Hoo's waking up...
This year will mark the completion of a multi-million pound project to transform your experience of visiting Sutton Hoo.
Since closing the doors last autumn, we’ve been hard at work bringing our plans to life and we’d like to start sharing some of them with you.
What have we been up to?
Thanks to an investment of £4million, we’ve been bringing to life some ambitious plans to help us release the story of Sutton Hoo. This is the biggest investment the National Trust has ever made in Sutton Hoo and it’s all been made possible thanks to a £1.8million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the generosity of National Trust members and supporters through donations and fundraising.
When you visit us, we want to help you discover more about this very special place and to unlock the stories of the people in its past – from the Anglo-Saxons who buried their king here, to Edith Pretty who first instigated an archaeological dig of the mysterious mounds and those who have continued to unearth Sutton Hoo’s secrets over the years.
Getting ready to welcome you
Because there are so many different elements to the new Sutton Hoo experience, we’re going to be gradually revealing them in stages.
Early visitors will be able to see lots of behind-the-scenes work continuing, whilst those planning their visit for the end of the summer will be able to explore the complete new Sutton Hoo experience.
Can’t wait until late summer? We’ll be sharing updates as we unveil newly completed experiences for you to explore, so there will be lots of reasons to come back and visit us again and again to discover something new.
Planning your visit
Visit us in the next few months and you'll be able to enjoy some unique new experiences and opportunities to see behind the scenes work continuing, such as the construction of a new viewing tower.
Be amongst the first walkers to head out on our brand new River View walking trail across parts of the estate not previously open. With stunning views across the river Deben towards Woodbridge, this new walk will be your chance to indulge in some peaceful exploration, finding your new favourite view. There are guided tours too, offering the chance to investigate the history of the Royal Burial Ground.
You'll also see our specially commissioned new sculpture representing the Anglo-Saxon ship buried here. At 27m long, it matches the size of the original ship and now sits in the courtyard, waiting to greet you as you arrive.
There will of course also be opportunities to hear more about the project work, take a look at what will be coming next and to meet the team behind the work.
If all that sounds like you might need to take a breather, our new-look King's River Café is open, serving delicious meals, treats to eat and a much-needed cuppa, not to mention incredible views of the new ship sculpture. Or pay a visit to our brand new Keepers' Café next door to Tranmer House for quick bite and drinks to keep you going. You'll also be able to have a browse in the new Sutton Hoo shop and discover a range of specially sourced goodies - from mementos of your day out and a collection of fascinating books to something for your inner foodie!
What’s coming next?
As we move into the summer months, there will be more for you to discover, including a new walking route around the site that will follow in the footsteps of the Anglo-Saxons, revealing the route King Rædwald’s burial ship may have takenn from the river, before arriving at the top of the valley.
It was from the River Deben that an Anglo-Saxon ship was hauled up the valley before it formed the burial found in Mound One, where the famous treasure was discovered.
Tranmer House, the former home of Edith Pretty, will be transformed with a new exhibition exploring the people and stories behind the Sutton Hoo discovery and landscape.
In the Exhibition Hall, renamed the High Hall, we’ll be sharing much more about the lives of the Anglo-Saxons and just how Sutton Hoo came to be such a significant place in English history.
There’ll be new installations to discover, our popular guided tours will be making a return and there will be activities to take part in.
The final piece of the puzzle will be the completion of a 17metre observation tower, late in the summer, which will give views over the entire burial ground and to the River Deben beyond, revealing the fascinating story of this evocative landscape.
We'll be sharing updates on the work right here, so do come back frequently to start planning your visit.
Whether you can’t wait to see Sutton Hoo again or you’re keen to experience everything we’ve been doing once it’s all complete, we’re looking forward to welcoming you once again.