Dating back to pre-Roman times, Suffolk is a county overflowing with historical significance. Renowned for its expansive beaches, archaeological finds and rich abundance of wildlife, it’s no surprise that Suffolk is also home to some of the UK’s most treasured National Trust sites. Below we have listed a few that are not to be missed.
The home of one of Britain's most important archaeological discoveries, Sutton Hoo provides clues to a past so ancient it is steeped in myths and legends. The Anglo-Saxon royal burial site has provided many outstanding artefacts dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. In 1939 the largest burial mound was excavated to reveal a 27-metre-long ship. It appeared to have been used as a burial chamber for a high ranking royal, and inside was piled high with ancient treasures. The award winning exhibition centre showcases these discoveries and draws exciting conclusions about England’s mysterious medieval period.
Built predominantly in the 16th century, Melford Hall is well known for its link to revered writer and illustrator, Beatrix Potter. As a cousin of the family, Beatrix visited often, and drew her artistic inspiration from the surroundings. Amazingly the visitors’ book is still marked with some of her original sketches. The Hall is the ancestral seat of the Parker Baronets, and is still cherished and maintained by the Hyde-Parker family, who love to share their stories of family life at the hall throughout the centuries.
This 18th century ornate Georgian palace boasts the earliest Italianate garden in England. The house remains a stunning example of Georgian architecture, with the rotunda’s neoclassical facade melding into the Suffolk landscape. The 4th Earl of Bristol designed the palace to house his extensive collection of artefacts, many of which are still on display inside. Tours run daily and visitors are welcome to cycle through the grounds and around the fairy lake. There is a cafe and restaurant on site and dogs are welcome too.
Dramatic and breathtaking, yet peaceful and serene, Dulwich Heath is a perfect patch of unspoilt wild British landscape. In the summer months the coastal lowland heath is covered in a thick blanket of purple heather, and is teeming with wildlife. Species to spot include the Dartford warbler, the woodlark, and the nightjar. The open areas are a beacon for multiple species of jewel-coloured dragonflies, and visitors can enjoy a paddle at the shingle beach.
Now the only surviving Regency playhouse in England, this rare Grade I listed theatre will transport its visitors back to the 19th century, with the added bonus of a 21st century bar. Tours can be booked at the box office, although for the full experience you might want to check out the theatre’s lively programme. You can expect drama, music, comedy, dance, and visits from leading performers. Currently showing is R. C. Sheriff's First World War masterpiece ‘Journeys End’.
If you’ve been enraptured what Suffolk has to offer then why not take a look at our holiday cabins for sale in the area.
Photo by: John Fielding