Heart of Suffolk Experiences Guide
The Heart of Suffolk is a unique part of Suffolk that is made up of stunning countryside scenery, picturesque villages and bustling market towns. There are also many local events and attractions to make your visit extra special. Find out more about best ways to experience this part of the county…
Attractions and Landmarks
Take a step back in time to the best-known castle in Suffolk. Framlingham Castle was made famous by local singer Ed Sheeran with his number one hit 'Castle on The Hill', it is a popular tourist destination, and understandably so! With its impressive outline and towering walls, it is an exciting historical landmark and makes for a great day out for the family. Once inside the towering walls you can explore Framlingham Castle's history and even climb to the top for some fantastic views over the town of Framlingham and the mere.
If you prefer a bit of history and culture, then the Heart of Suffolk has many stunning stately homes that will appeal to you. Helmingham Hall is a spectacular Grade 1 listed stately home which has been home to the Tollemache family for 500 years. Take a tour of the gardens, enjoy afternoon tea in the tearooms or enjoy one of the many events that are held here including The Festival of Classic & Sports Cars in August.
If you are a railway enthusiast, then you're in for a treat! The Mid Suffolk Light Railway is Suffolk's only standard gauge heritage railway. Based in the village of Wetheringsett just outside the small market town of Debenham, it was never fully completed and closed in 1952. In 1990 a group was setup to preserve the memory of this line and recreated everything down to the original station buildings. The MSLR has now turned into a popular tourist attraction with now boasting a purpose-built refreshment room, shop, museum and the Kitchener Arms, a real ale bar coach.
If you're looking for a day out for the children, there are several farms and farm parks that will are perfect for little ones. Baylham Rare Breeds is tucked away down a tiny little lane near to Needham Market alongside the river gipping. You couldn't ask for a more tranquil location! Once at the farm you can meet a whole host of farm animals including some breeds that are considered rare. From pigs to goats, chickens to cows, there's plenty to see and do and after you've fed the animals why not treat yourselves to something delicious from the farm cafe?
Easton Farm Park is another family friendly farm attraction. Get up close and personal with the many animals on the farm. Depending on the time of year you can feed the baby animals, hug a bunny in the pet corner and go on a pony and cart ride. There’s also the family train ride, picnic area and children’s play area complete with a giant bouncy pillow!
If you’re looking for something that is more than just a farm park. Head over to Alder Carr Farm, a little gem hidden away on the outskirts of Needham Market, that is perfect for stocking up on local produce. In the summer months you can even pick your own or if you'd rather let someone else do the hard work then simply browse all the delicious food in the farm shop! From local meat, fruit and vegetables to their award-winning fruit cream ice that is produced on the farm itself! They hold many events throughout the year including the Strawberry Fayre in June. Take a walk around the farm and discover the Red Poll cattle, Gloucester Old Spot pigs and free-range hens. Whilst here you can also browse the independent shops that are here finished off with a cream tea at the cafe.
The Museum of East Anglian Life is one of the biggest museums in Suffolk, occupying over 75 acres of land in the town of Stowmarket. After undergoing huge changes in the 1950-60's the museum was finally opened in 1967 and now has an array of exhibitions, a family area and hosts many events including StowBlues Festival in June.
The UK's first Americana music festival is held at Easton Farm Park in July. A family friendly festival that features over 50 different artists over 6 stages with a carefully selected choice of local food and drink stalls. Maverick Festival is constantly growing in popularity and perfect for music-lovers. Based in the quaint village of Easton, just outside Framlingham and Wickham Market it is ideally located in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.
If you like all things weird and wonderful then head to the Weird and Wonderful Wood Festival, at Haughley Park near Stowmarket in May. It is an exciting event including demonstrations and workshops for children and adults, as well as street performers and acoustic musicians alike. A great atmosphere and a great day out for families.