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SPRING GUIDE 2023

Welcome to our Spring Guide for things to do in our region as the days get brighter and the nights get shorter. You'll find tips for the best Easter activities for families, our favourite walking spots, recommendations for festivals and outdoor theatres and lots more - all within easy reach of one of our pubs.

 

CAMBRIDGESHIRE

Paddle Boarding

What better way to take in the sights of historic Cambridge than paddle boarding down the River Cam on a sunny day. From city-centre spots overlooking the grounds of Kings College to the peaceful water ways of Grantchester Meadows, just outside Cambridge, there are plenty of places to launch off and Paddle Boards Up offer a few suggestions of the best spots.


Finish off with a picnic on the bank of the river or paddle towards The Rupert Brooke for a refreshing drink on the roof terrace.


Landscape Photography

One of our favourite ways to pass an afternoon by is wandering around the ever-changing topography of Cambridge University Botanic Garden. From the bronze hues in autumn to the return of leaves and blossom as spring emerges, every season offers a unique experience of the gardens. If you're an avid photographer or enjoy scrolling through idyllic scenery on Instagram, their upcoming outdoor exhibition may be just up your street; From 15th March until 3rd May view a selection of winning photographs from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

Take Flight


Already pencilling in plans for the extra Bank Holiday weekend this May? Duxford Air Museum are kicking off their flying season on Sunday 7th May with a VE Day Flying Display. Celebrating the King's coronation and the best of British aviation, the display includes prominent World War Two aircraft, such as Spitfires, and makes for an exciting day out for all of the family.



The Cambridge Club Festival

A weekend of discos and dancing in the Cambridgeshire countryside to the likes of Lionel Richie, Billy Ocean, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and gather friends for an unforgettable time!


Get your tickets here - they're selling fast!




Near by pubs The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester, The Three Blackbirds, Woodditton, The Carpenters Arm, Great Wilbraham.

 

ESSEX

Easter Egg Hunts

From April onwards, The National Trust will be hosting Easter trails and hunts around dozens of their properties around our region, including Bourne Mill. Make your way along the woodland trail to find fun activities for all of the family and collect your chocolate egg reward at the end. This is running from Friday 7th April until Monday 10th and also includes story telling for children, historical talks and refreshments.


Some other National Trust properties in East Anglia putting on events for Easter include Ickworth House in Suffolk, Blickling Estate in Norfolk and Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire.

A Walk in the Woods


There's nothing more spectacular than a carpet of purple bathed in dappled sunlight. Bluebell season usually falls around the end of March until early May, but can sometimes go amiss if you don't know where best to see them. Luckily, though, we've got plenty of ideal woodlands to explore, so take a look at Explore Essex to find out the best bluebell spots.



60 Years of Colchester Zoo


Celebrating 60 years, Colchester Zoo has always been a fantastic place to get close to 'the big five', feed the giraffes and walk with the lemurs, but this year they've got some extra special events taking place to mark their birthday. From photography workshops and dinosaur discovery days to a Birthday Bonanza and carnvial-style party, there's something for everyone.


Near by pubs The Cricketers, Clavering, The Eight Bells, Saffron Walden, The Crown, Stoke by Nayland

 

NORFOLK

Crab & Lobster Festival

It's back! After a break for a few years, the infamous Crab and Lobster Festival is returning to Cromer and Sheringham this May. A lively weekend celebration of the local seafaring heritage and fishing communities. In the past there have been chef demonstrations, crafts and plenty of seafood delicacies to try, so we expect it to be just as joyous, if not bigger and better, this year. Although more details have not been released yet, you can keep up-to-date with their Facebook page here.

Walk on the Wild Side


Broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle is taking his latest walk on the wild side... to King’s Lynn. Full of hair-raising and uplifting stories from a life of amazing encounters, his brand-new show, WILD, tells some of his extraordinary true stories that will leave you 'enchanted, enlightened, and entertained.' We'd suggest making a night of it and enjoying a

mid-week break on the blissful Norfolk coast.


A Tipple at the Races


Racing season kicks off at the end of April for Fakenham Racecourse. Especially relaxed and inviting, a day at the this intimate course is an excuse to get your best frock out, enjoy a tipple or two and a little flutter on the horses. There's nothing quite like a day at the races and there's plenty of occasions to choose from, including Jarrold Ladies Day on 4th June.


Visit Norfolk


North Norfolk is steeped in history, from some of the first railways being built to Britain's most famous naval commander, Horatio Nelson, growing up here. Plan a break and Make A Break for the Past as Visit North Norfolk spotlights in their first video campaign with plenty of ideas of where to go and what to do this spring.




Pubs near by The Feathers, Holt, The Wiveton Bell, Wiveton near Brancaster, The Globe, Wells

 

SUFFOLK

Strutt Your Mutt

Suffolk has a feast of festivals and events coming up this season with plenty of choice for all of the family and your Chestmutt. Talking of which, kicking off the fun in April is a celebration of the unique relationship shared with our dogs. Strutt Your Mutt Charity Dog Day and Walk is being hosted in Lowestoft on Sunday 30th April and this pawsome day includes trade stands selling all you could ever need for your four-legged friend, Ask the Expert areas and plenty of refreshments.

Nine Stile Stomp


If you're wanting more to do with your pup this spring, we also have plenty of walking maps, including our latest Nine Stile Stomp around Long Melford. Our stroll will take you over sleeper bridges, stiles and across the picturesque Suffolk countryside. Explore 2.5 miles of our sleepy village, pass historic manor houses and extensive parkland, with stretching views across to Stour Valley.


To see more of our walking maps located around the region, take a look here.


Food & Drink Festival


Sixty artisan East Anglian food and drink stalls, world street food, cookery theatre, music and children's entertainment, all set in the lovely centre of a vibrant market town, Beccles Food and Drink Festival is set to be a delicious day! Make memories on May Bank Holiday weekend and explore a quieter corner of Suffolk or see what else there is to do in this area by reading our Out-of-Season Suffolk guide.



The Box Office


If taking in a show is more your style, we're lucky to have some exceptional theatres in our area. From historic Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds to Thorington Amphitheatre, their box offices are bursting with comedies, classics and fresh takes.






A couple of upcoming favourites include Alice In Wonderland at Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe and, if you're quick, grab tickets for The Wind In The Willows showing at Thorington Theatre. This outdoor production

of the classic storybook is set to be a sell-out!


Pubs near by The Black Lion, Long Melford, The Packhorse Inn, near Newmarket, The Westleton Crown, near Southwold, The Ship, Dunwich.


If you want to make one of our Chestnut pubs a base for your spring adventures we have two Spring Offers available until the end of May. Three nights for the price of two at our coastal pubs and a 20% discount on stays at our country pubs when booked at least 5 days in advance.


Images courtesy of Ben Fogle and Thorington Theatre Instagram accounts








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