Things to Do & See
Stately Homes & Gardens
Highlights include the grand house and gardens at Somerleyton Hall, near Lowestoft, Melford Hall in Long Melford, Sudbury, and the beautiful gardens at Helmingham Hall.
Helmingham Hall Gardens – 9 miles north of Ipswich, on the B1077
Set in a 400 year old deer park, the amazing Tudor Hall is surrounded by a wide moat with draw-bridge, and has a stunning walled garden. Cream teas served in the Coach House tearooms.
Melford Hall – Long Melford, Sudbury
A romantic Elizabethan mansion with a panelled Tudor Great Hall, Regency Banqueting House, beautiful gardens and parkland walks – where Beatrix Potter is said to have stayed.
Somerleyton Hall – 10 mins drive from Lowestoft. A magnificent early Victorian residence in Anglo-Italian style, with sumptuous State Rooms and 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens which include one of Britain’s finest mazes.
Glemham Hall – on the A12, close to Saxmundham (approx 10 mins drive from your holiday cottage)
A Tudor house with Great Hall dating from the 16th Centurey, plus a classic rose garden.
Kentwell Hall – Long Melford, on the Suffolk/Essex borders
Regular award-winning re-creations of 16th Century everyday life – including special events with 75-300 Tudors (in full costume) creating a living history for visitors.
Suffolk is an ideal location for getting out and about on a bicycle and the flat landscape makes cycling a pleasure. There are some fantastic cycle routes which will take you through some beautiful villages and countryside. There are also many quaint traditional pubs to stop at along the way.
If you prefer off road cycling then there are some fantastic trails in both Rendlesham and Tunstall forests which are only a short car drive from Saxmundham. To view the trails and what is on offer please click on the links below.
For bicycles, accessories or repairs, we have a great bike shop in Saxmundham, just 5 mins walk away in the Market Place called Sax Velo
If you like boats, there are numerous adventures to be had! You can hire a motor-launch for the day from Beccles, to travel along the broads; relax during a gentler journey around the Mere at Thorpeness in a row-boat, hired by the hour; or take an exhilerating sight-seeing trip along the coastline from the quay at Orford or the harbour at Southwold!
Plus, the ‘Lady Florence’ offers the opportunity for Fine dining, whilst cruising the calm waters of the River Alde/River Ore.
Southwold harbour sea trips and river cruises. Choose between an exciting high-speed blast-trip (a thrilling, unforgettable half hour!); or the peace and tranquillity of a 3 ½ hour river cruise on the beautiful Blyth estuary.
The Mere – Thorpeness
The lake covers 60 acres, and has over 40 acres of water – but nowhere is it more than 3ft deep so its very safe for boating. Dinghies, kayaks, canoes, punts, sailing boats and large family rowing boats are available for hire.
Outney Meadow, Bungay – off (A143)
This calmer stretch of the River Waveney winds gently round the countryside and is relatively narrow and shallow, making it safe for children. You can hire canoes, kayaks or traditional rowing boats which will fit a family in all together. You can also hire bicycles (of all sizes).
For music lovers, Benjamin Britten’s concert hall at Snape Maltings (home of the Aldeburgh Festival Music) is only 4 miles away from your holiday cottage in Saxmundham.
Music concerts are held in nearby Aldeburgh too, and in Orford, Framlingham and Halesworth. During the summer months there are also a number of outdoor music festivals, and open-air concerts.
For information/concert listings from Snape Maltings Concert Hall, visit the Aldeburgh Music website.
History & Heritage
The entire area is steeped in history, and there is much to see. From quaint period cottages lining the narrow streets of historic towns, to the ancient castles at Framlingham and Orford. There is the Tide Mill on the Quay at Woodbridge, the Norman Church at Blythburgh, the Abbey ruins at Leiston, the Anglo-Saxon exhibition at Sutton Hoo, and Dunwich – the ‘town which fell into the sea’ during the middle ages.
There are also windmills, historic houses and gardens… a whole host of National Trust and English Heritage sites, and numerous interesting museums to visit.
Museum of East Anglian Life – Stowmarket
An 80 acre site with 14 historic buildings – including a working mill and smithy; Suffolk Punch horses, and a riverside Nature Reserve.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village – 7 miles north-west of Bury St. Edmunds
Circa 420-650 AD – a careful reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon village, visitors can go into the houses and imagine living in Anglo-Saxon times.
This area is home to the graceful Avocet. If you are lucky, you may hear the Bittern or see the Marsh Harrier too. The R.S.P.B. Minsmere is just 6 miles away, and the bird sanctuary at Havergate Island and the reserves at Orford Ness, Aldeburgh and Southwold are all within easy reach.
Havergate is a small island in the River Ore and is famous for its breeding avocets and terns. (Access is by boat only)
Orford Ness is an extremely important breeding area for water-birds, particularly the very rare Little Tern. (Access is by ferry from Orford Quay.)
To see a wide variety of species within a relatively small area, the North Warren Reserve is easily accessible – and just on the edge of the coastal town of Aldeburgh (towards Thorpeness) its only about 7 miles away.
We make Birdwatchers very welcome at all of our Holiday Cottages, and provide extra items and facilities to help you to enjoy your birdwatching trips in Suffolk during your stay here. View our Cottages to find out more, and plan your next birdwatching trip...
Rural Life Country Fairs
County and Country Fairs are an
opportunity for the local communities to celebrate the rural way of life and are very popular with visitors too! They are big, bustly events and are often held in large show-grounds or in the grounds of Country House estates.
Our most local is the ‘Suffolk Game & Country Fair’ held at Glemham Hall in May each year – it’s just 5 miles away (approx 10 mins by car) from your holiday cottage in Saxmundham; and the ‘Heveningham Hall Country Fair’ is held near Halesworth, in July (approx 20 mins drive).
The (Suffolk) County Show is held during the May Half-Term holidays at Trinity Park, Ipswich, and is the biggest show of the County – with amazing ring displays, and over 1,000 livestock exhibits.
There are many live theatre performances for you to experience during your stay in Suffolk, including at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds – the last remaining Regency Playhouse in Britain.
During the warmer times of the year, there are ‘open-air’ theatre productions – for example, in Rendlesham Forest, or on Dunwich Heath.
For more information about current or forthcoming productions in Suffolk, visit the website: Red Rose Chain Theatre Company’s
There is also the ‘Suffolk Summer Theatre’ in July, August and September, the Repertory Company (Founded by Jill Freud) which perform a series of play in both Aldeburgh and Southwold.
For information on current Shows at both Aldeburgh & Southwold, visit the website: Suffolk Summer Theatre website.
With it’s gently undulating terrain, Suffolk is ideal for walkers.
The Suffolk Heritage Coastal region is a fantastic place to explore on foot, and walking is probably the best way to experience everything and appreciate this area of outstanding natural beauty – whether you…
head off along the shoreline of the unspoilt coast to see where it takes you,
follow a fixed route across the countryside using the Public Footpaths,
take a Guided Walk with a Warden around Dunwich Heath,
or just stroll around some of the pretty villages.
There are routes suitable for all levels of interest and ability, so whether you're a serious long distance walker or just fancy a short stroll in some beautiful countryside, there's bound to be something suitable.
We make Walkers very welcome at all of our Holiday Cottages, and provide extra items and facilities to help you to enjoy your walks in Suffolk during your stay here. For more information on this, go to the Tourist Board Accreditation & Awards page or the pages for the individual Holiday Cottages: Chapel Cottage, Flint Cottage, Corner Cottage.
There are several excellent 9-hole and 18-hole ‘Pay & Play’ golf courses in the area, offering a variety of terrain. The nearest being in Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, just 7 miles away (approx 15 mins drive).
There are also good courses in Woodbridge, Southwold and Halesworth (all within approx 30 mins drive via the A12), plus, Ipswich & Lowestoft (within approx 45 mins drive via the A12).
For more information and fees, from the golf courses direct:
We have 3 Cottages on the same site, so we can accommodate up to 10 people for your golf trips to Suffolk - whether 5 couples, or 3 or 5 single golf-friends View our Cottages to find out more, and plan your next golf trip...
The hugely popular Adnams beers are sold in most pubs across Suffolk, and now in many supermarkets too. The brewery, in Southwold, has expanded into new premises over recent years, and their range now extends to a dozen or more different beers (some seasonal or special editions) plus wines and champagnes – and now spirits, such as ‘special edition’ Gin and Whiskey. It is sold from their Kitchenware & Wine Stores in Southwold and Woodbridge – both are within approx 30 mins drive from your holiday cottage in Saxmundham (in opposite directions along the A12.)
You can take a tour of the Adnams Brewery, to see the brewing process for yourself. It lasts about an hour and finishes with a sampling of the various beers and ales produced there. The cost is approx £10.00 per person (check with the Brewery), and includes a bottle of beer to take away with you. Advance booking is required.
The annual ‘Stowmarket Beer & Brewing Festival’ is held each June, plus there are several localised beer-tasting events throughout the year organised by small, independent brewers or pubs – all of which prove very popular!
Come to Suffolk and be inspired to be creative! Paint the landscape, coastline, the sea, sky, towns or local wildlife in their natural habitat…
The region has inspired generations of Artists, and is just as popular now. Philip Wilson Steer, a contemporary of Walter Sickert, spent his summers in Walberswick in the 1890s, where he painted the local area – perhaps most famously, ‘The Bridge’ between Walberswick and Southwold harbour. His painting of “The Beach at Walberswick” is exhibited at the Tate Gallery.
The renowned painter and sculptor, Maggi Hambling, is most famous for her “Scallop” sculpture on Aldeburgh beach. She has a Studio in Suffolk and her paintings of Suffolk are often exhibited locally.
‘Constable Country’ is also within easy reach from your holiday cottage in Saxmundham – not too far away from Flatford Mill, where John Constable, the quintessentially English Artist famously painted ‘The Haywain’.
Perhaps you too will be inspired to create…?