Suffolk

Suffolk is a peaceful rural county on the east coast of England, accessible from London in just over an hour from road and rail.

Miles of beautiful and sometimes wild coast line are lined with sandy beaches and offer far reaching views. The sights and sounds of the sea stretch from the Essex border up to beyond Lowestoft where Suffolk meets its neighbour, Norfolk.

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Suffolk Overview

Welcome to Suffolk

The rural nature of Suffolk is a backdrop for rolling countryside, pretty medieval villages with attractive churches and timber framed houses large and small and colourful coastal locations such as Orford, Aldeburgh and Southwold. Suffolk is an ideal location for those seeking some quiet time to explore the English countryside, beaches or forests such Rendlesham, Tunstall and Thetford, at their own pace. You can see Viking remains at Sutton Hoo, medieval Abbey ruins in Bury St Edmunds and the development of modern radar at Orford. If more lively family entertainment is on the agenda then head to the resorts of Felixstowe or Great Yarmouth for traditional seaside fun. The county town of Ipswich hosts swimming pools, trampolining, go-karting and a ski slope.

Suffolk is well known for locally sourced food and drink with specialities such as Gressingham Duck, Dingley Dell Pork, Aspall Cyder and the breweries of Greene King and Adnams. You can always find a great spot to eat with pubs and restaurants scattered across the county from the historic villages of Lavenham, Hadleigh to the larger towns of Woodbridge, Bury St. Edmunds and Newmarket.

The county of Suffolk in East Anglia sits on the east coast of England bordering Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and has a population of 750,000 people. Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk, with other significant towns at Lowestoft, Bury St. Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe.

The county has over 40 miles of heritage coast line in an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty and combines pretty villages, rolling countryside and coastal views.


History

Suffolk has a long rich history and being a coastal county has been both an important trading location and the site of numerous invasions.

The National Trust site at Sutton Hoo is one of the UK’s most important historic sites in the UK containing 6th and 7th century cemeteries, many artefacts and treasures, along with a 1400 year old Anglo-Saxon burial ship.

Starting in the 14th century with the migration of Flemish weavers seeking a more tolerant society the county had a prominent place in the wool trade and the towns and villages of Lavenham, Clare, Hadleigh and Long Melford provide a great trail to explore. Lavenham, one of the most historical villages in the country with about 340 listed buildings is home to De Vere house, the fictional birthplace of Harry Potter.


Places to visit in Suffolk

Today the Edwardian town of Felixstowe is a mixture of tradition with seafront promenade and listed gardens supported by the backdrop of the largest container port in the country. 

Ipswich has undergone a transformation in recent years with a thriving waterfront hosting many events, festivals and places to eat and drink. The town itself retains a sense of history with buildings dating back to the 11th century and Christchurch Mansion. A bronze statue dedicated to Giles the cartoonist sits in the town centre, just off the Cornhill theatre building.

The spectacular heritage coast is lined with pretty and historic towns and villages. Visitors can explore a host of attractions including the 12th Century castle keep at Orford, the Concert Hall and craft shops of Snape, the boating mere at Thorpeness or the charming seaside resorts of Aldeburgh and Southwold. The market town of Framlingham now enjoys huge recognition following Ed Sheeran’s hit Castle on the Hill. Woodbridge is a delightful place to spend the day with many restaurants and sights to enjoy including the historic Tide Mill dating back over 800 years and is now the largest commercially working tide mill in the country.

In the west of the county Bury St. Edmunds is an historic market town, with the St. Edmundsbury cathedral and Abbey Gardens amongst the delights for visitors.

Suffolk’s famous names include the painters Gainsborough and Constable with Dedham Vale the scene of the iconic Hay Wain painting. The composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft and helped found the both the annual Aldeburgh Festival and the Concert Hall at Snape Maltings.

Suffolk has had its fair share of sporting success. Newmarket is home to the Sport of Kings as the centre of British horse racing and is a great day out for all the family either watching a race or visiting the National Horse Racing Museum. Ipswich Town Football Club has seen two managers – Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson enjoy success and go on to manage the England national team.

With 9,800 rights of way, 12,000 acres of open access land, miles of cycling routes, including 2 National Cycle Network routes Suffolk is a great destination to explore. The picturesque rivers of the Deben, Orwell and Stour host a wide variety of natural walks, water sports and places to relax and enjoy the scenery whilst having a bite to eat or something to drink.

Suffolk has an array of annual events, from the well-established 2 day Suffolk Show, to the Latitude Festival. A new addition in 2017 is Suffolk Day on the 21st June which sees a number of celebratory activities and events across the county.

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Getting There

Despite being on the coast, Suffolk is well connected to the rest of the country. The mainline railway from London Liverpool Street reaches the county town of Ipswich in 1hr 15 mins, Ipswich providing a hub to explore the county by rail.

The road network provides access to the county via the A12, A14, M11 and A11. Suffolk is also well served by air with airports at Stansted and Southend in neighbouring Essex.

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Businesses in Suffolk

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What to see and do…

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La Tour Cycle Cafe

7, Waterfront, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1FT

Mill House Breaks

Mill House, Halesworth Road, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 0AE

Corner Farm Holidays

Corner Farm, Huntingfield, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 0LL

National Trust Ickworth

Ickworth House, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5QE

Holly Tree Cottage Wangford

50 Norfolk Road, Wangford, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8RN

The Den Bed & Breakfast

The Den Bed & Breakfast, 58 Thistledown Drive, Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds, IP31 2NH

Colne Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway, Yeldham Road, Halstead, Suffolk, CO9 3DZ

Woodfarm Barges – Twee Gebroeders

Bass Dock, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1BW

Wildlife Watching, Photography Workshops and Hide Hire at Bawdsey Hall

Bawdsey Hall, Ferry Road, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3AS

Newbourne Woodland Campsite

Newbourne Woodland Campsite, Jackson Road, Newbourne, Woodbridge, Suffolk

Virginia House B&B

42 Jackson Road, Newbourne, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4NR

Bawdsey Hall

Ferry Road, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3AS