East coast (Suffolk) for a week. What are your top tips on must dos and must avoids?

(53 Posts)

We're a family of four, two children aged 4 and almost 2.

There's a pebbly beach near to where we are staying. Any nice sandy beaches? Should we avoid Yarmouth or is it nice?

Are there nice zoos/farms etc? I've heard about a dinosaur park near Norwich - any good for children that age? What's good in Norwich?

Would love to get personal reccommendations.

PerditaMcLeod Tue 01-Jul-14 10:01:53

Hi Psammead
I know that area well. Whereabouts are you staying? There's a nice beach at Pakefield which is at the southern end of Lowestoft.
Great Yarmouth is a bit grim, but has lovely sandy beaches and is fun for a day out at a proper tacky English seaside resort!
Norwich is lovely. The castle might be worth a visit with children. My dd has been with her grandparents and loved it. Dinosaur park is loads of fun. They have a trail you can complete to win a medal. There's a wildlife park called Africa Alive near Lowestoft which was a great day out. It is owned by the same people as Dinosaur Adventure and if I recall, you can save money by buying combined tickets. Pleasure wood Hills is also nearby which is a decent theme park for children. If the weather is good definitely consider a boat trip on the Norfolk Broads- absolutely beautiful. Southwold worth a trip as well. Very much Boden and Cath Kidson territory but it's a lovely quirky little town about 8 miles down the A12 from Lowestoft . Very different to Gt Yarmouth! It's a lovely part of the world with so much to do for families. You'll have a great time! Do let me know if there's any other info you'd like.

Brilliant, thanks! Useful to know about things like the combined ticket.

We're staying in a village called Knodishall. Not sure that it's such a lovely village but we've left it so late it was more a case of just finding a holiday house which was still available! It's close to Aldeburg, that's the pebbly beach I was talking about. A bit south of Lowestoft but I think Lowestoft and Norwich areas are the areas we're most likely to be spending time in.

ihearttc Tue 01-Jul-14 11:14:24

Go to Southwold-it's beautiful there. Gorgeous beach and lovely pier. Its also where Grandpa in my pocket was filmed if the children have ever seen it on Cbeebies.

I live just on Norfolk/Suffolk border so know the area well.

Bury St Edmunds is also lovely to go for a day trip...they have really nice little shops and huge Gardens with birds and a fab play area.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 01-Jul-14 11:23:34

Ooh Knodishall is just down the road from me! grin

Definitely go to Southwold. The pier is fab and the beach is gorgeous, although a couple of bits are fenced off because it took a battering in the storms last year. It's got a lovely town centre and a really nice playground. If you've got a map, take the common road down past the golf club and where the sign is for the tennis courts, there's a lovely little cafe called Pit Stop. It's very much sandwiches and cakes type stuff but they've got a ton of kids toys and bikes there. We go with friends all the time, it's lovely. You can park in there.

Easton Farm Park is lovely. Lots of animals to see, soft play, ride on tractors, tractor rides, pony rides, lovely for little ones.

If you get a chance visit Snape Maltings. Not really for kids but gorgeous shops and cafe. Fab toy shop!

Minsmere Nature Reserve, as featured on Springwatch grin, is fabulous for walks and they've got a kids playground.

Leiston has got an indoor swimming pool.

If you go a bit further down the A12 to Martlesham there's a big soft play place, if you like that sort of thing.

Africa Alive is a lovely zoo, and it is affiliated with the Dinosaur place and Banham Zoo near Diss.

If I think of any more I'll come back.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 01-Jul-14 11:25:32

Ooh, Jimmy's Farm, near Ipswich, that's good too.

PetulaGordino Tue 01-Jul-14 11:27:22

framlingham castle is an english heritage place i think

MsRainbow Tue 01-Jul-14 11:27:39

My in laws live in that area.
My 3yo loves Africa Alive, it's great for young kids.
Southwold is lovely, get some crabbing gear and go crabbing on the quay.
Pleasurwood Hills is also great, but your DCs are probably a bit young for it.
Personally I don't mind Great Yarmouth, I find the seafront their much more child friendly than other similar resorts (not nearly as rowdy as Blackpool, not as run down as Margate). I think it's fun for a day trip, there's a little kids theme park area next to the pier called Joyland. Alternatively Hemsby is much more family friendly if you want amusements/ rides/ beaches.
Aldeburgh and Thorpeness are also nice to visit.

You lot are brill. Thanks very much! I'll be writing these down, just what
I was after! smile

Vintagebeads Tue 01-Jul-14 11:40:51

Biwilderwood is lovely too have a look at the website smile

DrDre Tue 01-Jul-14 11:45:15

I grew up in Suffolk.
Walberswick is just south of Southwold (you can walk it from Southwold if you are feeling energetic) and has a nice beach.
Thorpeness is just north of Aldeburgh and has a boating lake where you can hire a boat and explore it. It has lots of coves and inlets, you get given a map with pirates and crocodiles etc marked on it - the kids love it.
Orford is nice - there is a castle which is worth a visit. If you time it right you can take a boat to the peninsula (Orford ness) which has lots of experimental radar buildings from the cold war. It's a national trust place so check their website.
I'm sure you will have a lovely time!

PerditaMcLeod Tue 01-Jul-14 12:13:04

Oh yes, another vote for Bewilderwood here! One of the most imaginative kids play places I've ever seen. Lowestoft itself isn't really all that but there are great places nearby. You will be spoilt for choice!

Lesuffolkandnorfolk Tue 29-Jul-14 14:50:04

I wrote a piece on the Caister region here and also about the best places to go crabbing. Felixstowe is another place with a lot more to do than people think and some gorgeous places to enjoy the beach.

The Local sites, Norfolk and Suffolk are both edited by me and I try to ensure we have good content on there regarding holiday destinations and things to do.

We have Bewilderwood, Africa Alive, Banham Zoo and many more places on the Norfolk site and Suffolk has Easton Farm Park, the Museum of East Anglian Life (you can read about it on the same site as the other features above), the Suffolk Punch Trust and gorgeous country walks, RSPB sites and beaches. I love Lackford Lakes, Thetford Forest, Sutton Hoo, West Stowe anglo saxon village, Rendlesham Forest (the UFO trail is imagination triggering for kids) and the many little cinemas and town theatres (all on the site). So many village fetes and festivals too.

Lesuffolkandnorfolk Tue 29-Jul-14 14:50:56

Sorry Africa Alive is on the Suffolk site blush

Lesuffolkandnorfolk Tue 29-Jul-14 14:52:12

Oh and Beccles has an outdoor lido here.

ProfYaffle Tue 29-Jul-14 14:59:43

Oi! Stop promoting the Lido - it's crowded enough as it is! grin

Lesuffolkandnorfolk Tue 29-Jul-14 15:30:37

I did wonder if I'd be adding to that Prof grin T'is a fine balance, it is.

Wormcast Tue 29-Jul-14 15:35:10

Lowestoft south beach is lovely, beautifully clean and sandy. I would go to yarmouth and just immerse yourself in the tackiness. Joyland has nice rides for the little ones (The Snails are a must!!)

Also love Minsmere.

outtolunchagain Tue 29-Jul-14 15:41:33

That's close to me as well , would add a trip to Woodbridge to your list , lovely walk down by the river and nice little town. Also Orford , you can a boat trip plus by cake/ pump house . Woodbridge also has lovely bread at The Cake Shop which won Britains best bakery .

Try crabbing at Walberswick and you can canoe from Iken to Snap which is fun .

Thorpeness is lovely plus you can take a boat onto the mere

ProfYaffle Tue 29-Jul-14 15:53:06

I love Yarmouth, it has the proper old fashioned seaside element to it plus it has the historic South Quay area. I love the Museums, Time and Tide, Elizabethan House, Tolhouse, Nelson Museum. I want to do a heritage walk this year. I've not been to the Yarmouth Pottery yet but I think it looks interesting.

Gorleston beach is really good too, as is the food at the Cliff Hotel overlooking the beach.

Pipbin Tue 29-Jul-14 15:58:55

Go to Walberswick and get the foot ferry over the river and walk to Southwold. It costs something like 50p a person.
It's a husband a wife run affair. It's actually just a rowing boat! One time the wife was rowing with her baby sat in the bow in a cat seat.

mumtosome61 Tue 29-Jul-14 15:59:59

If you want a sandy beach and are over Yarmouth way, I'm another one who votes for Gorleston - I think the beach is far far nicer, and there are lots of places (cheap and otherwise) to eat/have a coffee. I used to work in the hotel by the seaside, and always enjoyed the environment there.

Plenty of great ideas here - Norwich will be really busy this time of year, so I'd vote for either picking early in the morning or Sunday; there are plenty of other places to visit; I lived in Norwich for about 20 years though, so although I think it's brilliant, when it's busy it's very very bothersome! grin

Hope you have a lovely time - I love Aldeburgh too smile

ProfYaffle Tue 29-Jul-14 16:00:59

How could I forget, Great Yarmouth Hippodrome a magnificent building inexplicably hidden by modern garish shopfronts.

Lesuffolkandnorfolk Tue 29-Jul-14 16:38:48

The Thorpeness Meare was inspired by JM Barrie's Peter Pan because Barrie was a frequent visitor to Thorpeness.

Pip I love that ferry and also the Old Felixstowe one. In fact the old Felixstowe ferry + the port is a great combination for boat mad children.

BlackHeadedGull Tue 29-Jul-14 18:28:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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