• Couple in Woods  - Photograph by Emily Fae

Top 6 Unusual Valentines Activities

Cupid’s bow is poised and ready to fill hearts with affection this Valentine’s Day, but candle lit dinners, a night at the cinema, and countryside walks can start to wear a little thin with even the hardened romantics among us!

Here's our pick of the top 6 alternative activities to keep you all loved up on Valentine’s Day… 

1. Build a Love Nest

TTDA - Rspb Minsmere - Reed beds

14th – 21st February is National Nestbox Week so come along with your beloved to RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve and make your own love nest... for birds!

From 18th - 22nd February you can take some wood, a hammer and nails and get building! Not only will you be testing your hammering skills, but your bird knowledge as well. Afterwards, you can take your nestbox home with you; a lasting memory of your romantic day together! The cost is just £5 per nestbox, plus usual reserve entry fees. No booking required.

2. Valentine's Cooking

RAW SUFFOLK - Couple cooking

Treat you and your loved one to a cookery experience at The Food Hub at Kenton Hall this Valentine’s. On Sunday 9th February, you and your partner will create a delicious 3-course menu with canapés and learn how to make restaurant style dishes with a focus on seasonal ingredients, presentation, taste and importantly timings. The perfect course for those looking for inspiration or a confidence boost ahead of your next evening entertaining.

Once you've learned how, you can surprise your other half with dishes such as gin cured smoked salmon with cucumber ribbons, duck with polenta, wilted greens and a rich sauce and chocolate caramel fondant with chantilly cream. 

The course 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. Price: £85 per person or 2 for £170. 


3. Get your heart racing

TTDA - Coastal Voyager - people on boat

Fast track your love-life this Valentine’s Day and head over to Southwold and step on board the Coastal Voyager. Make your loved one's heart race with the Sea Blast; a high-speed trip out to sea from Southwold. The 400hp boat is put through its formidable paces in a 30 min tour of Solebay. Keep an eye out for harbour porpoises, all kinds of sea birds and seals. 

Alternatively, if you prefer a more serene experience, book the River Blyth Cruise; a tranquil trip up the Blyth Estuary where you can spot Marsh Harriers, Heron, Cormorants, Med Gulls and Little Gulls. The trip includes a stop at the Blythburgh White Hart pub, enough time for a meal on or a drink (not included in the price). 

4. Woo at the Zoo

TTDA - Africa Alive - Lions

A visit to Africa Alive! in Kessingland, near Lowestoft is sure to stir up your animal instincts! The park is open daily (even during winter months) from 9.30am to 4pm. 

This year you can book a Meet the Meercats Experience for £45 per couple (excludes admission). You will enter their enclosure with one of the keepers and watch them feed all around you! This experience must be booked on the day of your visit subject to availability, weather and circumstances.

If you like to plan ahead, then why not book a 'Meet the Rhinos' or 'Meet the Lions' experience - Costing £180 per couple which includes entry to the park, commemorative photos and framed certificates of participation.

For more information call Guest Information on 01502 740291 or email info@africa-alive.co.uk

5. Capture your love on Camera

TTDA - Emily Fae Photography - Couple shoots

Capture your love on camera with a photo shoot with Emily Fae Photography! You can book a shoot for yourself and your loved one or buy vouchers to use at a later date if you want to bring along children or even the dog! Shoots can take place at your favourite location in Suffolk and you will receive a USB memory key of edited images for you to keep all for £120. 

For more information and to book, visit https://emilymaephotography.com/

6. Beach Retreat

Beach walks on The Suffolk Coast

There is nowhere more romantic than a deserted beach, and on The Suffolk Coast we have miles upon miles of them! Wrap yourselves up in layers of winter woollies, take something to sit on and pack up a picnic complete with a big flask of hot soup! Re-live your childhood by making your own fairy tale sandcastle, then carve your names into the sand before you leave…

For an extra special treat, why not whisk your loved one away for the night, check out our Top Spots for a Romantic Weekend!


Things to see and do

Marina Theatre

Marina Theatre

It plays host to major West End productions, top comedy, orchestral concerts, touring drama and musical productions, opera, ballet, music, dance and celebrity concerts as well as operating a successful cinema operation - boasting the largest screen and cinema auditoria in the town. 

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Wheelchair Accessible

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


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Africa Alive!

Africa Alive!

Kessingland

Make your day out an adventure with a visit to Africa Alive!

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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.

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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. 

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Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard

Flint Vineyard is one of England's most exciting new wineries. Winemaker, Ben Witchell, combines cutting-edge technology with traditional winemaking techniques to produce elegant and refined English wines. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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Photography by Emily Fae

Photography by Emily Fae

Emily is a professional photographer and is behind many of the beautiful images you see on The Suffolk Coast website.

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Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh Cinema

Aldeburgh

2019 is a momentous year for Aldeburgh Cinema, as August 9th is the Centenary of the Cinema's opening.  

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Free wifi

WHERE TO EAT

The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel

World-class food & drink: Guests and non-residents can enjoy world-class food and award winning beer, wine and spirits, with rising star Ross Bott as Head Chef (formerly at One Canada Square) serving dishes championing local produce, with coastal charm. 

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

The Westleton Crown

The Westleton Crown

Dunwich

Head Chef at The Westleton Crown restaurant, James Finch, and his highly skilled team pride themselves on their imaginative and varied menus which have earned them an AA 2 Rosette restaurant award, as well as a considerable reputation.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Brudenell Seafood & Grill

Brudenell Seafood & Grill

Aldeburgh

The Seafood & Grill restaurant has panoramic sea views from every table with a décor that is inspired by the vibrant colours that can be found on the Suffolk coast throughout the year.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Felixstowe Spa - The Lounge  & The Terrace

Felixstowe Spa - The Lounge & The Terrace

Two fabulous sea view venues in one stunning location! The Lounge is a first floor carpeted space with panoramic views of the sea, Felixstowe Pier and the maritime traffic to Harwich & Felixstowe Ports.


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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Crown at Woodbridge

The Crown at Woodbridge

Woodbridge

Situated at the top of the bustling Thoroughfare, in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Cleone's Italian Restaurant

Cleone's Italian Restaurant

Cleone's Italian Restaurant - named after the original Maitre D' - was established at The Angel in Halesworth in the Spring of 1995. From the outset, the aim has been to offer seasonal menus featuring classic dishes from Italy's extremely varied culinary regions - but most importantly, to prepare every dish in the typical 'home style' Italian way.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Sea Spice

Sea Spice

Taking lead from the ancient Spice Route and Aldeburgh’s historic role as a valued Tudor port, Sea Spice unites local Suffolk produce with classic Indian flavours originating over 4,000 miles away. 

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Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant 

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant

Orford

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering breakfast and a la carte lunch, supper and dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford, Suffolk.


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Dog friendly

The Food Hub Cookery School

The Food Hub Cookery School

Framlingham

Whether you are an amateur cook or a food enthusiast let these courses inspire you!

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Free wifi

Cookhouse Restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall

Cookhouse Restaurant at Suffolk Food Hall

Ipswich

The Cookhouse Restaurant is a unique place to eat or have a drink whilst enjoying stunning views down the river.

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Free wifi Dog friendly

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant 

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Ipswich

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering breakfast and a la carte lunch, sunset supper or candlelit Dinner cruises. 

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The Sweffling White Horse

The Sweffling White Horse

A traditional pub in the village of Sweffling near Saxmundham and East Anglia Pub of the Year 2015

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Free wifi Dog friendly

The Crown and Castle

The Crown and Castle

The Crown and Castle is renowned for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere that allows guests to enjoy their surroundings and feel free to take their time.

Winner  *Sawday’s Award 2017 for Fabulous Food*

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Dog friendly

View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe

View Point Cafe is a warm and friendly cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating serving all day breakfasts, snacks, fish and chips, 'dish of the day', cakes, ice cream, teas and coffees.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold Pier - The Boardwalk, Beach Cafe and Clockhouse

Southwold

Southwold Pier has a fabulous choice of restaurants and cafes to fill the gap from breakfast, through to morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner!

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Free wifi Dog friendly

The Ufford Crown

The Ufford Crown

Woodbridge

The Ufford Crown is a Michelin recommended, family run pub and restaurant in the village of Ufford, near Woodbridge, run by Polly and Max Durrant and Head Chef Will Hardiman.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Ramsholt Arms

The Ramsholt Arms

Woodbridge

The Ramsholt Arms is a popular riverside pub and dining room, situated on the banks of the river Deben. The pub is recommended in the Michelin guide and in July 2015 was voted one of the top 20 places to dine alfresco in the UK by the Sunday Times.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Crown Hotel Southwold

The Crown Hotel Southwold

Southwold

The Adnams Crown Hotel is situated in The High Street, in the heart of Southwold. The atmosphere is always buzzing with a lively informality.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

Eat at Snape Maltings

Eat at Snape Maltings

Snape

There's an excellent selection of places to eat at Snape Maltings, from freshly prepared local food and cream teas to cafés overlooking the Alde estuary, providing guests with one of the best views of reeds, water and sky in the UK.

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Free wifi

Café Bencotto

Café Bencotto

Offering Mediterranean style fayre, Café Bencotto's sophisticated yet informal interior complements the food freshly prepared in the open plan kitchen.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible

The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie

The Alex Café Bar & Brasserie

Offering panoramic sea views, The Alex has a fabulous seafront setting just across from the promenade in Felixstowe where you can watch the world go by whilst enjoying great food and drink!

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

The Ship at Dunwich

The Ship at Dunwich

Dunwich

There's plenty to enjoy on The Ship's menu from: pie of the day, slow-cooked pork belly, or roast red onion tart through to traditional English puddings like sticky toffee, pear and blackberry crumble and much more, accompanied by good wines at sensible prices, or proper beers and ales - including Adnams and a range of guest ales.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Salthouse Eaterie 

Salthouse Eaterie

The popularity of the waterside Eaterie makes it a destination for many Suffolk locals. The dishes are modern & always surprise with a curious twist of something deliciously different.

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Free wifi Wheelchair Accessible