Free Things To Do in Essex and Suffolk

2 months ago Wed 14th Feb 2024

Filled with gorgeous parks and quaint coastlines, there’s plenty to do around Suffolk and Essex that won’t break the bank. Read on to be inspired by all the fun, family-friendly, free things to do from Colchester to Clacton. 


‘Britain’s First City’, Colchester is a hub of history and culture, so if you’re looking for free activities, there’s plenty. 

Take advantage of the fascinating and educational offerings in Colchester, with free admission museums to explore. The Natural History Museum is open Tuesday through to Sunday, with artefacts on local wildlife, interactive displays and historical collections - and a gift shop too!

The Hollytrees Museum in Colchester is also free, open to the public from Monday to Saturday. Located within a Georgian Townhouse, the museum prides itself on the immersive displays showing 300 years of social history through toys, costumes, and the fantastic Bernard Mason Clock Gallery!

If you enjoy greenspace and flowers, Colchester Castle Park is a tranquil gem in the heart of the city. Stroll around the beautiful oasis of the park, and then head to the cafe for a warming cuppa or hot chocolate 

Another gorgeous location for a walk, St Botolph's Priory is a stunning piece of architecture to feast your eyes on while revelling in the outdoors - and you guessed it, it’s free!

A little further afield is Highwoods country park. This half term, take part in their eye-spy trails and embrace your inner Sherlock Holmes as you hunt for clues around the leafy park.

Interested in browsing some art? The Firstsite Gallery has free exhibitions of contemporary visual art for you to enjoy, from local talent to more widely known artists. Open from Tuesday through to Sunday, there’s also a cinema and cafe within the impressive building. 

Buy your tickets on our app!

Coastal towns

One of the best things about living near the coast is it’s free to walk around! Plan a long seaside walk but wrap up warm as the brisk northern air is still around us !

Go fossil hunting at Walton-on-the-Naze, enjoy the stretches of beach at St Osyth, our services will get you there!

We also have the Clacton Rocks Zone, helping you to get to the coast easily. Walk along the shorefront and explore the pier to get the true Clacton experience! Relax in the Garden of Remembrance and enjoy the blooming colours in front of the seafront backdrop.

Learn more about our Seasiders ticket 

Bury St Edmunds

Take a trip to Bury St Edmunds and enjoy the sights without overspending! Home to the Abbey Gardens, this amazing green space is a gem. From the history of the ruins to the exquisite flowers, you can spend hours exploring the Abbey Gardens. It’s also home to an aviary, children’s play area, and a water garden. 

The market town is also home to the St Edmundsbury Cathedral, a remarkable piece of architecture that you can visit and marvel at. 

Having a fun day out doesn’t need to be expensive, you can make the most of the towns around Suffolk and Essex enjoying the free things to do. 

Plan your journey for a fun day out!


Nestled in the heart of the Suffolk countryside is Lavenham, a mediaeval village lined with timber -framed buildings and the infamous Godric’s Hollow from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Filmed inside the Lavenham Guildhall, this is where Lord Voldemort, left the infamous lighting scar on Harry’s head as his parents protected him but sadly lost their lives in the battle.

Lavenham has provided a backdrop for many other films and is a fascinating place to visit, being one of Britain’s best preserved medieval villages.


Sudbury is well worth a visit, and there are free activities to make the most of your trip.

The Sudbury Water Meadows make for a lovely walk, with the beautiful green landscape being captured by the local 18th Century artist, Thomas Gainsborough. Take a stroll to see the meadows that inspired him.

Perfect for kids, Belle Vue park in Sudbury has a range of play areas and a skate park to keep children entertained. With a variety of play equipment, a day can be well spent here!

Sudbury Heritage Centre is free to visit, and displays the Sudbury Photo Archive and local history booth - perfect for anyone interested in local history. 

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