My daughter’s first go to to Suffolk got here when she was simply two, and we’ve been going again as usually as we are able to ever since – as a result of with so many issues to do in Suffolk with children, it’s laborious to withstand the temptation to e book one other vacation there.
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From fairly Aldeburgh, the place we scoffed fish and chips and soaked up the solar by the ocean, to our mini street journey of East Anglia, visiting Sutton Hoo and Orford Fortress, it’s simple to discover, ideally suited to combine some coast and countryside, plus there are some nice household sights in Suffolk too.
Relying the place you keep, it’s simple to pop into Norfolk as properly… though you received’t be in need of issues to do in Suffolk with children when you don’t need to mix each counties in a single break. Right here’s my choose of the perfect.
Castles and historic homes
Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge
It’s a narrative that’s straight from a fairytale – a king buried beneath a hill together with his treasure, undisturbed for hundreds of years. Till a small staff of archaeologists found “the discover of a lifetime” within the mounds at Sutton Hoo on the eve of the Second World Struggle.
The ultimate resting place of the King of the Wuffinga, Raedwald, King of East Anglia who dominated within the seventh century, his boat had rotted away however the valuable objects of his hoard survived, from jewelry to gold cash and an intricate steel helmet.
There’s a treasure path for teenagers, plus dressing up and you may stroll out to the burial mounds, in addition to visiting Tranmer Home, adorned as it could have been through the Second World Struggle.
Prebook tickets right here
Learn extra about our go to to Sutton Hoo with children
Framlingham Fortress, Framlingham
Framlingham fort, which dates again to the twelfth century, has seen its share of momentous historical past – Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen right here, and the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk have been each buddy and foe to monarchs over the centuries.
At the moment, probably the most thrilling issues to do is to go out alongside the wall stroll, 10.5 metres up, and gaze our throughout the grounds and lake.
There are common household actions and a few enjoyable video games and quizzes for teenagers to strive too, in addition to the chase to race across the slopes main all the way down to the outdated moat – the workhouse is the one surviving constructing.
Prebook tickets right here
Take a look at my evaluate of a day trip at Framlingham Fortress with children
Orford Fortress, Orford, Woodbridge
Less complicated than a few of the sprawling castles you’ll discover elsewhere in England, Orford Fortress nonetheless towers 90ft excessive from the highest of its grassy mound, above the little city of Orford.
Constructed within the twelfth century by Henry II as an emblem of royal energy, 91 steps lead you up the spiral staircase to some unbelievable views throughout the river and countryside to Orford Ness nature reserve.
On the prime, it’s also possible to discover the outdated bakehouse, in addition to recognizing unique tiles on the way in which up, bedchambers for an important inhabitants and visitors and a chapel, in addition to studying extra concerning the legend of the wild man of Orford who was caught in fishermen’s nets and held right here.
Prebook tickets right here.
Learn extra about our go to to Orford Fortress with children
Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds
The Italianate palace of Ickworth is named a lot for its lovely gardens and grounds as for the home, with its uncommon rotunda.
With 1,800 acres to discover, you received’t be in need of a stroll, and in January and February, you possibly can see carpets of snowdrops throughout a number of components of the grounds, in addition to discovering an all-weather path and play space.
There’s additionally an opportunity to see how the servants lived, venturing into the servants’ quarters, together with tales of a few of the most vibrant earls and marquesses who’ve known as Ickworth house.
Prebook tickets right here.
Easton Farm Park, Woodbridge
Easton Farm Park is ideal in case your children like to get palms on with the animals, with an opportunity to stroke and meet bunnies, pygmy goats, horses, donkeys and guinea pigs.
It’s additionally a terrific place when you’re visiting Suffolk within the rain with children – as I can attest, having ended up exploring throughout a torrential summer time downpour – with tiny tractors and play areas inside.
Or there are pony and tractor trailer rides when it’s dry, plus a path via the water meadows.
Take a look at my evaluate of a (moist) day trip at Easton Farm Park
Africa Alive, Lowestoft
From a safari prepare experience to lemur encounters, Africa Alive would possibly simply be among the finest methods to expertise Africa with out a passport.
When you’re on this huge park you possibly can feed giraffes, see rhinos, and lions, plus there’s a farmyard that children will love too. Add within the discovery centre too, and Africa Alive is well a full day’s journey all by itself.
Baylham Home Uncommon Breeds Farm, Ipswich
Good with youthful children, you may get near pleasant livestock on the Baylham Home Uncommon Breeds Farm, with a free bag of feed to supply to cows, sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, and poultry dwelling right here.
Because the identify suggests, lots of the animals on this farm are uncommon breeds that you just aren’t more likely to see in very many locations, and there’s loads to be taught alongside the farm path. Don’t miss the prospect to cuddle a goat too!
Jimmy’s Farm, Ipswich
Not removed from the border with Essex (we visited whereas staying in Mistley), it’s additionally simple to achieve Jimmy’s Farm from fairly Pin Mill in addition to Ipswich. And with its farm and wildlife park, to not point out some superb meals within the cafe and store, it’s undoubtedly price a day trip.
There are over 80 completely different species of animals, so that you’ll discover farmyard creatures (together with some uncommon breeds) but additionally meerkats and wallabies plus camels and crocodiles.
Together with the furred and feathered inhabitants, there are some nice indoor and outside play areas too – together with big bouncy pillows plus gentle play – and the prospect to go wilder nonetheless within the woodland.
Camel Park Oasis, Halesworth
The Oasis Camel Centre is the one camel park within the UK, making it a certainly one of a form day trip which additionally helps endangered camels within the wild.
When you’re there you possibly can experience on camels and donkeys, stroll alongside llamas, and meet a variety of different animals you received’t be capable of get near anyplace else, in addition to some extra acquainted fluffy inhabitants and play areas.
It’s price realizing that it’s greatest to take money with you – its location means information (and due to this fact working card machines) isn’t at all times assured and the closest ATM is six miles away.
Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Stowmarket
Whether or not your children are Harry Potter followers or simply love animals, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is a beautiful place for a day trip in Suffolk with children.
Residence to all kinds of owls in addition to a household of meerkats, it’s also possible to meet falcons in addition to watching flying shows and talks. The sanctuary treats injured owls and helps to return them to the wild too.
Do prebook as restricted numbers imply you could not in any other case be capable of go to.
Outside in Suffolk with children
Gainsborough Path, Sudbury
You may’t go to Suffolk on a household vacation with out exploring a few of the beautiful countryside and the Gainsborough Path is a beautiful, simple approach to do this with children.
The three.5 mile lengthy path wraps round Sudbury, taking you on an journey to see Suffolk at its wildest, with extra stretches deliberate as properly.
Alongside the way in which you would possibly spot butterflies, kingfishers, (innocent) grass snakes, and different native wild animals, as in contrast to a lot of the Suffolk countryside, the land right here has by no means been farmed so its splendidly biodiverse and unspoiled.
Thetford Forest, Brandon
This big Forestry England website, stretching for 18,720 hectares on the border of Suffolk and Norfolk, has hundreds to find for all ages.
For older children and extra adventurous youthful ones, there’s a Go Ape excessive ropes course, together with the treetop journey for teenagers over 1m tall, in addition to segways via the forest (with a weight minimal slightly than age, however normally for older tweens/teenagers and up).
There are numerous strolling trails too, together with a simple stroll nature path at Excessive Lodge, a stroll via the pine bushes, Gruffalo path and extra at Lynford Arboretum, together with an accessible path that’s simple to observe with a buggy: nice when you’re visiting Suffolk with a child or toddler.
Thorpeness Meare, Thorpeness
A day outdoors with a little bit of a distinction, Thorpeness Meare isn’t greater than three toes deep anyplace, so it’s a terrific place to get out on the water – maintain an eye fixed open for the quirky Home within the Clouds when you do.
You may rent rowing boats, kayaks, canoes, punts, dinghies, and sail boats, relying how a lot ability you’ve acquired or effort you need to put in! Massively fashionable on a sunny day, Thorpeness Meare operates on a primary come, first served foundation, so if you wish to make sure you get a ship be sure you get there early.
Thorpeness can be walkable from Aldeburgh alongside the coast path for a bonus little bit of recent air and train – a part of the route follows an outdated railway line so it’s flat and simple sufficient for teenagers too.
Bromeswell Inexperienced, Woodbridge
One among a string of nature reserves in Suffolk, Bromeswell Inexperienced has a round path to wander round as you uncover the crops and wildlife of a string of habitats, together with moist meadows, saltmarsh and woodland.
Preserve an eye fixed out for frequent lizards basking on sunny days. There are dozens of websites if you wish to discover the fens and marshes in Suffolk with children too.
Not far-off from this explicit reserve is Bromeswell Lakes in case your children love the thought of fishing – a strict catch and launch fish farm.
Helmingham Corridor Gardens
For those who’re trying to get open air in Suffolk with children however don’t essentially need to head proper into the countryside, Helmingham Corridor Gardens is a superb possibility.
Open through the summer time months, from late April to September, there’s a brand new outside artwork path for 2023, with greater than 50 sculptures on show across the award-winning gardens, so it’s nice for getting children out and strolling.
There’s additionally a brand new cafe within the former Coach Home, which guarantees a variety of posh toasties in addition to desserts, puddings and different specials utilizing components from Helmingham’s personal backyard and grounds
The Corridor itself is normally not open to the general public, though there are often exhibitions and non permanent entry, so it’s price conserving an eye fixed out.
Suffolk seashores with children
For those who’re on the lookout for sandy seashores in Suffolk, Southwold is tough to beat, with loads of conventional seaside enjoyable. It’s not very giant and you may simply stroll round it, visiting the lighthouse, the restored pier and recognizing the colorful seashore huts (which have beforehand bought for a whopping £150,000!)
Stroll alongside the pier to see your distorted reflections within the wall of mirrors, discover the water-powered clock and don’t miss the Beneath the Pier present, with round 20 strange interactive mechanical creations.
You may take excursions of Southwold lighthouse too – youngsters have to be over 1.1m to climb the tower, they usually happen round each half hour, lasting 20 to half-hour, with an enchanting likelihood to find what it’s truly like inside a lighthouse.
Canines will not be allowed on the primary seashore from April to September.
One among my favorite seashores in Suffolk with children, you possibly can stroll alongside the ocean wall, spot the Scallop sculpture and play within the sandy shingle. Plus there’s nice fish and chips, in addition to ice cream, on the historic streets.
Good for a sunny day, you possibly can wander all the way in which to Thorpeness or to the Martello Tower within the different path. And if it rains, there’s a unusual little museum to shelter inside for some native historical past.
The part of seashore north of Aldeburgh in the direction of Thorpeness is dog-friendly year-round, although there are restrictions on the primary seashore in summer time.
Take a look at my tips about all the perfect issues to do in Aldeburgh with children right here
Walberswick has one other lengthy sand and shingle seashore, however what units it aside is that it was as soon as house to the British Crabbing Championships. And whereas the competition isn’t held there any extra, there are nonetheless loads of crabs to strive it your self!
Carry a plastic bucket to place the crabs in, a small fishing web, in addition to a web with some bait in it (they love a little bit of bacon). Catch your self some crabs, then after you’ve acquired just a few, return them the place you bought them to allow them to proceed rising.
Quieter than close by Southwold – there’s a foot ferry connecting the 2 in summer time – this dog-friendly seashore is backed by dunes and a nature reserve across the River Blyth estuary
Extra basic English seaside, Lowestoft’s South Seashore (aka Victoria Seashore) has a Blue Flag award for its clear waters and beautiful advantageous sand.
Past the prospect to paddle and make sandcastles, there are some enjoyable household pleasant sights as properly, together with favourites like loopy golf close to the seashore.
There aren’t any canines allowed from Could to September although.
For those who’re on the lookout for a theme park in Suffolk, Pleasurewood Hills is simply a brief drive or bus experience from Lowestoft – with 35 rides, exhibits and sights, together with an space for youthful children, it’s open between April and October
Different household days out in Suffolk
Take a ship journey
For those who’d wish to see Suffolk from one other angle, head out onto the water with a ship journey – there are a number of beginning in Ipswich, together with the Orwell Woman which heads lengthy the River Orwell to Pin Mill and historic Harwich.
Cruises final round 3 and a half hours – there are additionally shorter choices between one and two and a half hours that are ideally suited with youthful children. And you’ll select between seats on the enclosed decrease deck and open-air seating on prime for the perfect views on dry days.
It’s the pure historical past part which is the largest draw with children at Ipswich Museum, however that’s solely the beginning of what there’s to see when you’re on the lookout for issues to do in Ipswich with children.
You may uncover native historical past, in addition to taking a visit via time to find extra concerning the Iron Age, the Romans and the Saxons – ideally suited when you’ve additionally seen Sutton Hoo.
There are additionally shows on Historical Egypt, plus animals together with gorillas to lions and even a uncommon sub-species of giraffe within the Victorian pure historical past assortment – and final however very undoubtedly not least, a mammoth.
Christchurch Park and Mansion, Ipswich
Constructed on the positioning of a twelfth century priory, Christchurch Mansion is unbelievable when you’re on the lookout for a free day trip in Suffolk with children, with a mix of historical past, museum and locations to play.
You may discover rooms adorned in numerous kinds from the previous 450 years, starting from the Tudors proper via to the Victorians.
There’s additionally artwork on show, together with Gainsborough and Constable, in addition to different reveals, starting from ceramics to musical devices and toys – the non permanent exhibitions have additionally targeted on all the things from Ed Sheeran to the ability of tales.
Bury St Edmunds
The abbey at Bury St Edmunds was as soon as among the many richest and strongest within the nation, housing the shrine of the martyred Anglo-Saxon king St Edmund.
You may nonetheless go to the ruins of the abbey buildings, strolling in via the spectacular 14th century Abbey gate, seeing the Norman Tower and St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in addition to St Mary’s Church the place Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII (each Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk) was buried.
When you’re within the metropolis, it’s also possible to go to the 800-year-old Guildhall, house to the one surviving Royal Observer Corps Second World Struggle operations room within the nation and outdated courtroom, in addition to the medieval Moyse’s Corridor Museum with quirky collections on witchcraft and native crimes.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Nation Park, Bury St Edmunds
Set on the positioning of an early Anglo-Saxon village, occupied between the fifth and seventh centuries, you possibly can transport your self again 400 years earlier than the Norman conquest at West Stow.
There are eight buildings within the reconstructed village surrounded by 125 acres of countryside, with the prospect to see uncommon breed pigs and chickens, in addition to crafts and a peek inside completely different outdated homes.
When you’ve had your fill of historical past, there are trails and walks galore via the nation park too, together with a distinctly uncommon Beowulf and Grendel path with rune quest.
In case your children are followers of the Lord of the Rings, there are common occasions and actions impressed by the books too, together with a RingQuest household problem that includes a dragon and large spiders…
Discover Harry Potter in Lavenham
Harry Potter followers can’t miss the prospect to go to the half-timbered buildings within the fairly medieval village of Lavenham – higher referred to as Godric’s Hole.
You may see the home which doubled as Harry’s house, whereas the traditional streets additionally featured in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Components 1 and a pair of beneath a scattering of snow (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have been added later with a little bit of CGI magic).
For extra nice Harry Potter days out within the UK, take a look at my choose of the perfect
Mid-Suffolk Gentle Railway, Stowmarket
The Mid Suffolk Gentle Railway is Suffolk’s solely normal gauge heritage railway, with a museum for train-lovers in addition to an opportunity to make a journey on a steam prepare.
There are occasions all year long, together with Middy within the Struggle Years, an opportunity to just about return to the Forties, and Santa specials at Christmas.
Ipswich Transport Museum
There are over 100 automobiles on show on the Ipswich Transport Museum, all made or used within the native space over a interval of round 200 years.
So in addition to police automobiles and fireplace engines, you’ll discover bicycles, classic prams, lawnmowers and even a funeral hearse. There’s additionally a mannequin railway, the place everybody can strive their hand at driving the trains, and an exercise zone for teenagers.
Wild Raspberry Ceramic Café, Shotley
Whether or not you’ve acquired artistic children or are on the lookout for one thing to do on a wet day in Suffolk with children, a go to to the Wild Raspberry Ceramic Café is simply the factor.
In addition to portray your personal ceramics – with all the things from animal figures to souvenirs and plates – there are a number of different workshops together with the prospect to strive printing, make mosaics… or slime. There are even occasional wizards and wands workshops.
Locations to remain in Suffolk with children
For extra concepts of locations to remain in Suffolk with children, there are some nice self-catering lodging to verify into – we’ve stayed in Aldeburgh in one of many cottages from Better of Suffolk.
For family-friendly Suffolk lodges, glamping, farm stays and extra, there’s a terrific alternative on reserving.com too.
For those who’re visiting the world round Ipswich and the Suffolk border with Essex, you’re solely a brief drive from Colchester – take a look at my prime issues to do in Colchester with children right here
*First revealed 2021, final up to date 2023*
PIN FOR LATER: THINGS TO DO IN SUFFOLK WITH KIDS
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Photos: Southwold/Framlingham/Ickworth/rabbit/owl/woodland/Ipswich marina/Christchurch mansion/Lavenham courtesy of Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels