We have recently spent a day at the beautiful and historical village of Lavenham in Suffolk. It's only 10 miles from The Stable and a lovely drive through the countryside and some very pretty villages to get there. It isn't the first time we have been, but it has certainly been too long since our last visit and it won't be as long until our next one!
Lavenham is a well known town and regarded as the finest surviving example of a medieval town in England. The splendid church and fine timber-framed houses intermingle with small cottages and crooked town houses, a lasting legacy of the wealthy clothiers in the 15th and 16th centuries. The medieval street pattern still exists today, complete with the Market Place and over 300 buildings which are listed as being of architectural and historical interest. You could spend the whole day just wandering around the local streets looking at the amazing historical architecture and beautiful buildings!
We discovered a really fun way to explore Lavenham by completing this fantastic Treasure Hunt Trail where you simply follow a map (available here www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/suffolk/lavenham) and find out loads of interesting things about the medieval town. It takes in all the important bits including Lavenham Guidhall (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lavenham-guildhall). It took a couple of hours in all and kept adults and kids entertained, perfect!
We even managed to stop for an amazing (yes, really amazing and 'taste-bud-tantilising') afternoon tea at the Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Room (https://www.lavenhambluetearooms.com) on the Market Place. Located in the downstairs of Amanda's Grade II listed cottage with views of the Market Square and the Guildhall, her Traditional Afternoon Tea is a must! All cakes, desserts and sandwiches are either homemade or baked locally in Lavenham and I must say it is one of the best Afternoon teas we have ever had. They also catered for the fussy kids and provided half portions of cake for the little ones which is always a bonus. Oh and don't leave without a bathroom stop - you will see why, as the bathroom is just gorgeous!
We couldn't leave Lavenham without browsing a couple of shops, including the aptly named Retail Therapy (https://retailtherapylavenham.co.uk) on the main street through Lavenham. They sold some really lovely clothes, handbags and gifts that we hadn't seen in other shops, they even have two shops opposite each other so if you want to see more just cross over the road! If you are interested in wool, spinning and yarns then don't miss out The Wool Room, they spin Alpaca wool which is really unusual.
On this occasion we didn't stay for dinner, but previously we have come to Lavenham just for a meal as there are a couple of restaurants that are worth a visit all on their own, especially if you are celebrating because they really are a special treat:
- The Swan (https://theswanatlavenham.co.uk); which is a hotel and spa too, but The Gallery Restaurant is just exquisite and always deserves 5 stars.
- The Great House (http://www.greathouse.co.uk), a must if you fancy some award winning french cuisine.
Finally, if you want to find out more, Lavenham has a great website: http://www.discoverlavenham.com
Let us know what you think if you visit!