Fornham St Genevieve, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6TT
Fornham Park occupies an enviable location in the heart of Suffolk, surrounded by beautiful lakes, parkland and forest views. But venture out and explore the wider region and you’ll soon reach two of the country’s official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, both offering great value attractions and activities aplenty.
The charms of Dedham Vale are known worldwide thanks in large part to artists such as Constable and Gainsborough, who often used this lowland countryside as inspiration for their work. What makes a visit to Dedham Vale so memorable? Glorious woodland and meadows to explore, pretty little villages, boating along the Stour, and many pleasant walking and cycling routes, both long and short distance throughout the area. This is also an area rich in cultural heritage, with a number of free or inexpensive museums and galleries that are well worth a visit on a rainy day. Perhaps the best activity you can enjoy in Dedham Vale, though, and one that many holidaymakers prioritise, is to climb to a high point with a picnic, and just drink in the stunning panoramic views of this classic English landscape. (Distance from park: 40.8 miles)
The great joy of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths lies in the diversity of its landscapes. In the space of just a few hours’ driving, you can stroll along picturesque shingle beaches, admire the dramatic views from cliff top vantage points, walk the dog along colourful forest trails, or spot rare birds and butterflies on ancient stretches of heath. While watersports are perhaps the biggest attraction here for many travellers, the Suffolk Coast also has a vibrant cultural scene, many fine examples of heritage architecture, and a wealth of inexpensive attractions, including several museums and galleries displaying the work of local artists. Whether you’re visiting for a short weekend break or longer, the charms of the Suffolk Coast stay with you for a long time, meaning that a return trip at some point is almost inevitable. (Distance from park: 36.4 miles)