24 Things to do in Suffolk, England

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

24 things to do in Suffolk, England.

I'm going to resume my road trip of the UK by visiting places of interest in my current home county of Suffolk.

As I visit the places on the checklist, I will update this post with my own images and summary of the place visited.

Where status is, Not Visited, I have used information from Wikipedia as a brief overview.

Hopefully, this, and other posts like it will be useful to anyone within the UK planning a road trip through Suffolk.

The Suffolk Bucket List

Christchurch Park

Status: Not visited

Christchurch Park is a historical area of rolling lawns, wooded areas, and delicately created arboreta close to the town centre in Ipswich, Suffolk. The park hosts various facilities such as a children's play area, tennis courts, table tennis, bowling greens and outdoor gym equipment. The distinguished Tudor house, Christchurch Mansion, is located at the parks southern entrance and holds a public museum and art gallery. The park belonged to various noble families as private land throughout its history but was purchased by the Ipswich Borough Council in 1894 and opened as the town's first public park in 1895

Christchurch Mansion

Status: Not visited

Christchurch Mansion is a substantial Tudor brick mansion house built in Ipswich, Suffolk by Edmund Withypoll around 1548-50. The Grade I listed building is located within Christchurch Park and sits by the southern gates close to the town centre of Ipswich. The mansion belonged to various noble families throughout its history but was purchased by the Ipswich Borough Council in 1884. Since 1885, the building has been used as a museum and is today run by the state-funded Colchester + Ipswich Museums organisation. The museum's rooms are preserved as past inhabitants would have known them, complete with original items such as furniture, fine clothing and children's toys. The museum also holds a collection of paintings by renowned local artists including John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough.

Ipswich Waterfront

Status: Not visited

The Ipswich Waterfront is a cultural and historically significant area surrounding the marina in the town of Ipswich, Suffolk. The modern dock was constructed in 1842 and the area was a hive of industry up until the 1970s, at the time of completion, the dock was known as 'the biggest and most important enclosed dock in the kingdom'. Although the dock as it stands was constructed in 1842, the area was used for trade as far back as the 7th century. The decline of industry in the town resulted in the area being transformed into a trendy area of Ipswich, the waterfront is now characterised by its marina, known as Neptune Marina, as well as its mix of classical and postmodern architecture which includes multiple high-rise apartment buildings, restaurants, bars and cafés. The waterfront is also home to the main campus of the region's university, the University of Suffolk.

Greene King Brewery

Status: Not visited

Greene King is the UK's largest pub retailer and brewer. It is based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. The company owns pubs, restaurants and hotels. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by CK Assets in October 2019.

Ipswich Transport Museum

Status: Not visited

The Ipswich Transport Museum is a museum in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, devoted principally to the history of transport and engineering objects made or used in its local area.

The museum collection was a commenced by the Ipswich Transport Preservation Group in 1965. In 1988 it obtained use of its present premises, the old Priory Heath trolleybus depot in Cobham Road, and has been opened to the public since 1995.

Its collection of more than 100 large objects includes buses trams, trolley- and motor-buses from Ipswich Corporation Transport, the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company and other local operators; commercial vehicles; fire apparatus; mobile cranes; bicycles; biers; horse-drawn vehicles; prams; and wheelchairs. There is a good representation of the Ipswich manufacturers Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies and Ransomes & Rapier and of electric vehicles.

Local rail and waterway transport and aviation are represented mainly by photographic collections and smaller exhibits. The Museum also houses an archive and library together with costume and ticket collections.

The Museum is a registered charity and is normally open to visitors on Sundays (11am to 4pm) from April to November, and on weekday afternoons during school holidays (1pm to 4pm). It also organises occasional events including the annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Run for vintage vehicles on the first Sunday in May, from Christchurch Park, Ipswich to the Promenade in Felixstowe.

Church of Saint Andrew Covehithe

Status: Not visited

St Andrew's Church is a partly redundant Anglican church in the hamlet of Covehithe in the English county of Suffolk. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. Part of the church is in ruins and this is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The church stands on a lane leading directly towards the sea, in an area of the coast which has suffered significant ongoing erosion. The parish of Covehithe has been combined with neighbouring Benacre.

Southwold Pier

Status: Not visited

Southwold Pier is a pier in the coastal town of Southwold in the English county of Suffolk. It is on the northern edge of the town and extends 190 metres (620 ft) into the North Sea.

Whilst many English seaside piers are in decline, Southwold Pier is enjoying renewed popularity. It includes a collection of modern coin-operated novelty machines designed and constructed by the inventor Tim Hunkin.

East Anglia Transport Museum

Status: Not visited

The East Anglia Transport Museum is an open-air transport museum, with numerous historic public transport vehicles (including many in full working order). It is located in Carlton Colville a suburb of Lowestoft, Suffolk. It is the only museum in the country where visitors can ride on buses, trams and trolleybuses, as well as a narrow-gauge railway.

Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum

Status: Not visited

Woodbridge Tide Mill in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England is a rare example of a tide mill whose water wheel still turns and is capable of grinding a wholemeal flour.

The mill is a Grade I listed building. It is a three-storey building constructed from wood; externally it is clad in white Suffolk boarding and has a Gambrel roof. Its machinery reflects the skills and achievements of the early Industrial Revolution. It has been preserved and is open to the public. The reservoir constructed for demonstration purposes is roughly half an acre in extent, the original 7-acre (28,000 m2) one is now a marina.

Southwold Maize Maze

Status: Not visited

St Peter's Brewery

Status: Not visited

St. Peter's is an independent brewery founded in 1996 by John Murphy in former agricultural buildings adjacent to St. Peter’s Hall in St Peter, South Elmham, near Bungay, Suffolk, England.

The brewery produces cask ales but is best known for its cold filtered bottled beers. The oval shape of its signatory 500 ml bottle is based on an 18th-century gin bottle from Gibbstown, by the Delaware River near Philadelphia but a round version is also common.

Owner John Murphy founded the marketing consultancy Interbrand and was admitted to an honorary degree of Doctor of Social Sciences at Brunel University in 2001. The brewery also owns The Jerusalem Tavern, a pub in Clerkenwell, London.

Elmhurst Park

Status: Not visited

One of the Towns most enjoyable attractions and an area of immense community pride and appeal, Elmhurst Park is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of Woodbridge. Elmhurst is invitingly located a short walk from both the main shopping Thoroughfare and the River Deben and is renowned for its floral colour, mature planting, high standards of maintenance, diverse events programme and wide community appeal.


This award-winning park covers nearly two hectares and is attractively enclosed within boundary walls. The Park can be accessed from four entrances all suitable for wheelchairs and is equipped with level footpaths throughout.

Jubilee Gardens

Status: Not visited

This is not in Suffolk but neighbouring Cambridgeshire! My bad!

Jubilee Gardens is located at the popular Ely Riverside and provides the perfect link from the Riverside to the City Centre. The garden has open spaces for picnics and free play as well as one of the five pieces of Eel Artwork. It also has a toddler play area, water feature and bandstand. There are bug hotels, bird boxes and log piles situated throughout the gardens.

The gardens have secured Green Flag status since 2005. The award is designed to recognise and reward standards of excellence and is recognition of the high-quality green space that the gardens provide to the local community in East Cambridgeshire.

Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park

Status: Not visited

You might recognise Jimmy Doherty’s farm from the BBC documentary.

This rare breed's farm is home to ponies, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, goats, geese, ducks, cows, pigs and much more. Visitors can feed all the animals using the bags of food available and get even closer with special animal encounters every weekend and during the school holidays.

Over in the butterfly house see beautiful and colourful tropical butterflies gracefully flutter by you and then take the family outside to enjoy the woodland walk before heading to the wooden playground. The bouncy pillow, giant sandpit, climbing pyramids, bouncy animals, play vehicles, sports challenge and hobbit house will all be huge hits, leaving you with sleepy, satisfied children at the end of a great family day out.

A great mix of adventure play, the great outdoors and lots of animals!

  • Go fishing with Dolly during most school holidays and some weekends in the summer

  • Seasonal events

  • Restaurant on site

Palace House

Status: Not visited

Palace House is the home of Great Britain’s National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art in the remaining part of Charles II's racing palace in Newmarket, Suffolk, England. It is home to the National Horseracing Museum, the British Sporting Art Trust and Retraining of Racehorses, and was opened by Elizabeth II in 2016.

Abbey Gardens

Status: Not visited

The Abbey Gardens are owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and managed by the council in conjunction with English Heritage. The abbey ruins lie within the park. A friends' group supports the maintenance of and improvements to the gardens.

The Abbey Gardens surrounding the ruins had an "Internet bench" installed in 2001, which people could use to connect laptops to the Internet. It was the first bench of its kind. There is a sensory garden for the visually impaired.

Africa Alive!

Status: Not visited

Africa Alive!, formerly known as Suffolk Wildlife Park, is a zoo located in Kessingland, Suffolk, UK. It is situated off the A12 at Kessingland 2 miles (3 km) south of Lowestoft.

Africa Alive! is part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, a registered charity, and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).

Chantry Park

Status: Not visited

Chantry Park is a park located west of Ipswich town centre, in the Ipswich district, in the county of Suffolk, England. It is the largest park in Ipswich and extends over 124 acres. Chantry Park was opened to the public on 17 May 1928 and was designated a Conservation Area in 2005.

Chantry Park itself is Grade II listed, and it contains three Grade II listed structures: The Chantry (a Sue Ryder care centre), and the gatehouse and entrance gate piers (which share a listing).

From 23–26 August 2019 around 160,000 people attended Ed Sheeran's ÷ Tour. After the Ed Sheeran concert works to partly restore the park started on 2 September 2019.

Southwold Lighthouse

Status: Not visited

Southwold Lighthouse is a lighthouse operated by Trinity House in the centre of Southwold in Suffolk, England. It stands on the North Sea coast, acting as a warning light for shipping passing along the east coast and as a guide for vessels navigating to Southwold Harbour.

The lighthouse, which is a prominent local landmark, was commissioned in 1890, and was automated and electrified in 1938. It survived a fire in its original oil-fired lamp just six days after commissioning and today operates a 180-watt main navigation lamp. This lamp has a range of 24 nautical miles (44 km; 28 mi)

Rendlesham Forest Centre

Status: Not visited

Rendlesham Forest is a 1,500-hectare mixed woodland in Suffolk owned by the Forestry Commission with recreation facilities for walkers, cyclists and campers.

The forest is in the parishes of Bromeswell in the west, Eyke, Capel St Andrew to the south, and Butley, Suffolk to the east. It is in the Suffolk Coastal district. It is part of the Sandlings Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest. A large area of the forest was cleared for the construction of RAF Woodbridge in 1943.

The Rendlesham Forest incident

In late December 1980, there was a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights near Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England which have become linked with claims of UFO landings.

The events occurred just outside RAF Woodbridge, which was used at the time by the United States Air Force (USAF). USAF personnel, including deputy base commander Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt, claimed to see things they described as a UFO sighting.

The occurrence is the most famous of claimed UFO events to have happened in the United Kingdom, ranking among the best-known reported UFO events worldwide. It has been compared to the Roswell UFO incident in the United States and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's Roswell".

The UK Ministry of Defence stated the event posed no threat to national security, and it therefore never was investigated as a security matter. Sceptics have explained the sightings as a misinterpretation of a series of nocturnal lights: a fireball, the Orfordness Lighthouse and bright stars.

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Status: Not visited

RSPB Minsmere is a nature reserve owned and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at Minsmere, Suffolk. The 1,000-hectare (2,500-acre) site has been managed by the RSPB since 1947 and covers areas of reed bed, lowland heath, acid grassland, wet grassland, woodland and shingle vegetation. It lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Suffolk Heritage Coast area. It is conserved as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site.

The nature reserve is managed primarily for bird conservation, particularly through control and improvement of wetland, heath and grassland habitats, with particular emphasis on encouraging nationally uncommon breeding species such as the bittern, stone-curlew, marsh harrier, nightjar and nightingale. The diversity of habitats has also led to a wide variety of other animals and plants being recorded on the site.

Before becoming a nature reserve, the area was the site of an ancient abbey and a Tudor artillery battery. The marshes were reclaimed as farmland in the 19th century but were re-flooded during World War II as a protection against possible invasion.

The reserve has a visitor centre, eight bird hides and an extensive network of footpaths and trails. Entry is free for RSPB members. Potential future threats to the site include flooding or salination as climate change causes rising sea levels, coastal erosion and possible effects on water levels due to the construction of a new reactor at the neighbouring Sizewell nuclear power stations.

Explore 4X4

Status: Not visited

St Edmund's Church

Status: Not visited

The parish church of Southwold is dedicated to St Edmund and is considered to be one of Suffolk's finest. It lies under one continuous roof, and was built over about 60 years from the 1430s to the 1490s; it replaced a smaller 13th-century church that was destroyed by fire. The earlier church dated from the time when Southwold was a small fishing hamlet adjacent to the larger Reydon. By the 15th century, Southwold was an important town in its own right, and the church was rebuilt to match its power and wealth.

The Abbey

Status: Not visited

The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds was once among the richest Benedictine monasteries in England until the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. It is in the town that grew up around it, Bury St Edmunds in the county of Suffolk, England. It was a centre of pilgrimage as the burial place of the Anglo-Saxon martyr-king Saint Edmund, killed by the Great Heathen Army of Danes in 869. The ruins of the abbey church and most other buildings are merely rubble cores, but two very large medieval gatehouses survive, as well as two secondary medieval churches built within the abbey complex.


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