Places to visit Suffolk 

Details taken from www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk & www.visitsuffolk.com

The Coast

Southwold

southwoldThere are few seaside towns quite so quintessentially British as Southwold. With its sandy beach and beach hut-lined promenade, Southwold offers a wonderful environment for holidays and weekends away, as well as a thriving market town atmosphere. Whether it's relaxation or exhilaration you're after from your break away, this picturesque seaside town is the perfect year-round destination. Food and drink are an integral part of the Southwold experience. The town has a number of award wining pubs, restaurants and cafés, most of which offer a selection of locally produced food and drink. Fresh shellfish and wet fish, Salt Marsh Lamb, Red Poll Beef, an array of fungis, fruit and vegetables and much more are local to the area, and available in restaurant s, delis and at the weekly farmers market. Southwold is home to the Adnams brewery, winner of The Good Pub Guide 2011's ‘Brewery of the Year'. The brewery itself is very much the focal point of the town with its brewing rooms set just behind the high street and adjacent to the town's lighthouse. Brewery tours are on offer throughout the year and there is no shortage of pubs and restaurants at which to sample the variety of Adnams beers on offer. Since late last year it's also had a distillery, which, as well as its wine shop, guarantees your favourite drop will be available.

Aldeburgh

aldeburgh3boxWorld-renowned, thanks to its connection with Benjamin Britten, founder of the Aldeburgh Festival which takes place in June each year, Aldeburgh is as perfect a traditional seaside escape as you could hope to find. Pastel-coloured 19th Century holiday villas line the promenade. To their east, the pebble beach with fisherman’s huts selling the daily catch. Inland, the High Street offers delightful opportunities for browsing. Clothes boutiques, antiques and arts, an independent book shop and cinema plus a huge variety of culinary temptation, from the rightly-renowned fish and chips, to fine bistro dining, pizzas and of course, seaside ice cream!


Orford

orfordArguably one of the prettiest villages on the Suffolk Coast, Orford is a true historical gem. From its castle, pretty cottages and welcoming pubs to the picturesque quay offering river cruises and a traditional smokehouse, it's an ideal place to while away a happy day or two. Soaring over the town, with views over Orford Ness, and home to the village museum is Orford Castle. Built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II to consolidate Royal power in the region, the well-preserved keep stands amongst the earth-covered works of the outer fortification. There is a curious tale attached to the village, from around the same time the castle was built. Legend has it that a merman was caught by local fisherman here in about 1167 and held captive for six months until he died. It is rumored that, from time to time, his ghost can be seen in the castle. Nearby is the Grade I Listed St Bartholomews Church. Built in the 14th century, with 12th century remains attached, the church has been voted one of the best churches in the UK.

Lowestoft

lowestoft-2picBritain's most easterly town is an ideal holiday and short break destination for all ages, with a mix of vibrant sandy beaches, coastal walks and quality family attractions set within a back drop of traditional Victorian seaside gardens. The beaches to the north and south of the Claremont Pier are considered to be some of the very best in Europe, and both currently hold the Blue Flag Award. Those wishing to sample a traditional seaside experience will have every opportunity - the children will love the donkey rides along the beach front, or dodging the water jets of the Royal Plain Fountains. Adults can sit back and enjoy afternoon tea at Flying Fifteens with its choice of over 50 world teas, or step aboard a floating museum on Heritage Quay.

Dunwich

dunwich-2picThe village of Dunwich has a haunting history of tsunami-style floods, lost churches and shipwrecks. Once a thriving port, similar in size to London, storms, erosion and floods have almost wiped out this once prosperous village which was the capital of East Anglia. Dunwich Heath is one of Suffolk's most important and scenic conservation areas and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ideal for walkers, cyclists and tourists looking to experience the true beauty of Suffolk. A rare and precious habitat, Dunwich Heath offers you peace and quiet and a true sense of being at one with nature. Every visit is a real breath of fresh air. Head down to the beach, stop for a while in the tearoom or visit the village’s pub, The Ship Inn, once a haunt of smugglers. It manages to capture the character of this seafaring village whilst also offering customers cosy surroundings in which to enjoy their food and drink, much of which, as with most pubs and restaurants in the area, is locally produced – and delicious!

 

 

The market Towns

 

Beccles

beccles-2imgSituated inland on the River Waveney, Beccles sits at the southern point of The Broads, offering visitors a peaceful haven to relax and unwind. Beccles offers a wealth of diversity, combining history with modern day culture and a unique shopping experience, with the town's independent retailers all offering a variety of services that are complemented by the weekly market.The quayside is home to popular events including the annual carnival & regatta. Beccles also offers an exceptional eating and drinking experience with many local pubs, restaurants and delicatessens catering for a wide range of tastes. For those wishing to sample some of the local produce and tastes, the twice-monthly farmers market is a must. With a children's petting farm and leisure centre also within easy access, Beccles is the ideal holiday base or perfect day out.

Bungay

bungayBungay is a haven for those wanting to explore the more tranquil part of the Southern Broads. The quiet roads, rivers and countryside provide the perfect opportunity to explore by cycling, walking or even canoeing. Primarily built around the remains of the ancient Norman castle, now with its own visitor centre, the local landscape is dominated by the tower of St Mary's Church. Walking through the town centre you can't miss the famous Buttercross, once used as a prison but nowadays home to the weekly market. Theatre and film lovers will love the recently renovated Fisher Theatre in the centre of town. A 19th century building on Broad Street, offering a wide programme of activities and events as well as housing a café. You will find plenty of choice in Bungay's restaurants, cafes and tearooms. The Bungay Real Ale Trail provides a great opportunity to sample a range of local ales, with eight of the original thirty-three 20th Century drinking houses still in operation today. Those who like the taste of the local Ale will also love St Peters Brewery on the outskirts of the town.

Bury St Edmunds

bury-st-edsHistoric Bury St Edmunds, nestled in the heart of West Suffolk, is one of the region's best-loved market towns. Once home to one of the most powerful monasteries in mediaeval Europe, Bury St Edmunds has seen glory, turmoil and scandal over the centuries. Today it remains a busy and beautiful market town with plenty to explore. Whether you're passionate about history, art, shopping or food, there is something for all to experience and enjoy. The town centre offers fantastic choice for the discerning shopper. Elegant streets house an array of independent shops and a wide range of popular eateries, our new shopping centre ‘Arc' provides a retail mix including popular fashion and international brands. Every Wednesday and Saturday the town is home to a traditional street market. Experience the colours and aromas from almost 100 stalls offering everything from ethnic clothing to fresh fruit and vegetables. Away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre you will find the award-winning Abbey Gardens, a peaceful haven of beautifully tended floral displays with a children's play area, aviary and magnificent views of St Edmundsbury Cathedral - the only cathedral in Suffolk, dating back to 1503, complete with its Gothic style lantern tower completed in 2005, new cloisters, organ and vaulted ceiling. For the serious culture lovers, you can't miss the Theatre Royal. Magical and full of history, this exquisite Grade I listed gem is a fantastic place to discover the world of Georgian theatre.

Eye

eyeEye is an historic market town which grew up around a Norman motte and bailey castle. Today only the mediaeval walls and later 19th century folly remain along with the panoramic views from the top of the mound of the Victorian flint/brick town hall and magnificent 15th century church with a fine rood screen. The Pennings are water meadows with a picnic area. The nearby Thornham Estate offers 12 miles of waymarked footpaths which wind through beautiful countryside taking visitors into ancient parkland, woodland and farmland. The walks also include a surfaced path suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, which leads for half a mile to the Victorian walled garden.

Framlingham

framlingham-2picThe ancient market town of Framlingham is nestled in the Suffolk countryside and a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike. Indeed, in 2006 it was voted ‘the best place to live in the country' by Country Life magazine. Fram is the perfect town for a stroll, shop and glimpse of history - there's even a Town Trail marking all the primary sites of historic interest. Market Hill is the Town's centre and still hosts markets on Saturday and Tuesday offering great local produce together with trinkets and collectibles. There are excellent shops too, for gifts, food, fashions and antiques and a mouth-watering selection of cafés, tea shops, pubs and restaurants. A short walk from Market Hill takes you to Framlingham Castle, once the home of Mary Tudor and the place where she waited to hear if it would be she or Lady Jane Grey who would be crowned queen. Today, the 12th century curtain-wall structure remains, giving visitors the chance to walk around the castle walls for magnificent views of the surrounding town and countryside. Look out of music and theatre events in the grounds of the castle too. Surrounding the Castle is The Mere, a natural haven full of wildlife and popular with walkers, where dogs are allowed. The Mere is property of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and contains over 290 species of plants and 80 species of birds. It lives up to its name, though - Mere means ‘lake' - so remember your wellies if you're going to walk its banks during winter months. While in Framlingham be sure to take a short trip to Shawsgate Vineyard where you can explore twenty acres of vineyard, taste award-winning wines and experience why English wines are getting so much praise.

Newmarket

Newemarket-jockey-3box-175Newmarket is a small attractive market town situated on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border just 20 minutes from Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds and Ely and famous throughout the world as the home of Horseracing. the town has two racecourses, 52 stud farms, 75 licensed trainers and is home to the Jockey Club, the governing body of horseracing, Tattersalls - the biggest equine auction house in Europe - founded in 1776, and two of the largest equine hospitals and veterinary centres. As you arrive in the town, the impact of the horseracing industry is immediately obvious, not only because of the horse walks (pavements) and traffic lights (horse crossing warning lights and signs) that you will see, there to help them make their journey from their yard to the exercise grounds a safe one, but also because open heathland stretches for miles at both ends of the town, with the main training ground - Warren Hill - running right into the town centre. It is here where you can go from Monday to Saturday, between sunrise and 1pm, to watch the horses and jockeys training. Newmarket is regularly visited by world famous jockeys, members of The Royal Family and a variety of celebrity owners, many of whom can be seen either out riding on the gallops exercising the horses they may be racing, or with their trainers watching their horses being put through their paces. The surrounding area is also home to some of the world's 50 most important stud farms, including Darley Stud, the world renowned Sheikh Mohammed's breeding industry. Your morning on the gallops can be complemented by a trip to one of the training yards for a 'behind the scenes' tour and a tour to one of the stud farms to see both past and future champions! To help you indulge further into this magnificent market town, the Newmarket Experience gives you an unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at racing's headquarters and its magnificent sport. Finally, a perfect visit to Newmarket is not complete without a visit to one of Newmarket Racecourses' 38 days of racing across the year.

Sudbury

sudburyLocated in the centre of the Stour Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty, Sudbury is an ancient market town dating back to Saxon times. The many cultural and sporting facilities and fine inns and hotels, make Sudbury an excellent place to visit for walkers, cyclists and all the family. For centuries the weaving and silk industry has prospered here and many great houses and churches have been built, giving the town a major historical legacy. Sudbury has been used for television locations, most significantly for BBC's Lovejoy. It is surrounded by the attractive countryside so often painted by Constable and Gainsborough and by quintessentially English villages. It is an ideal base for a walking holiday.

 

 

Villages

 

Lavenham

lavenham-geoLavenham, ‘England's finest mediaeval village' nestles in the heart of the Suffolk countryside between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. Offering a wealth of historical interest, delightful shops and galleries and a wide choice of places to eat and drink, it is the ideal choice for a relaxing day out in the country. The splendid Guildhall of Corpus Christi, the charming Little Hall and the magnificent Church of St Peter and St Paul are all open to the public. Blue-badge guided tours take place regularly and there is also an audio tour available from the pharmacy which gives a fascinating insight into Lavenham's heritage. Lavenham is a living and working town. As well as traditional butchers, bakers and grocers, there is a range of independently owned shops selling everything from designer homewares, clothes and accessories to high quality gifts and collectables. These intermingle with fine art galleries and make it a pleasure to browse the High Street, Water Street and the Market Place. Lavenham abounds with places to eat and drink; cosy cafés, tea rooms and pubs serving delicious home made food and nationally acclaimed fine dining restaurants. Truly there is something to suit all tastes and pockets. Those seeking more energetic ways to relax will enjoy Lavenham's surrounding countryside footpaths and circular walks, all of which are easily accessible from the village. For further information visit www.discoverlavenham.co.uk.

Long Melford

longmelford3boxThe village of Long Melford has so much to offer visitors of all walks of life, whether you are interested in historic buildings, antiques, life-style shopping, good food or the latest fashions, Long Melford has it all. A former medieval wool town, Long Melford's wide, tree-lined village street is the country's longest. It is lined with fine buildings housing antique shops, art galleries and designer boutiques. The large green is dominated by 16th C. Melford Hall and the stunning church. Nearby Kentwell Hall is renowned for its Tudor re-creations. The busy village has been settled for many centuries, and still attracts visitors from all over the UK and even the world. Hall Street and Westgate make for a delightful environment for the wandering pedestrian with its shops, houses and other businesses. At Melford Hall you can follow 200 years of Hyde Parkers' family history. Relax on the sofas in the Great Hall and soak up the atmosphere of this much-loved family home.

 

 

 

 

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