What’s on in Suffolk over May Day Bank Holiday weekend?
PUBLISHED: 14:15 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 20 April 2017
From tudor celebrations and country shows to classic vehicles and live music, there’s lots to enjoy in Suffolk over the May Day weekend.
Middy in the War Years
Sunday, April 30 April to Monday, May 1
Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW
Britain’s railways played a major role in the war effort and the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway was no different, coming into its own when the US Army Air Forces moved into the airfields at Mendlesham and Horham. ‘Middy in the War Years’ is the big event of the railway’s calendar, when in addition to the usual attractions, there is a full programme of displays and re-enactments including visiting ‘soldiers, sailors and airmen’ with all their kit and vehicles, and maybe even a major historical figure or two. And, of course, steam train rides all day. The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway tearoom will be open for refreshments along with the real ale coach, and dogs are welcome. Adult £10, child (5 to 16 years old) £5, concession £8, family (2 adults plus 2 children) £25.
Ipswich Choral Society Presents: Mendelssohn’s Elijah
Saturday, April 29, 7.30pm
Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, IP17 1SP
Elijah has been a popular piece within the British choral repertory and on April 29, Ipswich Choral Society will be performing the piece alongside special guests Halifax Choral Society, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. With Ipswich Choral Society founded in 1824, having the two longest established choral societies performing together will result in a very special experience for both choirs and the audience. Tickets from £8.00.
Tudor May Day Celebrations at Kentwell Hall
Saturday, April 29 – Monday, May 1, 11am – 5pm
Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, CO10 9BA
May Day was the most popular holiday in Tudor times and Kentwell Hall is hosting its traditional May Day celebrations - music, dancing, plays and processions - with over 100 costumed ‘Tudors’ taking part. The house and gardens will also be open and there will be a host of activities for families to join in with including the Storybook Trail in the gardens and the Heffalump Hunt down on the farm. Refreshments available in the Stableyard area. Tickets: Adults £16.75, children (5-15 years) £12.75, seniors (60+) £15.75, family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £57. Discount available when booked in advance online.
Clare Art Club Arts and Crafts Exhibition
Saturday, April 29 to Monday, May 1, 10am - 5pm
Clare Town Hall, Suffolk, CO10 8NN
This exhibition will feature a wide range of original art, crafts, jewellery, prints and cards for sale - all produced by local artists – along with a variety of art demonstrations throughout the weekend. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes will be available to enjoy after browsing through the artwork. Free entry all weekend.
SESCA’s 5th Antigua Sailing Day Regatta
Sunday, April 30 from 10.30am
Lackford Lake, Suffolk, IP28 6HX
The St Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Association regatta will feature three races for adult and junior divisions sailing any class of non-trapeze dinghy up to 4.5m. There will be a race briefing at 10.30 am, with two races scheduled before lunch and one in the afternoon for each division. A Steel band will provide lunchtime entertainment. The event was initiated five years ago as a fun event to celebrate and coincide with Antigua Sailing Week in the Caribbean and it is now sponsored by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority.
ITFC Supporters Club Player Awards Evening
Saturday, April 29, 6.15pm
Legends Bar and Sir Bobby Robson Suite, Ipswich Town Football Club, IP1 2DA
Hosted by Mark Murphy, this event includes a meet-and-greet in the Legends Bar with the current first team squad plus Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor. The awards will then be presented in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite. The evening is in aid of the ITFC Academy and the Lighthouse Women’s Aid. Tickets are £23 each and can be reserved by emailing Elizabeth Edwards at email@example.com.
Classic Vehicle Rally and Country Fayre
Sunday, April 30, 10am - 5pm
Earsham Hall, Earsham, NR35 2AN
This event will see hundreds of classic vehicles on display in the beautiful grounds of Earsham Hall. There will also be live music, children’s entertainment, a wide variety of stalls, autojumbles and catering outlets. Categories for judging: Cars, American, Military, Heavy Commercial, Tractors and Motorcycles. Entry to the public is £5 for adults, under 16s free.
The Mid and West Suffolk Show
Sunday, April 30 April to Monday, May 1, 10am - 4pm
Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal, IP14 6AT
A family-friendly event with an exciting, fun packed programme which features spectacular arena demonstrations. This year’s attractions include the Xtreme Stunt Team with their motorcycle and cycle stunts and displays, the Lowestoft Dog Display team, falconry displays, traction engines, classic cars, motorcycles and farm machinery. There are also plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained including children’s activities, free face painting, fun fair, craft stalls and refreshments. Tickets: Adults £7.50, children £5 (under 4s free), concessions £5, family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) £20.
Mendlesham Annual Street Fayre & Craft Show
Monday, May 1, 10.30am - 5pm
Old Station Road, Mendlesham, IP14 5RT
A wonderful day out for all the family featuring a Craft Show with a huge variety of handmade goods. Entertainment includes the Samboomba Band along with Stowmarket Boys Brigade, Stacks of Sax Band, East Suffolk Morris Men, The Tricky Twister, birds of prey, Gypsy Dreams Exotic Dancers and bygone farm vehicles. Also look out for Bridie the Tea Lady on Stilts (of Britain’s Got Talent fame). Refreshments will be available during the event including a hog roast. Free car park. Admission: Adults £3.00, under 16s free.
Rose May Fete
Monday, May 1, 10am - 4pm
Ringsfield Village Hall grounds, Beccles, NR34 8NT
A traditional May day fete featuring a variety of stalls - including charity, trade, vintage and craft (inside and out) - along with cream teas, arena displays, a fun dog show and more. Free admission.
Ickworth: Living History - Family at Home
Saturday, April 29, 12 noon – 4pm
The West Wing, Ickworth Estate, Suffolk, IP29 5QE
Watch the servants as they prepare the house for Lord and Lady Bristol’s card party. Today, Lord and Lady Bristol are having a quiet day at Ickworth. Lady Bristol is a great fan of animals and is spending the day with her beloved dogs. The servants have learnt to avoid these much loved pets as they sometimes bite! Lord Bristol will be enjoying a small gentleman only card party this evening with some of his closest friends.
A National Trust Event. Entry is free and booking is not needed.
imagine . . . Craft and Gift Fair
Saturday, April 29, 9am – 4pm
St Peter’s Church, Sudbury, CO10 2EA
More than 30 tables offering 1000s of unusual, original and inexpensive gift ideas for all ages and all occasions. Stalls will include vinyl memorabilia, landscape photography, jewellery, handmade cards, handbags, hats and scarves, cushions, vintage home ware, soaps and body products, wood turning, floral craft, artwork, embroidery, antiques and more. There will also be a vintage tea room for refreshments, a Magic Circle magician showcasing his close up work and the opportunity to attend talks on Dolls House History and the History of Gems and Jewels. Free Admission.
Spring Foraging Walk
Sunday, April 30, 10am – 3pm
Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 5BD
Enjoy a walk around Nowton Park and learn how to identify and forage for a variety of wild food. The perfect opportunity for beginners to practise identifying and picking delicious flowers, roots and seasonal greens that are abundant in spring. Collect what you find, cook over an open fire and sample as part of your lunch. This event will take place at the Walled Garden in Nowton Park. Suitable for adults and children 16 years and over.
Tickets: £20 Adults. Booking essential online.
Ipswich May Day festival
Sunday, April 30, 12 noon – 6pm
Alexandra Park, Ipswich, IP3 8AP
This free event boasts three stages with live music and attracts thousands of people each year. It is an ideal family day out with a penalty shoot-out competition for eight to 16 years olds, rides, face painting, children’s stalls, a beer tent, food outlets, as well as trade union, political parties and charity stalls.
Minsmere - celebrating 70 years of wildlife
Saturday, April 29 – Sunday, April 30, 9am – 5pm
Minsmere RSPB Nature Reserve, Saxmundham IP17 3BY
To mark its 70th anniversary as an RSPB nature reserve, Minsmere is launching a ‘70 species to spot challenge’ over the bank holiday weekend. The 70 species represent just a small selection of the reserve’s 5,700 species, from easy to spot mallard and rabbit to the scarcer, more elusive bitterns and otters. You’ll need to make several visits to see all 70 though, as nightingales only sing in April and May, while fly agaric fungi are only found in the autumn. Guides will be on hand to help get you started and there will also be displays of historic photos and the chance to see some of the reserve machinery up close. A free event, but normal reserve entry fees apply.
What will you be doing over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend? Let us know below.