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Free Family Days Out!

A family day out in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond needn't break the bank, check out our pick of things to do, which don't cost a penny!

With everything from parks and woodland to exhibitions, museums and mazes - there's a day out to suit all members of the family. A memorable day needn't break the bank either, these family days out in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond are all free and guaranteed to appeal to all!

West Stow Country Park 

Surrounding West Stow Anglo Saxon Village, West Stow Country Park includes 125 acres of unspoilt countryside, trails, heath and woodland walks including the Beowulf and Grendel Trail and adventure playground. 

The trail is inspired by the ancient saga of Beowulf and Grendel and takes you on a journey through parts of the unique Breckland landscape including, heathland - where you will meet the sleeping dragon - woodlands and lake settings. There are six large themed carved sculptures that capture not only capture the story but fire your imagination about life in the region 1,500 years ago.

For wildlife enthusiasts there are two bird hides and a bird feeding area as well as a lake and the River Lark with all the life that this attracts. 

Abbey Gardens 

There lots to explore and enjoy in the Abbey Gardens; start in the aviary which is home to a variety of birds including canaries, budgies, teal ducks, bengalis, zebra finches and diamond doves then head to the playground to let the children let off some steam. Find a spot on the grass and enjoy a picnic before enjoying a round of crazy golf!

There's a wildlife feeding area where you can spot birds and squirrels, then pay a vosot to the cafe for teas, coffees and ice creams to complete your day. 

Clare Castle Country Park 

Clare Castle Country Park is a beautiful 32.6-acre park which contains the remains of a 13th Century stone castle keep set upon its 70ft high motte overlooking the town, as well as its inner and outer baileys -it’s a beautiful spot for recreation and picnics with Roman, Saxon, Norman connections. Inside the castle, located in the original 1865 bookings hall of Clare Railway Station, is Platform One, an atmospheric café in the heart of the park.

The park is home to a range of circular walks, suitable for all abilities, plus a play area; surrounded by grass with has benches and tables ideal for family picnics. The Platform One Cafe is nearby, selling take away drinks and food and during the summer months, an ice cream van visits the main car park. 

Lavenham

Did you know? The wonky buildings in the village of Lavenham were the inspiration for Godric's Hollow, the birthplace of Harry Potter! In fact, you can spot Lavenham in The Deathly Hallows Part 1. 

Children and teens will love exploring the winding streets, followed by a stop at The Ice Cream Parlour which serves a delicious selection of ice creams, milkshakes and sundaes.

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall is the oldest surviving Civic building in the UK and features interactive displays and collections taking you on a journey through time and history. 

Live re-enactors bring the past to life and there's plenty of opportunities for youngsters to have a go themselves in The Court Room, the Banqueting Hall, the RAF's WWII Royal Observer Corps Operations Centre Headquarters (the only surviving one in the country) the Tudor Kitchen, courtyards and open gardens. 

The Guildhall is open every Sunday (plus on Wednesday from May onwards) and is free to enter!

Lego Exhibition at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

St Edmundsbury Cathedral launched an ambitious project to recreate the Cathedral out of 200,000 LEGO bricks! Since the launch in May 2016, thousands of visitors from near and far have donated to place bricks and it is anticipated that there will be 200,000 bricks that will make up the finished model!

Visitors will be able to see the Lego Cathedral being building before their eyes and donate a brick to be part of this amazing project. The Lego Cathedral is located in the South West corner of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and open Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Occasionally, they may need to close the build area during these times, so it is recommended you contact the Cathedral if travelling a distance to visit. 

Long Melford Country Park 

Long Melford Country Park is the perfect place for families to explore with small lakes, wooded areas, and viewing points beside the River Stour.

The Country Park is a great starting location for walks and bike rides as it is located close by to the Valley Walk pathway which takes you just a few miles, along a traffic free scenic route, into the nearby town of Sudbury. 

There's a car park and toilets and plenty of green space and picnic benches - perfect for a day enjoying the great outdoors!

Nowton Park 

With almost 200 acres of landscaped Suffolk countryside you can spend a whole day and still not see everything at Nowton Park!

Take a walk through the arboretum which is home to trees from around the world and look out for the panda which was carved and placed in the China region. Near the centre of the North America region, you will also find a 35.4 ft totem pole!

Find a spot to enjoy a picnic or pay a visit to the Grounds Café at Nowton Park for sandwiches, meals, hot and cold drinks and ice creams. Afterwards, get lost in the maze in the shape of a stylised oak tree and search for the centre of the maze, which marked by a fastigiate oak. 

There are two ponds in Nowton Park - the meadow pond which is rich in aquatic life and is a draw for grass snakes as a place to bask, hunt and swim, and the school pond which is home to moorhens, mallards and the occasional grey heron which feeds on the introduced mirror and crucian carp. There's also a large play area and football pitches where little ones can let off steam!