Family travel: The Brecks, Suffolk

A weekend of wild activities in the Suffolk-Norfolk borderlands

By Sarah Barrell
Published 10 Jan 2018, 15:00 GMT, Updated 12 Jul 2021, 15:35 BST

If you want kids to run wild, head to The Brecks, a 630 sq mile expanse of Suffolk-Norfolk borderlands, home to the UK's largest lowland forest; a unique wilderness just half-hour's drive from Bury St Edmunds.

Follow quiet country lanes around fields of sugar beet and vines, deep into the forest to learn bushcraft from the inimitably bearded John Tyler at Brandon Country Park. Don't miss Brandon's arboretum, with skyscraping Giant Californian Redwood trees.

Climb almost as high at Go Ape, the flagship treetop adventure park nearby; a great double date with Bike Art, right next door: 40 miles of traffic-free forest trails including some hilly tracks — a boon for bikers in otherwise flat Suffolk.

At nearby Elveden Estate, try steering something more challenging: a 4×4 in an off-road driving lesson. No, they don't need a licence (13 years up). Elveden also offers families the chance to try all manner of mad skills, from crossbow and air rifle shooting to axe throwing.

Why: A weekend of wild activities.
Suits: Active school-age children.
Did it work: Yes. The Brecks offers a wilderness-style break with few of the risks or arduous remoteness.
The details: Stay at Tuddenham Mill, a pretty 18th-century mill house with the original wheel, 53ft brick chimney, and a very accomplished restaurant; doubles from £185 per night (extra beds/cots £30), including breakfast.
Getting there: Returns to/from London Liverpool Street-Bury St Edmunds from £23.
More info:

Published in the 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller – Family


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