Abbey Gardens Tom Soper 1500x390


7 things you can only do in Suffolk

Fabulous food, miles of stunning coast, and some of the UK's prettiest towns and villages and unique experiences on offer.

1. Indulge your culinary curiosity


If you’re planning a weekend away head over to Suffolk; the county of fabulous food, miles of stunning coast, some of the UK's prettiest towns and villages and unique experiences on offer a‘plenty!

Just 90 minutes away from London, the county is easily accessible by train or road and we’ve put together this snappy list of exclusive attractions available to experience in Suffolk. So, whether you’re planning an indulgent long weekend or are heading here after work on Friday, cramming in as much as you can and returning Sunday night, make sure these experiences are on your ‘Winter Bucket List’.

Infusions Culinary Experience” or ICE as it's better known is a cookery school with a difference located in historic Bury St Edmunds. The talented team there offers team-building, product development, one-to-one training or a chance to just spoil yourself. ICE has not one but two Masterchefs of Great Britain amongst it’s fantastic full-time Chefs and, between them, they can design a bespoke day that suits every kind of gastronomic desire plus the equipment and know-how to gratify every culinary curiosity and level of gourmet ability.

If you are a food obsessive; the skilled and friendly team look forward to sharing your passion and obsession with you for the day and are there to offer an experience you simply can’t get anywhere else.

For more information visit ICE Cook School website.

2. Experience the golden age of cinema

RAW SUFFOLK Electric Picture Palace

An intimate and charming 70 seat cinema in Southwold, the Electric Picture Palace was created by The Southwold Film Society, offering modern film-goers “the experience of cinema-going in the mid twentieth century”. Be transported to the golden-age of movies as you are greeted by the commissionaire, shown to your seat by the uniformed usherettes and sit down to watch the “Tiny Wurlitzer” organ rising up mysteriously during the interval. At the end of the showing, The National Anthem is played (singing along is optional!).

The Winter season’s programme features an eclectic mix of a brand-new features and blockbusters, local documentaries, black and white “Silver Screen” classics as well as national theatre live screenings with film showings every Friday and Saturday night.

Membership is required to attend screenings, but visitors and weekenders are welcome. Whilst there, join one of the fascinating public or private tours.

This super cool venue is also available to hire for parties and events, and is even licensed for weddings, so if you’re dreaming of a quirky, Suffolk ceremony, the Picture Palace is a must-see!

For more information visit Southwold Cinema website.

3. Watch the sunrise at the UKs most easterly point

RAW SUFFOLK Lowestoft Sunrise

For anyone looking for a serene and natural experience on the list, this is the one…

Get up early (thankfully, not too early during Winter) and make your way to Lowestoft’s Ness point; the most Easterly point in the country and you’ll be the first person in the UK to see the sunrise.

Whilst Ness Point is a rather understated attraction, it’s remote location affords you a peaceful contrast to some of the other compass point attractions such as Lands End or John O’Groats (no visitor centres or cafes so you can enjoy the unique experience alone or with a loved one).

If you have time to explore or take a walk afterwards, you’ll find evidence of the towns once thriving fishing trade– immediately nearby Ness Point, you can see the old drying racks on the North Denes scrubland that fishermen used.

Just a short drive away (or a walk through the town and over the bridge) you will find Lowestoft’s stunning beach. Walk along the wide, golden sands passed the pastel coloured beach huts and stop in one of the seaside cafes for coffee, cake or a bacon roll to start your day.

4. Catch a performance at DanceEast


The Jerwood DanceHouse, home to DanceEast sits right on Ipswich’s Historic Marina. It’s a truly inspiring place, architecturally abstract and artistically challenging, Dance East’s slogan; ‘Move: Be Moved’ could not be more apt purely for the venue alone.

The company has been producing a range of innovative community productions for three decades and work across a range of local, national and international projects. At any one time, DanceEast is home to training, rehearsals, educational workshops, visiting professionals and associate artists, international seminars and even runs a BA Hons dance degree from the studio.

The winter programme at DanceEast offers a diverse range of performances including mind-bending concept theatre, inspiring contemporary dance, musicals, multi award-winning dance adaptations of Shakespeare.

If you are looking to immerse yourself in Ipswich’s cultural scene, allow some time to wander around the marina, grab a coffee at one of the trendy waterside cafes and eateries and, depending on the time of year, marvel at the visiting Tall Ships.

For more information visit DanceEast website.

5. Wander through the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds

RAW SUFFOLK Abbey Gardens

The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds are like no other public or historic garden you will have seen before; offering the chance to see every time-period evidenced over sprawling, impressive and inspirational grounds, which contain the remains of the Abbey of St Edmund; once one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries.

The Abbey’s remains include the intact 14th century Great Gate and Norman Tower, the fascinating ruins and west front of the church. In 903, the site became the final resting place of King Edmund, which made the monastery a pilgrimage and went on to see it become established as an abbey in the early C11th. The infamous history continued throughout the centuries - including the political fortune and misfortune of Bury St Edmunds (both of which can be discovered during your visit) and included development of the gardens. These were originally created in 1831 and over the years, additions have included the Appleby Rose Garden (in rude health, boasting over 400 roses!), the Pilgrims Herb Garden (another olfactory delight!) Sensory Garden, Water Garden and Aviary among other things.

Visitors in 2018 enter the abbey precinct - as they have since the 14th century, through the impressive Great Gate which is the abbey’s best surviving feature showcasing the incredible stonemasonry skills that have stood the test of time.

6. Join in the Sandlings Sessions at Snape Maltings

RAW SUFFOLK Sandlings Sessions

Snape Maltings was originally built in the mid-19th century to malt barley which would then be sent along the river Alde to London and exported on to Europe. These days, it is the site of the world-famous concert hall.

Snape Maltings sits on the bank of the River Alde, surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just six miles from Aldeburgh. A beautiful heritage site, with its converted Victorian buildings, is home to independent shops, galleries and eateries, and several performance venues – including the world-famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

For more information visit Snape Maltings website.

7. Solve the mystery of a Suffolk Escape Room

RAW SUFFOLK Suffolk Escape Room

The Suffolk Escape Room; an interactive experience situated in an original wartime Nissen Hut. Enter the Area 51 themed experience, where inside you must find hidden clues and solve puzzles which will eventually lead you out to daylight and safety.

For more information visit Suffolk Escape Room website.

Alternatively, just outside Ipswich, located under the Orwell Bridge you will find Suffolk Food Hall; a vast food hall selling the best of Suffolk’s fine fayre housing a butchers, bakery, delicatessen, fishmonger, greengrocer, wine and beer merchant and chocolatier. The café serves dishes made from the produce on sale, and you can tuck into a hearty roast in the Clockhouse Restaurant before embarking on one of two Escape Room challenges; ‘Escape the Gamekeepers Bothy’, and ‘Prof Campbell’s Disappearance’. Both rooms are housed within the farm buildings and are inspired by the county’s farming past.

For more information visit Suffolk Food Hall website.

Related Posts

Latest news

Bury St Edmunds Powered by DestinationCore