• TTDA - Landguard Fort
  • TTDA - Ipswich Museums - Gallery landing
  • TTDA - The Long Shop Museum

Unique Museums on The Suffolk Coast

Suffolk is home to countless intriguing museums and sites of interest for avid history seekers. The curious visitor can while away many a pleasant hour perusing interesting artifacts and ephemera of yesteryear.

From a tiny Aladdin’s cave of forgotten treasures to grand stately homes displaying beloved heirlooms, the Suffolk coast is home to numerous places where you can delve into the past and uncover new knowledge. 

We know you can't visit right now and our fantastic museums aren't open, so let us take you on a virtual tour of our top unique museums!

East Anglia Transport Museum

TTDA - East Anglia Transport Museum - Trolley Bus

The unique East Anglia Transport Museum museum is a treasure-trove for fans of vintage automobiles; a living, working site where visitors can see a wide range of historical vehicles displayed in a way that brings history to life.

Take a stroll along the museum street where, along with trams and trolleybuses, you can take in the old post boxes, phone boxes and streetlights. Here you can learn all about the development of transport, including steam and electric powered vehicles, commercial vehicles and of course Lowestoft’s trams. Visitors can even take a ride on some of the vehicles- a literal trip down memory lane. 

https://www.eatransportmuseum.co.uk/

Aldeburgh Museum

TTDA - Aldeburgh Museum - Exterior

Aldeburgh Museum is housed in the iconic Moot Hall, a superb 16th Century, Grade 1 listed timber -framed building that is also home to the Town Council.

The museum tells of Aldeburgh's rich and varied history through hands-on and digital displays. You can learn all about the beautiful Tudor building, local democracy, the fishing and shipbuilding industry, archaeological discoveries and the Anglo Saxons, the Victorian era, the Witches of Aldeburgh and much more!

https://www.aldeburghmuseum.org.uk/

Suffolk Punch Trust

TTDA - Suffolk Punch Trust - Horses

Visit The Suffolk Punch Trust and you can explore the Heritage Museum where you’ll find the exhibition hall and museum of rural life, take one of the three pretty walks around the farm (dogs on leads are welcome), meet other rare Suffolk breeds such as Suffolk sheep, Red Poll cattle, Silver Appleyard ducks and Ixworth chickens, and see the collection of over sixty horse-drawn vehicles, vintage implements and machinery.

The Trust also hosts a range of activities including all sorts of horse care tips, such as how to harness a horse and braid its mane and tractor-trailer rides around the site.

https://www.thesuffolkpunchtrust.co.uk/

Felixstowe Museum

TTDA - Felixstowe Museum - Plane

At Felixstowe Museum you can uncover Felixstowe’s rich past, taking a whirlwind tour through the history of this fascinating seaside town. Collections include ancient archaeological finds such as prehistoric mammoth tusks, Roman coins, jewellery and pots.

There is also an extensive range of Victorian and Edwardian artefacts, as well as military paraphernalia. The most unique exhibition has to be the ‘history of psychiatric care through the ages’ which gives an insight into the lives of the thousands of staff and patients who lived and worked at St Audry’s hospital. 

http://felixstowemuseum.org/

Christchurch Mansion

TTDA - Ipswich Museums - Christchurch Mansion

The beautiful Christchurch Mansion is a Tudor building boasting over 500 years of history and is at the center of Ipswich’s historic past. Built on the site of the 12th Century Holy Trinity Priory, the building has seen many changes over time and now exists as an homage to period décor throughout the years; from the Tudors to the Georgians and Victorians.

Each room is set up in period fashion, evoking the atmosphere of times gone by. During your visit you can also go to to the Wolsey art Gallery, which displays changing exhibitions of local art and sculpture, alongside work by the famous Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. 

https://ipswich.cimuseums.org.uk/visit/christchurch-mansion/

The Long Shop Museum

TTDA - Long Shop Museum - Suffolk Punch

Those with a keen interest in engineering and industry must pay a visit to the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, where they will uncover inspiring stories and feats of engineering, gorgeous designs and examples of steam powered factory machinery. The original grade two listed buildings house a selection of Garrett’s machinery, tools and artifacts from the industrial revolution.

The museum boasts the deepest well in Suffolk as well as the chance to explore the atmospheric galleries with their collection of guns and ammunition. There are plenty of chances to get hands on with history, including dressing up, having a go at making sand moulds in the pattern boxes and taking engine rubbings. 

https://www.longshopmuseum.co.uk/

David Silver Honda Collection

TTDA - David Silver Honda Collection

Motorbike enthusiasts will fall in love with the collection of over 200 different Honda motorcycles at the David Silver Honda Collection; dating from the very first Honda model – the 1947 A-type and finishing with the 1992 NR-750, charting 45 years of this much-loved design.

Wander through the two floors of Honda models of all shapes and sizes, marvelling at the six cylinder models and the sheer variety of engines and model designs. Don’t miss the 100-meter Honda timeline display, providing a year-by-year history, and be sure to visit the Honda reading room where over 200 model fact-files are available to study. 

http://www.davidsilverhondacollection.co.uk/

Bawdsey Radar Museum

TTDA - Bawdsey Radar - Family

Visit the birthplace of operational radar and discover the stories of the men and women who worked in top-secret conditions to develop this groundbreaking piece of technology that secured victory in the battle of Britain. 

At Bawdsey Radar you can hear the oral histories as spoken by the individuals at the heart of the landmark development in communications and look through the exhibitions to discover the science behind this amazing invention.

https://www.bawdseyradar.org.uk/

Woodbridge Tide Mill

TTDA - Woodbridge Tide Mill

This fascinating restored working tide mill is Woodbridge’s most iconic attraction. Visitors can marvel at the production of flour using this age old method, exploring the inner workings of a water powered mill, including the 5 meter wide English oak water wheel as it churns away.

Audio stations bring to life stories from the past from the people for whom the mill was a central part of their life. Make your way up to the crown floor for stunning views out over the River Deben and learn how we used to make our daily bread. 

https://woodbridgetidemill.org.uk/

National Trust Sutton Hoo

TTDA - National Trust Sutton Hoo - Treasure

This vast and stunning 255-acre estate at National Trust Sutton Hoo is home to one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of all time; the Anglo Saxon ship burial and the hoard of treasure found alongside it in 1939. Today visitors can stroll among the many burial mounds or go inside the main house and garden to learn more about the iconic Saxon King and the legacy he left behind, including replicas of the many precious items, and the King’s full regalia, suspended from the ceiling- an awe inspiring sight. 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo

The Red House, Aldeburgh

TTDA - The Red House - Boat

Many people will be familiar with the name ‘Benjamin Britten’; one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, but fewer people will know that he lived for a large portion of his life in the Red House in Aldeburgh. Britten moved into the house in 1957 with his life partner, the tenor Peter Pears and the house contains a display of some of Britten’s most important possessions including music, photos and books. 

Visitors to the house today can see the beloved house and gardens where the couple spent 20 happy years as well as taking stock of the vast archive of important manuscripts and source materials which make the house an important center for music research. 

https://brittenpears.org/visit/

Landguard Fort

TTDA - Landguard Fort - Fort

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. It is also the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England in 1667, and the first land battle of the Royal Marines.

Experience the dramatic story of this important fortification through both audio guides and guided tours. With a maze of rooms and passageways, bastion view points, artefacts, displays, exhibitions and special events, Landguard Fort offers something for all ages and interests.

http://www.landguard.com/ 

Woodbridge Riverside Trust

TTDA - Woodbridge Riverside Trust - Boat

At their home The Longshed, Woodbridge Riverside Trust invites you to watch as the construction of the replica of the Anglo-Saxon Burial ship that was excavated at Sutton Hoo takes place, along with the construction of a St Ayles four man racing skiff. 

You can also find out about all aspects of maritime heritage and culture including the heritage and science of ship design and construction, how rivers and the sea influenced people’s lives, what factors are important in building boats for different purposes and how boat construction has changed over time, how boats have been used as transport for produce and for people, where people travelled to and from Suffolk in boats and songs, music and stories of the River Deben and the sea.

https://www.woodbridgeriversidetrust.org/

Ipswich Museum

TTDA - Ipswich Museums - Family

See the world through Victorian eyes and take a trip around a global zoo at Ipswich Museum!

Meet gorillas, lions and wild animals from around the globe in the historic natural history gallery, and have your photo taken with Wool.I.Am - a life size woolly mammoth!

The Museum is also home to a wide range of collections, from natural science to Egyptology, social history to world cultures including the Ogilvie Bird collection, Rendlesham archaeology collections and the Death mask of Titos Flavious Demetrios.

https://ipswich.cimuseums.org.uk/visit/ipswich-museum/



Things to see and do

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.


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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. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Aldeburgh Museum

Aldeburgh Museum

Aldeburgh Museum is housed in the iconic Moot Hall, a superb 16th Century, Grade 1 listed timber -framed building that is also home to the Town Council.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Woodbridge Riverside Trust

Woodbridge Riverside Trust

Woodbridge Riverside Trust is a charitable facilitating organisation for community activities. 

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Free wifi 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.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

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.

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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.

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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.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

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. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

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.

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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.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible