9 things to see and do across Suffolk and Essex

The Big Day Out at Easton and Otley College’s Otley campus. Photo: Easton and Otley College

The Big Day Out at Easton and Otley Colleges Otley campus. Photo: Easton and Otley College - Credit: Archant

Days out ideas over the next few days.

Starting the animal handlers young at the Hadleigh Show. Photo: Simon Parker

Starting the animal handlers young at the Hadleigh Show. Photo: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The Big Day Out, Easton and Otley College’s Otley campus, May 21, 10am-4pm

The popular family fun day returns, while showcasing the range of courses on offer. All departments will be staging interactive events with other attractions including classic cars, sponge throwing, birds of prey, a climbing wall, face-painting, food, live music and a magician. All profits from the day will be split between St Elizabeth Hospice and the RSPCA.

Trimley Marshes Open Day, Trimley St Mary, Felixstowe, May 21, 10am-4pm

From Steam to Screen at The Long Shop Museum, Leiston. Photo: Contributed

From Steam to Screen at The Long Shop Museum, Leiston. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Wonderful wetland wildlife watching and open day at this Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve. Bird ringing demos, see birds really close up and learn about migration. Fun family quizzes, guided tours, hides looking at birds and then learn more from the experts. Minibus shuttle service from Searson’s Farm car park every hour (donations).


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The Hadleigh Show, Holbecks Park, May 20, 8am, last entry 4.30pm

Organised by Hadleigh Farmers’ Agricultural Association, there will be 150 classes of cattle, sheep, goats and horses; 160 trade stands, an art exhibition and sale, rural craft and flower tent plus education tent. The main grand ring attraction are the daring Devil’s Horsemen Display Team with their Cossack trick riding show. Other attactions include PG Rix Farms’ machinery demonstration, the sheep show and dog and duck show, Sky Birds of Prey, the Tendring Dog Agility Team, vintage tractors, the Young Farmers tug of war competitions and lots of have-a-go activities.

Enjoy a series of 1940s themed events in Lavenham Photo: Ian Stolerman

Enjoy a series of 1940s themed events in Lavenham Photo: Ian Stolerman - Credit: Archant

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Etchings, Prints, Illustrations, The George Farnham Gallery, Saxmundham, until May 25, Tues-Fri 10.30am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm

Featuring works by printmakers and illustrations including etchings, monoprints, screenprints and dip-pen and watercolour illustrations. Artists include Bill Pryde, James Oses, Arabella Crum Ewing, Kit Leese, Brian Whitely and others.

Monty Don will officially open The National Flower Show at Hylands House and Estate. Photo: Dogwood

Monty Don will officially open The National Flower Show at Hylands House and Estate. Photo: Dogwood Media - Credit: Archant

From Steam to Screen, The Long Shop Museum, Leiston, May 19, 7.30pm

The first in a new season of monthly film screenings launches with Heavy Metal, a documentary about the historic Three Counties Steam Tour organised 20 years ago by the East Anglian Traction Engine Society. Get an insight into the logistics involved in managing the extensive parade of traction engines steadily winding their steady way from Norfolk through Suffolk and onto Essex as part of the four-day challenge. The focus of this road run was the manufacturing history of steam traction engines within these three counties, including Garretts of Leiston. The museum will be open from 6.30pm.

East Anglia’s Friendly Invasion, various venues, Lavenham, May 19-22, times vary

The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa joins forces with the Friends of Lavenham Airfield and vintage events group The Baker Boy Collective to stage a series of events commemorating the 75th anniversary of US Forces arrival during the Second World War. These include a 1940s swing dance at the village hall, a vintage afternoon tea at The Swan and a history talk at the Guildhall about the 487th Bombardment Group, 8th USAAF (United States Army Air Force). There will also be a guided walk to Lavenham airfield, vintage fair and commemorative service in the church. Click here for more details.

The National Flower Show, Hylands House and Estate, Chelmsford, May 19-21, 10am-5pm

Gardeners’ World’s Monty Don opens this year’s event, where visitors will be treated to floral displays, garden designs and demonstrations from garden and floral experts. There will be hundreds of exhibitors present. When you need to rest your feet head to the Fine Food and Drink Festival. Your ticket also gains entry to Hylands House and its parklands.

May Fair, Foxburrow Farm, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, May 21, 11am-4pm

Family event featuring pond dipping, storytelling, den building, trails and more. Crafts and plants for sale. Music and folk dance. Creative makes for children and outdoor games, plus donkey rides (additional charge). No need to book.

Wunderkammer, Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, 10am-5pm

A cabinet of curiosities from Colchester collections. The centrepiece is A Acland Hunt’s painting Dr William Gilberd, showing his experiments on electricity to Queen Elizabeth and her Court circa 1900; a painting that has hung in the Chamber of Colchester Town Hall for 100 years.

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