A trip to see the beautiful Suffolk Punch horse in its natural surroundings is the perfect family day out in Suffolk. The Suffolk Punch horse is the oldest English breed of working horse. One of the rarest heavy horses, it is on the critically endangered list of the Rare Breed Survival Trust.
The Suffolk Punch Trust, www.thesuffolkpunchtrust.co.uk is an educational and environmental charity founded to help protect the critically endangered Suffolk horse through its established breeding programme, raising public awareness and training a new generation of professionals to work with these iconic heavy horses.
Located near Woodbridge in Hollesley, the Suffolk Punch Trust has a lot to offer for a day out. Unfortunately due to Covid some things are not being continued at the moment, such as tractor rides, but there is still a lot to enjoy and for children to learn.
The Suffolk Punch horse has been a part of the Suffolk landscape since the early sixteenth century. Shorter but more muscular than other heavy draught horses such as Clydesdale or Shires, the Suffolk Punch has a distinctive chestnut coat. The horses were originally used for agricultural purposes, but over the years have been used to transport artillery, deliver retail goods and work in forestry. Their willingness to work that made them an essential part of agriculture in this region for three hundred years.
The Suffolk Punch Trust has around 30 Suffolk Punches, each horse can be traced back to 'Crisp's Stallion' of Ufford, foaled in 1768.
A lovely way you can help the Trust and something which would make a lovely birthday present for a child would be to adopt one of the Suffolk Punches through their adoption scheme. Adoption of a horse includes two letters through the year to keep you up to date on your equine friend, an adoption certificate, a presentation folder including information about The Suffolk Horse breed and a beautiful photo of your adopted horse. https://www.thesuffolkpunchtrust.co.uk/adopt-a-horse
What to do
The Trust reopened on Saturday 1 May 2021, with pre-booked tickets only for the time being. There is parking available and the first place you will encounter when you arrive is the gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, and reception.
The Visitor Centre includes an exhibition centre; an exciting 'living' project - celebrating our Suffolk heritage. The Heritage Museum features exhibits and displays offering a unique view of country life, past, present and future.
When you get to the outside area, your pre-booked slot will include a personal guided tour around the farm with experienced tour guides will give information about the horses. As well as the Suffolk Punches there are thoroughbred horses and other Suffolk farm animals to see. Kids will love the pet’s paddock where you can stroke the resident guinea pigs and rabbits.
Along with the horses, the Trust also works to protect other endangered breeds of native farm animals by looking after them and raising awareness to aid their survival. Including rare breeds such as Red Poll Cattle, Suffolk Sheep, Ixworth chickens, Chequer Bantams and Silver Appleyard Ducks.
As well as seeing the horses and animals, you can follow the path around the woodland walk and venture into the Heritage Garden - stocked with a beautiful array of golden plants that have been bred by Suffolk people or are in some way associated with the county.
Finish off your day with a sit down at the café. Enjoy hot and cold drinks and daily specials such as All Day Breakfast, Lasagne, Chilli and Jacket Potatoes. Children's boxed lunches and children's hot meals are also available.
Opening times and prices
The Trust is open with pre-booked tickets only for 4 days a week from Saturday 1st May to 14th June (Friday to Monday) and then 6 days a week until 13th September when they will move back to 4 days per week until 31st October. Visit https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/suffolkpunch, email email@example.com or call 01394 411327 for tickets. Please be aware they are closed every Tuesday for general maintenance and deep cleaning.
Single admission prices are £7.50 Adult, £4.00 Child (ages 5 - 16), Under 5s Free. Annual Passes are £18.00 Adult, £10.00 Child (ages 5 - 16) and £44.00 Family.
Natasha Sones has an outside family adventure travel blog: www.natashasoneseditorial.com/blog. Follow her blog or her Instagram account: @natashastarseeker if you love family lifestyle articles.
Don’t forget The Staycation Box is perfect for days out!