Nothing can be certain in life, except death and taxes.
Arriving the same time each year, the shorter days and longer nights are an inevitability which we would all probably rather do without.
This year, winter poses a few additional challenges with restrictions making it difficult for us to escape to the pub for some proper ales and mulled wine with friends. That will have to wait until next year.
But fear not, there’s always a silver lining.
Whilst it might not have the festivals and concerts of summer, there’s still plenty to see and do in Suffolk over the colder months to get you excited. Always keen to inspire, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite things to do in winter:
1: Blow out the cobwebs with a long walk
A long walk around Suffolk to blow out the cobwebs is the antidote we all need after this year. With so many routes to choose from, you really won’t struggle to find somewhere fantastic to stroll around this winter.
Does wandering around the largest lowland pine forest in Britain sound good? In the likely event that it does, Thetford Forest will certainly be the place for you. With several beautifully preserved routes on offer, you’ll find yourself feeling refreshed in no time at all.
For a slightly lengthier walk, the Meadow Walk in Sudbury comprises the opening section of the Gainsbourgh Trail which will transport you, in circular fashion, around the area’s famous waterways.
It would, of course, be remiss of us to recommend a walk around Suffolk without mentioning Rendlesham Forest. The site of a supposed UFO incident back in the 1980s, this picturesque forest is now recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With various walking and cycling routes marked out across its 3,700 acres of land, this destination is certainly one of the more unique places to visit in Suffolk.
2: Settle down for a proper meal
There are few better places to be in winter than a cosy countryside pub. Good thing, too, that Suffolk has more than its fair share of these that can be easily accessed when staying at Woodfarm Barns or Barges.
Just a short drive from our barns, the Dennington Queen in Woodbridge is the very definition of cosy. Complete with a fire that roars through winter, this 16th century country pub will have you feeling at home in no time at all. With delicious home cooked meals helping to earn the establishment an enviable reputation, there’s a reason this spot comes highly recommended.
For a pub with an even lengthier history, the Westleton Crown dates back to the 12th century and was once a bustling coaching inn. Nowadays it has all the characteristics you want from a pub in winter. From its large wooden beams to exposed brickwork and a delectable two course Sunday lunch, you won’t be in a hurry to leave.
Something of a modern take on the traditional cosy pub, the Sail Loft in Southwold welcomes guests to enjoy a filling dinner along with a perfectly poured pint of Adnams, a product of the much-loved local brewery.
3: Go on an adventure
Who said that winter means it’s no longer possible to get out to enjoy a new adventure? Not us, for sure. Whether you fancy tackling one of the more demanding cycle routes around Thetford Forest or kayaking along the coast, there’s still plenty of opportunities for doing something active in Suffolk this winter.
For the truly adventurous, there’s nothing quite like sailing around the River Orwell to feel revived after a tough year. Of course, as much as we recommend this activity, it’s certainly reserved for those with a bit of boating experience.
4: Hit the beach
Yes, you read that suggestion correctly. Whilst we’d love to have the year round climate of somewhere like Miami Beach, the reality is that our coast is subject to the same seasonality as the rest of Britain. This doesn’t make the likes of Felixstowe, Aldbeurgh or Dunwich any less delightful in winter, though.
Great for thoroughly rejuvenating walks as well as some of the freshest fish and chips you’ll find just about anywhere, the beaches up and down Suffolk still have a lot to offer in the colder months.
What’s more, should you venture to Aldeburgh you’ll find a fantastic range of boutique and independent shops that are perfect for stocking up on Christmas and New Year treats.
5: Stock up on supplies
After taking in everything that there is to enjoy here in winter, you won’t want to leave without stocking up on some Suffolk specialities to help see you through to spring.
From an assortment of real ales picked up at Adnams Brewery to jars of Damson jam, visitors to Suffolk are able to easily stock their cupboards with some delicious food and drink.
Another fine culinary delight available in Suffolk is the sourdough loaves produced at the Pump Street Bakery. Found in the village of Orford, this cafe is run by a father-daughter team who collected the prestigious title of Best Food Producer at BBC Food Awards a few years ago. Quite the accomplishment and quite the excuse to make a visit for a loaf.
Of course, if you’re keen to get a few drinks to take home with you, there’s also Greene King who have been brewing out of Bury St Edmunds since 1799 and Aspall who have been plying their trade for almost three hundred years. Indeed, if you want to pick up some drinks to keep you warm this winter, there’s really few places that have proved to be as good at brewing as Suffolk.
Ready to getaway?
If our list of top things to do in Suffolk during winter has got you feeling inspired, why not get in touch today to book one of our barns or barges? The perfect base to retreat to after a day out, our accommodation promises to offer you somewhere suitably warm to return to.