RSPB Minsmere is a fabulous popular destination for twitchers and non-twitchers alike
There’s tons to see (and hear) with stunning coastal scenes accompanied by rare birds breeding and calling in on their annual migrations. There are also otters to be seen in the reedbeds if you look carefully and a plethora of wild flowers and plants
It’s a great place all year round and the visitors centre is free, with helpful staff and volunteers. They also have a great little RSPB shop and café, serving teas and light meals using locally sourced ingredients. There’s also their Discovery Centre and Wild Zone for families, and they have guided walks throughout the year
One of England’s designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
We are lucky enough to have two AONB’s in Suffolk! See our other post here on the Dedham Vale AONB
Back to the coastal one! This stretches all the way from Lowestoft down to the River Sour, meeting up with the Dedham Vale, providing us with stunning heathland, reed beds, salt-marsh and mud-flats
It’s landscape also features the estuaries of five Suffolk rivers; four of which we named Barns after here at Woodfarm; Alde, Deben, Orwell and Stour, as well as the river Blyth
We are very fortunate to have not one but two of Englands 33 AONB’s right on our doorstep
The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley sits on the Suffolk/ Essex border. The gentle River Stour (so good we named a barn after it) and its hedged water meadows, copses and riverbank willows, form a landscape, widely thought to represent the best of the farmed English countryside
Lots of rambling meadows, rolling fields and abundant open marshland, many of which are recognised the world over as ‘Constable Country’ with nearby Flatford and Dedham, arguably being the jewel in the crown of this beautiful area
The designated area goes from Manningtree, through the aforementioned, to Bures
Mickfield Meadow is a stunning flower-rich hay meadow that has never been sprayed or fertilised. As a result it contains a host of wildflowers, many of which are now scarce in Suffolk. To maintain this rich flora, the meadow is managed by a summer hay cut and then grazing the late summer growth.
The unusual mix of plants growing here adds to its botanical interest. In parts of the meadow you can see goldilocks buttercup and the low growing wood anemone – both plants more usually associated with ancient woodlands. In the wetter parts look for marshland flowers like ragged-robin, meadowsweet and the beautiful snake’s head fritillary – one of only four sites in Suffolk where it can still be found
Dogs on leads welcome
A 400-seater theatre in the heart of Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town
The New Wolsey Theatre was established in 2000, building on the foundations of the regional repertory company that had opened the theatre in the late 1970s
They have a varied programme right throughout the year from art, music of all kinds, theatre productions etc ending the year in panto. Oh yes they do!
Beautiful old Grade 1 listed Regency Theatre
Owned by the National Trust it’s one of the last surviving Regency playhouses. I’ve been to countless panto’s there but eventually my daughter decided she was too old and I no longer had an excuse!
A brilliant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and light entertainment, featuring many of the country’s leading companies and performers. They have built a fabulous reputation producing their own productions including the ever popular annual pantomime that I mentioned
Ok, it’s just over the border in Norfolk but only just!
Music, Dance, Comedy, Theatre, Spoken word, Cinema, Community events, Workshops, Exhibitions, Art and a museum!
The box office is located in The Old Stables beside the Corn Hall. Check out their website for full programme of events
Outdoor pursuits centre in Ipswich
Skiing, Snowboarding, Tobogganing, Ringo’s, Climbing Wall and High Ropes Experience. They also have a Driving Range, Mini Golf Course, and putting green next door too!
There is also ‘The Lodge’ Bar and Restaurant, so you can quench your thirst
They offer lessons and coaching from total novices to advanced levels. It’s a great place for kids, great and small!
Pretty self explanatory – Art. Wildlife. Lavenham
Established in 1988 and specialising in 20th Century and contemporary wildlife art. They have also held retrospective exhibitions as well as those by current artists form the UK and abroad
They also have a strong representation of paintings depicting the countryside, its landscape and work and they have published several books including a number in the Artists for Nature Foundation series
With exhibitions throughout the calender, go to their website for current details
A collection of independent businesses in little barns just around the corner from Woodfarm
There’s all sorts, from a ‘village shop’, garden centre, gift and craft shops, toy shop, a cracking owl sanctuary, an aquatics centre, a cafe/ restaurant and vintage furniture and clothes
There’s a craft and farmers market every second saturday of the month and also regular car boot sales
It’s also the home of the Mid-Suffolk Showground, with regular events