Sutton Hoo

Top choice in Suffolk

Somehow missed by plundering robbers and left undisturbed for 1300 years, the hull of an enormous Anglo-Saxon ship was discovered here in 1939, buried under a mound of earth. The vessel was the grave of Raedwald, an East-Anglian king, and was stuffed with Saxon riches, reflecting a sophisticated culture that’s conveyed in on-site displays.

The site was due to undergo a dramatic £4 million redevelopment in winter 2018.

Sutton Hoo is 11 miles northeast of Ipswich off the B1083.

The massive effort that went into Raedwald's burial gives some idea of just how important a man he was, while the elaborate nature of the treasures unearthed transformed perceptions of the era.

Many of the original finds and a full-scale reconstruction of his ship and burial chamber can be seen in the visitor centre. The finest treasures, including the king's exquisitely crafted helmet, shields, gold ornaments and Byzantine silver, are displayed in London's British Museum, but replicas are on show here, along with an original prince's sword.

Paths encircle the 18 burial mounds (which look like bumps in the ground) that make up the 'royal cemetery'. You can only walk on to them as part of one-hour guided tours (adult/child £2.50/1.25), which provide a fascinating insight into the site. There's normally at least one tour a day; call to check for times.

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