Last day in Lavenham

Woken this morning by someones burglar alarm at 5.30am. At least we were staying in Lavenham for a final exploration so plenty of time for a cup of tea. The day started sunny but very windy so we wandered around looking at the buildings and the two antique centres. The old buildings really are wonderful and it is such a shame that we have lost so many in our towns and villages. When I am travelling in Australasia and the later-colonised parts of North America, I am reminded that I do love living in an ‘old country’ where our history is all around us as Patrick Wright wrote. It also highlights how colonial expansion previously and now the demand for fuels and food is removing many peoples from their places and history. The sky has now clouded over so the rest of the day will be spent reading and relaxing as tomorrow we leave. The plan is to divert to the coast between Aldeburgh and Southwold before turning back inland towards Norwich to visit my brother and sister in law. On Saturday we will be heading homewards.Lavenham houses Pargeting on 85 Church St Lavenham

 

Ickworth

Ickworth 7 Ickworth 2 Ickworth 6 Ickworth 5

This large estate now owned by the National Trust and is between Lavenham and Bury St Edmunds. We visited this morning while the sun was still shining and managed some photos in the grounds before it clouded over. I wondered why the walled garden (which was devoid of plants) was so far from the house until I discovered that the original Tudor house (now gone) used to be down there and the Rotunda (built later) was built on the hill to be more imposing. We looked around the house which has some Gainsborough and Reynolds portraits and a great collection of silver but was disappointed to find that the plant sale was not on due to renovations.  By now it was raining and quite windy so we headed back to Lavenham to spend a quiet afternoon reading.

 

Picturesque villages

Laveham by moonlight Kersey 1 Kersey 3

Last night there was an almost full moon hanging over Lavenham. Today we visited Sudbury which is just a few miles south for some essential shopping. We were fortunate to find in a sale, two dark green waterproofs which will not frighten the animals in Tanzania and better for bird watching here than the current ones which are red and bright blue. Afterwards we explored Kersey which is described by the Rough Guide as the most picturesque village in Suffolk. It does have numerous old houses, a ford with one moorhen sighted and a 14th century pub which did a very good and very reasonably priced lunch. We tootled back to Lavenham and are now ensconced in the Greyhound where the locals are discussing having cats.

West Suffolk

On Friday, after many miles of fog-bound tarmac, we eventually found a B road that lead through small villages, fields reminiscent of East Lothian and cherry blossom to our bolt-hole in medieval Lavenham. Our tiny cottage is in the main street and an ideal base to explore the area. We are supposed to be able to log on to a BT hotspot but medieval buildings seem to be a black hole for mobile signals and wifi. The Greyhound pub savers the day. Some might say this is a good thing. Saturday was windy but dry so we decided to walk a section of St Edmund’s Way to Long Melford along a disused railway line. It went past fields and through woodland where spring flowers were emerging. Long Melford is, as its name suggests a long village with a bookshop, tea-room and a wedding happening at the historic church. We walked back along the same route.Medieval building in LavenhamSt Edmunds Way near LavenhamVioletsField on St Edmunds Way