Suffolk is my neighbouring county and as I live over the side of Norfolk which borders with it we find ourselves visiting fairly frequently. There are lots of reasons you might want to give a Suffolk stay a try and if you choose a lovely little cottage somewhere like Beccles for your base then you’d be in a great location to do some exploring!
Beccles is a historic market town with lots of lovely independent businesses and a wonderful cafe called Twyfords which does a brilliant afternoon tea. If you stayed somewhere like River End Cottage, which can be booked through Suffolk Secrets then you’d be in the perfect place to take a stroll from your cottage to enjoy one of their lovely cakes. Another gem located right in the heart of the town is the famous Beccles Lido which is open from May to September offering open air swimming with a river front vista!
With Beccles as a base you will be able to explore the county and all its beauty – believe me, there’s lots of that and from beaches to rural walks there’s much to be found and enjoyed.
If you’re looking for a beach then I have to recommend Southwold, home of the famous Adnams Brewery and one of the most glorious stretches of sand you’ll find in this country. The pier is also something of an attraction in itself with retro games machines and curios. It’s not quite like any other British beach resort we’ve ever been to and is one of a kind that’s for sure! Be certain to have a butchers at the beautiful beach huts (they sell for more than some houses!) and enjoy a delicious home-made ice cream while you look at art in every form from every direction! Southwold is FULL to the brim of the eclectic, of the independent and will make you smile whatever the weather!
More gems in Suffolk not to be missed are places like Snape Maltings, a hub of the arts with shops, cafes, performances… And a really lovely setting to walk around and if it’s walks you’re after then do also visit the National Trust site where lots of Suffolk walking advice is listed here.
For us, any visiting is always child focused and family is top of my priority list when deciding how we mini break. There’s much for children in Suffolk, so much in fact, you will probably have to come back as fitting all the best bits into one trip might be a bit impossible but here’s some of what we love with the tiny ones in tow in Suffolk!
- Africa Alive – This is a wildlife park/zoo situated close to Kessingland (another gorgeous beach) and is well worth day trip despite the price tag which is a little on the steep side at face value… Look a bit deeper however and you will find that being in the park is as close to going on actual safari as you could get and the lion enclosure (as well as the rhino and giraffe) is really something spectacular. There’a fab playground for little ones here and an indoor play for days when waring up is necessary!
- High Lodge in Thetford houses a multitude of fun things for the children to do from the pricey GO-Ape experience to the absolutely free Highway Rat (of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books fame) trail.
- Jimmy’s Farm is in Ipswich and well worth a visit I am told – I haven’t been yet myself but it’s high on my list of places I want to take the kiddos and looks absolutely amazing while the prices are extremely reasonable!
- Norfolk Museums might be a tiny bit misleading with their name as one of their brilliant venues is actually in Thetford, Suffolk. Ancient House is small but perfectly formed and it might be worth noting, even if you’re only on holiday, that a Museum pass for the whole family (as many children as you have and two adults) is under £100 – if you’re close to the Norfolk border and can make use of the pass by visiting some others it’s stonking good value!
- Ah now Pleasurewood Hills is one of my childhood favourites – this theme park has been largely unchanged and fabulous ever since I can remember but it’s all the better for its old fashioned charm! The entry tickets are cheaper than most theme parks by a mile, there’s rarely massive queues and the kids are as happy here as they are at Legoland! It’s a winner in my book!
I think we can safely say that Suffolk ha s abroad mix of everything. From quaint market towns like Bury St Edmonds through to kiss me quick hats in Lowestoft with countryside, swimming and foodie delights in between – you couldn’t go wrong if you chose a little cottage break in Suffolk!