Is Suffolk the most dog-friendly county in the UK?
Here’s some news to get tails wagging! Suffolk is the most dog-friendly county in the UK, according to Visit Suffolk.
They have put together their list of the top things to do in the area - and we’ve gone one paw beyond to add even more attractions which welcome your four-legged friends.
Here are Visit Suffolk’s tips:
• National Trust, Sutton Hoo, open spring 2019. The Anglo-Saxon royal burial site located near Woodbridge is the scene of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. The museum itself is off-limits, but dogs can walk around the 255-acre estate, following two different walks with lots to see and sniff.
Sutton Hoo is currently going through a renovation thanks to a £1.8million National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will be gradually opening their new developments in stages throughout the spring and summer of 2019, in time for optimum dog walking weather.
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• The East Anglia Transport Museum, Lowestoft, open April to October. You and your family can see and hear the vehicles from the past. You can even hop-onto some of their working vehicles with your dog.
A vintage tramway takes you through the museum street and into the surrounding woodlands, while a light railway winds along the northern perimeter of the museum.
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• Waveney River Tours, open April to October and June to August depending on boat trip. Nestled in Oulton broad, within the new Broads National Park, Waveney River Tours offer a range of scenic boat tours which you can climb aboard with your dog close behind.
The Waveney Princess, their main vessel, is equipped with an open top deck to give you panoramic views which your dog is sure to enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for Marsh Harriers, Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings which can often be heard singing and flying alongside the boat. If you don’t fancy a tour, you can hire one of their self-drive day boats with your pooch and get out and explore the waters yourself!
• The Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley - spring, summer and autumn opening. When you visit the trust to admire Suffolk’s iconic heavy horses, you can enjoy a host of family activities which you, your family and your dog will love! As well as the magnificent horses and foals, you can see other animals including rare Large Black Pigs, Red Poll Cattle and Suffolk Sheep.
Immerse yourself in their Heritage museum and education room before visiting the Suffolk Heritage Garden. Let your dog sniff out the wild flora and fauna before venturing around one of their three circular routes within the 200acre farm as you take in the peacefulness of the Suffolk countryside. Walks range from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for those with dogs who enjoy a longer walk! Find out more here.
• Landguard Fort, open February to October. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome at the historic fort, which was the site of the last opposed seabourne invasion of England, by the Dutch in 1667.
Travel back in time and experience what it was like to live on a fort. With tours, re-enactments, family trails and more. You can walk and ‘pad’ in the footsteps of the brave men who once stood strong within the confinements of the fort.
• Framingham Castle - open all year. Once a fearsome fortress, this is now a popular visitor attraction with 1,000 years of history. Brave the towering walls with your dog by your side as you explore the grounds of Framingham Castle together.
The Wall Walk is one of the castle’s best features, with great views of the Suffolk countryside surrounding the castle. It’s also the inspiration behind Ed Sheeran’s his single Castle on the Hill.
• Adnams Store, Southwold - open all year. One just for the adults (and their dogs of course) the Adnams Southwold Store and Cafe, situated on the site of their old distribution centre, has an extensive collection of beer, wine and spirits.
There is a fully-stocked tasting bar, where you can sample drinks before deciding what to take home with you. Dogs on leads can come along for the tasting too, and sample some Southwold water in branded bowls, before you take them on a walk on the shore. Either side of the main beach are some beautiful coastal walks which welcomes dogs all year round, most of the pubs in Southwold are dog friendly too!
And here are some more dog-friendly attractions we’ve added:
• Suffolk Dog Day, Helmingham Hall, near Stowmarket. The date for this year’s big event, organised by Suffolk Community Foundation, is Sunday, July 28. This will be a day to celebrate our furry friends in style. Attractions include fun dog classes for everyone to enter, with prizes, agility, dog scurry, activities for dogs and owners, children’s activities, entertainment and demonstrations. There will also be more than 50 stalls and a catering village, and the ticket price includes admission to Helmingham Gardens.
If you can’t wait for July, a Woofers Winter Walk is planned for Sunday, March 3 - this is a charity walk against the stunning backdrop of Helmingham Hall.
• The Dog, Grundisburgh. Suffolk has many great dog-friendly pubs, but The Dog really lived up to its name by recently winning the national DogBuddy Dog-friendly Pub Awards. The pub is known for making a great fuss of our four-legged friends, with dog biscuits and a water bowl on arrival. There’s even the option to pre-book a table for you and your best friend.
The traditional Suffolk pub, near Woodbridge, welcomes dogs in its bar, restaurant and gardens. Four more pubs in Suffolk made the regional list - The Wilford Bridge at Melton, The Maybush at Waldringfield, The Fox Inn at Newbourne and Cult Cafe on Ipswich Waterfront.
Dog-friendly beaches. During the winter months each year, most beaches in Suffolk have no restrictions on dogs, meaning you can take them for walks beside the sea. During the summer, some do have restrictions, for instance Felixstowe, where dogs are banned from around half a mile of the main beach between May and September - but there are still plenty of other areas where you can walk them. Kessingland, Pakefield and Walberswick are among the beaches where dogs are allowed all through the year. Rules can change, so check for signs.