THINGS TO DO
Despite its restful reputation, the county of Suffolk has plenty to offer even the most active visitors. From walks and water sports to shopping and sightseeing, you needn’t worry about having nothing to do on your relaxing break in the countryside.
On The Doorstep:
Walking and Cycling: Step out into the country lane which runs alongside the drive and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by stunning Suffolk farmland. Alternatively, you could try one of the county’s popular pub walks for a hard-earned reward after your jaunt! We’d be happy to lend you any walking guidebooks if you’re feeling curious.
Take a look at these websites for ideas on walking routes, or here for cycling. There's a vast range to choose from, from easy strolls to more demanding hikes. Many of the websites feature downloadable maps.
Stonham Aspal Church: Unusually ornate for a small village church, St Mary and St Lambert features an intriguing wooden belfry above its stone tower, which creates a unique sound when the bells are rung. If you’d like to try your hand at bell ringing, there is an active group in the village who welcome visitors. They practice on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at Stonham Aspal, and the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays at Earl Stonham church. For details call Roy Newson on 01449 711357.
Perhaps the most interesting monument in the churchyard is the memorial to Anthony Wingfield, created by Francis Bird. Bird was a leading English sculptor of his time, and was known for carving notable tombs in Westminster Abbey, as well as the figures of the apostles and evangelists on the exterior of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the statue of Henry VI at Eton College.
Stonham Barns: On the outskirts of Stonham Aspal, just under a mile from The Gig House, lies Stonham Barns Leisure and Retail Village. With a café, a selection of shops, and a Post Office, as well as tourist attractions such as the Owl Sanctuary, Crazy Golf, Fishing Lakes, and Golf Course, the complex is definitely worth a look.
Nearby Towns and Villages:
8 mins – Debenham: The quintessential Suffolk village, Debenham offers all the traditional preserves of village life: a butcher, baker, newsagent, post office, florist, antiques shop, and small co-operative supermarket. With a couple of chocolate box boutiques, a pottery barn, a handful of cafés, a lovely church, and two pubs (The Woolpack and The Lion), Debenham is perfect for a morning stroll.
20 mins – Ipswich: Suffolk’s county settlement is one of England’s oldest towns. Once home to the famous Cardinal Wolsey and later the painter Thomas Gainsborough, Ipswich’s rich history is reflected in its eclectic mix of architecture: timber-framed medieval buildings, the stunning Christchurch Park and Mansion, Norman Foster’s intimidatingly modern Willis Building, and the chic new Waterfront development all share space in the town. Our tip? For that real “holiday” feel, have a drink among the boats at one of the waterside bars and restaurants, kick back, and watch the world go by.
20 mins – Framlingham: The best day to visit Framlingham is on one of its two weekly market days, where shoppers and traders have gathered since the year 1285. Known for its “cheese man”, local produce, crafts, and knick-knacks, the Saturday market is always bustling and friendly, while the Tuesday market offers a quieter scene. Surrounding market hill are numerous little shops, boutiques, and cafés, while a two-minute walk will find you at Framlingham’s 12th-century castle. For a scenic lunch, take a picnic, or buy some food at the market or co-op, and enjoy your meal on the grassy slope next to the castle which overlooks Framlingham mere.
30 mins – Bury St Edmunds: With its historic centre, ancient cathedral, and beautiful abbey gardens, Bury St Edmunds is a market town with a difference. If history and shopping aren’t your thing, the Greene King Brewery or the stunning grounds of Ickworth House are sure to attract. For further information on things to do and see in Bury, click here.
In addition to these great attractions, Lavenham, Sutton Hoo, The Mid Suffolk Light Railway, Long Melford, Kentwell Hall, Woodbridge, Bressingham Steam and Gardens, Banham Zoo, Jimmy’s Farm and much more are all within 30 minutes’ drive.
For more information on things to do in Suffolk, click here.
On the Coast:
Snape Maltings Shops and Concert Hall, RSPB Minsmere and Orford Ness, and the beaches at Felixstowe, Walberswick and Southwold can all be found around 20 miles from The Gig House.
Take a walk through picturesque Constable Country, have a go on the famous Felixstowe amusements, or advance-book some concert tickets at Snape Maltings to tickle your cultural tastebuds during your stay. With one of the warmest and driest climates in the country, your stay has the best chance of sunshine of anywhere in the UK.