As lockdown restrictions ease and the weather improves, there's never been a better time to make up for all the months spent indoors and enjoy a memory-making summer with the kids.
Enjoy quality family time together at one of these must-do days out this summer on the Suffolk Coast...
Crabbing at Walberswick
The village of Walberswick is synonymous with seaside fun with its wonderful walks amongst the dunes, a sandy beach and plenty to see and explore. But a trip to Walberswick wouldn’t be complete without trying your hand at the traditional past time of crabbing.
It’s a fun and inexpensive way to pass the time with kids, who will be delighted and intrigued by the curious crustaceans. Just pick up a crabbing line from one of the local shops or vans (though a piece of string with a stone attached will do just as well), choose your bait and drop your line into the water. It is rumoured that crabs are partial to raw liver or a fish head but most people opt for a piece for streaky bacon. Just remember to be gentle with any crabs you catch and return them safely to the water at the end of day.
Messing about in boats at Southwold Boating Lake
The town of Southwold is home to many delights including arguably some of the best ice cream in Suffolk, and the quirky automatons on the pier. But tucked away in a haven of lakes, surrounded by reeds and marshland is the Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom.
Adults can relax and enjoy tea and scones while the children paddle away on the little lake in miniature boats sized just for them. Nostalgic and quaint, this is a perfect photo opportunity and is sure to bring back your own childhood memories. There are also life jackets available for your piece of mind.
Get lost in the Maize Maze
Outdoor fun and adventure for all the family lies in wait at the Southwold Maize maze. Winner of the 2019 Norfolk and Suffolk tourism awards, this attraction offers two mazes to lose yourself in. The main maze has a nature theme, with things to find and letters to collect and the mini maze is shaped as a rainbow as a tribute to the NHS.
There’s play equipment for youngsters to enjoy as well as jumping pillows and go-karts. The Old Hall café is open, serving delicious food and drinks from the summer menu as well as picnic boxes, which should be ordered ahead of time.
Boating on the broads
Oulton Broads are the largest protected wetlands in Britain and a recognised National Park. Explore this stunning landscape by boat with the whole family, a nautical adventure for your young sailors.
Hire a self-drive boat by the hour or day from Oulton Broad Dayboats or Hippersons Boatyard in Beccles and spend time floating along the Broads’ southern gateway, where the river Waveney meets the sea. The boats are easy to drive and the price includes life jackets, fuel and insurance. Enjoy the sights and the wildlife, stop for a picnic, explore the market town of Beccles or hop across the border and stop at the Roman fort at Burgh Castle.
Congo Rapids Adventure Golf
The Congo Rapids Adventure Golf Spectacular at Ufford Park is great fun for all ages!
The Congo Rapids journey begins travelling on a self-propelled raft across the first of the water lagoons. Once across you’re greeted by the scene of a Congo jungle plane crash as you play the first five holes, but beware of the cannibal cooking pot!
Be prepared to encounter a tiger, a four-metre tall giraffe and many other animals along the way. As you pass through the abandoned temple and ride on a raft into the Lost World, you will be greeted by life-sized dinosaurs; a really great photo opportunity for those who are brave enough! A menacing T-Rex looks on as you play beside an erupting volcano and a five-metre tall Brachiosaurus waits for you just beyond by the 13th hole, before you head onwards through a giant dinosaur claw.
Cycle the UFO trail at Rendlesham Forest
Rendlesham Forest is a glorious area of woodland and the perfect place to slow down and get back in touch with nature. Youngsters can scramble, slide and swing away on the adventure playground, complete with zip-line, while adults relax and enjoy a picnic. But the highlight of the trip for youngsters has to be the UFO trail.
Known as Britain’s own ‘Roswell incident’ and with some surprising parallels, the ‘Rendlesham forest incident’ is a tantalising mystery for budding alien hunters. The story goes that in December 1980 locals were alarmed to see several unexplained lights in the sky descending into RAF Woodbridge and when they entered the area to investigate they were startled to see what they described as a glowing object, metallic in appearance, with coloured lights. After a few days the object had vanished, leaving only burn marks on the ground. But is the story true? Make up your own mind as you complete the trail, taking in the replica model of the UFO alongside other evidence on display.
Step on board one of the foot ferries of The Suffolk Coast
A well known ‘life hack’ for walkers and cyclists on the Suffolk coast, the four foot ferries of The Suffolk Coast at Walberswick, Bawdsey, Butley and Harwich can save you over 75 miles of travel on inland roads, and are a handy way to take a short, convenient trip across the rivers Blyth, Deben and Orwell. It’s exciting too; little ones will discover their sense of adventure as they climb inside the different sized boats and whizz across the water. It’s a great way to explore further without having to get back in the car.
Paddle Boarding on the River Alde
Take the opportunity to learn a new skill and try out a stand up paddleboard or canoe on the stunning upper reaches of the river Alde, between Snape and Aldeburgh with Iken Canoe.
Once you have mastered the art of balancing and paddling you can explore the river at your leisure, discovering creeks and floodwaters and perhaps even spotting seals and a variety of different birds. Hire of equipment includes buoyancy aids, paddles and dry bags and even a map for navigating the perfect family outing.
Take a dip at Beccles Lido
The town of Beccles is home to the delightful lido, a glorious location to enjoy swimming outdoors with all the family. The heated open-air pool is located just next to the river Waveney and is surrounded by paved and grassy areas, complete with picnic benches and sun loungers; perfect for sunbathing.
There’s a separate toddler and paddling pool, ideal for little ones too, plus there's hot showers and beach hut changing rooms. (Booking is essential).
Safari Park Fun
There's so much to see and do at Africa Alive! in Kessingland; get up close to the animals of the African Savannah, discover fun facts about the park's inhabitants in the Discovery Zone, let kids burn off some energy on the outdoor play area and take a ride on the safari train.
There are plenty of add-on experiences to enjoy too including being a keeper for the day, close encounters with rhinos and lions and 'world of darkness' to meet the nocturnal inhabitants.
A Day at the Beach
No trip to The Suffolk Coast is complete without a day at the beach! You're spoilt for choice when it comes to family-friendly resorts. In the north of the county are the glorious golden sands at Lowestoft; there's plenty of space here to set up for the day, with ice cream shops, cafes and facilities along the promenade.
Moving south, Southwold has been popular with families since the 1800s! The sand and shingle beach is backed by a charming promenade, with pastel coloured beach huts and cafes serving fish & chips and ice cream.
The shingle beach at Aldeburgh is perfect for a traditional seaside experience; pop into the town and stock up on local delicacies from one of the delis and make your way through the High Street towards the beach where you can paddle and tuck into freshly caught seafood.
At the southernmost point of The Suffolk Coast, sits the traditional seaside town of Felixstowe. The sandy beach is lined with pastel coloured beach huts and is ideal for a fun day out. After a day soaking up the sun and splashing about in the waves, head to the pier to play on the traditional amusements and to tuck into an ice cream from The Little Ice Cream Company.
For more great days out, take a look at our Attractions Guide!