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Throw on a second layer, lace up your boots and set off on an East Anglian adventure; We're introducing our top picks of bits and bobs to get up to as the leaves turn golden and the days get colder. So, get ready for some family-fun in celebration of Halloween or, just for adults, our personal favourite, Oktoberfest! They’ll certainly be giggles, but maybe a few scares too this Autumn.



Whether you're stopping off at the coast or exploring some of the historic market towns, Suffolk has a lot to offer this autumn, from gin festivals to film festivals! Or, simply take in one of Britain's best walks (as featured in The Telegraph) and visit the heathlands and woods between The Ship and The Westleton Crown on our Inn to Inn Walk.


Suffolk Dog Day 2023 will be taking place on the 10th September at Helmingham Hall Estate in support of St Elizabeth Hospice. Simply take your pup for a fun day out meeting other furry-friends or if you’re feeling confident book in to compete in one of the many competitions!

This one's for the adults... My Gin and Tonic are hosting a Gin Festival in St Edmundsbury Cathedral on the 9th September. Enjoy tastings of new and craft gins, rums and vodkas included in the ticket price and meet distillers behind the fabulous products on the day. You may get a good idea for some Christmas presents while you're there!


Visit Ruffins Farm for Pick Your Own Pumpkins, a Maize Maze and petting-zoo throughout October. A family-favourite, pumpkin picking is quickly becoming a popular autumn activity where you're able to take away your goodies to enjoy at home with carving and decorating.

Halloweenies at Kentwell Hall is bound to be full of scary fun for your little monsters! Taking place in October half term, there's everything from wand making to potion creating, so we'd suggest topping-0ff the day with dinner at The Black Lion and a movie night at home watching Harry Potter!


Step back in time to the year 1564 for Tudor Michaelmas Day and see crafts, cooking, music, dancing and a whole historic community going about their everyday life at Kentwell Hall. An active, educational and, of course, exciting day for all ages on the 23rd and 24th September.

Lowestoft’s Film Festival aims to celebrate the undiscovered and support independent filmmakers across the East coast. Taking place from 20th – 27th October in various venues across the coastal town you can expect anything from documentaries to experimental film. The full programme launches on 7th September and we can't wait to see some of the films ourselves!

We are also excited to be hosting the EA Festival Tour again this autumn, with a couple of our Suffolk pubs playing host to an evening with renowned authors. On 24th October The Crown, Stoke-by-Nayland will have a dinner-time conversation between ​Albert Read, author and MD of Conde Nast UK, and EA Festival founder, Joanne Ooi, to discuss his life-affirming book 'The Imagination Muscle'. Then, in November, The Weeping Willow have the pleasure of inviting Isabella Tree, author of ‘Wilding’, to introduce her best-selling book that put the concept of rewilding into mainstream cultural conversation.



Norfolk continues to be a hive of activity in autumn, but with fewer visitors than the warmer months. So, although you may need to pack some wellies for your beach walk, we would advocate a trip to escape the hustle and bustle of every day life and find a cosy bolthole, such as The Wiveton Bell, for an evening by the fireside.


Kings Lynn’s Poetry Festival will be welcoming both old and new faces at the end of September. Writers will be manning their bookstalls throughout the weekend to share knowledge and love of poetry, while there will also be a number of readings throughout the weekend.

On the 17th November Holt welcome everyone to their Christmas Light Switch On with festive fun throughout the night. Think live music, street food, mulled wine, fireworks and fairy lights galore!


Holkham Hall have invited some not so creepy crawlies to join them for October half term. From web weaving to a haunted hunt, they’ve got it all going on! The perfect day out for your little ones on their week off and a lovely setting less than a ten minute drive to ours, The Globe, for a bite to eat.

With a minimum age of entrants, PrimEvil isn’t for the faint hearted. With 5 different haunts, including The Crypt and Circus of Terror, what could be hiding in the corners? Word on the street… screaming doesn’t help!


Studios throughout Norfolk are opening their doors to the public from the 23rd September to 8th October to celebrate the creativity and talent of Norfolk makers and creators. Artists at all stages in their career will be taking part, whether they're opening their own home, studio, shed or garage, many creatives will also to putting on workshops alongside the event.

Curiosity will be sparked through dynamic 3D exhibits, imagery and interactive displays of the 20 plus specimens on show at Bare Bones - showcasing what lies under the surface of many well-known and prehistoric animals. The Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth runs until the 7th October.


The elegant and spirited author of international best-seller, 'Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown', Lady Anne Glenconner will share stories from 'Whatever Next?', the second instalment of her memoirs in an evening with The Feathers, Holt, on 19th October. The book gives a more in-depth look at her life as wife to Lord Colin Tennant and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, whilst remaining equally parts droll, shocking and heartfelt.



Whether you're hoping to explore the gently rolling hills of North Essex or head into the picturesque market town of Saffron Walden, things are getting exciting this autumn, with visits from broadcasting legend Henry Blofeld and the EA Festival.


On the 15th October head to Great Chesterford Community Hall for a Rebalance Health & Wellbeing Festival to nourish your mind body and soul. The ultimate relaxation event, it will have workshops, taster treatments, crystals, meditation and more!

The EA Festival visits our pub, The Eight Bells, again this autumn with a talk by Simon Heffer, the eminent, outspoken and prolific historian, on 14th November. He will introduce the last volume in his series of four books about the history of Britain from 1838 until 1939, 'Sing as We Go'.


Be prepared for the unexpected at The Trail of Terror at Colchester Zoo. Watch out for the masked monsters and scarers, they’ll get you when you least expect it! This event isn’t for scaredy-cats (lions and tigers aren't invited) and they don’t recommend it for anyone under the age of 12 years.

For fang-tastic fun visit Audley End Halloween Special between 21st and 31st October. From start to finish the day is full of spooky entertainment for your little one. Why not start with a ride on the Halloween express and end with a visit to the Wizard’s dwelling, before heading to The Eight Bells to refuel.


This Is My Theatre presents Robin Hood at Hedingham Castle on the 3rd September. The adaptation promises to have everyone on the edge of their seats with laughter, wrath and a couple of sword fights! Bring your own picnic, chair and blanket to cuddle up at the open-air performance.

Join broadcasting legend Henry Blofeld for an evening to hear about his “long and colourful life well lived”. The voice of cricket says he won’t just be talking cricket so even if you’re not a bowled over of the sport you may still enjoy his infectious personality.



From the changing scenery of Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve to Christmas lights beginning to fill the streets of Cambridge, the region is even more special this time of year. After being on your feet all day, whether in the city or countryside, be sure to visit The Carpenters Arms for a warming dinner and restful night's sleep.


It might feel a little premature but the Christmas Gift & Food Fair is back and we wouldn’t want you to miss out! Located in the impressive Ely Cathedral this one really is worth the visit if just to soak up the atmosphere, but you’re sure to get a couple of Christmas gifts along the way. Make the most of your visit with a walk along the fens just outside the pocket-sized city.

Oktoberfest is coming to Cambridge! Held in Jesus Green Park the objective is an authentic experience with German beer, food and music on offer. Dressing up is definitely welcomed; in fact they even have fancy dress you can buy directly from their website.


Get in the spooky spirit and join the Pumpkin Party Floristry Workshop to spend the morning creating a floral display inside a pumpkin. Held at Newton Hall on the 28th October, it’s the perfect creative activity for those less into the spooky side of Halloween.

Join Let’s Go Punting on their Halloween On The River event running through October half term for 50 minutes of fun. Follow the tour along the back of the colleges whilst taking part in the Halloween themed scavenger hunt and spook-tastic activity booklet – complete the puzzles to solve the code and claim your prize! Find out more by contacting them directly.


The Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery exhibition at Kettles Yard in Cambridge explores the ancient and beautiful practice of Palestinian embroidery. This insightful and symbolic exhibition running until the 29th October is certainly worth a visit. Why not top it off with afternoon tea at The Rupert Brooke afterwards?

A new thriller inspired by the original novel, Cambridge Arts Theatre is reimagining Frankenstein this autumn. With an original score too, the story tells the tale of two women hiding from their past...

Alice Sherwood will be visiting The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham, on the 2nd November to discuss her book 'Authenticity' and how we can distinguish reality from illusion as part of the EA Festival. Being described as 'brilliantly witty, profoundly illuminating' (Simon Schama) the evening is sure to be enlightening, entertaining and educational.



We're also excited to be launching Yappy Hour Tour this September! For the next couple of months, you and your four-legged friend are in for a treat on Fridays as we’ve teamed up with our pal Denzel to bring pups and 'pawents' half price tipples and dog treats on the house for one whole hour at select pubs. You'll be able to sip on a chilled drink while your canine companion hangs out with other dogs and grabs a paw-trait in our photo area. To find out more and register, click HERE.

To read more Chestnut guides and related blog posts click here. Remember, if you book your overnight stay at least 5 days in advance you can save 10% on our Bed & Breakfast. Choose 'Advance Purchase' rate when making your reservation, subject to availability.

Some imagery is sourced from Instagram and accredited to the accounts: @holkhamestate @holtlightsnorfolk @audleyendminiaturerailway and @cambridgeartstheatre


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