Historic Suffolk

Historic Suffolk

Suffolk has some fantastic historical houses, castles and villages to visit during your stay here at Constable Holiday Lodges, here are some of the best.

Audley End House (English Heritage), CB11 4JF, near Saffron Walden, Essex – (54 miles/1hr10mins) – Tudor/ Jacobean, the best “great” house within easy reach, but not so much for young kids.

Castle Acre – English Heritage (need to book) – 64 miles/1½hrs, (in Norfolk) directly north of Bury St Edmunds.

An astonishing gem. The castle has amazing foundation walls set among the finest preserved earthworks in England; then along the village street to The Ostrich, a super old pub, good food and beer, and on to the Priory. A very very picturesque ruin, as fine as some of the famed abbeys of Yorkshire, but smaller, with excellent museum adjacent.

 Framlingham Castle – IP13 9BP, about an hour north on the coast side.

An impressive medieval castle with complete curtain wall (which you can walk round), and Keep tower with displays, children friendly, but not as interactive as Colchester. An extraordinary survivor, uncrowded, quite atmospheric, a good history ramble on a sunny day. Family ticket £23.10; open 10 to 6, takes a couple of hours. Good pub by the gate, and nice little village. The medieval church, free entry, has very fine tombs of the Dukes of Norfolk. Framlingham can be combined with Easton Farm Park for the kids.

Grimes Graves – English Heritage – IP26 5DE (53 miles/1¼ hrs).

 The only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain. There is almost no building stone native to Suffolk, hence the county is characterised by flint walls to churches and towers. You can’t see or touch a flint that is less than one million years old, and most are  much older.   Grimes Graves in the Thetford Forest north of Bury, was 5,000 years ago a site where highly skilled Neolithic (Stone Age) miners dug shafts and from them lateral galleries to quarry high quality flint. There is a super little museum, and you can descend a spi-ral staircase down one shaft, and see three galleries. It’s fascinating, unique, only needs an hour.

Kentwell Hall – CP10 9BA, about 45 mins by car, between Colchester & Bury St Edmunds

A privately owned family home that stood neglected until acquired by Patrick and Judith Phillips in the 1970’s.

The House, part original Tudor with later classical elements and the gardens with romantic moats, extensive lawns, walled gardens, and over 30 acres of tranquil breathing space.

Kentwell Hall hosts many living history and educational events, something for the whole family and is situated on the edge of the picturesque village of Long Melford, Suffolk.

Lavenham – 16 miles/35mins – “the best preserved medieval village in England”.

Wonderful Guild Hall, grand wool church. Combine with Clare for antiques, and especially Long Melford church for the unique stained glass.

Orford Castle and village – English Heritage (need to book) –

Uniquely well pre-served 12th century Norman Keep, a very short walk from the village with its 2 good pubs, and walk down to Pinney’s Fish Smokehouse, with access to the splendid shingle beach (NT, see above).

Somerleyton Hall – NR32 5QQ, about an hour north on the coast side

This Jacobean Manor house is one of the finest homes in the country.  Still family residence of Lord and Lady Somerleyton is closed to the public however you can enjoy the exterior architecture and the 12 acres of spectacular gardens for you to discover with beautiful surprises around every turn including the famous yew hedge maze.

Sutton Hoo (NT) – IP12 3DJ (24 miles/40 mins).

Unique in England as our only ship burial with treasure,  c.625AD, probably Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald. It’s a fine atmospheric site with burial mounds,  above the River Deben. The visitor centre has been “re-done” in 2020.


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