Earlier this year my daughter was studying the Anglo Saxons during that loooong period of home learning. She learned all about Sutton Hoo and we thought it would be fun to visit the site when travel restrictions eased. So last week we found ourselves in the pretty village of Southwold for a week, with tickets to Sutton Hoo.
Exploring Sutton Hoo with kids
The Sutton Hoo site is managed by the National Trust and comprises of Tranmer House, the Royal Burial Ground and the High Hall exhibition. Due to current restrictions we had to pre-book our tickets due to restricted numbers on the site. There were quite a few restrictions in place such as limiting numbers through the ticket office to one person, limiting the number of people allowed in the High Hall exhibition, shop and Tranmer House. We found these restrictions did put a dampner on our visit but we were still happy to be able to visit.
The first site to greet us was the huge reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo ship. It was great to see the scale of it.
There are a number of routes you can walk through to the Royal Burial Ground and we chose one suitable for our pup. Dogs must be kept on a lead whilst on site and they are not allowed in the gift shop or cafe which we thought was a shame. Our walk took in great views over to Tranmer House and down towards the river.
We carried on over to the Royal Burial Ground and a wonderful volunteer told us all about the site and answered the children’s questions. Unfortunately you are currently unable to walk around the site whilst they allow the acid grassland to recover. This was obviously very disappointing as you couldn’t get very close to the burial mounds.
We walked back towards Tranmer House and were able to look round a couple of the downstairs rooms. they were filled with original letters, photographs and film about the original dig. I loved watching The Dig and found it fascinating to see some of Basil Brown’s original notebooks and the first rivet he found.
We headed back towards the visitor centre and queued for the High Hall exhibition. It was a great place to learn more about the background to the Anglo Saxons and the burial itself. Unfortunately a lot of the items on display were replicas, the real ones are at the British Museum. Hopefully we will be able to visit them soon.
We loves exploring Sutton Hoo. It’s a fun place to go for a walk and explore an amazing part of our history. We were a little disappointed we couldn’t explore more of the Royal Burial Ground but hopefully a trip to the British Museum will inspire us – and I might just have to watch The Dig again too!