Sun kissed children marching off to school in their crisp new uniforms, golden tinged trees and a nip in the early morning air are all sure signs that summer is slowly ebbing away.
It won’t be long before the Suffolk Coast is swathed in the cloak of autumn; a season which it wears very well…
Think of mellow sunshine walks through carpets of leaves, countryside berry picking rambles and cosy evenings in coastal cottages – The Suffolk Coast really is a destination for all seasons!
Here’s our favourite top 10 ways to make the most of this new season:
1. Berry Picking
There is no shortage of hedge rows on The Suffolk Coast and during late summer and autumn they are abundant with sun ripened berries. Blackberries are a particular favourite and are worth pricking your fingers for if you can persuade someone to make you a blackberry and apple crumble or blackberry jam.
Go well equipped with good walking shoes, a hooked walking stick to coax down the berry laden branches within your reach, gloves and containers to collect the fruit. Make sure children are well supervised and don’t eat unwashed berries!
For downloadable maps and walking routes, check out our 'Walking Guide'.
2. Coastal Walks with your Dog
The autumn is a great time to head over to one of the Suffolk Coast’s glorious beaches – the swathes of summer holiday makers have long gone, making way for a more relaxed stroll along the miles of golden sands and pebbles. And, if it turns a bit chilly, treat yourself to a frothy hot chocolate!
After 1st October most beaches allow dogs to join you too – so it’s a perfect time to take your tail wagging friend away with you for a mid-season break. You’ll find a wide selection of superb cottages that welcome well behaved dogs.
Check out our 'Beaches Guide' for more information!
3. Go Conkers for The Suffolk Coast’s Wildlife!
It’s wonderful to watch the new season unfold and observe the fauna and flora that it has to offer. The Suffolk Countryside is a prime place to discover the wonders of autumn…
Pop on an extra layer if it’s starting to get chilly and venture out into the fields and forests. Take an early morning walk and spot spider webs outlined in dew on hedgerows and meadows.
Travel back in time to your school playground days and have fun searching for rich brown conkers. The best conkers to play with are uncracked, firm and symmetrical. Make a hole through the middle of your chosen conker, thread a strong piece of string about 25cm long through the hole and tie a knot at one end, so that it doesn't pull through… Mind your knuckles though!
In early October, The Suffolk Coast bears witness to one of nature’s greatest spectacles, the annual red deer rut - Listen to stags bellowing, watch their posturing and maybe see a clash of antlers. It’s not just deer either as you may spot foxes stalking rabbits, green woodpeckers searching for ants and much more besides…
And, from 3rd to 21st October take the amazing opportunity to hire one of the guides from RSPB Minsmere for a 4 X 4 safari around the reserve to observe the red deer at close quarters – A great chance to take some incredible photographs too!
4. Vintage Markets and Quirky Shops
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, it’s the perfect excuse to fit in a spot of retail therapy!
You’ll find all your favourite high street stores in towns such as Ipswich, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, pay a visit to one of The Suffolk Coast’s lovely market towns including Beccles, Bungay, Framlingham, Halesworth and Woodbridge or coastal villages and towns including Southwold, Aldeburgh and Orford and browse through quirky little independent stores for a truly unique shopping experience.
There’s always a generous smattering of vintage markets too, if you enjoy the thrill of meandering around stalls in the hope of discovering something rather special. Try the vintage market at Snape on 30th October – You might even pick up some early Christmas gifts!
5. Food Glorious Food!
When there’s a bit of a nip in the air there’s nothing better than indulging in a lovely home cooked lunch or supper. On The Suffolk Coast you can choose from bistros, cosy cafes, a la carte restaurants or good old pub grub!
Or, if you’re a budding Nigella or Jamie Oliver you won’t want to miss this…
The Autumn Seasonal Dinner Party course at The Food Hub Cookery School at Kenton Hall is a great opportunity to gain some inspiration for when you are next entertaining. The focus of the course will be on restaurant style dishes using seasonal ingredients, presentation, taste and importantly timings so you can host as well as cook confidently.
The course on 15th September 2016, will run from 10.00am until 3.00pm and includes practical and demonstration cookery sessions, lunch and refreshments. All the ingredients, equipment and the recipes for the day will be provided.
6. Pedal Your Way into Autumn!
Seize the chance to get out in the great outdoors before you feel the need to hibernate!
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful Suffolk Coast, especially when the scenery is a blaze of colour with scarlet and golden leaved trees. There are some superb cycle paths mapped out which are designed to make the most of the fabulous coast and countryside available in our Cycling Guide. If you are a visitor to the area, bikes can be hired from from Southwold Bike Hire and Southwold Surf School and Bike Hire or for a longer stay, why not book a holiday with Cycle Breaks and be guided through the outstanding landscape of The Suffolk Coast, with stops in luxury accommodation along the way!
We are lucky to have some fabulous theatres on The Suffolk Coast with West End standard productions.
Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre is playing host to a variety of crowd pleasers this autumn including the 'That'll Be the Day', ‘Madam Butterfly’ and ‘Abba Forever’.
At Bungay’s Fisher Theatre audiences are in for a treat with ‘A Night at The Musicals',’ whilst The Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe is staging ‘Fame’ the musical, ‘Ultimate Bowie’ and ‘The Royal British Legion Remembrance Festival’ among many other shows.
8. Spooky Suffolk
Because Suffolk is steeped with ancient history, you’re never far away from a ghostly legend or a spine chilling ghost story…
One of the best known legends is that of Black Shuck - The beast is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia, its name possibly derived from the old English word ‘succa’ meaning devil. According to folklore, the spectre haunts the landscapes of East Anglia, primarily coastline, graveyards, side roads, crossroads, bodies of water and dark forests. It's alleged appearance in 1577 at Bungay and Blythburgh is a particularly famous account of the beast, and images of black sinister dogs have become part of the iconography of the area and have appeared in popular culture.
If you’re looking for slightly more light hearted Halloween fun, join East Anglia Transport Museum for a spooky night where there are some eerie things happening around the museum and the surrounding woodland on 29th October.A witch hunt with the children will finish with prizes for all the little ones in fancy dress. The late running of the museum's trams, trolleybuses and train into the evening will be a chilling experience for all, as the woods come alive with the spirits of Hallows Eve!
Or head to Felixstowe Museum for crafts, quizzes, halloween trails and face painting plus spooky magic show with Steph and Nonsense at their Spooky Day on 22nd October.
9. Autumn Retreats
With more of us sneaking in an autumn break, there’s no better place to choose than The Suffolk Coast. It’s perfect for quiet romantic getaways or fun half term holidays with the kids.
October is a great time to get away for a few days – The weather is still reasonably mild, you can avoid the summer season crowds and the accommodation prices are reasonable too!
Select from cosy countryside cottages with a warming wood burner for those chilly evenings, luxurious coastal hotels, woodland lodges and action packed holiday parks.
You might even like to brave the chillier weather snuggled up in your own yurt, shepherds hut or airstream trailer! Just remember to pack the hot chocolate!
10. Hole in One!
If you’re a keen golfer or fancy taking up a new hobby, there are some excellent golf courses in Suffolk so why not make a weekend of it?
Situated on the sunny Suffolk Heritage Coast within walking distance to the sea, Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club offers modern accommodation with picturesque views of the golf course.
The course is set on classic British heathland designed by five-time Open Champion and legendary golf course architect James Braid. This Par 70, 18 hole, challenging 6,421 yard course will test golfers of all abilities.
After the 18th hole, celebrate your victory (or commiserate losing your ball in the rough!) with a hearty breakfast, afternoon tea or homemade dinner which are available to hotel guests, golfers and visitors alike.
Combine a golfing break with relaxing spa facilities at Ufford Park Woodbridge, Hotel, Golf and Spa - Spreading out from Ufford Park's 90 bedroom hotel are 120 acres of historic parkland, including their 18-hole championship golf course. The golf course has been used for events including the PGA Europro Tour, and the Best Western Senior Masters. Being a par 71, the selection of short technical and longer holes make it a testing but enjoyable course!
Then relax and enjoy some pampering in the bubbling hydro pool which will massage you with tension-easing, stress-relieving water jets, or you can try the ice fountain and tropical showers for revitalising, tingling stimulation. The mineral grotto is a relaxing, steamy room full of exotic fragrances, while essences in the aroma steam room will gently cleanse and energise the body…
The 5th oldest golf club in England, at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club you can enjoy a leisurely round with 27 holes of golf - 18 hole Martello links and the 9 hole Kingsfleet course. Afterwards, enjoy lunch or dinner in the restaurant before heading to the Fludyers Arms, where you can rest your head and wake up to panoramic sea views.