Lockdown had come and gone, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow could be seen on the horizon. Long distance couples uniting for the first time since restrictions had lifted, embracing each other in tearful hugs. Salty tears rolled down their cheeks, mingled with the hoot of laughter. At last they were free to love again. Never would they take for granted the sweet scent of a lovers kiss imprinted on their lips, dreaming of quirky date ideas for couples in Suffolk that would plant love’s ancestral rose.
They would stroll down Southwold Pier, hand in hand, as the sea breeze caressed their cheeks. The blue sea glittered with anticipation, waves coaxing the young couple into oblivion. Entranced, they found themselves in The Arcade, dazzled by the neon lights, drawn into a universe of retro nostalgia. It reminded them of their romantic date night in Kent, losing themselves in carnivelesque pleasure at The Flamingo Arcade. Yellows, reds and neons swirled into one, the hypnotic allure of Air Hockey battling against penny slot machines, tantalizingly close.
A couple of weirdos fell face first into love, meeting each other through Tinder, proving that online dating could work. Lockdown had always tried to take away their creativity, but it could never take away their love, conjuring up staycations for couples that would transport them into a whole new world. From virtual game nights at home, to online escape rooms, right through to themed immersive dining experiences, the restrictions never stopped them from dreaming of adventures close to home. It was the same for their friends too, hoping to find the love that Ana and Dan shared. They would use a Suffolk Dating Site to find their soulmate, exploring the coast through renewed eyes.
The seagulls would squawk noisly at Aldeburgh Beach, as the first-time daters, wandered amongst married couples, people watching as they toasted to their very first date. It was a foray into Suffolk Dating that thrilled them, picnicking in the blustering winds, squealing with laughter. As the world watched on, the sand danced around their toes, tickling their feet with sentimental delight. They felt young again, convinced that there would be a second date, a third date and many more to come. Could it be that East England had helped them find the one?
They were reminded of Ana and Dan who had been together two years, spending a year in lockdown. For months they were seperated with only technology to keep the love alive, regular Skype calls where they would talk and talk, phone calls smiling at the sounds of each other’s voice. They longed for the now that we have today, where they could have cute dinner dates and beautiful UK weekend breaks, spa days and romantic garden walks. There was so much that they hadn’t done together, holidays missed, family unvisited, a future unwritten.
Never had they walked the tranquil halls of the British Museuem, marvelling at the mummies that were resting in their forever tombs. A picnic in Kew Gardens hadn’t been ticked off their bucket list, and a wine and movie at an Independant cinema was never planned. They had never experienced the thrill of swimming in crystal clear waters, and were still waiting to take their first trip abroad, hopelessly in lockdown limbo. While D had met Ana’s aunty and cousins, she had never met his, a cancelled trip at Christmas, forced to stay home.
But that was all about to change.The world was opening up, and Ana was about to take the plunge and meet his parents…finally.Together they would map out their love across the UK, forgoing adventures abroad, in favour of a trip closer to home. There would be bank holiday breaks to Plymouth, and birthday date ideas for couples in Suffolk. Late anniversary forays into Surrey and posh dinners in London town, weaving a narrative of magical intrigue, delicious food and memories relived. And who could blame them, their time was now.
Suffolk in particular was gorgeous, a nationally designated area of outstanding natural beauty, where couples gazed transfixed into each others eyes. Quaint seaside towns like Thorpeness captured their hearts, a calm and serene paradise with a lake that had Neverland at its heart. With Peter Pan islands, rainbow boats and secret waterways, they could get lost in the magic of its historical past, sighing with contentment. Suffolk had charming countryside too, a playground for couples who wanted to cycle together and explore unspoilt nature.
Ana knew that this was where their hearts would go next, long beach walks sampling delicious vegetarian local food, journeying into the Suffolk Coast as first time visitors. And boy was it a thrill, culture lovers falling in love all over again. They would immerse themselves in medieval culture in Lavenham, a wool town where Medieval and Tudor history came alive. Fine timber framed buildings in a monochromatic palette, a contrast to the modern delights of Regent Theatre, East Anglia’s largest and most prolific theatre. From stargazing to moonlight picnics, to garden strolls, they found what they were looking for, unique date ideas for couples in Suffolk that were quirky too!
Get A Slice Of Stunning History At Somerleyton Hall
Ever since Bridgerton had aired in December, Ana’s thirst for stately homes, palaces and manors had intensified. From a young age she grew up being obsessed with history, reading historical fiction books from the likes of Alison Weir, Anne O’Brien and Phillipa Greggor with renewed vigour. She would spend hours reading up Medieval, Tudor and Ancient Egyptian history, fascinated in the women who had grown up in these times, powerful leaders who were ingrained in history, always remembered, never forgotton.
And it wasn’t just reading either, delighted by museums, castles, gardens and private home residences, lost in eras from the past, that were so far removed from her own. Somerleyton Hall, near Somerleyton and Lowestoft in Suffolk was no exception, a country house that exuded elegance and sophistication. With a 5,000 acre estate, Somerleyton hall was renowned as being one of the finest Victorian stately homes in the country. Sprawling manicured lush green grounds juxtaposed with a finely preserved mansion, a grand staircase adding aesthetic drama.
Although Somerleyton had Norse beginnings, it was the Victorian era that created the stunning home that we see today. Sir Samuel Morton Peto (an engineer and railway pioneer) lavished the estate in money, enrolling John Thomas (sculptor and architect to Prince Albert) and William Andrews Nesfield, a garden designer for aristocracy. The results were exceptional, as Ana got lost in a charming library with beautiful bookcases, remembering all those years she spent finding solace in a book, a therapeautic outlet.
D was not one for historical fancies but even he was taken aback, exploring a pastiche of styles from high Victorian splendour in the chintz ballroom to the dark Jacobean Oak parlour. He marvelled over the family portraits of the Crossley family who once lived there, gazing at generations of paintings and tapestries that were scattered around the house. The hall was impressive enough, but both parties fell in love with the garden, reccomending it as a must see for those who wanted tranquil date ideas for couples in Suffolk.
Set over 12 acres, the young couple was amazed by the White Garden and Somerleyton Maze. The sunken white garden was a pure vision, designed by George Carter ad Verity Hanson Smith. Set to the North of Hall, the White Garden is set within the footprint of the former winter garden, a small part of which still survives today. Ana gasped at the cherubic statues that overlooked the garden, saintly figures looking down fondly at the flowers, and its children. As for the maze? Planted in 1846, it was one of the finest yew hedge mazes that she had seen.
Immerse Yourself In A Medieval Village
Lavenham was a culture haven in the heart of Suffolk, the couple transported into a time where it was once the 14th richest town in Tudor England. Today it is a thriving village with strong community spirit, where history and modern culture coincide in perfect harmony, mesmerized by independent boutique shops, galleries and chic hotels that payed homage to its historical past.
Britain’s best preserved medieval village, it was the perfect spot for couples to explore love, with over 300 buildings that were begging to be seen. D’s interest was piqued by Lavenham’s strong links to America, where its airbase was home to the 487 bombardment group of the 8th US Army Air Force. While stationed at Lavenham during WWII the group flew 185 missions, a slice of history that D was well on board with.
A on the other hand wanted to visit Little Hall, an independent, accredited museum, owned by the Suffolk Buildings Preservation Trust. Run by volunteers, the late 14th century hall house was like looking back in time, a kooky yellow timbered house that was striking to look at. Built in the 1390’s it was renovated in the 1920’s and 1930’s by the Gayer Anderson twins who made it their very own quirky antique home. They wandered around, bemused by the pink, yellow and orange houses that lit up the Lavenham streets in a riot of glorious undistilled colour.
Used as a secret location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I in 2010, the streets of Lavenham, Lavenham Guildhall and De Vere House in Water Street all feature in glorious splendour. After the buildings were edited with CGI, the actors were then added onto the background, when filming in the studio. A loved how Lavenham was revered in modern and medieval culture, as A and D spent hours losing themselves in its unexplicable beauty. They loved how the village still remained so authentic to the era, where even the pubs and restaurants got in on the action.
As a vegetarian with allergies Ana was wary at first, but her worries were soon put to rest. From charming inns, to luxury hotels, cozy pubs and warming restaurants, a vegetarian could happily feast in Suffolk to their hearts delight. At The Greyhound Lavenham a Vegetarian paella was exceptional, made with authentic Bomba rice, cooked slowly on the stove. Roasted with onion, garlic, peppers and Valencia style seasoning, Ana was begging for more, drooling at its taste. The vegetarian board was another highlight, marinated artichokes making out with roasted peppers, plump olives on a bed of sundried tomatoes, its saltiness balanced out by hummous, sopped up with French bread.
Foodies would also be impressed with the the independant shopping stores, artisan bakers and farmers markets that were available, packaged up in a quaint Medieval house. Sparling and Faiers, an artisan baker caught the young couples eye, the whiff of freshly baked bread, rolls, cakes and jams begging to be brought. In they popped, excited by the award winning bakery where even the bread tasted like it had fallen from heaven. It was nothing like the bakers they had in London, as though centuries of history were entrenched in the recipes.
Have A Gorgeous Picnic At Felixstowe Sea Front Gardens
Speaking of picnics, Ana and Dan loved nothing more than antics with food, whether that was on the beach, in the park or an indoor picnic at home. Hell, they even had a picnic over Zoom once during lockdown, sharing culinary adventures even when they were apart. As fellow foodies, it would come as no surprise that they were in search of a culinary adventure, citing foodie date ideas for couples in Suffolk as inspiration. Their search led them to the restoreed Felixstowe Seafront Gardens, which sat on cliffs between the town centre and beach.
Felixstowe’s Grade II listed gardens were incredibly gorgeous, with 8 sumptously landscaped planted gardens that were created over a hundred years. In the late Victorian era it was believed that visiting coastal locations would improve health and aid relaxation, and Felixstowe was no exception, seen as ‘The Garden Resort of East Anglia’. With spectacular seasonal displays, Ana and Dan got lost in the magic of nature, weaving through the Rose Garden, The Wishing Well and Serpentine Steps with a skip in their step.
The Heritage Trail was another highlight, discovering the history of the Felixstowe Sea Front Gardens, wandering into a world of historical features, colourful and unusual plants and structures that were vying for the couples attention. In fact, the natural springs occuring along the cliffs, defined Felixstowe as a pleasure ground, around a pump for people to take the spa waters and unwind. Today the interlinking gardens stretch for almost a kilometre along the promenade, with original planting from the Victorian era still surviving and its orginal path layout only altered slightly. Ana was entranced, it was a magical backdrop for their picnic date in Suffolk to commence, where time stood still.
Awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Heritage accreditation in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the young couple got lost in each others eyes, mesmerized by the dainty bluebells that interacted with crocuses and dafodils in Spring. They sat on a park bench finding tranquility at last, watching as bright and colourful dish darted around the ponds in a make believe game of tag. They chose to sit a while, content to hear the waves crashing on the seashore, abundant with shingles, a stark contrast to the botanical beauty of the gardens.
Gorging on cheese and tomato baguettes, crumbs littered their lips, washed down with a bottle of orange juice in succession. They ate, talked and laughed, a picnic for the ages they called it, impressed by a garden whose restoration project in 2015 illuminated its natural beauty in all its heavenly glory. Strawberries perched on rasping tongues, grapes lolling in couples mouths, the scent of the sea air permeated with sea salt and fresh blooms. At this time of year, the flowers were at its most glorious, purples, blues and purples promenading in effortless style.
Fall In Love With Stargazing At Blythburgh
Ana had always wanted to go stargazing, lying down on the cool, damp grass, feeling the dew seep into her clothes. But she didn’t care about the damp, nor did the bitter chill in the air bother her, tracing the constellations gingerly, Apus, Cetus and Ursus Minor lighting up the sky vividly. Holding hands with her love, she let out a sigh of contentment, Suffolk’s open skies and unspoilt landscape home to a stellar number or two. With three sites specially designated as Dark Sky Discovery Sites, A and D, fell in love with stargazing at Blythburgh.
The Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve at Blythburgh was magical, searching for rare shooting stars, as stardust filled their lungs. Celestial encounters engulfed them hungrily, catapaulting them among the twinkling stars, pale silver in the moonlight. They climbed the moon, hesistantly at first, watching over the stargazers congregating at Blythburgh, coaxed into a lulling slumber. The moon cradled their sleeping bodies gently, releasing them back onto earth with a twinkle in its invisible eye. Their children was safe now, home at last.
Overlooking the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve, were three reserves (Dingle Marshes, Walberswick and Hen Reedbeds), where they could stargaze for free. The area had extremely low light pollution for which they were thankful for, the stillness of night shaking them awake from their moonlit slumber, midnight celestial adventures through a shared telescope with Dan. They played a little game, ‘spot the planet’, testing their knowledge to see if they could tell the difference between a ‘star and a planet’. The answer was simple, remember Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? They knew that starlight was refracted, with real stars ‘twinkling’ in the jet black sky, while the planets had a steady shine.
The RSPB’s reserve at Minsmere was on their stargazing wishlist next, witnessing the natural beauty of the night sky sparkle before their eyes. Local astronomers would put on special stargazing events, weaving a tale of mystery and intrigue, with participants able to view planets, stars, galaxies and more from telescopes that were on show. They benefitted from having a local guide who would tell them stories about stars, drinking it all in, with widened eyes. A panorama of beauty, they strengthened their love that night, talking into the early hours.
Have A Romantic Stroll Along Southwold Pier
Beaches had a special place in the couples hearts, both from coastal backgrounds, their hearts filled with glee. For Dan was from jolly Plymouth, a port city, known for its maritime heritage, while Ana’s parents were from Madeira, a volcanic archipelago, that was harmonious in nature. Ana spent many summers journeying to Madeira, relishing the sweet taste of fortified Madeira wine, as she sat on basalt sand beaches, inky black.
There were jagged rocks, and dramatic coastlines, with no white sand in sight, save for Machico, where imported sand from Morroco turned it into a white sand mecca. It was their united love of beaches that brought them to Southwold Pier, extending 190 metres into the North Sea. It wasn’t just a beach, but a cultural destination, delicious food, excellent shopping and eccentric British seaside fun, overlooking breathtaking sea views. When it came to coastal date ideas for couples in Suffolk, a romantic stroll along Southwold Pier was high on their list.
A classic pier reinvented for the 21st Century, unlike derelict piers dotted around England, Southwold Pier was buzzing with activity. Families played arcade games with their children,while young couples slurped on MR Whippy Ice Creams, crunching down on flakes. Newlyweds had post wedding shoots, with the splendour of the pier behind them, the photographer beaming from ear to ear, the weather unseasonably warm. For this was a pier like no other, romance, quirkiness and silly fun rolled into one coastal experience.
A fan of eccentricity, A and D were excited by the Under the Pier Show, one of the most unique collections of interactive machines in the world. The brainchild of creative genius Tim Hunkin, where else in the world could they experience the life of a fly in VR, descend beneath the pier to the seabed in Bathyscape and try a zimmer frame stimulator? Under the Pier was a hilairious, mind bending experience,with nearly 20 eccentric machines for you to try out. The couple smiled, this was a different side to Suffolk than the cottagecore they had previously had.
Famished, they headed to the Boardwalk Restaurant, open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Fresh food made by talented chef were brought to our table with gusto, using seasonal local produce. And boy was it magical, with extensive vegan, vegetarian and vegan options. Tempura gherkins with sweet chilli mayo was surprisingly moerish, a tart contrast to the Roasted tomato and red pepper soup with sourdough, packed with flavour. As for the main, a deep fried halloumi burger in a brioche bun was doused generously with relish, served with pier cut chips. Washed down with a gorgeous off the menu mojito, a strawberry cheesecake rounded up their coastal fare deliciously.
Bond Over Baking At The Food Hub Cookery School
Wherever Ana and Dan went, food was at the forefront of their date night inspiration, especially for Ana who was always hungry. They knew that Suffolk was ideal for foodie adventures, which led them to The Food Hub Cookery School, a relaxed cooking environment in a converted cow byre. Located next to a stunning kitchen garden, the couples interest was piqued by the cookery school’s ‘produce to plate’ philosophy.
Using vegetables from their farm, they taught Ana and Dan how to make the most of seasonal ingredients to conjure up delicious meals that they could be proud of. Hours were whittled away, with an informal baking cooking course where they learned how to make fruit cakes, loaves, and rustic rolls, equipped with the skills to run their own bakery. They smiled at the thought, they were amatuers at best, but still the chefs helped them feel at ease, teaching them how to make cakes that would give Mary Berry a run for their money.
Blueberry marbled cake, soft and moist, crumbling seductively as they fed each other bite sized pieces. Made with love, cake was the special of the day, and the culinary attraction. They climbed aboard the imaginary bakery bus and channeled their inner Great British Bakeoff moment, wondering if they could emulate this baking success at home. Could it be that bonding over baking had found them new careers as joint chefs. They imagined what life would be like if it was surrounded by cake, goopy icing spread over soft sponges, chocolate cake ganache on lips.
After all what was wrong with having your cake and eating it too? At The Food Hub Cookery School creativity was encouraged, and it wasn’t just baking that they offered. From evening cooking clubs, to masterclasses, full day courses, food photography workshops and Weber BBQ courses, it was a cooking haven for experienced cooks, hobbyists and couples who wanted to try something new without the pressure. Equipped with state of the art facilities with Aga Rangemaster cookers and Kenwood equipment, Ana knew they had found something special.
Find Tranquility At ST Edmundsbury Cathedral
After an adventure packed romantic staycation in Suffolk, A and D wanted to round off their trip with some quiet reflection. It was at St Edmundsbury Cathedral that they found the solitude that they were looking for, visual poetry in stone, wood and glass. Despite not being religious even D was taken aback by its beauty, with a beautifully painted ceiling and a calm interior. The cathedral for the Church of England’s Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, this gorgeous building was founded in the 11th century.
Rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries as a parish church, it later became the cathedral that we know and love today in 1914. Recently the millenium project has seen the completion of the building with the addition of a tower, new cloisters and chapels. With guided tours and tower tours starting in June, social distancing is in place, so Ana and Dan had their own journey at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, catapaulted into history, culture and religion. Ana being the avid book lover that she was, fell in love with the Ancient Library, with over 550 books.
Founded in 1595 by Dr Miles Mosse, it was originally intended as a resource for clergy training. With books encompassing centuries, there is a special focus on 16th and 17th century works, in all its orginal documented glory. There is also an online exhbition available, the Book of Common Prayer (Oxford 1718) and Richard Knolles ‘The generall historie of the Turkes’ (London 1603), are amongst the breathtaking works available to ponder at. The library wasn’t the only contemplative area in ST Edmundsbury, with the Cathedral Grounds just as stunning as the nearby Abbey Gardens. As you enter from Angel Hill you come across The Garth, surrounded by a bed of roses to mark the completion of the tower in 2005.
Passing the cloisters the area opened out into the Pilgrims Kitchen Garden, the cathedral’s restaurant and cafe, the perfect spot for A and D to take time out from discovering the cathedral. Lunch over, they entered the herb garden, their senses heightened, as they were reminded how the monks cultivated the herbs from the garden for medicinal and culinary purposes. It was a glorious day, the sun lighting up the sky in endless wonder, thrilled at what they had seen. It was a captivating, spiritual experience that they would reccomend for those who wanted tranquil and spiritual date ideas for couples in Suffolk that were completely free.
Their stay was coming to an end, the day drifted into night. Soon they would pack their suitcases for their train back home the next morning, already forlorn at leaving Suffolk behind. It had charm, elegance, poise and grace, all the qualities that romantic date ideas for couples in Suffolk should possess. They would be back again in the summer, watching the flowers burst open before their eyes, but for now it was time to say goodbye, to a culture lovers paradise where nature, archtitecture, food and dating came alive in endless surprise.
Do You Have Any Unique Date Ideas For Couples In Suffolk?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation. I would love to hear your thoughts of dating in Suffolk and whether there are any amazing romantic date ideas for couples in Suffolk that I should put on my list!
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