As we make our way into the summer months, there’s no better way to enjoy the warm weather than to get outdoors. Suffolk is home to a variety of landscapes, from waterways to countryside and forests. There are plenty of things to get involved in, whether you’re after adventure or more relaxing activities. Keep reading for some of the most exciting things to do outdoors in Suffolk.
One of the classic, ‘must-do’ outdoor activities in Suffolk is to head to one of the many beaches. The Suffolk Coast is a 50 mile stretch of coastline just waiting to be explored. Whether you prefer hidden beaches or the classic bucket and spade beach, there’s something for everyone here. Aldeburgh, Lowestoft, Southwold, Felixstowe and Thorpeness are all fantastic family-friendly beaches. They all have tons of attractions, cafes and shops as well. For something a little more off the beaten track, Shingle Street, Orfordness, Covehithe are all wild, untamed and very peaceful beaches.
Suffolk has rivers, broads and coastline, so why not head out onto the water for some adrenaline-fuelled watersports? Suffolk’s coastline has the perfect conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing – head to the beaches of Lowestoft, Pakefield, Kessingland, Southwold, Walberswick and Felixstowe. For more gentle waters, glide through the Alde Estuary on a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. If you want to try a little bit of everything, Oulton Broad is the place to be. There are a great variety of watersports you can get involved in here, from canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. During the summer months you can also catch the power boat racing championships.
If you still want to get on the water but prefer something less energetic, perhaps a river cruise down one of Suffolk’s many rivers. There are plenty of cruise operators to choose from, depending on where you want to go. Book a tour with Waveney River Tours and explore Suffolk’s most beautiful waterways. Whether you want to sightsee down the Oulton Broad or take a Victorian Heritage Cruise through the Waveney Valley, there are lots of options to choose from. Meanwhile, Deben Cruises takes you on a two hour cruise down the River Deben and through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. For something a little different, climb aboard the historic sailing barges with Topsail Charters. These traditional sailing barges set sail from Ipswich, and you can choose from a lunch and afternoon tea cruise, sunset cruise, or a fully catered weekend cruise.
Fishing is a popular activity in Suffolk. Whether you want to fish in the river, sea or lake, the county boasts a wide selection of places to fish. Along the River Waveney, some great fishing spots are Diss, Weybread, Bungay and Gedeston, with species like bream, roach, perch and pike. For some sea fishing, head to the beaches of Lowestoft and Orford. There are also numerous fishing lakes dotted around Suffolk, many of them with accommodation, camping and caravans onsite. Check out our full guide to fishing in Suffolk here.
Walking & Exploring
From beautiful coastline and vast countryside, to forests and quaint English villages, Suffolk is a walker’s paradise. There are endless walking routes around the county. Head along the Suffolk Coast Path and explore the tiny villages within this AONB. If you’d like to discover more about the history of the county, the Suffolk Threads trails are circular routes that go through the historic wool towns, known for their ancient architecture. For a more adventurous walk in a wilder landscape, go through the Brecks, or head deep into the Thetford Forest.
Its rich variety of landscapes also makes Suffolk an ideal place to cycle. One of the best places to get your bike out is the Suffolk Coast. The peaceful, unspoilt landscape stretches over 155 square miles and takes you through quaint seaside villages and stunning coastal views. You can also head inland into Constable Country and cycle through the lush meadows, mills and riverbends which inspired the great landscape painter John Constable. Another popular spot to cycle is the Waveney Valley. Full of rich wildlife, rolling countryside and charming towns and villages, the Waveney Valley is perfect if you’re looking for a mix of scenery. For a more adventurous cycle, Thetford Forest and the Brecks is ideal for mountain biking.
Suffolk boasts a variety of nature reserves which are fantastic spots for birdwatching. With the wetlands of the Broads, the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, the Brecks and the numerous river valleys and estuaries, the county is home to a diverse collection of species. Spot wading birds, birds of prey and rarely spotted species like the golden orioles. For more information about birdwatching in Suffolk, check out our full guide here.
If you can’t make it to Africa for a safari, don’t worry – there’s one right here in Suffolk. Africa Alive is an award-winning animal park where you can get up close with some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful animals, like lions, cheetahs, rhinos, fennec foxes and many more. The zoo has a range of exciting experiences where you can join a zoo staff member and feed meerkats, lemurs, giraffes and aardvarks. At the Discovery Centre, meet some of the smaller animals like reptiles, invertebrates and small mammals, or see some familiar faces at the Farmyard Corner. There are also a whole host of birds at the park, from flamingos and parrots to ostrich and cranes. Find out more about Africa Alive here.