History, nature, and great food take front and centre in this list of the best things to do in Suffolk. This East Anglian county draws inspiration from a wealthy past, still visible today in the lavish Tudor homes and magnificent churches dotting the picturesque place.
It has seven districts: Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, Waveney, Mid Suffolk, Babergh, St. Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath. But no matter where you start your journey, you are surrounded by 50 miles of glorious coastline particularly in Aldeburgh and Southwold, special restaurants with great produce, and charming villages and medieval towns seemingly lost in time, especially in Lavenham and Long Melford.
Have a wander and pick your own adventure. Begin with this list of top 12 things to do in Suffolk and have a blast.
1. Sutton Hoo
Beautiful and enigmatic, a visit to Sutton Hoo is one of the most interesting things to do in Suffolk. Left undisturbed for 1300 years, the hull of an Anglo-Saxon ship was unearthed here. It carries the remains of King Raedwald, along with a massive amount of treasure.
Replicas of the full ship, burial chamber, and Saxon riches are on display at the visitor centre. Take the daily guided tour and see the 18 burial mounds making up the royal cemetery, too.
Price: £8.20 for adults and £4.10 for children
Hours: 10.30 AM to 5 PM from Easter to October; 10.30 AM to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday from November to Easter
Location: Three miles east of Woodbridge and 11 miles northeast of Ipswich off the B1083
2. St. Edmundsbury Cathedral
Free guided tours reveal the depth of the heritage of this Lincolnshire limestone cathedral. It follows a Gothic-style but the entrance porch showcases Spanish influence. Most of the building dates back to the 16th century but its 45 metre tower has only been finished in 2005.
Price: £3 for adults and 50p for children
Hours: 8.30 AM to 6 PM
Location: Angel Hill, Bury St. Edmunds, England
3. St. Mary’s Church
Similar to St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, St. Mary’s Church has a beautiful hammerbeam roof with swooping vampirelike angels detail. It has been around since 1430 and today cradles the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and sister to Henry VIII.
Price: Free but donations are requested
Hours: 10 AM to 4 PM every Monday to Saturday; 10 AM to 3 PM from November to March
Location: Honey Hill, Bury St. Edmunds, England
4. Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal is a special place – it remains the only working Regency playhouse in Britain, staging a variety of drama, music, dance, and comedy. Every bit beautiful, it features charming boxes, ornate gilding, and a trompe l’oeil ceiling.
Price: £6.50 for front-of-house and backstage guided tours
Location: Westgate St., Bury St Edmunds, England
5. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Minsmere
Bird lovers have permanently inked a visit to the RSPB on their list of the best things to do in Suffolk. This nature reserve in Aldeburgh is home to the bittern, one of the rarest in England. Drop by in autumn to catch throngs of migrant birds though the hides present a prime species-spotting site all-year.
Price: £8 for adults and £4 for children
Hours: Open access
Location: Sheepwash Ln, Saxmundham IP17 3BY, United Kingdom
6. Latitude Festival
No doubt, attending this festival in The Suffolk Coast is one of the best things to do in Suffolk. Twice, it has won UK Festival Award for Best Line-up and its eclectic mix of literature, music, comedy, theatre, dance, and poetry attracts interesting people by the masses.
Date: July 14 to 17
Location: Henham Park, Henham, Southwold NR34 8AQ, United Kingdom
7. Bury St. Edmunds Food & Drink Festival
With an unmistakable market-town vibe, St. Edmunds proves a special place for food lovers. From August 18 to 29, it transforms into a pilgrimage site, attracting people from all over to celebrate its incredible local treats, fantastic produce, and dedicated farmers. The festival also features Michelin-starred and critically-acclaimed chefs.
Date: August 18 to 29
Location: Town Centre, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1PR
8. Spill Festival of Performance
A bi-annual event in experimental theatre, this thought-provoking festival takes place once in Ipswich and another in London. The Pacitti Company curates the event, which showcases new, daring, and challenging work from various artists.
Date: October 31 to November 4
Location: Town Hall, Ipswich, Cornhill, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1BH
9. The East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival
The ancient Chinese tradition of racing dragon boats has reached England and it is much celebrated in Oulton Broad. Over 40 crews battle it out in front of thousands in hopes of becoming Suffolk’s Dragon Boat Champions. If you are a sports fan, this is one of the most fun things to do in Suffolk.
Location: Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, NR33 9JR
Restaurants and Brewery
Friendly and enthusiastic, the atmosphere in this Modern British restaurant is as good as its food. The menu is formidable – it is difficult to choose just one! Must-tries include local cod and seafood risotto, steak, and guinea fowl confit.
Price: Mains at £11-19
Hours: 12 PM to 2 PM and 6.30 PM to 10 PM
Location: 77 High St., Aldeburgh, England
This seafood place bursts with charm. They smoke their own catch and serve never ending plates of oysters and prawns. It is a no-frills restaurant that is all about the taste.
Price: Mains start at £8
Hours: 12 PM to 2.15 PM and 6.30 PM to 9 PM every weekday; 12 PM to 12 AM on weekends
Location: Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge IP12 2LH, United Kingdom
12. Greene King Brewery
Since 1799, has served booze lovers without fail. It is the largest pub retailer and brewer in the United Kingdom, boasting a 900 year old brewing heritage.
Learn more about your favourite drink and join the tour around the historic brewhouse and enjoy a taste while taking in splendour views from the rooftop. Book the tour ahead – it is one of the most popular things to do in Suffolk.
Price: £12 for the tour
Hours: 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM Monday to Saturday
Location: Westgate St., Bury St. Edmunds, England
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