Africa Alive | Bentwaters Cold War Museum | Transport Museum | Easton Farm Park | Flatford Mill | Framlingham Castle | Gainsborough's House | Ickworth House | Lavenham Guildhall | Maritime Museum | National Horseracing Museum | Otter Trust | Suffolk Owl Sanctuary | Minsmere Nature Reserve | Sutton Hoo
Suffolk Wildlife Park is situated in 80 acres of beautiful coastal parkland, where visitors can see lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, big cats, exotic birds and many other animals, roaming the parks own simulation of the plains of Africa. Visitors can also enjoy daily feeding displays, regular talks and bird of prey shows.
Opening times: all year, daily from 10am (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: Kessingland, Suffolk, NR33 7TF - Tel: 01502 740291 - Website
Facilities: parking, café, shop
Museum of cold war history based in a decommissioned USAF hardened command post on the Bentwaters airbase. The main "War Operations Room" and "Battle Cabin" have been restored to original condition including the original decontamination showers and airlocks allowing members of the public to see these once top secret, high security military installations in detail in an eerie atmosphere evoking the Cold War period.
Opening times: Apr~Oct, Sun &
BH mon, 10am to 4pm Admission Charge
Location: Building 134, Bentwaters Parks, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2TW - Tel: 07588877020 - Website
A reconstructed 1930s period street scene provides a perfect setting for the museum's collection of historic transport vehicles. Working exhibits range from old trams, buses, vintage cars, electric vehicles and commercial trucks to steam rollers. Visitors can ride around the site in a vintage tram, trolley bus or narrow gauge railway. There is also a tramway and woodland trail to a picnic area.
Opening times: Apr~Sep, times
vary see website for details Admission Charge
Location: Chapel Rd, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 8BL - Tel: 01502 518459
Image Credit: Dr Neil Clifton (CC2)
A working farm is the focal point of this country park, located on the banks of the River Deben, near to the picturesque village Easton. The park is host to various breeds of farm animals, including calves, goats, horses, pigs, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs and poultry. There is also an indoor soft play barn, outdoor adventure play area, plus train rides and pony rides for the children.
The farm has a display of early farm machinery and other country memorabilia on show in its many Victorian farm buildings, including demonstrations of steam machinery and horse-drawn vehicles. The surrounding parkland, woodland and river meadows have excellent walks and nature trails.
Opening times: Mar~Sep, daily 10.30am - 5.30pm Admission Charge
Location: Easton, Suffolk, IP13 0EQ - Tel: 01728 746475 - Website
Facilities: parking, café, craft shop, children's play areas
Immortalised by Constable's early 19th century pastoral scenes, the pleasant scenery, lush meadows, willows and winding streams of the Dedham Vale have changed very little since Constable's day. Upstream from the famous Flatford mill is the thatched 16th century Bridge Cottage, which was the home of friend Willy Lott. The cottage is now open to the public and houses an exhibition about Constable and his works.
Opening times: Mar~Nov, 11am - 5pm (closed certain days in Nov/Dec) Free Entry
Location: Flatford, East Bergholt, Suffolk, CO7 6UL - Tel: 01206 298260 - Website
Facilities: Parking (200 m), tea-room, shop, wheelchair access
Framlingham castle, which stands above a large artificial mere on the outskirts of the town, is one of the most complete castles in Britain. Dating from 1100, the castle was once the stronghold of King John in his struggle with the Barons and was later the sanctuary of Mary Tudor, before she rose to the throne in 1553. It eventually became the seat of the successive dukes of Norfolk. The fortifications were largely rebuilt in the 16th century, incorporating thirteen square towers within its extensive curtain wall, some rising to a height of 60 feet. In the 17th century the castle was given to Pembroke College, when the interior was demolished to make way for a poor house. The castle is now open to the public, who are free to climb the magnificent battlements and experience exceptional views over the surrounding countryside.
Opening times: Apr~Sep, daily 10am to 6pm; Oct~Mar, Thu-Mon, 10am to 4pm (closed Xmas & NY) Admission Charge
Location: Framlingham, Suffolk, IP8 9BT - Tel: 01728 724189 - Website
Facilities: Parking, shop, wheelchair access
This fine Georgian fronted town house is the birthplace of Thomas Gainsburough. Some of the artists collection is shown together with much 18th-c furnishings and memorabilia. To the rear is an attractive garden designed by Gainsburough. Regular temporary art displays throughout the year.
Opening times: daily
from 10am (exc. Xmas) - Admission
Location: 46 Gainsborough St, Sudbury CO10 2EU
Tel: 01787 372958
Ickworth House is one of Britain's most unique properties; designed in the late 18th century by Frederick Augustus Hervey, the fourth Earl of Bristol. Its most unusual feature is an impressive 100 ft high rotunda, modeled on the Parthenon in Rome, with a domed shaped roof and decorated all around with a terracotta frieze. The house is surrounded by parkland landscaped by Capability Brown, containing a formal Italianate garden and many magnificent oak and cedar trees.
Within, the house hosts an array of fine pieces of English and French furniture. Its spacious rooms are hung with paintings by Reynolds and Gainsborough, and part of the silver collection on display dates back to the 17th century with elaborate designs by French Huguenot craftsmen.
Opening times: House Mar~Nov, Mon, Tue, Fri, 1pm to 5pm. Gardens from 10am Admission Charge
Location: Horringer, Suffolk, IP29 5QE - Tel: 01284 735270 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, wheelchair access
The charming 'oldie worldly' village of Lavenham has changed little over the centuries. Many of its beautiful old timbered houses date back to the 15th century, when the village sprang-up from the riches of the wool trade. Its rich past is still evident today in the magnificent Guildhall, and in the ornate plasterwork (or pargetting) covering many of the numerous half-timbered buildings.
The fine half-timbered guildhall, built in 1529, was originally the headquarters of the guild of Corpus Christi, responsible for the local cloth trade. The guildhall has since been an arms house, a workhouse and finally a prison. Today it is a fine museum, with exhibits relating to the history of Lavenham and the local wool trade. There is also a walled garden and a 19th century lock-up and mortuary.
Opening times: March to November,
daily from 11am Admission
Location: Market Place, Lavenham, Suffolk, CO10 9QZ - Tel: 01787 247646 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, wheelchair access
Located near Britain's most easterly point, the maritime museum traces the local history of fishing and sea-faring around the coast of Lowestoft. The museum contains numerous models of both ancient and modern fishing boats, plus displays of fishing equipment and shipwrights' tools and a small marine art gallery.
Opening times: Apr~Oct, daily 10am to 5pm Admission
Location: Sparrow Nest Gardens, Whapload Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1XG - Tel: 01502 561963 - Website
Facilities: parking, shop
The small market town of Newmarket has been dominated by horseracing since 1605, when James I instigated the town's first race meetings. Charles II later carried on the tradition, introducing spring and autumn meetings at the Rowley Mile racecourse (named after his favourite horse 'Old Rowley'). The Jockey Club founded in 1750, and based in the centre of Newmarket, is today home to the national horseracing museum, which tells the story of horse racing and the people involved. This friendly award-winning museum has several hands on exhibits, plus the chance to talk to many of the retired jockeys and trainers. Guided tours visit the gallops (shown above), stables and yards.
Opening times: daily from 10am (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: Palace House - Newmarket (access via Palace Street, CB8 8EP) - Website
Facilities: parking (nearby), restaurant, shop
The Otter Trust occupies 23 acres of near natural habitat beside the River Waveney at Earsham. The trust is part of a breeding programme to protect several endangered British and Asian otter species from extinction. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and follow the nature trails along the banks of the river and around the reserve's three lakes, which are teeming with waterfowl.
Opening times: Apr~Sep, daily 10.30am to 6pm Admission Charge
Location: Earsham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 2AF - Tel: 01986 893470
Facilities: parking, café, shop
One of England's major bird reserves, with nesting places for over a hundred different species. Breeding birds include rare avocets, marsh harriers, nightjars, bitterns and nightingales. Located on the Suffolk coast, the reserve includes several nature trails that run through a variety of habitats and incorporate many strategically placed bird-watching hides.
Opening times: daily 9am to 9pm
(or dusk if earlier) Closed Xmas. Visitor centre: 9am
to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3BY - Tel: 01728648281 - Website
Facilities: parking, café, shop
This birds of prey and conservation centre is one of the premier raptor centre in Britain. Here you can observe owls and other birds or prey in spacious aviaries and flying freely in spectacular displays and demonstrations (summer months only). There is a information centre, bird hospital, falconry centre, gardens, woodland walks, picnic areas and plenty of activities for children.
Opening times: daily
10am to 5pm (exc. Xmas) - Admission
Location: Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Rd, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT
Tel: 03456 807 897
This remarkable 7th century Anglo Saxon ship burial was discovered in 1939, a field in Suffolk, regarded as one of the most important and valuable archaeological finds in Britain. It was here that an Anglo Saxon King was buried on board 90 ft long ship together with all his possessions including, jewels weapon, drinking vessels, cooking pots and silverware. The quality of the craftsmanship shows the level of sophistication in mediaeval Britain at the time. The fascinating finds are exhibited in a museum on the site, including a full sized reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king's burial chamber.
Opening times: times vary see website for details Admission Charge
Location: IP12 3DJ - Tel: 01394 389700 - Website
Facilities: parking, restaurant, shops
Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.