• TTDA - Excelsior - crew
  • Onventure
  • The Next Loaf - Foccacia

New Year, New Experiences on The Suffolk Coast

A brand New Year - thank goodness!  The time when we typically look at making some radical changes in our lives, learning new skills and embracing new experiences.

The Suffolk Coast is the perfect place for embarking on a new adventure, whether it’s an active pursuit or something more serene. We’ve come up with a few ideas for inspiration, so get planning now and let's keep positive about what we can achieve in 2024!

Family Experiences

Africa Alive zookeper experience

Head down to Africa Alive! for an experience that’s sure to be a roaring success. In the 45 minute session you’ll get up close with these incredible creatures; Africa’s largest big cat, the lion. Find out what makes these creatures similar to the cats we have at home and learn how best we can protect them in the wild. The price of the experience includes admission to the park and refreshment voucher.

Time to get competitive as you invite your family and friends along to Anglia Indoor Karting to see who is the most skilled driver. There are a variety of different race experiences to suit all groups and all taking place on the extensive, professional track. From the full Grand prix to 100 lapper ironman challenge, to the mini grand prix and Kubz karting for the little ones, there’s plenty to do and see, with a viewing area, cafe and even a laser maze experience.

Eastern Edge Beach Hut Hire

Enjoy your own little place by the sea and hire out a stylish Eastern Edge Beach Hut for the whole family. These striking beach huts look out over Lowestoft’s smooth, sandy beaches and offer a place to sit in the sun, out of the breeze, and with ample storage for everything you need for a relaxing day by the coast. The upper level huts are perfect for a peaceful pace to look out and people watch, or to keep an eye on the kids while they play. The lower huts are right in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the seaside and many are also accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and mobility scooters. Hire by the day or the week and make the most of a place to leave your belongings while you swim or enjoy all the fun of the promenade, amusements and cafes.

Puzzlers and code-breakers unite! Suffolk Escape Room is a unique immersive gaming experience for adults and families with children over 10. Located in two original war-time Nissen huts in the Suffolk Countryside, teams can choose from two tantalising mysteries; ‘Air Raid’ and ‘Superbugs’, working together to solve the puzzles and escape the room within the hour!

High Lodge clay shooting

From complete beginners to experienced shots, Clay pigeon shooting at High Lodge is a great way to focus the attention and get lost in the relaxation of clay pigeon shooting. Led by qualified instructors, there are packages for all from 10 years of age and upwards. The sessions include eye and ear protection as well as clays and cartridges.

Indulge the treasure-seeker in your life and book up for an all inclusive luxury three days spent metal detecting in an area rich in archaeological finds. Suffolk Sandlands metal detecting offers tours on private farmland in prime historic and archeological areas- near to the infamous Sutton Hoo trove!

The all inclusive three days includes a full English breakfast each day, packed lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with wine. You’ll stay at the stunning Georgian Farmhouse and be tutored by experts and enjoy talks by local historians. Your finds will be identified and you’ll even be provided with your own personal mess tin to take your treasure home in.

Sailing & Boatbuilding

TTDA - Excelsior - crewing experience
There is nowhere better for sailing than right here on The Suffolk Coast with the expanse of coastline and the Suffolk Broads. Courses for adults and children are available at Aldeburgh Yacht Club, & Woodbridge Yacht Club ranging from basic dinghy and powerboat courses to dinghy racing modules.

Explore the Waveney River with day boat hire from both Oulton Broad Day Boats and Hippersons Boatyard or take to the water on a beautiful Thames barge with the Sailing Barge Victor based at the Ipswich waterfront. Explore the Orwell River with Orwell Lady River Cruises, the perfect to while away a few hours of peace and calm, seeing the landscape from a completely new perspective. Or learn how to sail an historic fishing smack with a trip on board Excelsior; Join in with hoisting out the bowsprit, take charge of the tiller or simply sit and enjoy the salty air and the sound of the wind in the sails.


International Boatbuilding College on the Suffolk Coast

If you're passionate about all things nautical, then book yourself a place on one of the boatbuilding courses at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Oulton Broad; there are a range of full year, part-time and short courses on a range of subjects including Introduction to Woodwork, Letter Carving, Splicing and Ropework and Traditional Rigging and Wirework.

Jet Adventures - Shearwater at sea

Satisfy the need for speed with a historic harbour tour with Jet Adventures. Head out through the yacht basin and past the pier heads, cruising at 20 knots past Britain's most Easterly point (Ness Point), Gunton, Corton and Hopton. Keep your eyes open for marine wildlife, including mammals, fish and birds and enjoy the exhilarating sea spray. Wear waterproof clothing or borrow some from Jet Adventures. Strap in and set sail for a trip to remember!

Throughout the year Sea to Peak Expeditions offer day and evening sailing trips, departing from Felixstowe Ferry. These enable individuals or small groups to get a taste for life aboard Kimochi and are suitable for all levels of experience. Depending on the conditions and wishes of the crew this may be a sail around the Principality of Sealand, a visit to the seals in the Walton Backwaters, or a trip up one of the beautiful Suffolk rivers.

Photography

Anthony Cullen - Pin Mill
Join award -winning photographer Anthony Cullen for a digital photography course based at Pin Mill Studio, nestled on the picturesque banks of the River Orwell, an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are courses suitable for both absolute beginners and advanced photographers and your day includes a delicious lunch at the nearby Butt and Oyster pub. You’ll explore techniques for landscapes, portraits, action and close-ups and you’ll even leave with a printed image at the end of the day.

Many of the stunning Suffolk landscape photos across The Suffolk Coast's website are taken by the super talented Gill Moon, so if you feel inspired, book a full days photography workshop! The workshops can include pre-session consultations to discover your requirements and what you would like from your time, photography out on The Suffolk Coast covering several different locations, photographic tuition tailored to your requirements (including camera settings, composition, exposure, ‘seeing the landscape’, filters and creative techniques), lunch at one of the chosen locations, a full set of printed course notes to take home, and an email critique of images after the session.


TTD Bawdsey Hall Photography

Want to know how to take the perfect wildlife photo? Bawdsey Hall is a quiet retreat with charm and character. The grounds have meadowland, large ponds and mature woods, offering a variety of different habitats for wildlife - so it's the perfect spot to capture Suffolk's rare inhabitants. Choose from a wildlife photography days or evening workshop, owl and badger night photography workshops, bespoke one to one and group photography workshops.

Afterward, hone your skills and check out some of The Suffolk Coast's top photography spots; RSPB Minsmere Kessingland Beach, Shingle Street and Carlton and Oulton Marshes.

Horse Riding

Pakefield Riding School

One of the most rewarding ways to see the beautiful Suffolk Countryside and Coast, along with keeping fit and healthy is to take up horse riding!  This wonderful skill has so much going for it - horses, it can be argued, are up there with dogs when it comes to man's best friend! Pakefield Riding School offers the perfect introduction to this sport, with BHS Qualified Instructors and 25 well-mannered horses and ponies suitable for all ages and abilities they'll be able to get you off to a flying start or provide an appropriate mount for that beautiful beach ride! 

Dance and Exercise

The Cut - Stage

If your new year's resolution was to become more active, then pop along to The Cut in Halesworth. The stunning arts centre housed within a converted Maltings buildings, hosts a range of dance and exercise classes including Belly Dancing, Contemporary Dance, Kettlecise, Pilates, Yoga, Booty Barre, Mummy and Baby Pilates, Ballet and Dance/Choreography for Mature People - so there's something to suit all ages and abilities!

Birdwatching

RSPB Minsmere Avocet Jon Evans

Home to RSPB Minsmere and RSPB Havergate Island plus award-winning nature reserves, and as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there really is no better place to take up birdwatching in the UK. RSPB Minsmere run lots of sessions for beginners and often invite experts along to advise budding twitchers what equipment they should purchase. 

Likewise, Suffolk Wildlife Trust has a full programme of events for both adults, children and families, get to grips with the stunning landscape and environments around you, make 2024 the year to learn how to recognise all those trees, birds and biodiversity right on the doorstep!

Become a culture vulture!

Culture on the Suffolk Coast

The Suffolk Coast has some of the world's finest cultural experiences on its doorstep! From the inspirational Snape Maltings - home of the Aldeburgh Festival, The Red House - Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears' home in Aldeburgh, to the wonderful theatres and independent cinemas along the coast including Felixstowe Spa Pavilion, The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, Thorington Theatre near Southwold, The Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich and of course the wealth of historical locations and attractions; Suffolk Museums, National Trust Sutton Hoo and Christchurch Museum in Ipswich - make 20201the year of digging deep into what's on offer and expand your cultural knowledge on the coast!

To find a comprehensive list of cultural delights on the coast go to, www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk/things-to-do/attractions/arts-music--culture

Kitesurfing & Paddleboarding

TTDA - Blitzkiting - kiting

Kitesurfing & stand up paddle boarding (SUP) are both a fantastic way to have fun, keep fit, learn something new and get your adrenaline pumping. Kitesurf & BlitzKiting in Lowestoft offer a range of lessons to show you the best and safest way to enjoy the water and you could be up and riding in less than 6 hours! 

Cycling and Walking

Cycling-on-the-Coast-credit-Adrian-Green

If all those lockdown adventures have inspired you to get out on your bike or don your walking boots, make a promise to yourself to start as you mean to go on and take a long walk or get the bicycle out a couple of times a month and discover new areas of our lovely county - after all, there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!

Southwold Cycle Hire offers the perfect way to explore the beauty of Southwold and its surroundings on two wheels. Either get the bikes delivered to you, or collect them from the beachside hut and set off on the flat, safe roads of the Suffolk coast. Take in the scenic views of Walberswick, Dunwich and Halesworth and you speed along with family and friends in tow. Why not take a picnic and stop off along the way to enjoy some rest and recuperation?

Want to get together with your team, friendship group or the whole family? Then why not embark on an active weekend away in picturesque Suffolk with OnVenture? Cycling, walking, hiking or swimming- you can do everything, and all in the glorious surroundings of Suffolk’s coastal beauty, historic towns and villages and rolling countryside. The experienced team will work with you to design the perfect weekend, with guided or self-guided cycle tours, and accommodation taken care of to boot. Onventure also offers special endurance weekends to test yourself, get some pointers on technique and meet your goals.

Check out our guide to both cycling and walking to get a flavour of what's out there ready to be explored!

Food & Drink

Fishers Gin tasting

Embark on a seasonal tour and tasting at Fisher’s Gin, the beach-side gin distillery based in Aldeburgh. Distilled in small batches using the Dry London method, in a distillery next to the sea and infused with foraged wild herbs and coastal botanical, it’s a best-seller which many people know and love.

Upon arrival for your tour, head to the coastal room for a G&T with a sea view, before heading off to enjoy a range of activities including a virtual tour of the River Alde; taking in its history, biodiversity and lost secrets. Then take part in a unique botanical tea making experience, guided tour of the distillery and of course, a tutored tasting of Fisher’s gins and seasonal cocktails. Round off your tour with a browse in the Fisher’s Gin shop where you can pick up a little something to take home.

The historic St Peter’s Hall in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside is in fact home to a working craft brewery, and visitors can attend a special ‘talk and taste’ event to find out more about the brewing process and of course sample the beverages- all in the atmospheric surroundings of a beautiful venue.

Upon arrival, meet with your experienced guide who will lead you through a tour of the traditional agricultural buildings that make up the brewery, and find out some interesting facts about the brewing process along the way. Following the tour you can enjoy a tutored beer tasting, sampling a range of ales, fruit beers, stouts and porters. Pay a visit to the shop before you leave to pick up some beer to take home, along with a range of other artisan food, drinks and gifts- you’ll also get a complimentary bottle of beer to take home.

Flint Vineyard offers visitors a bespoke experience to learn more about all the magical aspects of winemaking; gather together with like-minded friends and be led through the vineyards and winery whilst Ben, Oli or Dan explain the process from pruning to harvest, wine-making and bottling. The tour concludes with a guided tasting of four wines- Bacchus, Silex Blanc, Pinot Noir Précoce and Charmat Rosé, cheers!

For a great beer experience in Suffolk, head to Briarbank Brewery situated just moments from the historic waterfront in the heart of Ipswich. Brierbank love to show visitors the processes they follow to create a truly flavour fuelled beer, and welcome folks along to take a look around the microbrewery, learning all about brewing techniques from head brewer Rob. Naturally, you’ll head to the bar afterwards to sample the wares. There are several different packages to choose from including the tour, tasting, or tour and tasting session.

Become an Adnams expert in no time with a tour of the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery in the heart of Southwold where Adnams have been brewing since 1872. Step behind the wall of the breath-taking Victorian building and experience one of the most modern breweries in the UK.

Choose from a range of exciting tours and experiences including the brewery tour, the distillery tour and experiences such as ‘make your own gin experience’ where you can create a bottle of gin to your own specific tastes guided by the experts in the gin lab. The workshop also includes a tasting session where you can sample some of Adnams best-selling spirits.

If you are passionate about food, you’ll be spoiled for choice at the Food Hub Cookery School. Located on a working farm at Kenton Hall, the cookery school offers all sorts of great courses from pizza, pasta and Italian, meat and fish as well as BBQ, bread-making and food from around the world. It’s the sure fire way to polish up your skills in the kitchen and get ready to impress the guests at your next dinner party. You can take part in beginners courses, couples courses and foodie experiences like nose to tail butchery. And, with a produce-to-plate philosophy you can be sure that the ingredients you use are local as can be- coming straight from the farm itself.

If you fancy having a go at cooking al fresco, why not try going back to nature and taking part in a course with Fire and Feast Woodfire Cookery school? Through a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practise you will create a variety of delicious meals and snacks using the best local produce that Suffolk has to offer. Savour a slower way of life, meet new people and learn new skills, culminating in a final meal together in the tipi. The courses include a fire-lighting lesson, all equipment and ingredients, drinks upon arrival and throughout the day and a recipe pack to take home.

You may have visited the Two Magpies Bakery and tasted the fantastic bread, cakes and pastries there? Well, now you can learn to make these delicious treats at home, after taking a course with Two Magpies founder Rebecca Bishop, at the The Next Loaf Baking School. Whether you are an experienced baker wanting to brush up your skills, or if you hope to start from the beginning and develop a new hobby, there are courses ranging from full, half day and evening class options. Walk away after your class with your freshly baked sourdough, pastries or pizza and revel in your new-found skill! Classes include refreshments and all equipment.

Check out our Experiences Guide for more unique Suffolk Coast experiences to enjoy in 2024!