Park Close Up: Places to visit in Suffolk near Carlton Meres

When you’re enjoying the leisure time that comes with being on holiday, you don’t always feel like venturing all that far. You want to travel short distances and enjoy what’s local to you.

So, with that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best things to do within a short 30-minute drive of this fantastic park.

 
jars of clay

Activities

Jars of Clay (Ceramic Painting Studio and Café), Rendlesham
(19-minute drive)

Sit down, and enjoy painting a piece of ceramic in a calm and inspiring environment. There’s a wide variety of ceramics to choose, from fairy tale castles and fire engines, to a cup and saucer. All pottery and paint is included in the price, so just bring yourself, your sense of creation, and have fun. (And don't forget, that we also offer our very own 'Craft Pottery' onsite at Carlton Meres)

Suffolk Escape Room, Saxmundham
(10-minute drive)

You are a bunch of UFO hunters trying to make sense of unexplained activates, and you have 60 minutes to work out what’s going on before the security shuts down. The clock is ticking! Unite together to uncover clues and work out how to escape this tricky situation. Reliant on teamwork, this activity makes for a great challenge for the whole family.

Leiston Film Theatre, Leiston 
(16-minute drive)

This old style cinema has been in business for over 100 years, and for its charming asthetic was shortlisted for ‘Cinema of the Year’ in 2015. The cinema plays new releases and stage shows, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Aldeburgh Music Hall, Snape
(14-minute drive)

Built in the mid-19th century, this 810 seat concert hall has a simple and beautiful interior. With regular events to choose from, such as workshops, concerts, plays, art galleries and more, you’re bound to find something to suit.

museums and local history

Museums and Local History

The Red House, Aldeburgh
(18-minute drive)

Visit the former home of Benjamin Britten, one of the great composers of the twentieth-century and bask in the wonder of his life. Walk through his collection of art, personal library, composition studio, beautiful gardens and home.

Parham Airfield Museum, Woodbridge
(14-minute drive)

Discover “The British Resistance Organisation” and learn about ‘Britain’s Secret Army’. On this site “The 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum” also sits, which pays tribute to its gallant servicemen and women. The museum aims to shed light on ‘Britain’s best kept war secrets’ so you’re bound to come away with a wealth of fascinating information and historical tidbits that you never knew.

David Silverman’s Honda Motorcycle Museum, Leiston
(17 minutes)

For any Honda enthusiast this is a must. The museum’s collection spans from 1948 to 1992 and has over 150 models on display. The museum has even attracted the likes of James May, best known as the floppy-haired presenter from “Top Gear” to not only visit, but contribute some of his own Honda motorcycles to the museum, which are still on display today.

forest

Animals & Nature

The Walled Garden, Saxmundham
(7-minute drive)

Enjoy a walk of a beautiful walled garden and plant nursery, which specialises in growing quality perennials, which are flourishing in their gardens today. This one acre allotment includes a pond, seating, is free to visit and has a café on site for refreshments.

Easton Farm Park, Woodbridge
(20-minute drive)

Take a family trip on the Green Trail, explore the 32 acres of farmland, and meet the farmyard animals. You will have the chance to enjoy a Pony & Cart ride, Barrel Bug ride, Family train ride, Pony ride and to hold a chick or hug a bunny; just a few of the activities you can expect to enjoy down on the Farm.

Rendlesham Forest Centre W/ UFO Trail, Woodbridge 
(28-minute drive)

Choose from three circular paths, and wander through over 1,500 hectors of delightful mixed woodlands, which includes play equipment for children and a cycling park. If you want to add some extra adventure to your trip, there’s even a UFO adventure trail to solve. Are you up to the task?

castles

Beaches, Castles and Beautiful Sights

Southwold Lighthouse, Southwold
(26 minutes)

Climb to the top and view the wonderful Southwold Harbour from a remarkable inland lighthouse that stands 31 metres tall. Opening in 1890 with a light so bright it can be seen from up to 24 miles at sea; amazingly the lighthouse is still in use and continues to provides a coastal mark for passing ships to this day.

Orford Castle, Orford
(23-minute drive)

Come and visit Orford castle, built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II, the castle’s unique polygonal-shaped tower remarkably remains intact, and is still one England’s most complete and unusual keeps.

On castle tours you will start in the basement and work your way through the lower and upper halls to the roof, where you will find magnificent seaward views. There’s even a museum housed in the upper hall, with lots to discover.

Glemham Hall, Little Glenham
(16-minute drive)

Take a tour of this enormous Elizabethan home and gardens, and be blown away by the beauty of the building and its grounds. This Grade I listed property built in the 1560’s is situated on a staggering 3000-acre estate, which has a working farm and even holds various events throughout the year. This is perfect for any Elizabethan architecture enthusiast (and who isn’t?). (Open: April-September - Bookings required.)

Framlingham Castle, Framlingham
(14-minute drive)

This Castle, formerly a fearsome fortress, was the location where Mary Tudor was declared 'Queen of England'. You are even permitted to walk the castle walls at 10.5 metres high, walls that have stood for over 800 years. Discover the stories hidden behind these magnificent castle walls, in a day packed with interest and steeped in history.

Aldeburgh Beach, Aldeburgh
(18-minute drive)

Delight in a stroll along this wonderful 1.7 mile sand and shingle beach, dotted with fishing boats and lined with colourful seafront houses. The beach runs northwards from Martello Tower all the way up until the ‘Scallop’ sculpture - made entirely of steel by the artist Maggie Hambling.

Carlton Meres Holiday Park

A wonderful holiday park with loads to offer based in sunny Suffolk.

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