Things to do in and around Lavenham, Suffolk in the heart of East Anglia

Enjoy a day out wandering around Bury St Edmunds (11 miles), a delightful market town with a picturesque town centre (markets on Wednesday and Saturday), the Abbey ruins and Park and two fine museums. Try lunch or dinner at Maison Bleu or The Angel Hotel, both in the centre of town. Link this with a visit to National Trust’s (NT’s) Ickworth House, 3 miles to the south east

Visit Southwold (45 miles), famous for its thriving modern pier, £80,000 promenade beach huts and home of Adnams, one of Suffolk’s famous beers. If you enjoy walking then try a 5 mile circular walk south from the town, taking a ferry across the river at Walberswick and return to Southwold via the pedestrian bridge a mile up the river. Try the Anchor pub in Walberswick for lunch

If you have never visited Cambridge (30 miles) then this is your chance and there is a park & ride as you approach the town. Visit Kings College Chapel, more ancient quadrangles than you can count and then take a leisurely punt on the River Cam. You could link this to a visit to Anglesey Abbey (NT), a few miles to the North East of Cambridge

Don’t forget to leave plenty of time to see what Lavenham itself has to offer. Many of our short break guests never leave the village during their stay. The Guildhall (NT) and Sts Peter & Paul Church (like a small cathedral but serving a village!) are the highlights, plus 250 listed buildings with whole streets of Tudor timber framed houses ….and then there are the excellent restaurants (see the restaurants page), pubs and shops all within a short walk. There are also good spa facilities within the village, notably at The Swan Hotel . The local shops are also sufficient to stop guests seeking out supermarkets. Particular mention should be made of the award winning Lavenham Butchers in the High St and Sparling & Faiers, bakers in the Market Place

Aldeburgh (40 miles) and nearby Snape Maltings. These are home to the famous music festival (Benjamin Britten lived in Aldeburgh) but also a great promenade, beach sculpture, fresh fish for sale, the best fish and chip shop in Suffolk and, in Snape, a visitors centre that can keep you amused for an afternoon

The Viking burial site at the NT’s Sutton Hoo (30 miles) has a new visitors centre which has been hugely popular. It displays the treasure hoard that was found there.You can link this to a visit to Orford Ness (delightful harbour and village, excellent smokery and have a meal at the Crown & Castle, owned by the TV Hotel Inspector, Ruth Watson)

London: a 30 minute drive to Colchester station, which is an easy drive and has good parking , with trains every 10 minutes or so and taking 50-60 minutes. Goes into Liverpool St Station. Cost for a cheap day return around £40. We sometimes go for supper, theatre and home by midnight! At 6pm each evening you can buy cut price theatre tickets for that evening at the Leicester Sq ticket shop ….leaving time for a pre-theatre supper (we can recommend restaurants)

Kentwell Hall (7 miles) is a privately owned Tudor Mansion complete with a moat and a wide range of activities (eg a Tudor kitchen, in action! Suffolk Punch horses) plus staff who make a point of staying “in character”. Link this with a trip to Long Melford (antique shops … Lovejoy was filmed here! NT’s Long Melford Hall which includes displays on Beatrix Potter, a one time house guest.

Lavenham, Suffolk, Blaize Cottages Lavenham, Suffolk, Blaize Cottages Lavenham, Suffolk, Blaize Cottages Lavenham, Suffolk, Blaize Cottages

…… and lots, lots more things to do with details provided in each cottage, including local National Trust (NT) properties, :

  • Angelsey Abbey
  • Flatford Mill (home of John Constable, scene of several of his famous pictures ….. and a chance of rowing up the river to the beautiful village of Dedham!)
  • Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
  • Blickling Hall (Norfolk, but worth the drive)

…… and gardens

…… and other attractions

  • Jimmy’s Farm (yes, him on the telly, a mate of Jamie Oliver! Near Ipswich)
  • Newmarket (Horseracing Museum, the National Stud and regular top class horse racing)
  • Harwich (original Electric Light Cinema, Samuel Pepys was MP here, good food at “The Pier at Harwich”)
  • Sudbury (just 7 miles away, see Gainsborough’s home, street market on a Thursday, great walks by the river; also our nearest supermarkets & petrol)
  • Clare (11 miles, a Roman Catholic Priory, the Abbey Gardens, more antique shops … the village rivals Lavenham’s quaintness)


Swimming at Sudbury (7 miles)
Golf at Newton Green (6 miles)
Cycling: we can store bikes safely; the Lavenham area is not too hilly and there are lots of quiet country roads.
Walking: we provide local maps so that you can take different short or long walks every day if you wish