5 holiday spots for those looking to stay close to Suffolk

Walton-on-the-Naze, a north Essex coastal town is popular with families for weekend getaways. Pictur

Walton-on-the-Naze, a north Essex coastal town is popular with families for weekend getaways. Picture: Millie's Beach Huts - Credit: Archant

Holidaying close to home is proving to be popular with Brits following the coronavirus pandemic – so where can you go for a short getaway while also helping boost the country’s tourism industry?

Despite the travel-ban being lifted on certain European countries, many people are opting for weekend’s away in the outdoors with an ice cream on the beach, opposed to a week abroad in the sun.

As Suffolk boasts a stunning landscape and lots of open space, there are plenty of places to choose from.

Gunton Hall Coastal Village – Lowestoft

Gunton Hall is within walking distance of the beach, but it’s surrounded by woodland, gardens, a picturesque lake and a pitch and putt course – meaning you can spend lots of time outdoors.

It’s a relaxing seaside destination, within driving distance to the Norfolk Broads or the famous village of Southwold.

There are a range of rooms, from luxury royal rooms, which are part of the original historic building, to stunning lodges or simpler chalets in the gardens. This year they have more options than before – with open-air live music stages, an outdoor cinema and indoor entertainment.

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The hall is also limiting capacity to around 50% of their normal guest numbers and will increase these gradually to ensure they operate safely with social distancing guidelines.

Potters Resort – Hopton-on-Sea

Potters Resort has created “new breaks for the new normal” to give families the opportunity to spend quality time together and stay safe.

They have developed a brand new offering, including using a new south terrace outdoor venue for live entertainment – which is perfect for social distancing. It has socially distanced seating areas, outdoor heaters, and a large canopy covered area with a bar service.

Guests can choose to dine in the garden restaurant or upgrade to a private restaurant suite, with menus served all day.

Each Restaurant Suite can accommodate multiple households, as long as they are on tables that are socially distanced – but the difference is that you don’t have to share your restaurant with anyone outside of your trusted group.

You can also choose from a range of accommodation for your stay, such as bungalows by the sea, hotel suites and penthouses, meaning you can cater for the size of your party.

The resort says it has “full compliance with social distancing and extra cleanliness protocols everywhere”, to ensure you and your loved ones feel safe during your visit.

Numerous sporting and leisure facilities and activities will be available – however the resort advises bringing your own equipment where possible.

There will be entertainment day and night, both live and broadcast throughout the resort and into your rooms.

Centre Parcs – Elveden Forest

The new Centre Parcs experience still gives you a wide choice of activities for you to enjoy on your break.

Most of their usual activities will be running, although they are reducing the number of guests per session and activity bookings must be made online.

Staff will be wearing PPE where necessary and some activities may require you to bring your own face covering.

The full 400 acres of forest, beach and outdoor playgrounds will all be open for you to explore, along with the cycle hire, which will again need to be booked online in advance.

Restaurants are open on a pre-booked basis only and reservations must be booked on the website before or during your stay – with deliveries now available to your lodge.

Indoor soft play areas will be closed and the restaurants and shops will work on a cashless payment basis.

The Subtropical Swimming Paradise will be open from July 27, but Centre Parcs will track guest visits and manage the number of people using the pool, rides and slides at all times.

Kessingland Beach Holiday Park

Whether camping or looking for more robust accommodation, Kessingland Beach Holiday Park could be an option for a short break.

The site provides direct access to the “unspoilt” Kessingland beach and the holiday park say they are the best location for “long walks, sunbathing or splashing about”.

Parent company Parkdean Resorts says that a number of new measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of all visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.

A new hands-free check-in process will be in place alongside several changes to on site policy.

However, the indoor swimming pool will be open from July 25 and the children’s play park will also be free to use.

Naze Marine Holiday Park

The Naze Marine Holiday park, which is also run by Parkdean Resorts, is another option for a short holiday in East Anglia.

Live entertainment is off the cards for now, but the team on the park are working hard to make sure there are alternatives in place, with bingo, quizzes, movie nights and more.

Similar safety measures will be in place at the resort as at Kessingland Beach Holiday Park, but the pool will also be open as well as an adventure play park as well as a number of eateries.

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