We are very lucky in this area to have lots of lovely things to do, these are just some of them …..
On the doorstep …..
Beautiful Gardens open to the public seasonally. This is a stunning moated manor house (drawbridges are still lifted every night) which is still owned and lived in by Lord and Lady Tollemache. Hosting many events throughout the year from Plant Fairs, Suffolk Dog Day, Classic Car Shows and many Music Events. Even if none of the Events are of interest a walk through the Deer Park, a visit to the stunning gardens, finished off with an Afternoon Tea in the Coach House Tea Rooms is a wonderful way to spend the day. (
Lots of independent shops, Fishing Lakes, Café, Crazy Golf, Golf Driving Range and home to Mid Suffolk Show Ground which holds lots of annual events. Please check on www.stonhambarns.co.uk for up to date events diary.
I have a thirst for …….History
A magnificent example of a late 12th-century castle. Built by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, the castle, together with Framlingham Mere, was designed both as a stronghold and as a symbol of power and status – as befitted one of the most influential people at the court of the Plantagenet kings. Architecturally, the castle is notable for its curtain wall with mural towers, an early example of this design. Walk around the impressive wallwalk, explore the mere and admire the fine castle gatehouse. It was here that Mary Tudor waited to hear whether she or Lady Jane Grey had been declared Queen after the death of Edward VI. A new introductory exhibition in the Poorhouse tells the story of the people who lived in the castle through its long and varied history.
The unique polygonal towerkeep of Orford Castle stands beside the pretty town and former port which Henry II also developed here in the 1160s. His aim was to counterbalance the power of turbulent East Anglian barons like Hugh Bigod of Framlingham, and to guard the coast against foreign mercenaries called to their aid. An 18-sided drum with three square turrets, and a forebuilding reinforcing its entrance, the keep was built to a highly innovative design. Climb its spiral staircase leading to a maze of rooms and passageways and visit the museum in the upper hall.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village
Unique reconstructed Anglo-Saxon Village built on an original settlement site, giving visitors the opportunity to touch and experience Anglo-Saxon houses as we imagine them to have been one thousand five hundred years ago. Visitors can also see the archaeological objects excavated from the site on display in a specially built centre.
West Stow, nr Bury St Edmunds 01284 728718
Sutton Hoo Awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site. This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the river Deben, is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.
Walk around the ancient burial mounds and discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions.
Come face to face with your ancestors and explore our award-winning exhibition, the full-size reconstruction of the burial chamber, stunning replica treasures and original finds from one of the mounds, including a prince’s sword.
Look inside the Edwardian house or enjoy the beautiful seasonal colours on our estate walks.
I need to see the Sea ….
We are very lucky in Suffolk to have some lovely beaches offering a wide variety to suit everyone’s tastes.
Aldeburgh / Thorpeness … Lovely old fishing town now full of interesting shops and renowned Fish and Chip Shop.
Why not park in Thorpeness, (a small coastal village built by the Victorians for their ‘Sea Side Holidays’), rent a rowing boat on the Mere before wondering along the coastal path to Aldeburgh for Fish and Chips on the beach?
Although the main beach has restrictions during the summer months, there is a mile of wide dog-friendly shingle beach just to the North of Aldeburgh which is well signposted, and stretches from the Wentworth Hotel to Thorpeness.
Felixstowe … Old and New As the name suggests there is an Old and New Felixstowe. New Felixstowe is quite commercial with a Pier and Amusements. Whilst Old Felixstowe still retains its original charm, great for wiling away the day sitting on the Beach watching the Jet Skies and Sailing Boats from the Marina sail past.
While the main beach of Felixstowe has dog restrictions in place from May through September, there are dog friendly beaches on either side of the restricted area, stretching from Spa Pavilion to Arwela Road. These areas are well signposted and easy to spot. However, dogs have to be kept on leads even on these stretches.
Dunwich … Dunwich Heath – With the beautiful National Trust site of Dunwich Heath and a beach that’s dog-friendly all year round, Dunwich makes a fantastic dog friendly location with plenty of long walks and refreshing water on offer. The beach at Dunwich is a very wide-open shingle beach, quite steep, especially at high tide. Walking in a northerly direction you can reach Walberswick in about 2 miles, and then Southwold over the River (the ferry in the Summer does take dogs), or heading south you’ll walk past RSPB Minsmere & then onto Sizewell beach. Both walks are highly recommended but reasonably strenuous = flip flops not advised!
Dunwich Beach – Bear in mind also that Dunwich is the home to RSPB Minsmere so there are occasional restrictions on dogs on the Heath that runs parallel with the beach during the nesting season. If you’re not sure that your dog will stay on the beach then it’s best to check with nearby Aldeburgh TIC (see Suffolk TIC’s) before you make your trip to ensure these nesting restrictions aren’t in place.
The Ship, Dunwich – The Ship, Dunwich offers fantastic refreshment and also happily welcomes dogs. Surrounded by magnificent nature reserves and heathland as well as miles of beautiful beach, this dog loving pub makes for a great place for both you and your four-legged friend to visit.
Dunwich Museum – Find out about the fascinating history of this once large town, sadly stolen by the sea.
Sizewell … Discreetly situated between Dunwich and Thorpeness, Sizewell beach boasts fantastic coastlines which have no restrictions on dogs year-round! Whether your pooch prefers a stroll in the midday sun or a sprint on a frosty morning, Sizewell beach caters for all! It also makes a perfect middle ground for a stroll north to Dunwich, past RSPB Minsmere, or south to Thorpeness.
Southwold … One of Suffolk’s most famous beaches, Southwold is a very picturesque town full of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants. Also, home to Adams Brewery!
The main beaches of Southwold have pet restrictions in place from 1 April to 30 September, dogs are prohibited from a point adjacent to the northernmost extremity of the promenade (at the northern end of the beach huts) to a point adjacent to the southernmost extremity of the promenade (Gun Hill Café). Southwold Denes however, just north of the main beach, is dog-friendly throughout the year. Simply follow the A1095 from Southwold to the Denes.
Also, the stunning sandy beach to the South of Southwold, down towards Walberswick, is pet friendly and welcomes dogs all year round.
Walberswick … This picture-perfect coastal village is holiday home to many British celebrities, as well as playing host to the yearly Crabbing Championship in August. It’s also completely dog friendly, with no pet restrictions in place.