You’ve partied through your 20’s and scoffed at visiting a boring National Trust, but once you’ve settled down a bit, perhaps even started a family, your priorities change, you seem to enjoy the peace and quiet that being surrounded by nature and beauty brings, and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself asking ‘Is it worth buying a season ticket for the National Trust?
Suffolk is a beautiful part of the country that many people flock to for their holidays, situated on the east coast of England you’ll find gorgeous beaches, charming medieval towns, stunning countryside and loads of pubs, restaurants and attractions to keep in busy in Suffolk.
We’ve selected some of the best, not to be missed parts of Suffolk here to help you plan your holidays.
A lot of people come to Suffolk to be beside the seaside and with Suffolk being the closest undistrubed beach to London its a popular destination for people wanting a break from city life.
Walberswick Beach: This is our favourite coastal spot in Suffolk, with a gorgeous little sand dune backed beach just across from the river Southwold, you can have a play or kick back on the sand and shingle beach or have a dip in the sea, there is also a lovely walk along the Walberswick Nature Reserve if you get bored of relaxing (not likely!)
Southwold Pier Beach:This is more of the traditional seaside resort style beach in Suffolk, with a 250m long pier, a sand and shingle beach and lots of attractions including traditional seaside arcade fun for the family, restaurants, summer punch and judy shows and an under the pier show which you must visit.
South of Claremont Pier Beach (Lowestoft): If its a sandy beach that you are craving in Suffolk then you’ll love South of Claremont Pier beach, which is a fine stretch of sand known locally as Victoria Beach. This is a popular holiday area with colourful beach huts, restaurants and cafes and is also known as the ‘sunrise coast’ so if you fancy an early start one morning during your stay in Suffolk then you can test this out for yourself and see if the sunrise is as good as they say!
ARTS & CULTURE
Arts and Culture are a big deal in Suffolk and combine new and original theatre productions, dance, festivals and lots of museums and galleries to mooch around.
Benjamin Bitten was born here in Suffolk, arguably one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and leaving a rich musical heritage to the area.
Aldeburgh Beach Lookout: Check out this tiny art temple by the sea, a magical and stimulating place for the art-minded to visit.
The Hunter Gallery, Bury St Edmonds: Here, well-known local artists exhibit paintings, sculptures and furntiure for people to view and buy. They specialise in art for the home and have some really beautiful pieces if you fancy taking home your very own little piece of Suffolk.
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmonds: The Theatre Royal in Suffolk is one of the most significant theatre buildings in Britain and the last surviving Regency playhouse. This grade 1 listed building is actually part of the National Trust property portfolio and shows a vibrant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and comedy.
There are loads of things to do to keep the family busy in Suffolk so if you fancy a day away from the beach then check out some of these brillaint days out.
Africa Alive: This is an African themed wildlife park and is part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia. It aims are advancement and education, animal welfare and conservation and its a real treat for the family to see African animals in Suffolk.
Set in 100 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside there are some lovely walks around the park aside from getting up close and personal with the animals.
Easton Farm Park: A visit to Easton Farm Park in Suffolk is all about learning about real farm life, meeting the animals, smelling the smells and hearing the farm noises. The children can roam around freely and safely meaning parents can relax. There are often workshops going on over the summer months too.
Framlingham Castle: Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring these castle walls in Suffolk. Rich in history, exploring a castle is always an adventure for little ones and is super interetsing for bigger ones too! There are walks, exhibits and a cafe for lunch.
Pubs & Restaurants
Scutchers Restaurant, Long Melford: This tastefully decorated, lovely restaurant is a real treat with amazing food and service that is second to none.
If you fancy the food but want to relax in your pj’s then head for the Scutchers shop which sells starters, mains and puddings and wine all to be taken away.
Queen’s Head, Blyford: A beautiful 500 year old thatched pub close to Southwold and Halesworth in Suffolk, this is a fine example of a traditional English pub complete wih a gorgeous beer garden for those warmer days.
Here they specialise in local meats but also have an array of speciality nights throughout the week including curry, pie and italian nights.
Morston Hall: Morston Hall in Suffolk boasts a Michelin star and the restaurant is located in the gorgeous country house hotel.
Expect beautifully presented, imaginative food that will get your tastebuds tingling.
Just because you are a family with young children doesn’t mean you can’t travel and it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you choose your destination wisely and do some good planning then the whole family will have a fun filled break away. Check out these family friendly destinations before you book your next family adventure.
Portugal has been a firm favourite for a family friendly holiday for a long while now. On top of the endless golden beaches, gorgeous sunny climate and the abundance of nice places to eat and sleep you’ll find extremely friendly locals and many great opportunities for little ones to explore and discover.
Choose a family friendly hotel complete with toddler pools, water slides and fun and games for the kids if you want ultimate peace of mind that your whole family will get some chill time. Aside from that the kids will love splashing around in the rock pools, jumping in the waves at the beach, hitting the awesome water parks, searching for dolphins on a boat trip and making friends with the many other children who head this way for a holiday.
You will have undoubtedly heard about the insane theme parks in Florida including Universal Studios, Disney Land’s Magical Kingdom and Seaworld and if you do make a trip to them you are going to have some seriously excited children!
Aside from the obvious attraction of these pretty magical places you’ll find Florida amazing for beautiful beaches, buzzing cities and so much to explore.
With great family friendly facilities and hotels geared up for families it will be an amazing and stress free break.
If you are a family of explorers then Sri Lanka could be an excellent option for you. Sri Lanka has grown and grown as a holiday destination over the past few years and is a really great, family friendly option.
The beaches are really special, the beautiful mountains, the tea plantations, the many giant Buddha’s and the gorgeous and very interesting towns and villages.
A highlight for families has to be the safari experiences where you’ll see all kinds of beautiful animals from elephants to giraffes and leopards.
Mexico itself is such a beautiful place with the white sandy beaches that the Caribbean is famed for, simply delicious food and so much sunshine.
Children can play safely and freely on the beaches and the abundance of great hotels have so many facilities for children that they probably won’t even want to leave the site that you choose to stay on!
Cancun is a fantastic part of Mexico for families, with the American influence in this area all bases have been covered to make holidays really easy for those with little ones.
There are some amazing historic Aztec sites to visit such as Chichen Itza and once you’ve finished exploring then why not head to Wet n Wild water park for some serious fun!
Ireland is a great choice for a family friendly holiday if you love getting out into nature and getting some beautiufl fresh air into your lungs.
Ok so you may not get the sunshine (you could get lucky but definitely don’t rely on it!) but your children can run wild and free in the beautiful countryside or on the gorgeous beaches and you can even head for the vibrant cities when you’ve had your outdoor fill.
There are also loads of brilliant family friendly pubs with outdoor space for the kids to play whilst you enjoy a nice pint.
What better day out for a family then going for a walk. You’ll immerse yourself in nature, get the away from the TV and get some fresh air into your lungs whilst getting some exercise. Children love exploring nature and as long as you don’t pick a very difficult or long route then you’ll keep them interested and entertained throughout family walks.
There are just so many family walks to choose from in Ireland which boasts some breathtaking scenery that you may not know where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve handpicked six of our favourite walks that we think hold something for all of the family.
There is a self-guided walk around the park so your children can take the lead and go discovering amongst the vast woodland. There are many types of trees, flowers and wildlife such as deer, fox, hare, rabbit and squirrel.
There are also underground tunnels which the children will love playing in and a nine meter high canopy walk, electric bikes, segways to bomb around the forest on and a brilliant adventure park.
2.Glengarriff, West Cork Glengarriff is located right at the heart of West Cork and is a great spot for family walks. The area is stunning and is set right where the mountains meet the sea at Bantry Bay.
You’ll find a beautiful nature reserve that is great for all of the family to walk around, forming one of the best examples of oceanic sessile oak woodland in Ireland. The woods are nestled in the sheltered glen opening out into Glengarriff harbour.
Also in the area is the Ewe Sculpture Garden which is only a short walk but is always a favourite for the children with amazing sculptures, waterfalls and little bridges.
3.Bray to Greystones The Bray to Greystones trail is simply gorgeous for family walks. The walk itself is relatively easy but does involve some scrambling which children will find a real adventure. The coast line is stunning and if you’re lucky you may even see barking seals hidden within the coves.
4.Causeway Coast, Antrim The Causeway Coast is a beautiful route that can be seen in full via a roadt rip, but if you’re on foot then a great spot to head to is the Giant’s Causeway. The walk down to the causeway is quite long for little ones, but hang in there because its’ well worth the effort. Once you’re down there you’ll have fun jumping, steping and hopping on the interlocking basalt columns that total around 40,000 and make for a giant playground.
There are also some lovely National Trust walks along the causeway which would be suited to family walks.
5.The Great Western Greenway If you’ve a young train enthusiast in the family then this walk is sure to please because it follows the disused railway line from Westport to Achill and for this reason is fairly flat all the way, which is great for little walkers.
During the summer months the route can get quite busy with other people and is a popular spot for family walks.
Along the way you’ll pass by some of the West of Ireland’s most dramatic mountains and magnificent views of Clew Bay and its islands.
6.The Connemara Way The Connemara Way might not strike you straight away as a place for family walks as the difficulty levels vary greatly, but certain parts of this route are simply perfect for little feet.
The best spots to choose are the parts of the walks that go alongside the beach, these sections are flatter and mean the kids can play on the beach along the way, plus who doesn’t love walking alongside the beach?
This section of the Wild Atlantic Way is home to so many beaches we won’t list them all but three of our favourite spots include Omey Strand at the access point to the island of Omey. The beach here is huge which means plenty of space to let the kids run free. Coral Strand, Ballyconneely is another great beach for exploring since it is covered in coral rather than soft sand - no good for sandcastles but great for exploring and collecting pieces of coral in a bucket. Finally we love Glassilaun, Renvyle, one of the most famous beaches in the area because of its gorgeous soft sand and beautiful blue waters. This beach really shows the West of Ireland’s coastline at its most beautiful and provides family walks that you will adore.
We think of walking as a family friendly activity and of course it really is, but certain walks can be more suited to different age groups. Just like you wouldn’t send somebody with walking difficulties up and down steep and rocky terrains, you might also want to take some factors into consideration when walking as a family of varying ages and abilities. Getting children into walking at a young age can influence their habits in later life, hopefully leading to a healthier and more active lifestyle, which is exactly what we all want for our children. So which are the best family friendly walks nationally and how can we spark our children’s interest in these? Let’s discuss.
It’s always good to choose an interesting walking spot when accompanied by children. They don’t want to be walking long and flat paths, they would much rather be exploring, climbing over logs, running through forests and splashing through puddles. Don’t be in a hurry to reach your destination, stop at look at all of the plants and bugs on route, discuss the surrounding countryside and it can even be fun to make up games to play along the way. This will hold your children’s interest and make your walk really fun for everybody.
We love the Kerry Ridgeway on the Welsh Borders. This family friendly walk would certainly keep the littlies entertained with views of 70 miles or more, from Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons in Wales across to the Shropshire hills, it’s really quite breath taking. This is also a red-kite breeding area so animal lovers will enjoy spotting these beautiful birds.
Next up is Walberswick nature reserve in Suffolk. The variety on offer here is enough to keep all ages happy and so makes for a really family friendly walk. Here you’ll find sand dunes, estuary marshes, saline lagoons and shingle beaches, plus a lovely circular walk. You can even hop on the ferry on the return route if little legs are becoming tired.
Brownsea Island Nature Reserve in Dorset must definitely make the list. After jumping on a ferry from Sandbanks, Poole, you’re transported to an island with diverse habitat, flooded woodland, lakes, reed beds and pine woods. This is a really beautiful spot that feels like a little break away from the real world. As autumn approaches it’s a great time to go and spot the red squirrels on the island. On route back you should definitely have a stroll on beautiful sand banks beach to round off your day.
Speke Hall in Liverpool is another wonderfully family friendly walk. With hidden paths through ancient woodland it’s a playground for children. There are many butterflies, beetles and birds to be spotted in this area which will go down well with those little bug enthusiasts!
Our final fave family friendly walk is Brockhampton Estate wildlife walk in Herefordshire. This area is brimming with wildlife from ravens and woodpeckers to insects and all kind of flowers and trees. There is a 30 minute route which is nice and short and is also dog friendly. The magical thing about this trail is the oak carved sculptures you’ll find along the way as you walk through large areas of ancient oak woodland. There are also lovely waterside paths around a small lake and along a little stream.
We hope there are some useful tips here and you manage to get out on a family friendly walk. It can be really special as a family, the children can be free and spontaneous and it’s a great way to spend quality time together. The fresh air and nature is great for everyone’s mind set and will help the kiddies sleep well… you can thank us later!