Suffolk is known for its charming seaside towns, great sandy beaches and lovely low lying heathlands full of wildlife. The region is largely rural and not densely populated or overrun with tourists, so it's a great destination if your looking to enjoy a camping holiday in unspoilt Constable countryside.

Our favourite things to do in Suffolk

  • The Suffolk Coast and Heaths
  • Southwold
  • Thetford Forest and the Brecks
  • Framlingham Castle
  • RSPB Minsmere

The Suffolk Coast

Lowestoft is the biggest town on the Suffolk coast and has a number of camping sites and holiday parks. The town boasts a huge sandy beach and is very popular with families.

The small village of Kessingland, just to the south of Lowestoft, also attracts tourists - and animal lovers can walk on the wild side at Africa Alive, which has an extensive collection including cheetahs, aardvarks, lions, rhinos and chimpanzees.

The beach at Kessingland runs into Benacre National Nature Reserve, which is fantastic for birdwatching in spring when migrating birds make land fall.

A few miles further south is wild and beautiful Covehithe beach, one of Suffolk's best kept secrets.

With sand, sea and shops there’s something for everyone in the quintessential seaside town of Southwold too. The Under The Pier Show and the amusement arcade offer family fun for young and old visitors alike and the nearby dining venues will boost energy levels after an extensive exploration of the beach.

The 50 mile Suffolk Coast Path offers a number of popular walks, including circular routes that allow you to explore villages such as Snape, Orford and Wherstead. You'll find beautiful river views on the Shotley Penisula.

The 88 mile circular Suffolk Coastal Cycle Route is deservedly popular with cyclists.

Thetford Forest and the Brecks

Thetford Forest straddles the north Suffolk and south Norfolk border, and is the largest man made lowland pine forest in the UK (some 73 square miles).

Attractions include Mildenhall Warren, Lynford Arboretum and High Lodge. A visit to the Desert Rats Memorial at High Ash is also recommended, as is a stroll through King's Forest - named to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary - where fallow deer are common.

Thetford is the gateway to the Brecks - one of the driest parts of the UK. The area has miles of tracks and pathways to explore, with history going back to the Stone Age.

Angles Way is one of the longest way-marked walking routes in Suffolk at 77 miles. The route runs between the Brecks and the Suffolk Broads, from Great Yarmouth to Knettishall Heath nature reserve.

RSPB Minsmere

If stunning natural landscapes are what you seek then you’re spoilt for choice in Suffolk. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty includes diverse landscapes such as wetlands, beaches and heaths which offer excellent opportunities for cycling, sailing and walking.

RSPB Minsmere nature reserve is within the AONB, and is ideal for quiet walks and birdwatching. As well as longer trails, there are also shorter buggy-friendly paths - and a Wild Zone for kids to let off steam. Birds include avocets, bitterns, marsh harriers and nightingales, as well as nightjars and kingfishers.

During winter, large flocks of ducks are quite a spectacle.

A boat trip to RSPB Havergate Island is also a fun day out. The barn owls can be seen hunting throughout the day when they have young to feed.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary and Jimmy's Farm at Ipswich are also great fun, as is Easton Farm Park where kids have the chance to feed the animals, ride on ponies and burn off excess energy in the indoor and outdoor play areas.

Newmarket

If you’re a fan of horseracing you’ll definitely want to visit the market town of Newmarket, the home of thoroughbred horse racing, which has over 50 stud farms, two racecourses and is the home of Tattersalls and the Jockey Club.

The National Horseracing Museum is a great place to go to discover the history of horseracing and the museum also organises tours which provide the opportunity to see horses in training and go behind the scenes at leading stables. For a thrilling day of racing trot over to Newmarket’s racecourses where you have a choice of the Rowley Mile or the July Course.

Devils Dyke (just into Cambridgeshire) offers miles of unspoilt walking territory and is great for cyclists and horse riders too.

Other attractions

With a number of art galleries and museums as well as fantastic shops, sightseeing tours, parks and river cruises, Ipswich is full of fun attractions and activities for adults and children. Nine or so miles away is the renowned Anglo-Saxon burial ground Sutton Hoo which offers an engaging look into the world of some of Britain's early inhabitants.

If grand buildings and gardens draw you in, Helmingham Hall Gardens features Grade I listed gardens and the opportunity to spot deer in the surrounding 400-acre park. 

Built in the 12th century, Framlingham Castle provides a fun and educational trip into the past, with extensive grounds to explore and an opportunity to walk on the walls and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the Mere.

There's more history to explore at Headingham Castle, Orford Castle, or one of the stately homes and gardens such as Ickworth House, Christchurch Mansion, Kentwell Hall and Somerleyton Hall. The stately Somerleyton Hall has an exquisite interior to explore and you can saunter through the gardens or try your luck navigating the maze.

For those partial to the odd glass of wine, a tour of Shawsgate Vineyard which is a mile from Framlingham may be to your taste. Alternatively, head to Adnams Brewery and Distillery in Southwold or Greene King Brewery in Bury St Edmunds for tours that include tutored tastings.

You can further satisfy your taste buds with a trip to the Suffolk Food Hall just two miles from Ipswich which offers a tantalising selection of locally produced food. If you can handle the heat then the Chilli Company in Stowmarket (a chilli farm) will prove a hot destination.

For an adrenaline adventure, dash to Beacon Rally Karts in Woodbridge. This off-road karting attraction caters to kids as young as 5 years old all the way up to adults, with racers organised into four different age groups to ensure maximum safety. Go Ape, located between Brandon and Thetford, takes the action into the trees with the likes of zip-wires, bridges and swings.

Children will also enjoy the rides and parkland at Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park or the Oasis Camel Centre, both in Halesworth.

The expansive parks in the area are perfect for a picnic and stroll. Try Christchurch Park for well-kept lawns and woodland, or Holywells Park (both in Ipswich). Clare Castle Park is interesting too, with a disused railway station and the ruins of the castle itself.

For more ideas, please visit our things to do in Suffolk pages.