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From classic yacht to owls and horses - Your ideas of brilliant things to do for Suffolk Day

PUBLISHED: 18:58 08 January 2020

Arthur Ransome's restored yacht the Nancy Blackett will be open for visits during the Suffolk Day weekend Picture: NANCY BLACKETT TRUST

Arthur Ransome's restored yacht the Nancy Blackett will be open for visits during the Suffolk Day weekend Picture: NANCY BLACKETT TRUST

Nancy Blackett Trust

What are the most brilliant, unusual and quirky things to do in Suffolk? We’ve had loads of ideas coming in - but you can still add yours.

Suffolk Punches in the sunshine at the Suffolk Punch Trust  Picture: PETER BEARDSuffolk Punches in the sunshine at the Suffolk Punch Trust Picture: PETER BEARD

In the run-up to Suffolk Day, which is due to take place on Sunday, June 21, we are compiling a list of 50 great ways to celebrate our county. Here's a look at ideas suggested so far.

- Visit Arthur Ransome's Nancy Blackett - or go for a sail on her - The yacht once owned by Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome has been restored by the Nancy Blackett Trust, and will be open for visits at Woolverstone Marina across the Suffolk Day weekend. Peter Willis, president of the trust, writes: "Nancy Blackett is the yacht Arthur Ransome owned when he lived in Suffolk - and he put her, as the Goblin, into his book We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea. You'll be able to find out all about sailing her."

- Visit the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley - As well as the chance to see Suffolk Punch horses, known as gentle giants, this attraction includes a heritage museum, garden and activities for children. Shirley Newman suggested this as "a lovely place".

- Have a day out at Stonham Barns - Facebook user Stefanie Marie recommended the site as "a lovely day out with the Suffolk owl sanctuary, adventure golf, famous teapot pottery and lots of lovely little shops run by locals".

- Ride a rickshaw along Felixstowe prom - This was suggested by Ian Lightfoot of the Suffolk Rickshaw Company, who wrote: "Just read your article regarding 50 things to do in Suffolk. How about riding the only licensed hackney carriage rickshaw along Felixstowe promenade?"

- Visit Gainsborough's House in Sudbury - Geraldine Marshall suggested three West Suffolk places to visit, including this one. She writes: "A wonderful Georgian house with special exhibitions and workshops, currently undergoing exciting expansion."

- Discover Sudbury's silk - This was another suggestion from Geraldine, who writes: "Sudbury boasts three silk producers. Stephen Walters and Sons, Vanners and Gainsborough Silk Weaving. They are traditional businesses and can buy some of the finest silk fabrics available in the world."

- Visit Nethergate Brewery near Long Melford - Geraldine's third suggestion was this "excellent local brewery/shop/bar/music venue with a fabulous outdoor garden."

Riding a rickshaw in Felixstowe is an unusual way to celebrate Suffolk. Pictured here is Ian Lightfoot with his rickshaw Picture: KATY SANDALLSRiding a rickshaw in Felixstowe is an unusual way to celebrate Suffolk. Pictured here is Ian Lightfoot with his rickshaw Picture: KATY SANDALLS

- Discover Newmarket's racing heritage - Nick Gordon of Discover Newmarket suggested visiting Palace House, the national heritage centre for horseracing and sporting art, as well as booking a tours of the National Stud and the famed Newmarket Gallops.

- A Day at the Races - Newmarket is still the home of British horseracing today, and you can watch some of the biggest races in the UK here as well as the popular Newmarket Nights concerts.

- Visit RSPB Minsmere for free - The bird reserve posted on Facebook: "We'll be offering free entry to all Suffolk residents again to celebrate Suffolk Day - just bring proof of your address. There will also be free guided walks during the day."

- Walk around Alton Water - Stretching across 400 acres, this water park offers loads of opportunities for a leisurely stroll, with walking trails and nature walks, as well as cycle tracks, watersports and other activities. Brodi Samuels said simply: "I love it here."

- Rendlesham Forest - It's open all the year round, with a host of walking and cycle trails and activities.

- Have a drink in a classic Suffolk pub - David Jackson suggested the Fat Cat, Dove and Thomas Wolsey pubs in Ipswich, but there are loads more to celebrate around the county.

- Suffolk Regiment Museum, Bury St Edmunds - Nicki Dixon recommended this as "a fascinating place".

- Take a sail on SB Cambria - Laura Hammond writes: "Currently based at Pin Mill, she is the last coasting barge of her kind without an engine."

One of the owls at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, at Stonham Barns Picture: ANDREW MUTIMEROne of the owls at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, at Stonham Barns Picture: ANDREW MUTIMER

- Spend time in the Suffolk countryside - Jackie Edey said: "In all water meadows and forests, watch the wildlife, birds, insects, waterfowl, all living their lives freely like they should. Listening to happy chirpy birds, the list of things to do is endless. Tire the children and adults. Take picnics, etc. And the beauty is, it's all free and teaches children to respect life and the environment. A lovely day out, all around, for everyone."

- Walk the Fynn Valley between Witnesham and Little Bealings - Nichola Manning suggested discovering the countryside in this area, which is at the centre of the ongoing controversy over plans for a Northern Bypass.

You may also want to watch:

- Visit Sutton Hoo - The National Trust ship burial site has recently had a £4m makeover, and will be in the spotlight more than ever with the making of new film The Dig.

- Adnams Brewery - You can book a tour of the famous Southwold brewery, complete with a tasting at the end.

- Suffolk Wildlife Trust - Tessa Reeves said: "Take a walk round one of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves such as Lackford Lakes or Arger Fen - loads of beautiful British wildlife in beautiful surroundings.

- Enjoy live music at the Maui Waui Festival near Leiston - One of Suffolk's many exciting live music events, this year's festival will take place in late August, including music from artists including Peatbog Faeries and Dutty Moonshine Big Band. Johnnie Notslar recommended it via Facebook.

- Take in a live theatre show in Ipswich - Ailish Southgate recommended the New Wolsey Theatre, while Serrah Barrett highlighted shows at the Regent Theatre.

- Fish and chips - It's the food of the gods and tastes all the better after enjoying a bracing sea breeze in Suffolk's coastal towns, such as on the pier at Southwold, a walk along the Landguard Peninsula at Felixstowe or seeing the Scallop sculpture at Aldeburgh beach.

- Ipswich Waterfront - The perfect place to go for a walk in Ipswich, admiring the boats and the scenery, and visiting the restaurants and entertainment venues.

- Visit Lavenham - Known as Britain's best-preserved medieval village, with more than 300 interesting buildings. Visit the Guildhall and admire De Vere House, which featured in the Harry Potter films.

- Ipswich Town Football Club - Suffolk's only professional club, the Blues have a long and proud footballing history including the glory days under Sir Bobby Robson where they won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup.

- Framlingham Castle - Explore the "Castle on the Hill" beloved by singer Ed Sheeran, who grew up in the town.

- Orford Castle - Suffolk's other historic castle also has lots to see, with one of England's most complete and unusual keeps.

- Christchurch Park and Mansion - There is loads to explore here, both inside and outside. The park is not only rich in wildlife, but also a great place for outdoor entertainment. The Tudor mansion is the jewel in the crown of Ipswich, with exciting exhibitions including the current Ed Sheeran Made in Suffolk event.

- Walk the Suffolk coastline - Suffolk has more than 50 miles of heritage coastline and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ranging from the wide sandy beach at Lowestoft or the stones of Shingle Street, there is plenty to enjoy. Readers have suggested Aldeburgh, Southwold, Dunwich and Thorpeness as great place for walks.

- Canoe the Stour from Sudbury to Manningtree - See the stunning beauty of Constable Country from the water as the river Stour winds through Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

- West Stow Anglo Saxon Village - See how our ancestors lived in this recreation of an Anglo-Saxon village set in 125 acres of lush countryside.

- Bluebell walks - Suffolk sees spectacular displays of bluebells in bloom in April and May in its parks and ancient woodlands.

- Tower Street Print Project, Ipswich - A printmaking studio where you can try your hand at different techniques.

- Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket - Suffolk's agricultural story told in a series of exhibits and living history demonstrations.

- Canine Dip and Dive, Wyverstone - This pool allows dogs to keep cool and exercise at the same time. It has won the Dog Friendly Magazine Award for the Best Day Out in the UK for the second year running.

- What is your top thing to do in Suffolk? Share your suggestions here.


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