Whatever you’re interested in, we guarantee you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the area around Colston Hall, from walking and wildlife through to town-exploring and traditional seaside fun. Here are a few handy links to valuable information on making the most of your stay.

Eating out

There are hundreds of fantastic places to eat in Suffolk. You can find a selection here.

Nearby Orford is home to Pinney’s, the internationally famous fish restaurant (also known as the Butley Orford Oysterage).

Constable Country

Constable Country is within easy reach by car. Many visitors choose to visit this area on their way home, if they are travelling southwards.


The local area is steeped in history. Visit the ‘lost town’ of Dunwich or historic sites including Colchester Castle, Orford Castle, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Framlingham Castle and College, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, Eye Castle, Helmingham Hall Gardens and many more.

You can also visit the fascinating Anglo-Saxon site of Sutton Hoo, or seek out some of Suffolk’s many charming churches and windmills.

The Long Shop Museum, at Leiston, features working steam engines and a host of exhibits on local, social and industrial history. Bressingham Steam Museum is just over the county border in Norfolk.

Amateur archaeologists and those with metal detectors will enjoy exploring Hoxne and Pettistree, where many ancient artefacts have been found.

Genealogy and ancestry

If you have roots in Suffolk, Colston Hall is the ideal base to trace your ancestry and research your family tree. Visit Ipswich Records Office or seek out family graves in our many local churchyards.

Suffolk Show

The annual Suffolk Show celebrates the best of Suffolk’s agricultural trade, skilled craftsmen and local produce. Learn more here.


Enjoy the stunning Suffolk Heritage Coast with a country walk or a visit to the elegant coastal towns of Felixstowe, Aldeburgh, Walberswick, Orford and Southwold – or head up to Lowestoft for a stroll along the prom and an ice cream!

Towns and villages

Explore the peaceful, historic market towns of Woodbridge, Framlingham, Halesworth, Debenham, Saxmundham, Diss, Eye, Harleston, Bungay and Beccles. You can also drive to Newmarket and its famous racecourse.

There are hundreds of picturesque rural villages including Peasenhall, Sibton, Laxfield, Hoxne and Lavenham, all within a short drive of Colston Hall.


Southwold and the other nearby towns boast an ever-growing array of clothing boutiques, delicatessens, furniture makers and arts and crafts shops. Click here for some ideas on where to browse and buy.

Further afield, we are around 40 miles (64km) from the three larger shopping centres of Norwich, Ipswich and Bury.


Our local vineyard, Shawsgate, produces a range of whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines. Entry is free and there is a children’s play area.

Arts and crafts

Stonham Barns offers a wide range of arts and craft stores, plus leisure activities.

The patchwork shops at Wickham Market and Framlingham have tools and materials for sale and also offer courses.

There are several independent art galleries in the local area – click here for details.


Flatford Mill offers a wide-ranging programme of environment and art-based courses.

Nearby Leiston is home to the Pro Corda music school, which specialises in chamber music.

Music and entertainment

You can visit Snape Maltings, home of the world-famous Aldeburgh Festival, or take in a show at one of our excellent local cinemas.

We are also conveniently sited for the Latitude Festival.


Rural Suffolk is rich in wildlife, with lots of opportunities for birdwatching at the Minsmere RSPB reserve or enjoying nature at sites such as the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath.

Easton Farm Park is an open farm for families that also hosts concerts and activities.

Stonham Barns is home to an Owl Sanctuary and many other birds of prey.


We are well situated for those visiting the High Lodge sporting centre at Darsham, venue for many Olympic qualifying rounds.


You can fish in our own on-site lakes, or venture further afield to one of the many great fishing sites in the local area.


Suffolk has 30 golf courses to choose from, including nearby courses at Cretingham, Fynn Valley, Thorpeness and Ufford. You can find a full list here.