at Stonham Barns Retail Village is a terrific experience, thanks to the exciting array of boutiques, a garden centre, and several restaurants. It’s the perfect place to kill a slow afternoon because there’s free parking. In addition to onsite parking, you can also meet and learn about several different kinds of owls at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.
Learn something new
Taking part in a course is another great activity to do when the sun is hiding in Suffolk. There are so many interesting and fun courses to learn at Assington Mill in Sudbury that you are certain to be intrigued. You can study everything from massage therapy to ballroom dancing, chicken-keeping to Celtic drawing, and publishing to photography, among many other things.
See a concert or a show
Would you like to sing in the rain? Aldeburgh Festival can make it happen. Throughout the year, Aldeburgh Music, located in the beautiful Snape Maltings Concert Hall, offers a diverse selection of music performances covering all styles and genres, including traditional, modern, and global music.
Is there a better way to evade the rain than by taking yourself away to another point in time and place? The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft can do just that for you. Family entertainment is offered at this 1880s-built theatre, ranging from musicals to panto! They also screen the latest movies and hold special events like ‘An Evening with a Celebrity’. You and your family will definitely be ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ after visiting the Marina Theatre, without actually getting wet.
See our guide to Theatres in Suffolk to see what else is going on near you.
Wander through History
There are many museums and historical sites in Suffolk to bring our rich history to life. If you’re visiting Newmarket and it’s rainy, visit the National Horseracing Museum. Visitors can learn about the history and tales of horse racing, from beginning to present. You can take a behind-the-scenes minibus tour of a trainer’s yard, the gallops, and the equine swimming pool here. There is also a cafe and gift shop, and the horse ride simulator will bring the whole experience to life.
The house where Thomas Gainsborough was born is now a museum and art gallery. The renowned Gainsborough’s House contains a superb array of his works in drawings and paintings.
The fourteen-room Felixstowe Museum features local military and social history in a building dating from the era when the town was a major submarine mining centre. Special exhibitions are also being organised to commemorate the RAF’s 90th anniversary and the end of the First World War.
Suffolk played a key role in the development of radar between the two World Wars, testing it for the first time. Radar technology was developed at Bawdsey in East Suffolk. Bawdsey Radar is a non-profit organisation composed entirely of volunteers. You may visit the exhibition there to learn more.
The Little Hall in Lavenham is an excellent place to visit if you want to spend an enjoyable day out. This late 14th Century Hall House is a great place to visit if you want to experience a 1390s-built house containing the Gayer-Anderson picture and object collection.
Beccles and District Museum offers an in-depth look at Beccles’ celebrated clock and watch-making legacy. A fascinating book shop offering an extensive selection of books about local history is on file at the museum, in addition to information on many famous clock makers.
One of the best destinations you can choose if you are forced to stay indoors on a less-than-perfect day is Melford Hall in Long Melford. The Hall is one of East Anglia’s most renowned residences. You will find an assortment of things to fascinate you, including the Regency Library and porcelain, incredible artworks, and naval history-related collectables associated with the Hyde Parker family, who owned the Hall for over three centuries.
For a full guide to all of the wonderfully fascinating museums to be found in Suffolk, please see Suffolk Museums.
On certain dates throughout the year, Invitation to View, based in Colchester, provides you with an opportunity to admire and explore a wonderful assortment of houses and gardens. Here, you will be guided through a house as you listen to all the fascinating details about its past. You may gain unique and unexpected insights into each property by asking questions. Please click on the link above to avoid disappointment; booking is required, and spaces are limited.
English Heritage in Suffolk has an impressive array of sites to explore. Please refer to English Heritage in Suffolk for more information.
Flatford Mill, the beautiful 16th-century thatched Bridge Cottage in Dedham Vale, is just as breathtaking. John Constable’s idyllic pastoral paintings are exhibited at the cottage, and visitors are invited to observe and appreciate them.
A trip to Lavenham Guildhall, where you can study the history of the wool business, is an entertaining rainy day activity if you are interested in history.
Please refer to The National Trust in Suffolk for information on these fascinating sites and many other preserved landscapes and buildings.
Take a tour
A great thing to do when it’s rainy is a visit to the Greene King Visitor Centre in Bury St Edmunds. Here you can sample Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, and Ruddles County beer. The museum, which tells the tale of brewing in and around Bury St Edmunds from the early days, is open for visitors to peruse. Those who wish to sample some of the delicious beers will, of course, be able to do so.
Escape the miserable weather by frequenting a traditional Suffolk inn, of which there are so many to list.
Pennikkity Pots is an Ipswich-based ceramic painting cafe where you can have a fun time painting pots on a rainy day! There’s no need to make a reservation, and pot-painting sessions start at just £5, so come paint a pot with Pennikkity today! For more information, see Pennikkity Pots Ceramics Cafe, Ipswich.
You can learn how to make glass with Laura Hart at Hart Glass. Laura Hart, an award-winning glass artist, will take you through the process of casting and fusing glass in her well-equipped workshop in Cavendish.
Visit a gallery
A rainy day expedition can be turned into a pleasure by visiting an art gallery. The Jessica Muir Gallery in Long Melford offers an ever-changing variety of art exhibits, as well as a shop that sells ceramics, jewellery, wood, paintings, glass, textiles, and limited edition prints.
Ipswich’s Suffolk Craft Society holds free monthly exhibitions and informative talks by a renowned artist, and the Lime Tree Gallery, Long Melford, specializes in modern Fine Art & Glass and hosts frequent fascinating exhibitions throughout the whole year.
There are plenty of things to do in Suffolk on rainy days, as you can see. Put on your wellies and grab your umbrellas, and check out one of the excellent day trips listed above!