Hadleigh – 2 miles from Kersey

Just 2 miles from Kersey Hadleigh is a charming market town, with traditional colour-washed houses. At the heart of Hadleigh is the impressive 14th-century church. It was built in medieval times with donations from wealthy wool merchants and has a wood and lead spire. There are lots of interesting shops in Hadleigh, most of them independently owned. Of the 137 properties on the High Street, 90% are listed! So even if you don’t go into the shops you’ll still have plenty of interesting sights to see. There is a fantastic choice of restaurants, pubs and cafes; a pretty riverside walk and railway walk as well as the Guildhall/and 15th-century deanery tower complex.

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Lavenham – 8 miles from Kersey

Perhaps the most famous of the wool towns, Lavenham once enjoyed such a high standing that in the reign of Henry VIII it was ranked as the fourteenth wealthiest town in England. For at least 500 years, the manufacture of various kinds of cloth and the preparation of wool and yarn were the main source of this wealth. The appearance of the town has changed little over the years: with more than 300 listed buildings, half-timbered houses lean crazily over the narrow streets while the magnificent Swan Hotel, a mass of wooden beams, now encompasses several surrounding cottages. The famous Lavenham Guildhall, built in 1529 by the Guild of Corpus Christi, is perhaps the town’s most prominent feature. The building is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public. Little Hall, on the east side of Market Place, is the home of the Suffolk Preservation Society and is also open to the public. A must see is the Church in Lavenham. Church of St Peter and St Paul as it is more like a cathedral and is probably the last of the great Suffolk ‘wool churches’ to have been completed by 1530 just before the reformation. The town also has an abundance of art galleries, boutique shops, tearooms, and restaurants.

Sudbury – 11 miles from Kersey

The ancient market town of Sudbury is set in the heart of the Stour Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Dating back to Saxon times, for centuries the weaving and silk industry has played a key role in the town’s prosperity and its many fine buildings. Market Hill, an architectural gem, is the main shopping hub. There are lively markets here on both Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the year. Gainsborough’s House is the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, where the artist’s life is commemorated. Here you can also enjoy the garden, café and shop. In the evening the thriving Quay Theatre with its bar and art gallery is a source of continually changing entertainment. You will find plenty of cafés, restaurants, pubs and a club or wine bar, or two, to help occupy your evenings. The River Stour and the famous water meadows that half encircle Sudbury provide a source of relaxation, with walking and cycling routes as well as boating and fishing.

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Long Melford

Long Melford contains a delightful spread of 18th and 19th century fronted shops and houses, interspersed with the occasional original Tudor building. The village has become a major centre for the antique trade and also has many lovely small shops, pubs and some fabulous restaurants. Nearby is the magnificent Kentwell Hall, a moated mansion approached via a long, tree-flanked drive. Restored in the 1970s by the current owners, it is open to the public and plays host to historic re-creations and other events. Melford Hall, owned by the National Trust is also in the village and is open to the public.

Clare

Situated in the beautiful, rolling Suffolk countryside you will find the old wool town of Clare. The town has a fascinating history, many interesting and compelling places to visit, and offers a wide range of shops, antiques outlets and high quality local cafes and pubs.

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Chelsworth

Lying in the Brett Valley, Chelsworth is the quintessential English village with thatched cottages, pretty church and cosy village pub and is surrounded by lovely countryside. The village is well known for having homes with beautiful gardens which are open to the public for one Sunday a year. Chelsworth lies on the Cycle South Suffolk route and is perfect for a village walk.