Suffolk is an incredibly diverse area, with plenty of places to visit and lots on offer for you to enjoy in your free time and weekends.
Shopping in Suffolk can be anything from one of the exciting centres to the bustling farmers markets. There are plenty of big shopping centres, in the towns such as Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. These have all the big, popular brands we all know and love. If you prefer independent shops, Woodbridge, Southwold and Beccles are the places for you. Little restaurants and cafe’s are also in the area, so you can make a day of shopping. To make the day all the more exciting, market’s take place in most of these towns; ones that have been going on for hundreds of years, so make sure you take a look at those, and grab a bargain! There are also lots of antique shops for you to have a wander in; great as part of a little sightseeing in Suffolk!
Cardinal Park is a leisure park in Ipswich and 10 minutes’ walk from the main campus in Ipswich. Enjoy a movie at special student rates, then have lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby. Later on, you might like to go to Unit 17, the popular nightclub hosting regular student nights.
Fancy a drink?
Try the local beer with Adnams, Aspall, Calvors, Mauldons and St Peters, just a few of the regional breweries, great to fuel a long walk and give you a true taste of Suffolk with many using local ingredients like Suffolk malt. Or maybe have a cocktail on the Waterfront and watch the boats go by?
If you’re more of an active person, Suffolk Ski Centre is the place for you! The outdoor centre not only offers ski lessons, it also gives you the opportunity to do high ropes, golf, tobogganing, and much more! You might find a new hobby there, or an activity that you never knew existed like ringos. They even offer special group rates on many activities. Located just a few miles from Ipswich in the stunning countryside, Alton Water offers an exciting range of water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding.
Trampoline parks, laser tag, bowling and climbing centres make for a fun couple of hours with your friends, while getting some great exercise, or you can try go-karting at one of the indoor and outdoor sites in the area.
Dance East is located close to the University on the Waterfront and there are a number of sports centres and gyms in Ipswich if you want to take up a new sport or class.
If you’d prefer to just watch some sport then Portman Road, home to Ipswich Town Football Club is located just 10 minutes’ walk from the main campus in Ipswich.
Another great way to get to know your flatmates and fellow students is at one of Suffolk’s many escape rooms. There are various places across the region where you can do this activity, so enjoy a day out to another town and combine it with an hour at an escape room. For something a bit different, you could dress up and have a day at Newmarket races or take a trip to Pleasurewood Hills theme park.
Festivals and events
Throughout the year, Suffolk hosts many unique events and exciting festivals. Music lovers, food lovers, and arts lovers will all have something to enjoy during the year.
Latitude is an annual music festival based in Suffolk, with plenty for everyone to enjoy, including music (obviously!), comedy, and activities. Held at Henham Park, Southwold the festival is set in beautiful surroundings and attracts many major well-known artists. Aldeburgh and LeeStock are just a couple more of the music festivals Suffolk hosts. These are great ways to wind down after final exams at uni, and a good time to spend with friends before you go home for the summer. If you're looking for a free festival, Ipswich Music Day is the largest free one day music festival in the UK.
Honorary Doctorate Jimmy Doherty also hosts his annual Jimmy’s Festival at his farm, just outside Ipswich. Combining good food and live music acts, featuring the BBC Introducing stage, it’s the perfect highlight of the summer. Local arts festivals include Pulse, SPILL and Bury Festival, which are fast becoming renowned highlights in the UK festival calendar.
More information on festivals across the county can be found at www.visitsuffolk.com/festivals