School's Out at Sutton Hoo!

Sutton Hoo Boy and Helmet

Raring to go this summer? Join us at Sutton Hoo in the long sun-soaked days of the holidays with the whole family. From nature map making, time capsule paper boat making or the many different activities for National Trust’s 50 Thing To Do Before You’re 11¾ – we’re non-stop!

Weekly Events

We have different events running every week of the holidays throughout the summer to get you out and about exploring in nature and creating unique crafts to take home, all whilst discovering the amazing history of Sutton Hoo.
For each 50 Things activity, make certain to collect a stamp from reception once you’ve finished to be eligible for a very special badge once you’ve reached four stamps. With so much going on, it’ll be yours before you know it! 

Anglo-Saxon wild art at Sutton Hoo
Anglo-Saxon wild art at Sutton Hoo

Week One – Wild Art Masks
24th July - 28th July
Create your own unique wild art mask whilst ticking off number 18 in the 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ challenge. Collect your very own choice of materials from out and around Sutton Hoo that remind you of all the different animals found on the Sutton Hoo helmet. Then come back and use them to create your own mask – just as the Anglo-Saxons did!

Week Two – Rune Bracelets
31st July - 4th August
Make your very own rune bracelet! Learn all about the language of runes that the Anglo-Saxons used as a very early form of written language. Write your own name in runic onto our scratch art bracelets, or write secret words only you will know.

Week Three – Wild Art Frame
7th August - 11th August
Add your own decorations to our wild art frame, joining together to create a large piece of natural art! Hunt down natural materials all across the site that you like the look of before carefully adding it to the frame to cover every inch. This also completes number 18 in 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾.

Week Four – Geocache Treasure
14th August - 18th August
As we know from all the fantastic items found buried with the king here at Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon’s loved to bury treasure to commemorate their friends, family and loved ones. Come and make your very own treasures and then tick off number 49 in the 50 Things Challenge by finding the geocache spot we have on site (instructions on how to find it provided). Then see what other people have left and leave your own, ready and waiting to be discovered by someone new.

Week Five – Raft Building
21st August - 25th August
Build your very own mini raft out of natural materials! Carefully construct your raft into the best possible design before testing your creation out in our paddling pool to see if it manages to stay afloat… or if it sinks into the depths. This also completes number 18 in 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾.

Week Six – Mrs Pretty’s Travel Diaries
28th August - 1st October 
Did you know Mrs Pretty – owner of Tranmer House when the mounds were excavated – kept her own travel diaries when she was out on adventures across the world? Get a chance to make your very own diary at the end of the holidays and fill it up with all your very own adventures you’ve been on over the summer months.

Children photograph daffodils at Sutton Hoo
Children photograph daffodils at Sutton Hoo

As well as these scheduled events, there’s always so much more going on lasting all summer.

Summer of Craftsmanship; Monday 10th July-Friday 18th August

We have our very own coin smith visiting us every day this summer! Join Grunal Moneta to learn all about coinage and even get a chance to strike your very own coins. There are also lots of other craftspeople joining us at various dates:

  • Stone Carver, 22nd-23rd July
  • Potter, 24th-25th July
  • Cloth Dyer, 7th-13th August
Anglo-Saxon coins at Sutton Hoo
Anglo-Saxon coins on a fabric purse

Trade and Travel; Saturday 19th August-Thursday 7th September

Discover the Sutton Hoo objects in ways that you may have never seen before! Explore the journeys that all these fabulous items may have taken across the world before being buried here in Suffolk within this temporary exhibition around the Sae Wylfing replica ship. 

Every Day

  • Time capsule paper boat making
  • Interactive map ‘where have you come from?’
  • ‘Land and Sea’ Board game
  • Family trail

Tuesdays and Thursdays
Word Hoard – Did you know that the Anglo-Saxons had at least ten different names for water? Discover the written language of the Anglo-Saxons – Old English – and add to our illustrated ‘word-hord’.

Poetry Walk – Nature and the landscape formed crucial parts of Old English poetry with the Anglo-Saxon scribes taking inspiration from everything they saw. Borrow an mp3 player and headphones and listen to words over 1000 years old as you walk to the burial mounds or sit and enjoy the views across the river.

Select Days
Make a Nature Map - Work with other families to make a huge nature map using natural materials. Collect leaves, twigs, grasses – whatever you like from around the site - and use simple craft materials to represent the landscape of this ancient place. This event is free, but booking is advisable. Running on: August 21st, 23rd, 25th and 30th; September 1st and 4th 

August bank holiday also sees Sutton Hoo welcoming re-enactment group, Thegns of Mercia to the site for you to meet and greet the Anglo-Saxons themselves and learn how they would have lived, worked and played. Join in on a special graveside archaeological dig activity as well.

Trails and Kits

As well as all this, we have a whole range of children’s trails available including two available around the Exhibition Hall and one exploring Tranmer House. Our burial mound trail, The Time Traveller’s Guide, plus tracker packs and watercolour kits are all available to pick up from Reception on arrival, allowing you to explore the site in all these different ways at your own pace. There is also a play area behind the exhibition hall to exhaust any last remaining energy!

50 Things To Do

Don’t forget the National Trust’s challenge to you: 50 Things To Do before you’re 11¾! As well as our scheduled events, you can complete many of these yourself on a walk around Sutton Hoo’s landscape. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Run around in the rain 
  • Make a trail with sticks
  • Explore inside a tree 
  • Hunt for fossils and bones 
  • Go bird watching
  • And so many more!