Things to do
Below is a small selection of the many attractions and things to do in the area:
Alde Driving horse & carriage rides (01728 746226)
Pre-book a horse & carriage ride to pick you up from the garden and take you for either a short (around three quarters of an hour) or a longer (approx 1 hour) ride through the countryside. Pub drives are available on Sunday nights (pre-booking for this not necessary) - see the facilities page for more details.
Food Safari - various dates and venues throughout the year
www.foodsafari.co.uk (01728 621380)
Food Safari specialises in gourmet Field to Fork experiences for people who really care about food. One and two day courses teaching a wide range of skills & reconnecting food with its source – farms, farmers, fishermen and artisan producers.
Shawsgate Vineyard (01728 724060)
www.shawsgate.co.uk (4 miles)
One of East Anglia's oldest commercial vineyards, producing a range of red, white and rosé wines. Wine tasting, shop and walks amongst the vines.
12th century castle with museum of local history and lots of planned themed activities for all the family.
Suffolk Picnic (07787 103508)
Knodishall (6 miles)
A small, ethical, private dairy farm with Jersey milking cows. Open for short family visits (by prior arrangement only) - cuddle a calf, milk a cow and learn a bit about how a dairy farm works.
Enjoy a family day out at this open farm, with small animal petting sessions, farm walks, themed activities and a gift shop.
Exhibits about steam engines, munitions, plastics and dry cleaning machines in the very place they were made, and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson the first English woman doctor.
Walks, cycle trails, picnic area and play sculpture
Nature trails, guided walks, observation hides and family activities. In spring, you can watch avocets and marsh harriers, or hear booming bitterns. On the beach, a special area is cordoned off to protect nesting little terns. In autumn and winter, many wading birds and swans, ducks and geese visit the reserve. Minsmere also has a visitor centre, shop & tearoom.
North Warren RSPB Nature Reserve (01728 648281) (9 miles)
A wealth of habitats including grazing marshes, heathland, reedbeds and woodland. Great for ducks, swans and geese use the marshes in winter, while spring brings breeding bitterns, marsh harriers, woodlarks, nightingales & many species of butterflies and dragonflies.
Horse riding for beginners and experienced riders alike. Riding lessons, hacks through beach & forest, plus 'kids walkout' for children. Beautiful location.
Over 40 acres of water – none of which is more than three feet deep – with islands to explore and a variety of water craft for hire including kayaks and rowing boats
A medieval castle, nature reserve and RSPB reserve to explore. The nature reserve is the largest vegetated shingle spit, and supports internationally important flora and fauna. Site of secret Cold War military testing and a poignant symbol of 20th-century warfare.
Helminham Hall Gardens (01473 890799)
www.helmingham.com (13 miles)
Tudor Hall set in 400 year old deer park with moat and drawbridge. Stunning walled garden, rose garden and landscaped gardens. Cream teas and gift shop.
Carter’s Teapot Pottery (01728 860475)
www.cartersteapots.com (13 miles)
Situated in the beautiful village of Debenham, here you can watch the famous teapots being made, browse the pottery shop and have tea in the tearoom.
Outdoor off-road karting centre for adults and over 5’s. 3 tracks, refreshments and spectator’s area.
Sutton Hoo (01394 389700)
www.suttonhoo.org (14 miles)
One of the country’s most important archeological sites – the royal burial ground of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king and his most treasured possessions.
A family day out with camels, alpacas, llamas and a gift shop, educational talks and adventure play areas.
Craft & Coffee shop open Fridays and Sundays, 10-4. Regular traditional craft courses take place on Saturdays too – but these must be booked in advance.
Gift shops, family friendly eateries and the famous ‘under the pier show’ – an amazing array of unusual home-made slot machines and simulator rides. ‘Best Tourism Experience 2008’ EET.
Boat trips in a 9m rigid inflatable seating 12. Choices of short trips, day trips & sightseeing – including seal watching & moonlit evening cruises.
Leisure, shopping and rural pursuits complex. Owl sanctuary, craft & gift stores, garden centre, golf course & driving range and restaurant.
The Suffolk Punch Trust Colony Stud (01394 411327)
www.suffolkpunchtrust.org (16 miles)
The world’s oldest stud farm breeding the endangered Suffolk Punch horse. Visit the farm also has a play area, gift shop & coffee shop as well as a large vehicle and implement display.
See giraffes, zebras, rhinos and ostriches roaming wild in the safari park based on the plains of Africa. Lookout lodge, animal encounters, feeding talks, safari road train & indoor adventure play area. ‘Best Suffolk Attraction’ 2006 & 2008.
Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm (01473 830264)
www.baylham-house-farm.co.uk (23 miles)
Working livestock farm breeding rare and endangered breeds of cattle, sheep, goats poultry and pigs. Animal feeding, picnic area, café and gift shop.
Jimmy’s Farm (01473 604206)
www.jimmysfarm.com (25 miles)
As seen on TV – a working rare breed farm, open 7 days a week, with a nature trail and walks, farm shop, adventure play area and field kitchen.
White knuckle rides, roller coasters and entertainment.
Somerleyton Hall (01502 734901)
www.somerleyton.co.uk (35 miles)
Early Victorian residence in Anglo-Italian style with 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Kentwell Hall (01787 310207)
www.kentwell.co.uk (40 miles)
16th Century hall and extensive gardens. Regular award-winning events showing Tudors re-creating many aspects of everyday 16th C life – on selected weekends.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park (01284 728718)
www.weststow.org (41 miles)
Living history events bringing an excavated Anglo-Saxon village back to life. With a play area, visitor centre, gift shop & café, and surrounded by a 52 hectare country park.
Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure (0845 643 9215)
www.goape.co.uk (45 miles)
Forest adventure park for adults and over 10’s including massive rope ladder, tarzan swing, zip wires and high wire rope bridges
Bewilderwood is 50 acres of wild, imaginative outdoor treehouse adventure Park including rope bridges, zip wires and toddler play areas.