Best Picnic Spots in Suffolk: Our Top 10

by Sophie Lawson, June 19, 2018

It’s National Picnic Week! To help you find the perfect spot to lay out a blanket and indulge in an al fresco feast, we asked our new intern Sophie to list her top ten picnic places in Suffolk. Thursday is Suffolk Day too so fill your hamper with local produce and celebrate the best of Suffolk in style!  

We’re delighted to welcome Suffolk girl Sophie Lawson to the Hillfarm team for the summer. A farmer’s daughter, Sophie is joining us as a marketing assistant for her marketing and management degree course at the University of East Anglia. These tried and tested picnic spots are Sophie’s personal recommendations, being places she has visited many times with her family. We hope they bring you as much pleasure as they have Sophie! 

1. Dunwich Forest

Enjoy a perfect day out exploring Suffolk’s woods and heathland. Walk or cycle along the trails spotting Dartmoor ponies, deer, butterflies and other wildlife then cool off under the canopies while tucking in to your sandwiches! 

2. Thorpeness

Take a boat out on the Meare with the swans and ducks to find the Pirate’s Lair and other landings inspired by J M Barrie’s Peter Pan.  Children and adults alike share a soft spot for this quirky coastal village, making it a great choice for family picnics. Finish up with an ice cream then walk it all off by heading down the coast to Aldeburgh.

3. Iken Cliff

This peaceful and secluded spot is ideal for long dog walks along the River Alde. Forget about the hustle and bustle of daily life on a blissful summer afternoon or hire a canoe to get closer to the seals and wading birds in residence. 

4. Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

Picnic amongst the abbey ruins then spend the rest of your day admiring the impeccable flower displays or walking along the River Lark. Children will love the play area, treehouse and sandpit, as well as the friendly koi carp in the pond!  

5. Walberswick beach

What could be better than a picnic on this spacious sandy beach or among the dunes? After your picnic and a paddle, you can while away the rest of your day trying to catch crabs in the mud slats.

6. Cattawade Marshes

In the heart of Constable country, on the edge of the Stour estuary, the Cattawade Marshes are renowned locally as a great spot for bird watching. On a good day you can see redshank, lapwings and oystercatchers breeding on the pastures. You can also fish or canoe, using the purpose-built platforms.  

7. Levington

On the banks of the River Orwell, it’s hard to believe peaceful Levington is just four miles from Ipswich. Work up an appetite with a circular walk through woodland, over the boardwalk and along the edge of the estuary then polish off your picnic while watching the boats.

8. Thetford Forest

In the north of Suffolk on the Norfolk border, this working forest and leisure destination offers a wealth of bike trails and wildlife walks. Families flock to the adventure playgrounds at High Lodge while bird watchers and quiet seekers head to peaceful Lynford Arboretum, where you’ll find over 200 tree species. 

9. Clare Castle Country Park

Discover the remains of this 13th century stone castle, while taking in the sweeping views of Clare from its 60-foot motte. After your picnic, set out on one of the many circular walks from the park for more spectacular views over the Stour Valley or bring a ball or frisbee for a family game in the grounds. 

10. Flatford Mill

Continue your Constable pilgrimage to Flatford Mill, the scene of the first painting in his famous Stour Series. Hire a Clinker built rowing boat, take a trip on the Stour Trusty II or just relax by the water’s edge with your picnic to take in the scenic countryside beloved by the great painter.

Your perfect picnic 

What’s in your ultimate picnic basket and where are your favourite spots? Anywhere in the UK – we’d love to know! Share your recommendations with us via Facebook and Twitter to help everyone enjoy National Picnic Week, wherever they are! 

For picnic packing inspiration visit the recipe section of our website, where you’ll find delicious recipes such as fig and rosemary spelt soda bread, macro bowls with butternut & seed falafels, quinoa salad, healthier hummus and red lentil dip. 

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