There is a huge range of things you can easily reach as a half or full-day trip from Straw Bale Cottage, some of which are listed below. Alternatively you can just chill-out, have a barbecue and enjoy the views of the countryside.

 Within a 20 minute drive

Museum of East Anglian Life Based in Stowmarket, this outdoor museum set in 75 acres of countryside and with 17 buildings, charts the history of rural Suffolk.

Historic Bury St. Edmunds A historic market town with many restaurants and shops as well as the Cathedral and Abbey Gardens

Ickworth House A National Trust country house and former home of the Marquis of Bristol, with extensive gardens and children’s play area.

West Stow Anglo Saxon Village A recreated Anglo Saxon village with museum and country park

Alder Carr Farm and Shop A pick-your-own farm, farm shop and cafe – home of the famous Alder Tree ice cream

Baylham Rare Breeds Farm A small livestock farm with cafe, play area and opportunities to get close to, and feed, farm animals

Suffolk Cheese Shop A family-run business making and selling traditional Suffolk cheeses, from its farm shop

Chilli Farm Farm shop and cafe specialising in growing and selling a wide variety of chillis

Pakenham Water Mill A restored wind and water mill, offering guided tours, a chance to see traditional milling and baking in actions as well as a cafe

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns A chance to learn about and view over 80 types of owls and birds of prey, including flying demonstrations

Wyken Vineyards Restaurant, cafe, country store, weekend farmers market and 7 acre vineyard which produces award-winning wines


Further afield (but all easily reachable as a half or full day trip)

Lavenham One of England’s best preserved medieval wool towns with a splendid church, array of timber framed house, medieval Guildhall and Little Hall Museum

Long Melford An attractive village with many restaurants and antique shops as well as the Tudor houses of Long Melford Hall and Kentwell Hall

Ipswich The county town of Suffolk with many attractions including the WaterfrontChristchurch Mansion and Park and Ipswich Museum

Suffolk Ski Centre An outdoor dry ski slope, offering skiing lessons as well as toboganning and Ringo sessions

Jimmy’s Farm TV personality Jimmy Doherty’s wildlife park, farm shop and restaurant

Lackford Lakes A Suffolk Wildlife Trust oasis with a landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland

Suffolk Heritage Coast A 50-mile stretch of heritage coastline and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty featuring the coastal towns of Southwold, WalberswickAldeburgh, Orford and Thorpness as well as the sunken city of Dunwich and the RSPB Minsmere Reserve.

Sutton Hoo The site of one of Britain’s greatest archaeological discoveries, featuring royal burial mounds and a buried 1,400 year old Saxon long boat

Flatford Mill Probably one of the most famous views in English history, immortalised by John Constable in his 1821 Hay Wain painting

Zoos – the relatively compact Banham Zoo and also the very extensive Colchester Zoo (possibly the best zoo in Britain in our opinion)

Castles: you can check-out Ed Sheeran’s castle on the hill at Framlingham, or visit the Roman Castle at Colchester

Snape Maltings Founded by Benjamin Britten – Snape Maltings brings together concerts, galleries, shops, restaurants and walks

Icken Canoe River-based canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard hire on the upper reaches of the Alde Estuary

Alton Water Watersports, fishing, cycling and walking

The Norfolk Broads The Broads are close enough to make it easy as a day-trip where you can hire a day boat and explore much of this unique set of waterways and lakes