• TTDA - Landguard Fort - Musketeers

48 hours on The Suffolk Coast for History Buffs!

Home to the first land battle of the Royal Marines, fishing villages from days gone by, a fascinating agricultural past and a colourful history with royalty, The Suffolk Coast is rich in history and heritage. If you're a history buff, then you may find that 48 hours isn't enough - but this jam-packed itinerary will help you to scratch the surface!

Day 1 

WTS-The Ship at Dunwich exterior view-Suffolk coast

Arrive in Dunwich on Friday evening and check in at The Ship; once a smugglers haunt, this 16th century coaching in is perfectly located for exploring the village. It's hard to believe that Dunwich was once the capital of East Anglia - a port of such size and importance, second only to London. Take a walk to the abbey ruins and head to the heath and beach for an evening walk before finding a table in front of the fire in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 2 

The Red House Library

Enjoy a breakfast of grilled Lowestoft kippers or hop in the car and park up in Southwold; walking out to sea along the historic pier and enjoying breakfast in the restaurant or at the nearby Boating Lake. 

Walk through the town, stopping to look at the coastal houses; from traditional fisherman's cottages grand Edwardian villas before visiting the Electric Picture Palace; a 70 seat cinema which captures the experience of cinema-going in the early 20th century.

Stay in the town and head to Southwold Railway Steamworks; a small site dedicated to the 3-foot gauge Southwold Railway that connected Southwold to Halesworth from 1879 to 1929. 

Travel south along the coast to Aldeburgh; your first historical hot spot will be The Red House; where composer Benjamin Britten lived with Peter Pears, his muse and life partner, for nearly two decades until his death in 1976.

The House has retained it's classic 1950s/60s interior, with an eclectic range of books, art, and furniture. You can explore the house, Britten’s Composition Studio and Library and enjoy exhibitions, recitals, discovery sessions, study days and come and sing events that take place across the year. 

Afterwards, make your way to the beach visiting Aldeburgh's historic Martello Tower; These squat, 19th Century fortifications formed a defensive line along our coast to keep the invading Napoleonic armies at bay.

For dinner book a table at The Cross Keys; situated in the heart of the town, the Adnams inn is a grade II listed building which despite recently being refurbished, maintains all of its characterful features. You can also book a room here, with 3 characterful ensuite bedrooms to choose from.

Day 3

Woodbridge Tide Mill - (c) Gill Moon Photography

Make the short drive to Thorpeness to wander round the meare and gaze up at the iconic House in the Clouds, before driving down the coast to Woodbridge. Here you can visit the Tide Mill which has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years and is now one of only two tide mills in the country still producing stoneground wholemeal flour. 

Next, travel on to Bawsdey to Bawdsey Radar; the first operational radar station in the world where radar was developed that helped win the Battle of Britain or spend a few hours at National Trust Sutton Hoo; where one of the the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time was uncovered uncovered - the Great Ship Burial that's thought to be the final resting place of an Anglo-Saxon king.

Before you head home, make one more stop at The Suffolk Punch Trust to get up close to Suffolk's magnificent Suffolk Punch Horse and explore The Hollesley Bay Colony Stud, the world’s oldest and largest Suffolk Punch stud farm.


The Suffolk Coast's Historical Hot Spots 

Landguard-Fort-architecture-2

Long Shop MuseumLocated at the heart of the original Richard Garrett and Sons Town Works in Leiston, The Long Shop museum tells an inspiring story of enterprise and endeavor through its stunning collections, hands-on displays and the remarkable family behind the factory.

David Silver Honda Collection - A collection of 200 Honda Motorcycles, artefacts, books and magazines charting the history of Honda from 1946-1992.

Landguard Fort - Landguard Fort in Felixstowe has played a key strategic part in the defence of the British Isles since the 1500s. It is also the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England in 1667, and the first land battle of the Royal Marines.

Felixstowe Museum - Bringing alive the military and social history of this seaside town with fourteen different galleries and collections including mammoth tusks, Roman pottery, Medieval coins and cannon balls and you can learn about the ancient inhabitants of this region.

East Anglia Transport Museum - The only museum in East Anglia where you can ride on working trams, trolley buses and narrow gauge railway! Explore the exhibition halls, period street scenes and 'Tar, Sweat and Steam building'. 

Angels & PinnaclesSpend a day or so visiting Suffolk's magnificent medieval churches including Blythburgh, the ‘Cathedral of the Marshes’ and Orford St Bartholomew – the church that Benjamin Britten loved - with its powerful sculpture by Lilian Yauner marking the 50th anniversary of the Aldeburgh Festival. 

Ipswich Museums -  three historical venues in Ipswich; Ipswich Museum - a fascinating Victorian museum; Christchurch Mansion - a magnificent Tudor building; and Ipswich Art Gallery - a unique contemporary gallery. 

Suffolk MuseumsThere are more than 50 museums in Suffolk. Each one is unique, and they are all packed with fascinating stories and objects, housed in castles and cottages; in moot halls and on wartime airfields; in a Victorian engineering works and at a railway station. 


For a full list of historical attractions on The Suffolk Coast, click here!



Things to see and do

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums incorporates three historical venues in Ipswich; Ipswich Museum - a fascinating Victorian museum; Christchurch Mansion - a magnificent Tudor building; and Ipswich Art Gallery - a unique contemporary gallery.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

Suffolk Museums

Suffolk Museums

There are more than 50 museums in Suffolk. Each one is unique, and they are all packed with fascinating stories and objects. If you want to know more about the past and how it has affected the present, just come and take a closer look.

Read more >

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels and Pinnacles helps you discover Suffolk’s magnificent medieval churches, among the finest in Europe.

Read more >

David Silver Honda Collection 

David Silver Honda Collection

A collection of 200 Honda Motorcycles, artefacts, books and magazines charting the history of Honda from 1946-1992.

Read more >
Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold

So much more than glorious cream teas and freshly baked cakes and pastries, tasty breakfasts, lunches and homemade snacks - Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom is one of the gems of Southwold.

Read more >
Dog friendly

The Suffolk Punch Trust

The Suffolk Punch Trust

Woodbridge

The Suffolk Punch Trust is an educational and environmental charity dedicated to breeding and preserving the Suffolk Punch horse. 

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Electric Picture Palace

Electric Picture Palace

The Electric Picture Palace is a small but perfectly formed, 70 seat cinema in Southwold on The Suffolk coast.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings

Snape

Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty and one of the world’s leading centres of music, founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten. 

Read more >
Free wifi Dog friendly

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

Check the website for times of Milling Demonstrations and Wheel-Turnings. The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years.

Read more >

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Fancy doing something a little bit different? Situated in the heart of Southwold is the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, where Adnams have been brewing since 1872.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

Felixstowe Museum

Felixstowe Museum

Explore the fascinating artefacts and collections of Felixstowe Museum, which brings alive the military and social history of this seaside town.

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Discover Landguard

Discover Landguard

The Landguard Peninsula is located at the southerly most point of the town of Felixstowe. 

Read more >

National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

National Trust Sutton Hoo will be gradually revealing the new Sutton Hoo experience this year as they complete a multi-million pound project.


Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Railway Steamworks

Southwold Railway Steamworks

This one-acre site is dedicated to the 3-foot gauge Southwold Railway that connected Southwold to Halesworth from 1879 to 1929.The Southwold Railway Trust are dedicated to preserving the memory of this special little railway and re-opening as much of the old route as they can. 

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Blackdog Antiques and Events

Blackdog Antiques and Events

Blackdog Antiques is set at the top of the historic Market Place in Halesworth. Built around 1570 the Grade II* listed property is the perfect setting for the eclectic mix of antiques, vintage and mid-century modern pieces that it houses.

Read more >
Dog friendly

Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Southwold

Southwold is a popular destination for the many visitors to the East Coast and its most prominent attraction, the pier, hosts a wide range of things to see and do.

Read more >

National Trust Orford Ness

National Trust Orford Ness

Wild, remote and exposed, Orford Ness contains the ruined remnants of a disturbing past. Ranked among the most important shingle features in the world, rare and fragile wildlife thrives where weapons, including atomic bombs, were once tested and perfected.

Read more >

Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort

Felixstowe

Discover the rich military and maritime heritage of Landguard Fort, one of England's best preserved coastal defences, with a history spanning almost 450 years. 

Read more >
Dog friendly

Long Shop Museum

Long Shop Museum

Leiston

Located at the heart of the original Richard Garrett and Sons Town Works, The Long Shop museum tells an inspiring story of enterprise and endeavor through its stunning collections, hands-on displays and the remarkable family behind the factory.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

East Anglia Transport Museum

East Anglia Transport Museum

Lowestoft

The only museum in East Anglia where you can ride on working trams, trolley buses and narrow gauge railway!

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Bawdsey Radar

Bawdsey Radar

Bawdsey Radar tells the story of the first operational radar station in the world where radar was developed that helped win the Battle of Britain.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

The Lettering Arts Centre 

The Lettering Arts Centre

The Lettering Arts Centre is the home of the Lettering Arts Trust, an independent charity which champions Britain's rich heritage in the lettering arts. 

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Red House, Aldeburgh 

The Red House, Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh

Benjamin Britten was one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. He wrote a vast amount of incredible music and wanted everyone to enjoy it – professional and amateur musicians, music enthusiasts, children and families.


Read more >
Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

National Trust Dunwich Heath

National Trust Dunwich Heath

Dunwich Heath and Beach is a precious landscape on the Suffolk coast where you can experience a true sense of being at one with nature. 

Read more >