Boating, buggying and birdwatching

Birdwatching, clay-pigeon shooting, tennis, fishing, swimming, boating and buggying are all possible on site. Head out to Dunham Heath and Beach for bucket-and-spade fun among the warblers and woodlarks, take in the tranquility at the RSPB Reserves, or discover theatres, theme parks, science centres and steam trains.

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Country kids

There’s plenty on site – 4,500 acres of fun and adventure that promise a possibly never-ending game of hide-and-seek. Or we can light a bonfire in the woods so you can sip hot chocolate while sitting on straw bales around the fire, toasting marshmallows or sausage rolls. Memories are made of this.

Or how about a scavenger hunt in teams around the house and grounds? Hunt down hidden gems and finish with a drink in the library. There’s also tennis to be played and boats to be rowed. Stop off to search the banks for butterflies and dragonflies. Then there’s the heated pool and hot tub. Who needs to leave the site?

If you do fancy a change of scene, the self-guided Aldeburgh Treasure Trail will fill a few hours, while Orford Castle will burn some energy with its labyrinthine stone passageways and 91-step trek to the top of the keep.

Dunwich Beach Coastal Centre has it all: walks, trails, sea-watching, wildlife charts, play areas, telescopes and tearooms. Hop over to Sutton Hoo for amazing archaeology in the shape of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king. Then it’s off to the Oasis Camel Centre for alpacas and goats, plus crazy golf, maze and train rides.

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For the grown-ups

Life on site is as bespoke as you like. The staff here will make it happen, whether it’s a murder-mystery night, wine tasting or archery on the lawn. Want to soar over Suffolk in a hot-air balloon? Shoot some clay? How about a teddy bears’ picnic? Gather round a fire for stories, hunt for bugs, and then enjoy cream teas from the butler.

But there’s more. Maybe a pre-breakfast bird walk? Or picnics prepared on site and consumed wherever the fancy takes you – the beach or the woods? Perhaps a local wildlife tour, taking in the heathland, woodland, reed beds, coastal marshes and lagoons that pepper the coastal nature reserves. It’s the wild side of Suffolk.

Just say the word and be wowed. But if you want to do it yourself, might we recommend the seaside escape of Aldeburgh? Skim stones from the shingly beach, take a guided trip up the River Alde, or see The Red House where Benjamin Britten penned his operas. Then it’s off to a concert at the Snape Maltings.

For further seaside fun, Southwold is a bucket-and-spade town forgotten by time, with tearooms to boot. Take your camera for the beach huts, a photo opportunity all on their own. For a wonderful walk past veteran oaks and hazel trees, try Captain’s Wood, with muntjac deer munching in the meadows. Enchanting.

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