Exploring Suffolk with kids: Your perfect weekend break

Myself, a 36 year old woman in a purple strappy dress, stood next to the Aldeburgh map

The O'Hallorans

The OHallorans

We’re made up of Lyndsey, John and Erin, who all love a new adventure. We try to get away as much as possible, especially during school holidays and variety is a must for us. That means staying anywhere from a luxury hotel to a hostel and it’s not often we go to the same place twice. 

Embarking on a family adventure in Suffolk promises a delightful blend of scenic landscapes, historic charm, and endless opportunities for exploration. Nestled along the picturesque coast of East Anglia, Suffolk offers a perfect short break for families seeking both relaxation and adventure. Discover a fun itinerary for a weekend break in Suffolk with kids in this post!

Day 1

Suffolk is only around an hour or so away from us in Norfolk so we didn’t have much travelling to do on our first day. This really helped us to make the most of our time and plan as much as possible. 

Morning

If you’re National Trust members the Sutton Hoo is a great place to start your adventure in Suffolk. You can, of course, pay for entry to National Trust properties if you are not a National Trust member as well. There’s plenty of parking available and loads to do for the whole family. 

Erin, stood with the Sutton Hoo mask

Set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, Sutton Hoo is known for it’s Anglo-Saxon burial grounds. An excavation area since 1938, archaeologists discovered an undisturbed ship burial containing a wealth of Anglo-Saxon items. You can get pretty close to the burial area, with maps to show what was in each one. Kids will love the walk out to the burial site before climbing the 17-metre viewing tower. The views from the tower are incredible and not something to be missed. You can see the surrounding countryside and surrounding towns for miles. 

Erin, looking out at the Sutton Hoo burials from the lookout tower

During the summer months, exploring the outdoor areas of Sutton Hoo are great but what to do if the weather isn’t great? Only a short walk from the entrance, you’ll find Tranmer House, the former home of Edith Pretty, built in 1910. Here, children can take part in a trail around the house, with lots of different things to find as well as discover what an archaeological dig might have looked like. Inside the house you will find examples of items that have been found on the archaeological digs so far at Sutton Hoo, as well as what life was like for Edith Pretty. 

Erin, a 7 year old girl wearing a bright dress, sat on the floor doing archaeological activities at Sutton Hoo

Lunch

Sutton Hoo is a 255 acre estate, with plenty of outdoor space. A cafe is open on weekends if you want something warm to eat however, a picnic in the grounds is also a nice idea. There are plenty of picnic tables dotted around, as well as grassy areas if the ground is dry. Picnics at locations such as thing help to keep costs down and mean you can eat whenever you want, without waiting. 

Afternoon

After a busy morning at Sutton Hoo, venture further along the Suffolk coast to Aldeburgh. Instead of sandy beaches, you’ll find miles of pebble beaches instead. A must-see is the scallop sculpture, a tribute to composer Benjamin Britten and made by local-born artist Maggi Hambling. You’ll find the sculpture at the far end of the beach but it’s right in front of a great car park. This is an ideal place to start your afternoon in Aldeburgh. 

Maggi Hambling's scallop sculpture in Aldeburgh

Aldeburgh has a gorgeous promenade to walk down, as you head into the town. You’ll see all sorts from an abandoned rowing boat, huts selling freshly caught seafood and of course, huge seagulls. Aldeburgh is a really gorgeous little town with a great selection of shops to look around including those such as Joules, small cafes and ice cream parlours, and art shops.

Erin, a 7 year old girl in. bight dress, stood near a fresh fish stall in Aldeburgh

Don’t miss the boating lake in the middle of town, where you’re bound to see people having races with their boats, especially in the summer months. You can easily spend a few hours, or half a day, wandering around these gorgeous coastal streets.

Myself, a 36 year old woman in a purple strappy dress, stood next to the Aldeburgh map

Dinner

Being on the coast, the ideal place to get dinner in Aldeburgh is at a chip shop. There are a few to choose from and while they may be busy, queues go quickly and the food is great. You’ll find plenty of benches along the seafront, making them a great place to sit with your dinner. You’ll get a great view of Suffolk’s beautiful beaches while you eat. Be careful not to feed the seagulls though, or you could get fined. There are signs everywhere discouraging visitors from feeding the birds. 

Erin, a 7 year old girl in a colourful dress, with a food bag from Aldeburgh fish and chips

Where to stay?

We have a YHA membership, which entitles us to a discount on bookings with YHA. We have stayed at many YHA locations in the past and Suffolk was no different. YHA Blaxhall was a great option for a family and is in a fantastic location for exploring both the countryside and the Suffolk coast. Private rooms are available and the self-catering facilities are ideal for families on the go. We particularly love the fact that there is a lounge and games room, making it the perfect place to relax on an evening after a busy day of exploring.

*Sadly, YHA Blaxhall is no longer open to bookings for individuals. However, the entire hostel can be booked.

Day 2

Morning

After a self-catered breakfast at YHA Blaxhall, we headed out to explore a different town in the county of Suffolk. This time, we went to Lavenham, which was about an hour’s drive from YHA Blaxhall and Aldeburgh. Lavenham is in quite a rural location, but this means that you get to drive down some beautiful county roads along the way. 

Wide shot of Lavenham Guild Hall

We had a few reasons for visiting Lavenham. The first reason was Lavenham Guildhall, which is one of the National Trust properties. Set right in the heart of the village, you’ll find one of the most spectacular timber-framed buildings of medieval England, along with original wooden beams. Lavenham was one of the wealthiest towns of Tudor England, thanks to the use of the Guildhall. Inside, you’ll be transported back to Tudor times, thanks to so many original features being intact.

Erin learning about the history at Lavenham Guildhall

You can also discover what the Guildhall was used for over the years. This includes hosting groups of wealthy cloth and wool merchants, a prison and a workhouse. Children can also enjoy a trail as they go around the Guildhouse. Staff are helpful and knowledgeable, answering any questions. Erin particularly enjoyed the areas where she could get hands-on or do some dressing up. 

Erin using the dressing up station at Lavenham Guildhall

Lavenham Guildhall also has a second-hand bookshop and cafe, serving cakes, light bites and fresh coffee. 

Lunch

Although Lavenham is only a small village, there are plenty of places to grab some lunch. Just walking around the town and down the high street, we found at least 3 tea rooms and 2 pubs serving Sunday lunches. You’ll find food options to suit everyone in the family in Lavenham. 

Afternoon

The other reason we visited Lavenham was because of the gorgeous buildings in the village. We are all big Harry Potter fans and when I learned that one of the houses was used in the films, I knew we had to visit. De Vere house on Water Street in Lavenham is best remembered for its role in the Harry Potter films. Lavenham was the inspiration for the fictional Godric’s Hollow, the birthplace of Harry Potter and the home of his parents, James and Lily Potter. In the Harry Potter universe, Godric’s Hollow is depicted as a quaint village steeped in wizarding history, and De Vere House perfectly embodies this magical essence.

Erin stood outside De Vere House in Lavenham

Sadly, you can only look at the exterior of De Vere house. However, it’s a such a great photo opportunity for Harry Potter fans!

A fantastic family weekend break in Suffolk

Suffolk is a big county and we only managed to visit a few places during our weekend break in Suffolk. However, with careful planning, like us, you can see and do quite a lot in the space of two days. Whether you book a beautiful country cottage, converted shepherd’s hut, farm cottage or hotel, there will be the ideal accommodation for you as a family in Suffolk. 

Other ideas for your weekend break in Suffolk

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