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National Trust’s Summer of Play in Suffolk

National Trust Suffolk

Sponsored by Starling Bank the National Trust’s Summer of Play invites families to have fun and experience Trust places in new and unexpected ways.


Taking place over the 6 weeks of the summer holidays and set against the backdrop of the National Trust’s historic houses and beautiful gardens, Summer of Play activities will have a family-festival feel.


With different activities at each location, there’s something new to discover and enjoy at every place you visit over the school holidays in Suffolk.

Take a trip to Ickworth Estate for endless possibilities of play. Head to the Walled Garden and while away the hours weaving through wild mazes, playing in mud kitchens, immersing yourself in the sensory garden, storytelling or performing on the Summer House stage. Bring your bike or hire one from the cycle hub and explore the further reaches of the estate on the multi-use trail. Settle down with a picnic next to the adventure playground or pick up an explorer bag and discover the wildlife that calls Ickworth home.

At Sutton Hoo you’ll find a host of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Climb to the top of the viewing tower, try out a sword and shield for size and explore what life was like for the Anglo-Saxons.

Find out what it’s like to be an archaeologist in Tranmer house, build your own models using LEGO bricks, explore the cinema room with images of the world-famous dig and then hop, skip, run and swing to the adventure play area. Come nose to nose with Anglo-Saxon beasts on the sculpture trail and see what wildlife you can spot in the woodland before building your very own den.

Head to the coast for a nature expedition at Dunwich Heath and Beach. Pick up a tracker pack with everything you need to help you study nature of all shaped and sizes. Go on a hunt for geo-caches – can you find all 13? Follow a trail and discover more about the history of this special place, visit Heath Barn for nature inspired crafts or let loose in the adventure playground.

Further up the coast you’ll find the mysterious Orford Ness where older child will be captivated by the lunar like landscape and its fascinating military past.

Over at Melford Hall, discover the inspiration behind some of the much-loved stories by Beatrix Potter who was a regular visitor along with her menagerie of small animals. Roll out a rug on the lawn and relax with a picnic, topped off with treat from the tea-room. Nearby, you’ll find Lavenham Guildhall with many stories to tell. Follow a trail around the historic village that might look a little familiar to Harry Potter fans.

Escape into nature at Flatford. Hire a rowing boat and take summer at gentler pace as you float along the river. Follow a walking route through the beautiful countryside then pop into the tea-room for a treat before heading home.

Discover a family day out in Suffolk

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