Thanks to Suffolk’s varied landscape, a huge range of wild animals call the county ‘home’, including rare birds, mysterious marine animals and even snakes!
However, you don’t have to go aimlessly traipsing around in the depths of Suffolk to spot these creatures – there are dedicated nature reserves all around the county, managed by specialist charities who maintain natural habitats so that our wildlife can thrive.
If you’re staying in Suffolk to spot a skylark or an adder (we weren’t joking about the snakes!), there’s no better location to rest your head than our historic, dog-friendly holiday barges. These ‘cottages on water’ can be found in stunning river settings in the quintessential village of Snape Maltings and bustling Woodbridge. Both of these locations are close by to nature reserves, and you can even spot a range of birds and other wildlife from the windows of the barges! Take a look at each barge here.
Here’s a selection of some of our favourite nature reserves and wildlife experiences in Suffolk:
A coastal nature reserve that’s perfect for family days out, Minsmere is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. This means that you’re likely to spot a huge array of birds, from avocets to bitterns.
Now, if you really want to see an adder, Dunwich Heath is the perfect spot. These non-aggressive snakes feast on small birds and lizards, so there’s plenty for them to choose from at this beachside paradise. Plus, it’s dog-friendly.
A 2,534 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, Alde-Ore Estuary stretches along the Suffolk coast between Aldeburgh and Bawdsey. We recommend going on a walk along the Iken Cliffs footpath for uninhibited views of the Alde Mudflats and its undisturbed wildlife reserve, or taking a trip down the river with Iken Canoe. Keep an eye out for otters!
The habitats here range from vegetated shingle to brackish lagoons, and reed marshes to mud flats – a haven for coastal wildlife. You’re just as likely to see hares darting across the landscape as you are oystercatchers and migratory waders feeding on shrimp from the lagoons.
Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is a registered charity which cares for injured owls and other birds of prey at its facility in Stonham Aspal (which happens to be right near our luxury, dog-friendly cottages (on dry land) at Woodfarm Barns). There are flying demonstrations throughout summer, and you can also visit the Meerkat Kastle to feed the meerkats!
Easton Farm Park
For a classic, family-friendly farm experience, Easton Farm Park is a must-do. See and feed lambs, baby goats, piglets and more, and say hello to the county’s famous Suffolk Punch horses. Here, you’ll also find a cafe, large play area, shop and lots of other wildlife experiences for children of all ages.
The recently introduced wildlife park at local-food-hotspot Jimmy’s Farm features a wide range of animals for children to learn about and engage with, including reptiles, farmyard animals and more exotic mammals such as coatis, capybaras and tapirs.
Based in the village of Monks Eliegh, Lavenham Falconry offers avian experiences like no other. From a one hour session with super intelligent and mischievous ravens, to a full day with mighty hawks, owls and falcons, there is plenty on offer for those who want up-close encounters with birds.
Staying in Suffolk
We would love to welcome you to our Onderming and Twee Gebroeders barges, where you can find plenty more information on Suffolk’s wildlife, as well as the best places to eat, shop and walk your dog(s) during your stay with us. We count ourselves extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country, and we can’t wait to share the magic with you!