Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lovely Lavenham

Sometimes you just need a holiday. Just a little time away from the every day drudgery. A quick little escape, doesn't  have to be far away or somewhere exotic. Sometimes you just need a bit of a breather, time to regroup, collect your thoughts, to be able to see the world anew. 

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I, rented a car and drove to Suffolk county. I do sometimes miss being able to jump in a car and to take a spontaneous road trip. But this 2 day planned trip was just as good. We drove straight out of London and into the countryside. Passing through little (and big) English villages. We even stopped along the way for dinner in an old mill inn in Chelmsford, before arriving at our destination of Lavenham

Even in the dark we could see the charm and history of this little Suffolk village.
It has it's start in Saxon times, but grew in prominence and prosperity starting in the 13th Century on the backs of the wool industry. The market square was built and chartered in 1257 and was among the 20 wealthiest towns in England in the Medieval period. The wool trade declined in the 1520's and the town never prospered in any other industry and although the town was never abandoned, the architecture and the buildings have remained the same. Eventually, this became a tourist attraction and along with its developing hotel and restaurant industry it makes for a lovely day to visit.

We stayed in the Angel Hotel, which got it's licence in 1420. It was full of oak beams and slanty floors.

We had a wonderfully sunny day to explore the town. Which was good since nothing was open. We were there during the middle of the week and during their off season which meant that the Guildhall and Little Hall (the 2 museums in the market square), the tourist office, and many of the art galleries were closed. Although we were able to enjoy a quiet time here, I might suggest visiting in the spring or summer months so not to miss out on anything. 

We thoroughly enjoyed wondering the streets and taking many photos of the crooked little houses along the narrow lanes. We even did a pub crawl of most of the watering holes in the village. (Don't worry, parents, there were only 4)

During World War II, Lavenham was home to an American air force base and the town still commemorates this North American connection. 

In the White Swan, one of the oldest pubs/inns in Lavenham, has an honour roll signed by members of the 487 Bombarment Group from the 40's. They've kept the tradition going today with American Air Force members visiting the pub and signing the current honour roll.

We had a great time in Lavenham and had we had more time for our mini break we would have loved to hiked some of the trails and spent an afternoon in surrounding Suffolk villages and driving the countryside roads.

Lavenham was Lovely

Fun travels!


  1. Lavenham was our first "adventure" trip when we moved here :) Such a quaint little town! I felt like I was tipsy walking through the town with all of the crookedness.

  2. "Adventure" trip, I like that as a name!
    At the Inn we stayed at they boasted about their age and wonky floors and suggested having a pint or two to straighten them out. :)


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