A short break in Suffolk can see you strolling along glorious beaches, exploring grand National Trust properties and discovering charming country villages
When is the best time for a weekend break in Suffolk?
Suffolk is the perfect place for a weekend break – easily accessed from London and other south-eastern cities, and offering sea views and country walks to the scenery-starved city dweller. Its pretty woodland and beach walks are beautiful throughout the year, with much of the activity, aimed at tourists and visitors, running between March and October.
Visit in April to the see the countryside come to life – the roads will be bordered with blackthorn and yellow celandine, and wildlife populates hedgerows and woods. Come summertime, there is a rich programme of cultural events and festivals to entertain you all weekend.
In June, the Adleburgh Festival of Music and the Arts caters for classical music lovers – orchestras, choirs and soloists populate a line-up for the discerning listener, while talks and exhibitions promise to polish your cultural knowledge and widen your skillset. Adleburgh itself is a charming seaside town with plenty of independent shops and restaurants. Those who like to rock out rather than nod along may prefer the Red Rooster Festival – this is dedicated to blues, soul and country music, and is complimented with good old Southern comfort food – expect smoky barbecue, gumbo, mac n cheese and fried chicken.
Latitude Festival in Southwold’s Henham Park is the most well known event in the area – with a selection of crowd-pleasing headliners curated to please even the most serious music fan. There are also top names from the fields of theatre, cabaret, film and poetry, as well as family-friendly activities and luxury camping. This takes place in mid-July, giving you a good chance of sun.
July sees many smaller and boutique festivals spring up at local farms across Suffolk – from the Drum Camp Festival at Bungay to Easton’s Maverick Festival. These events are great ways to sample Suffolk’s great outdoors while taking in live music and lively company.
What are the best attractions to visit in Suffolk?
For serious ride fans, head to Pleasurewood Hills near Lowestoft – a 59-acre site that is undergoing development and has seen many impressive new rollercoasters and rides introduced.
Prefer to find places to visit in Suffolk that offer a more sedate experience? Try some of its superb National Trust properties. Ickworth House is a magnificent and unusual stately home, featuring a unique rotunda building at its centre, constructed in the 18th century to house its owner’s enormous art collection. The collection is there still, and features paintings by masters including Hogarth and Gainsborough. Sign up for the below stairs experience – you can listen in on fully-costumed staff in the kitchen, playing out the scenes you might have once expected to see in the house’s original staff quarters.
Framlingham Castle is a magnificent 12th-century building, with a continuous towering wall built around 1190, linking thirteen massive towers and a pristine moat. It has a fascinating history – it has been a luxury home, a prison for priests, a refuge for plague victims and a poor house. These days it exists purely for the pleasure of visitors – who can walk the towering walls, head to the Poor House buildings for an exhibition about the castle’s past, and picnic within the castle grounds.
What are the best beaches in Suffolk?
South of Claremont Pier Beach, at Lowestoft, is justifiably popular. A long stretch of sand on Suffolk’s sunrise coast features stylishly painted (and expensive to buy) beach huts, and visitors are serviced with smart tennis courts and cafes. Lowestoft itself is a nice little town with plenty of amenities. Head north of the pier to access watersports like windsurfing – but don’t forget your wetsuit, the water can be chilly. For more of your own space on the sand, hit The Denes Beach in Southwold. This is a quiet beach surrounded by marshland, with easy access to chic Southwold. Aldeburgh Beach is a fine spot – a wide Blue Flag certified sea shore with a mix of pebbles and sand, and the pastel-painted backdrop of Aldeburgh town. Buy your lunch from a little fresh fish shack bordering the beach, or join the queue at the Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop – you can’t really come for a weekend break in Suffolk and not have at least one lunch served in a paper package.
What is the best way to travel to Suffolk for a short break?
Greater Anglia operate trains to Ipswich, Sudbury and the surrounding towns, and these run hourly from Liverpool Street station in London. Nearby Cambridge connects you to the rest of the country. Driving to Suffolk is easy – but potentially slow on changeover days and Friday evenings from London. Three major roads – the A11, A12 and A14 – take you from motorways straight into Suffolk. Norwich and London Stansted are the nearest airports.
If this looks like a great getaway destination for you, then why not take a look at our affordable hotels in Suffolk.