Half Term Family Adventures

Pop on your wellies, pack the snacks and head out on an autumn adventure this half term!

Sometimes a burst of fresh air is all that you need to blow away the cobwebs, and Bury St Edmunds offers a wide range of places for youngsters to explore and run around. Whether your little ones are avid readers, history seekers or just enjoy a stomp around in the muddy puddles, there are so many places to satisfy their imagination and tire them out before teatime.

Nowton Park

Picturesque Nowton Park is a fantastic place to wander through 200 acres of landscaped Suffolk Countryside. Expansive and dramatic, Nowton Park offers youngsters the chance to run about and explore all the hidden delights of nature. From fungi, interesting flora and fauna and wildlife galore, take one of the several long walks and keep your eyes peeled. End your visit with a trip to the café for a well deserved hot drink and a snack.

Ickworth House Park & Gardens

Set among 1,800 acres of stunning Suffolk parkland, National Trust Ickworth House Park & Gardens is part of an estate dating back to 1702 and offers a memorable day out for families. The huge site has a range of varied walks with twists and turns and places for intrigued youngsters to explore. See if anyone in your party can spot the magical sleeping dragon guarding her eggs amongst the ferns in the ‘Stumpery’ and visit the den building area in the Albana woods to construct your own wild and wonderful nature abode from sticks, branches and logs. Families are also welcome to bring bikes and cycle around the Linnet or Monument trails- especially designed for families.

A magical meander around Lavenham

Lavenham is breathtakingly beautiful and the finest example of an English Medieval village in the UK, the atmospheric sights are best explored on foot as you weave through the historic lanes and see the past come to life. Stroll through the streets and wonder at the delightfully crooked houses, each with their own tale to tell. Avid Harry Potter fans should keep their eyes peeled for the front of the Guildhall and the De Vere House, which were used in the CGI sequences depicting Harry Potter’s parent’s house in Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows part 1.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The elegant St Edmundsbury Cathedral is an interesting place for visitors of all ages. An historic place of pilgrimage, the cathedral is well-used to visitors from far and wide and continues to offer a warm welcome to all who arrive at its doors. 

Youngsters will find themselves kept busy by the interactive ‘Discovery Detectives Trail’ which leads intrepid explorers through the cathedral itself and out into the grounds, picking up clues as they go and ending in the shop where they can claim their badge. The trail is available for families to print out at home and recommends that you come prepared with a sketch-pad and pencils, binoculars and even a magnifying glass of you have one.  

The historic Abbey Gardens

The historic Abbey Gardens offer so much for young imaginations to explore. The ruins are a great way to ignite an interest in the history of the site, with opportunities to uncover what was once one of the richest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England. The 14th Century Great Gate and Norman Tower remain in tact and the other ruins evoke an atmosphere of this once incredibly important pilgrimage site. Children will be delighted by the aviary, with parrots, budgies, canaries and even lovebirds there for all to see. The birds are extremely well-cared for and little ones are sure to be entertained by their antics. 

The café serves refreshments from the takeaway hatch, which can be consumed as you sit in one of the comfortable nooks, or in the fragrant sensory garden. There is even a little shop on site selling reasonable priced plants, so you might end up heading home with a little bit of nature of your own.

West Stow Anglo Saxon Village and Country Park

West Stow Country Park features 125 acres of wood and heathlands, a river and lake and is the location of one of Britain’s greatest archaeological sites. Enjoy an energetic winter walk in the Country Park, with its stunning scenery and ample wildlife. There are even two bird hides and a bird feeding area, as well as the River Lark and its complex eco system.

Youngsters will enjoy the adventure playground with its slides, tunnels, swings and more. Connected to the country park, the Anglo Saxon village is an opportunity to immerse your family in the living history of our ancestors. The reconstructed village takes you back in time to see how the Anglo Saxons lived, with staff on site to answer questions and help with the interactive activities.

Clare Castle Country Park

A short journey outside of Bury St Edmunds takes you to the town of Clare where families can make the most of a refreshing day out at Clare Castle Country Park; a beautiful place for walks by the river Stour, and with plenty to do to tire out little legs. The castle was built in the 11th Century by a Norman knight and would have been a grand sight to behold in its time. 

Now, despite its ruinous nature it is still an outstanding look out spot and boasts its own motte and bailey structure. Race each other to the top for the best 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside.  Elsewhere in the park there are Victorian Railway buildings, ponds, streams, grassland, woodland and copious pathways to explore. There is a brilliant playground for youngsters to enjoy, and the Platform One café sells a range of delicious cakes and savories to re-energise after your day spent exploring. 

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