We’re all familiar with the traditional UK pattern of holiday time coming and the sun goes into hiding! But fear not! The Suffolk Tourist Guide is here to help! Here is our guide to the great many rainy day activities in Suffolk and ‘Days In’ available throughout Suffolk, plus a separate guide for Childrens Rainy Day things to do too as there really is so much to see and do even in the rain!
The Suffolk Food Hall is delighted to provide two enigmas: to Escape the Gamekeeper’s Bothy or solve the mystery of Prof Campbell’s disappearance. Our room challenges combine authentic props and unique Suffolk themes. Based in farm buildings at the Suffolk Food Hall, underneath the Orwell Bridge, the adventures encapsulate the heritage and farming background of the site and surrounding area and are suitable for ages 9 to 90. To find out more see: Puzzle Rooms
Try something totally unique at the Suffolk Escape Room in Saxmundham. The original war time Nissen Hut on the edge of an American style Trailer Park immerses 2-8 players into an Area 51 themed experience. Once inside players must find hidden clues and solve puzzles that will lead them towards escape. But players only have sixty minutes so time is of the essence. Suitable for ages 10-110. The room is wheelchair accessible, however at least one member of the team must be able bodied.
The perfect excuse to pamper yourself – as if you need one! – is a rainy day. Suffolk has some excellent Spa’s to choose from, where you can relax and unwind and wait for the sun to come out!
We love Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa just outside Woodbridge, the spa facilities are perfectly formed, you can also enjoy lunch here and even book a room if you don’t want to leave! There are lots of treatments on offer and several special deals throughout the year.
Another favourite is Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa set in rolling Suffolk countryside. The pool and treatment rooms offer a welcome escape from the rain, with lots on offer including group treatments like the Rassoul Mud Therapy so get some friends together! You can enjoy a drink by the pool, and a lunch and maybe a cocktail in their award winning restaurant. If the rain stops, you can even enjoy 18 holes on the championship golf course.
If you’re near Bury St Edmunds, try the SK Clinic and Spa where you can choose from their array of relaxing health & beauty treatments – there are more than enough on offer to fill a whole day, if needed.
Head to one of Suffolk’s wonderful seaside towns on a rainy day and beat the crowds for a spot of shopping! Dart in and out of the shops amongst the showers. Most have a great selection of independent boutiques, many selling handcrafted and one-off items. Aldeburgh and Southwold are firm favourites with holiday makers and locals alike. The latter boasts the Pier, which even on a rainy day affords great views of the beach and the town, there’s the unique homemade arcade games in the ‘under the pier show’ plus the famous water clock and the lovely restaurant. Once you’ve finished here, stroll into town and visit the fascinating Amber Shop learn about the history and purchase a beautiful bespoke item like the one pictured above.
Stonham Barns Retail Village also provides an excellent shopping opportunity, with a host of boutique shops, garden centre and restaurants next to each other. Free parking too make it the ideal place to while away a dreary afternoon. Also onsite is the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary where you can meet, handle and learn about several different species of birds.
Concert and Shows
Do you fancy a spot of singin’ in the rain? Aldeburgh Music offers you the opportunity to do just that. Based within the spectacular Snape Maltings Concert Hall in the wonderful town of Aldeburgh, Aldeburgh Music holds a varied mix of music concerts throughout the year, covering all tastes and genres – such as traditional, modern, and world music. For a full guide to the many concerts occurring at the hall, please click on the link above.
What better way to escape the rain than by whisking yourself away to another time and another place? The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft will allow you to do just that. This 1870-built theatre offers a wide selection of family entertainment ranging from musicals, stand-up comedy, dance performances and, of course, panto! They also show the latest films, and hold special events such as ‘An Evening with A Celebrity’. A trip to the Marina Theatre is sure to have you and your family ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, just without the actual getting drenched part! Please click on their display’s link above for the full line-up of performances and events.
History and Culture
Let one of Suffolk’s museums or historical sites bring our rich past to life. For a rainy day out in Newmarket, visit the National Horseracing Museum. Visitors are invited to discover the history and stories of horse racing, past and present. Here you can ride the horse simulator or take a behind the scenes minibus tour of the gallops, a Trainer’s yard and the equine swimming pool. There is also a cafe and gift shop on site. Discounts are available for group bookings, please click on the link above for full details.
Gainsborough’s House (pictured above) in Sudbury is a museum and art gallery set within the house that Thomas Gainsborough was born in, and features a wonderful collection of his paintings and drawings.
The Felixstowe Museum (pictured below) in – you guessed it – Felixstowe has an impressive fourteen display rooms of local social and military history, housed within the 1878-built submarine mining establishment. There are also special exhibitions commemorating the 90th anniversaries of the formation of the RAF and the end of World War I.
Did you know that radar was developed and first tested in Suffolk between the two World Wars? You can visit the exhibition at Bawdsey Radar (pictured below) and learn where much of the pioneering work in radar technology took place. Bawdsey Radar is a charitable organisation run entirely by volunteers. Please click on the link above for opening times.
One lovely museum to visit for an interesting day out is Little Hall (pictured below). Little Hall is a late 14th Century Hall House in the picturesque village of Lavenham, and has been restored to allow visitors the unique opportunity of exploring this 1390s-built house containing the Gayer-Anderson collection of pictures and artefacts. Admission is just £2.50 for adults, so this is a rainy day out not to be missed!
In the Beccles and District Museum visitors will find a detailed history of Beccles told via the town’s famous assortment of clock and watch-makers. Details on most makers and some photographs of clocks are on file at the museum, alongside a wonderful book shop selling a wide range of fascinating books featuring local historical content.
If you are forced to stay indoors on a rainy day, one of the best possible ‘indoors’ you could choose is Melford Hall in Long Melford. This spectacular building is one of East Anglia’s most renowned homes. Inside you will find an array of things to capture your interest, such as the Regency Library and collections of porcelain, paintings and items connected with the naval history of the Hyde Parker family – who owned the Hall for over 300 years.
For a creative rainy day activity get over to Pennikkity Pots ceramics painting cafe in the heart of Ipswich! There is no need to book and prices start from only £5, so Paint a Pot with Pennikkity today – find more about them here – Pennikkity Pots Ceramics Cafe, Ipswich.
Get stuck in and have a go at Glass Making with a Courses at Hart Glass. Award winning professional Laura Hart, will guide you through the methods involved to casting and fusing glass in her Aladdin’s Cave of a workshop in Cavendish. See Hart Glass for testimonials and contact details.
Starglazing Ceramic Painting and Clay Studio makes for a wonderful day out if the skies are gloomy, and if the sun does come out, then you can enjoy the roof terrace from their great location at the top of the Suffolk Food Hall. Learn simple techniques such as mark making and surface printing that will help you create something really special. To find out more about what you can do and the opening hours, click on the link above.
Art Galleries make for a wonderful alternative to traipsing through the rain. The Jessica Muir Gallery in the centre of Long Melford features a changing programme of art exhibitions which run throughout the year, plus a shop specialising in jewellery, ceramics, glass, wood, textiles, paintings and limited edition prints.