Things to do and see in Lavenham and Long Melford. Tearooms, galleries and cosy country pubs, read our guide to Suffolk’s wool towns.
Lavenham and Long Melford really do have to be visited to be appreciated. Those white timber clad buildings may look beautiful in photographs, but up close and personal they’re even more spectacular.
A visit to these Suffolk towns will make you appreciate the history of our beautiful region. Here are a few things to put on your bucket list if you’re visiting the area:
Places to visit
Stop by the Guildhall, Little Hall Museum and Tourist Information Centre to learn about Lavenham’s past. In the 1300s Lavenham was the 14th richest town in the country. Home to a thriving wool industry, its buildings were built by wealthy merchants. Today they house the likes of the Guildhall, pubs, hotels and coffee shops. Despite succumbing to modern culture, Lavenham has thankfully kept much of its old-world charm.
Dotted around the Market Place and along the High Street you’ll find independent boutiques, coffee shops and salons. Art lovers will be spoilt for choice with its many galleries featuring works from local artist. Lavenham Contemporary is worth a visit.
Explore the cobbled streets and you’ll find fashion boutiques and homewares stores. Housed in pretty historic buildings, shopping here feels special. Stop by the Little White Box for furnishings so beautiful you’ll immediately want to redecorate your home.
Restaurants in Lavenham
When it comes to eating, there’s plenty of options – the hardest decision will be settling on just one. Pretty quaint tea rooms are perfect for light bites but for a warming lunch its best to sample the local pub scene. The Angel on the Market Place and Lavenham Greyhound on the High Street both serve hearty pub grub alongside a selection of beverages including some tasty local ales!
If it’s fine dining you’re looking for book a table at The Great House Hotel & Restaurant. Housed in a 15th century building, the restaurant has a charming atmospheric feel and serves exquisitely presented French cuisine.
Things to do
Take time to wander and appreciate this village. An ideal place to begin a stroll is at the Holy Trinity Church, which like many in the area is a wool church from the 15th century, a product of prosperity among local cloth merchants of the time.
A visit to Long Melford wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Melford Hall. Run by the National Trust it is one of two Tudor mansions in close proximity and is a fine example of Elizabethan life.
Then there is Kentwell Hall a romantic, completely moated, redbrick Tudor mansion in a tranquil parkland setting. There are lots to do at the Hall. In addition to the house and gardens, look out for the award-winning seasonal events catch one of the renowned Tudor re-enactments.
There are a great variety of places to buy quality goods of all sorts, including clothes, home furnishings, works of art and food to name a few, as well as the antiques for which the village is famous.
Most shops offer one-off pieces you won’t find on the high street. Get into the vibe of a time gone by with a visit to Darling Vintage Boutique. Browse the vintage and retro fashions and accessories for men and women; you never know what you might find!
Art lovers should head to the Lime Tree Gallery, located on Hall Street. Here you’ll discover contemporary fine art and glass and regular exhibitions throughout the year.
Besides these there are many more charming restaurants and typical Suffolk inns to be found such as The Black Lion and Long Melford Swan, while an indoor farmers’ market is held at the Village Memorial Hall on the second Saturday of every month.