A Local's Guide to Summer in Suffolk
Published: Friday 5th Jan 2018
Written by: Aimee Anderson
The summertime in the UK is a much anticipated time of year. Will there be a heatwave? Or will it pour with rain? Unfortunately, this cannot be predicted but that is one of the joys of a British summer! Dashing for cover half way through your picnic or huddling up in the car after the heaven's have opened during your woodland walk.
Whatever the weather, Suffolk is the perfect location for your summer holiday. The popular seaside resorts of Aldeburgh and Southwold are the obvious choice for fish and chips on the beach, or you can venture to the riverside town of Woodbridge for a stroll by the river. But have you ever wanted to get away from the Summer crowds and do something that only the locals know about?
Some of the more well known areas can get extremely busy in the summer months, sometimes even bursting at the seams! So, if you're looking for something that's a bit more unusual or under the radar then the locals known best! Take a look at our top 10 things to do this summer that only the locals know about:
- Paddle down the river - See the county from a different angle this Summer! Follow the River Stour for as long as you like by canoe and enjoy the stunning scenery. The River Stour is vast and varying and one of the lesser known rivers in Suffolk. Definitely worth a stroll along its banks if you're less able or not a fan of the water.
- Experience local festivals - There are many festivals taking place in the county this Summer. Some of the more well known ones include Aldeburgh Carnival and Latitude Festival. However, if you're looking for something a bit different why not try Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival on 26th - 27th August 2018? Free entry and access to a whole host of local food and drink producers, all in the centre of the historical town of Bury St Edmunds. If food is not your thing and you're more into your music then take a trip down to the Suffolk/Essex border for the Bures Music Festival from 4th - 8th July 2018. This unique festival, based in Suffolk, supports a multitude of musical genres from jazz to blues, rock to pop, plus a popular choral night.
- Taste the local delicacies - Suffolk is blessed with a vast array of excellent and award-winning pubs, restaurants and producers. You'll be hard pushed if you don't sample some local food and drink during your stay. So, if you're looking for something a bit different why not try making your own local cuisine? There are many cookery schools around the county including The Food Hub Cookery School at Kenton Hall where they produce Longhorn beef as well as rare breed pork and lamb.
- Stretch your legs - Suffolk is well know for its unforgettable landscapes and breathtaking views. What better way to explore the Suffolk countryside than on foot? The quaint village of Brandeston (close to Framlingham) is utterly divine and has a wonderful dog-friendly circular walk that starts and finishes at The Queen where you they offer an excellent menu and a vast array of local drinks.
- Splash out - If you're a thrill seeker then this is one for you! There are many wild swimmming clubs and this is a hobby that is growing in popularity. Many of the local waterways have clubs and groups including the River Deben, Stour and Alton Water. If you're feeling competetive, why not take part in The Great East Swim at Alton Water, near to Ipswich, on 23rd June 2018. With courses for all ages and abilities, it's ideal for experts and beginners alike.
- Take a coastal stroll - You can't come to Suffolk without visiting coast! The skylines and landscapes are second to none, but if you want to get away from the masses of summertime visitors then why not try the rugged wilderness of lesser known beaches. Covehithe is just north of the popular coastal resort of Southwold but is one of Suffolk's best kept secrets. The beach can only be accessed on foot or by cycle, but once you've made the journey down to the coastline you won't regret it. A truly secluded spot. Why not take part in a 2 minute beach clean whilst you're there? Soak up the stunning scenery and do something good for the environment at the same time!
- Explore a castle - Suffolk is lucky enough to have many exciting historical landmarks including a number of castles. Framlingham castle was made famous by local singer Ed Sheeran with his song 'Castle On The Hill'. But there are many more to explore! Our favourites include the castles at Clare, Eye and Bungay.
- Wine and dine in the vines! - English wine is becoming more and more popular and there are a variety of local vineyards ready to be explored! One of our favourites is Wyken Vineyards, close to Bury St Edmunds. Walk to the vineyard from the over the Home Meadow and through a most beautiful ancient woodland. From here you can head back to the delightful Leaping Hare restaurant and cafe where you can sample their wines. Shawsgate Vineyard, near to Framlingham, is another wonderful local winery which offers tours and tasting days as well as many other events.
- Take a step back in time - Head to the coastal village of Bawdsey where the mouth of river Deben meets the sea, but not for the traditional walk along the beach. Prepare to be taken back in time to the Second World Way when RAF Bawdsey became the first fully operational Radar station in the world. Bawdsey Radar Station provided invaluable intelligence during the Second World War and the Battle of Britain. A truly magnificent and humbling place to visit with a wealth of history and knowledge.
- Visit Sudbury - Not as well know as it's neighbouring Wool Town of Lavenham but the quaint town of Sudbury is packed full of culture and history, without the crowds! Set in the Stour Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it is a market town steeped in history. With past and present connections to the silk industry, this small town is also the birthplace of the well known artist Thomas Gainsborough it's well worth a look if you like a bit of arts and culture.