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19th March 2020 Claire Owen

How to spend 48 hours in Suffolk

You can pack plenty into 48 hours in Suffolk. Our suggested itinerary takes in a traditional county town, an atmospheric forest, a historic castle and lots of glorious coastline – amongst other gems along the way!

Day one

Start your two-day tour in Ipswich with a full English breakfast at The Grazing Sheep, overlooking the water on Regatta Quay. Then stroll into the heart of this historic town, looking out for some of its most striking buildings. These include the 15th-century, Grade 1-listed Ancient House in the Buttermarket area. You’ll find lots of quirky independent shops dotted around its pretty streets, too.

From Ipswich, it’s a 35-minute drive to Rendlesham Forest where you can enjoy a cycle ride or leisurely walk. If you’ve got kids, they’ll love the forest’s charming play areas, made of wood to complement their surroundings. Bring a picnic, and drink in the majesty of nature.

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle is run by English Heritage

Next on your whistlestop tour is Framlingham Castle, 30 minutes away in the car. This 12th-century fortress is well worth a visit, if only for the stunning views from its 10.5-metre high walls. Your last call of the day is Aldeburgh, which can be reached in around half an hour from Framlingham.

If you’re visiting in the summer, make the most of the long days by having fish and chips on the beach. Alternatively, have a meal in the popular Brasserie Bleue at the White Lion Hotel. This eatery specialises in fresh fish from Dean’s Shed, which sells its wares from the seafront a few metres away. Then pop upstairs to one of the hotel’s cosy and comfortable rooms for a good night’s sleep.

From Ipswich, it’s a 35-minute drive to Rendlesham Forest where you can enjoy a cycle ride or leisurely walk. If you’ve got kids, they’ll love the forest’s charming play areas, made of wood to complement their surroundings

Day two

On day two, fill up for the day with a bacon sandwich or mushrooms on toast at Aldeburgh Munchies on the high street. Then spend a happy hour or two wandering around this gorgeous town’s independent shops, and breathing in the sea air on the beach.

A 20-minute drive will deliver you to another beautiful pocket of Suffolk nature at RSPB Minsmere – the location for the BBC series Springwatch. This coastal reserve is perfect for wildlife spotting; local species include black and white avocets, adders, lizards and water voles. You can also go on a long walk, while children will love a run around in the Wild Zone play area. Then when you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat in the on-site cafe, with choices like lasagne, soup and vegetarian bakes on offer.

Your final stop is the outstanding seaside town of Southwold, just 25 minutes away from Minsmere. There’s so much to see and do here – check out the creative masterpieces in the Southwold Gallery, buy a souvenir from any one of the gift shops, take a tour of the lighthouse or just sit and gaze out to sea.

Round off your Suffolk stay with a hearty meal at Sutherland House on the high street; this small boutique restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes, so you’re sure of a delicious feast.


Discover more of Suffolk…

5 to try – Suffolk attractions

5 to try – Suffolk restaurants

5 to try – Suffolk shops

5 to try – Suffolk nightlife venues

5 to try – Suffolk cultural attractions

Image credits: ©English Heritage; Godimus Michel/Len Green/Phil Bird/stock.adobe.com

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