Spend a long weekend discovering ancient villages, remote fens and fields touring the lovely counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Visit the north Norfolk coast, and the broads before heading down to Suffolk and the coastal towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh, and then inland to the pretty town of Lavenham.
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Spend the first two nights at the Hoste Arms, a fabulous inn in Burnham Market, north Norfolk.
The second hotel, for two nights, is the equally delightful Crown at Bildeston in Suffolk. It is an original, 15th century, timber-framed public house, now completely refurbished to make a stunning hotel, restaurant and bar, yet without loosing its core character.
Spend the day on a wonderful scenic drive along the coast, visiting the pretty villages of Brancaster and ‘The Burnhams’ with a chance to visit the birthplace of Admiral Lord Nelson. The sleepy creeks and backwaters of Burnham Overy Staithe give you a real feel for the haunting Norfolk Coast. A stroll around the town and browsing in the gorgeous shops is not to be missed. You can also visit the magnificent Sandringham Estate. For steam enthusiasts take the chance to see the Thursford Collection a few miles inland. You may like to continue on to visit the Palladian style mansion of Holkham Hall or the beautiful wild expanse of Holkham Bay.
Drive to the Norfolk Broads and see what makes it such an attractive destination.It’s a superb site for anyone interested in the fabulous local bird life (winged variety!), and it’s great to see an increase in the Norfolk Reed being grown for traditional thatching. Continue on to the Suffolk coast and discover the lovely towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh. Visit the delightful Snape Maltings and then continue onto Orford, with its impressive castle keep, quaint quayside and boat trips, and Shingle Street, a quiet spot where the River Ore meets the sea.
Head north through the lanes to Framlingham and its fantastic 12th century castle, before continuing onto Debenham, a pretty village with its overhanging houses and antique shops, then on to Saxtead Green. Here you can visit the beautifully restored 18th century post mill and, perhaps, take refreshment at the inn nearby. A detour to one of the vineyards in the area is well worth the visit. Then travel through Easton, home of what was, at one time, the longest ‘crinkle-crankle’ wall in the world. You can visit Easton Farm Park a model farm with a unique Victorian dairy, or walk through the gardens surrounding the fine, Elizabethan Helmingham Hall, perhaps stopping for a cream tea. Continue on to Bildeston to stay at the charming Crown Hotel.
Head west and explore Lavenham, the most spectacular of wool towns, famed for its unique collection of timber-framed buildings. The appearance of the town has changed little over the years: half-timbered houses lean crazily over the narrow streets, whilst the Guildhall (built in 1529) is perhaps the town´s most prominent feature. Return to the Crown.
Depart for home
Duration: 4 days/4 nights
Dates: Any time to suit you
Tour price: £20 for the pdf tour book which details your route with directions and maps, accommodation information, and a comprehensive account of everything there is to do, see and visit on each day