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Family Weekend in Suffolk: Where to Go and What to See?

Suffolk is the perfect place to slow down, relax, and recharge. This is the land of endless fields and pastures, deserted beaches of the North Sea, and fresh seafood. Also, Suffolk offers many water parks, high ropes, entertainment centers, and farms where you can ride horses or feed goats. All this makes it a great spot to spend time with children. 

Want to take a family trip to Suffolk? Pick up the 9-seater minibus hire self-drive, and get ready for an adventure! Minibus hire is the best way to get around. It has enough space for everyone, which will make your trip much more comfortable. Plus, it’s just cheap to hire a minibus and travel at your own pace. 

Yes, driving in Suffolk is an exciting experience. If this is what you miss now, check out how to spend a wonderful family weekend, where to go, and what to see in this charming British destination.

Where to go in Suffolk? 

Suffolk lies in the eastern part of Great Britain, about 100 miles from London. It will take you about 2 hours to get there by hire car. The trip to the county seat, Ipswich, passes through ancient Colchester. Another half-an-hour drive by car and you find yourself on the coast of the North Sea. 

The county has several charming resort towns with cozy seaside cottages, wide beaches, fish restaurants, spa centres, marinas for boats and yachts, and golf courses. The most famous is Southwold with the majestic St Edmund King & Martyr Church, Dunwich with the picturesque ruins of an ancient fortress, and Felixstowe with an ancient fort and beautiful gardens. However, according to many travellers, Orford is the first place you should visit in Suffolk. 

Orford is a classic English town where you will have a great time. Its iconic Saturday market, colorful houses, and friendly locals will give you a unique atmosphere of peace and unforgettable family travel moments.

What to see in Orford? 

Architectural Detail - Lavenham - Suffolk - England - 09 | Flickr

The historic centre of Orford is an old castle that hangs over the village with its huge outlines. It appeared between 1165 and 1173 and has been preserved to this day as a majestic 27-meter-high tower with five floors. You will have a fantastic view of the area from there!

Orford’s religious center is St. Bartholomew’s Church. It was built around the same time as the castle, and you can still find evidence of the Norman era in the eastern part of the building. Locals claim that the church has excellent musical acoustics, so the famous British composer Benjamin Britten, who lived in the neighborhood, was very fond of visiting it. 

Finally, Orford’s natural center is the Orwell River. According to locals, the British writer Eric Arthur Blair took the pseudonym “George Orwell” in its honor. The river separates Orford from Orford Ness, a pebbly spit surrounded by water on both sides. 

Southwold Harbour Suffolk Uk - Free photo on Pixabay

Not so long ago, it belonged to the British Ministry of Defense, which conducted secret tests on the peninsula during World War II and the Cold War. Then, in the late 1960s, they used the land to build an experimental Cobra Mist radar. 

Today, Orford Ness is the property of the National Trust. The city authorities strictly control access to the reserve, thus you can only get there on certain days and only on a special ferry. The rest of the time, you can admire the local landscapes during long walks along the opposite bank of the Orwell River.

Where to eat in Orford? 

File:Beachfront cafe above Porthmeor beach - geograph.org.uk - 783560.jpg

Finding a great place to eat in an unfamiliar destination can be a headache. Luckily, we will share some secret spots with you. 

Orford is a classic English village, with its Saturday market, colorful houses, and residents who meet every morning at the bakery to buy fresh bread, walk the dogs and exchange the latest news. Townspeople gather outside the Pump Street Bakery. It occupies a tall, soft pink cottage with a brown tiled roof on Orford’s main street, and would be a great place to grab a bite to eat. For breakfast, the owners, Chris and Joanna Brennan bake natural sourdough bread and fresh croissants. You will find this place by the long queue lining up near the entrance. 

On the opposite side of the bakery is Pump Street Chocolate, also owned by the Brennan family. Having mastered baking, the father and daughter decided to go into the artisan chocolate production. At first, they made chocolate in the old barn housing the bakery, but soon the team got crowded there. Then they occupied a building in Rendlesham, which was once a repository of military equipment. 

Another great local dining spot is The Butley Orford Oysterage placed on the main street of the town. Fresh oysters are the specialty of this establishment. They serve oysters in the classic version – with lemon, spicy Tabasco, and a sauce based on vinegar and onions. In addition, the restaurant serves excellent cod, grilled mussels, and much more. 

A few steps from the waterfront is Pinney’s of Orford. It specializes in fish delicacies, both fresh and smoked. Every day you can find fresh catch and buy snacks, including seafood patés, crab cakes, fresh butter, and yogurts from local farms. 

Where to stay in Orford? 

Sowerby England United Kingdom - Free photo on Pixabay

Orford doesn’t have hotels but offers many private houses through AirBnB, Suffolk Secrets, and other platforms. For example, consider Ferry Cottage. Firstly, because of its good location near the embankment. Secondly, because of the traditional English interior and large garden, where rabbits from the neighboring park frolic in the morning.

Where else to go in Suffolk? 

As you travel through the county, you will find many great places in addition to Orford. Check out a few of them: 

  • Aldborough is a small, picturesque town on the North Sea, where you can stroll along the waterfront, see the Shell sculpture, and dine at the Michelin-starred Lighthouse restaurant. 
  • Snape Maltings is an inspiring cultural center with a concert hall, restaurants, and galleries opened in the buildings of the former Maltings brewery. 
  • Sutton Hoo is a burial mound containing the helmet of King Redwald and the home of Edith Pretty. 
  • Flatford Mill is a water mill and park complex belonging to the family of the famous landscape painter John Constable.

Generally, a road trip to Suffolk is a perfect opportunity to spend a family weekend differently than usual. You will find many unique attractions and activities there, and besides, you’ll take a break from the bustle of the city on the picturesque coast of the North Sea.

Eleena Wills
Hi, I’m Eleena Wills. Being a writer and blogger, I strive to provide informative and valuable articles to people. With quality, constructive, and well-researched articles, one can make informed choices. I cover a wide range of topics, from home improvement to hair styling and automotive.
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