7 of the best picnic spots across Suffolk

River Stour at Clare Castle Country Park. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

The River Stour at Clare Castle Country Park - Credit: Rachel Edge

With warmer weather on the horizon, why not head out to one of these scenic Suffolk spots for a picnic this summer? 

Quiet Holywells Park, in Ipswich, during the coronavirus lockdown Picture: ARCHANT

Holywells Park in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Holywells Park, Ipswich  

Spread across 67 acres of stunning greenery, this historic park is handily located just on the outskirts of Ipswich’s town centre – making it a prime meeting spot for you and your bubble.  

As well as acres of lush grass to relax on, the park also has a walled garden, a number of sheltered picnic areas, a bowling green, and a state-of-the-art children’s play area. 

Once you’ve finished your grub, why not explore one of the numerous trails throughout the park - including the tree trail which showcases 24 different types of tree. 

If you run out of snacks, the park’s The Stable Café is open every day between March and October from 10am until 4.30pm. It serves brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, cream tea, and hot and cold drinks.  

The park can be reached via one of four entrances - Cliff Lane (IP3 0PG), Nacton Road (IP3 0NG), Bishops Hill (IP3 8EL) and Myrtle Road (IP3 0AL).  

West Stow Country Park

West Stow Country Park - Credit: N Chadwick

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West Stow Country Park, Bury St Edmunds  

With 125 acres of unspoilt countryside, heath, woodland and trails, West Stow Country Park is the place to be this summer if you happen to be in West Suffolk.  

Surrounding the historic West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, this expansive park is the perfect spot for a family picnic, giving you plenty to explore. There are two bird hides and bird feeing area, as well as a lake that attracts a variety of wildlife.  

In addition, the park’s Beowulf and Grendell Adventure Trail features various information points and six large themed carved sculptures that depict Anglo-Saxon life in the region more than 1,500 years ago. A definite must-see for any avid historian. 

West Stow Country Park is open from 9am until 8pm in the summer. Between March 1 and July 31, dogs must be kept on a lead in order to protect the park’s ground nesting birds.  

On site is the park’s West Stow Café, serving hot drinks, sandwiches, cakes and hot snacks. It is open seven days a week, from 10am until 5pm.  

Plenty of space at Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad. Picture: Mick Howes

There's plenty of space at Nicholas Everitt Park in Lowestoft - Credit: Mick Howes

Nicholas Everitt Park, Lowestoft  

Straddling the Suffolk-Norfolk border is Nicholas Everitt Park, an impressive green space that comfortably sits alongside the Broads. 

This Lowestoft park features beautiful floral gardens that are in full bloom at this time of year, as well as plenty of space for the whole family to play ball games.  

The park – which is open seven days a week – also has an on-site children’s play park, tennis courts, and a bowling green.

Christchurch Park, Ipswich in full bloom during spring time Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Christchurch Park, Ipswich in full bloom during spring time - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Christchurch Park, Ipswich 

Handily located just a stone’s throw away from Ipswich’s town centre, Christchurch Park is one of the county’s best parks for a picnic this summer.  

First opened in 1895, this 33-hectare park is home to sprawling, lush greenery, as well as a scenic pond, a children's play area, tennis courts, a table tennis table, and bowling greens.  

It can be accessed via a number of entrances - Soane Street, Westerfield Road, Bolton Lane, Henley Road, Fonnereau Road, and Park Road - and is open from 7am every day. 

Make your way up the hill to have a gander at the Norman castle ruins in Clare Picture: Clare Castle

The Norman castle at Clare Castle Country Park - Credit: Archant

Clare Castle Country Park, Clare  

Situated on the banks of the River Stour, Clare Castle Country Park spans across 26-acres and is one of the most picturesque spots in Suffolk.  

Unroll your picnic blanket and enjoy the sights this summer, including the park’s two large ponds, its Grade II-listed Victorian railway buildings, and of course the eponymous 13th century stone castle that sits atop the mound.  

The park’s Platform One Café is currently open between 10am and 4pm, serving alfresco brunch, lunch, and a variety of hot and cold drinks.  

Brandon Country Park

Brandon Country Park - Credit: Elizabeth Oakley

Brandon Country Park, Brandon 

Located in the iconic Thetford Forest, Brandon Country Park is comprised of over 30 acres of parkland, lawns, pond, historic walled gardens and miles of nature trails.  

The park - which is open from dusk until dawn – also has play areas throughout, a ‘haunted’ mausoleum and swathes of towering pine trees that help you really feel at one with nature.  

The park’s Copper Beech Tearoom is open for takeaway between 10am and 4.30pm.  

Orwell Country Park

Orwell Country Park - Credit: Stephen Squirrell

Orwell Country Park, Ipswich 

Bordered by the Orwell Estuary and the A14, this country park sits in a 470-acre site of mixed lowland habitats – and is one of the county’s prime picnic spots.  

Comprised of three main sites - Braziers Wood, Bridge Wood and Piper’s Vale - visitors can embark upon a series of walks, taking in the surrounding wildlife and stunning scenery.  

The park has six pedestrian entrances and two entrances with car parks – including Piper’s Vale Car Park (IP3 0ET) and Bridge Wood Car Park (IP10 0JS).