Why you should spend May Day in Suffolk, the county that time forgot

What a super write up in The Daily Telegraph for the Suffolk Wool Towns of Lavenham and Long Melford – what’s keeping you away?

“Pootling along its sleepy lanes, you almost expect to bump into a group of land girls or encounter Chitty Chitty Bang Bang coming the opposite way. Add to this the dozy hum of bees and the low drone of a biplane and we’re talking a status quo that’s undeniably last-century sleepy…”

You can read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2vyoBCc

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Even The Daily Mail admires The Wool Towns…

Our Suffolk Wool Towns area is ‘Britain at its Best’ according to Saturday’s Daily Mail.

“Britain at its best: Thomas Gainsborough’s birthplace of Suffolk is as pretty as a picture. Walk down Market Hill in Sudbury and you could be back in 1727 — the year the town’s most famous son, Thomas Gainsborough, was born…”

You can read the full article here: https://dailym.ai/2WUI77M

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Babergh ranked second happiest place to live in the UK

The Suffolk district of Babergh, the place we call home, is the second happiest place in the UK, according to a new study! 😀😃😄😁😆

“Babergh, which comprises the towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh along with the villages of Lavenham, East Bergholt and Long Melford, was second only to Winchester, Hampshire, in the index. Babergh scored the highest ranking for low carbon emissions, while its access to services also contributed to its top two placing.”

You can read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2V6yF0s

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Lavenham charms the ‘pants off just about anyone’

Congratulations Lavenham – #1 in this article within the travel section of Brides.com. The feature is entitled, ’10 Charming European Towns for Your Next Getaway.’ Here come the Yanks!

“Once a wealthy hub of the English wool trade, Lavenham continues to delight visitors with its old-world ambience. The quaint timber-framed cottages and medieval churches are enough to charm the pants off just about anyone. Other well-preserved reminders of its prosperous past include Lavenham Guildhall, a former workhouse turned museum.”

Let’s not forget that to our American friends pants are trousers!


You can read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2Ou3ZDO

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Clare Castle Parkrun

Parkrun takes place in Clare Castle Country Park every Saturday at 9 am, starting from near the car park. The 5km course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths and trail paths. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

This is one of the vast number of Parkruns that take place worldwide at the same time every Saturday. Using an individual’s barcode (which can be obtained, with more information, from www.parkrun.org.uk) times are recorded and are speedily available to participants. It is not a race but people can ‘compete’ against their previous times if they wish.

The course in the Park has been measured and approved by the Parkrun organisation; essentially it is three laps of the Park (excluding the Railway Walk) starting from the Clare Park Centre and involving the main paths to the Cavendish Road and Ashen Bridge.

Sarah Bevan has led a local group to set this up in Clare. If you want to find out more or are interested in running or helping, please contact her at s.bevan@live.co.uk.

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Every Saturday at 9 am
Clare Castle Country Park
Malting Lane, Clare, CO10 8NW

Snowdops and Spring Bulbs at Kentwell Hall

Spring is the perfect time to visit the Kentwell Garden. Explore the spring at Kentwell with lovely walks through the massed spring bulbs in the gardens and woodland.

Last year the snowdrops lasted well into March and weather-depending, our daffodil displays usually last throughout March into April and some even into May.

After the daffodils, primroses, cowslips, oxslips, bugle, violets and forget-me-nots provide colourful displays, and finally in May, bluebells line our woodland walks. With the fruit blossom in the Walled Garden and the Herb Garden and Potager coming to their peak, the spring is a beautiful time to explore the Kentwell grounds.

Visit the website for more information and to book tickets:


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Saturday 16 – Sunday 24 February 2019
11 am – 4 pm
Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, CO10 9BA

The Wool Towns Advent – December 25

Merry Christmas from The Suffolk Wool Towns

We hope you have enjoyed The Suffolk Wool Towns advent, showcasing just a select few of the many shining stars from this wonderful region.

From fabulous art galleries to amazing shops, from glorious gardens to stately homes, we could go on and on … but why not come and experience it for yourself in 2019?

Relaxation & Romance, Inspiration & Indulgence, Culture & Countryside, History & Heritage a RICH experience awaits you in the Suffolk Wool Towns.

We look forward to welcoming you.
Happy New Year!

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Christmas Day Family Services:
10.15am St Peter & St Paul, Lavenham
10.30am Holy Trinity, Long Melford
10.45am St Mary’s, Hadleigh

The Wool Towns Advent – December 24

Pickles & Lillies | Lavenham

Welcome to The Wool Towns Advent – each day, between now and Christmas Eve, we will be opening the doors on one of the region’s shining stars. Oh come all ye faithful, sing in exultation!

Pickles & Lillies is a charming, independent children’s clothing and traditional toy shop situated in picturesque Lavenham.

The shop proudly stocks high-quality organic cotton brands including Frugi, Kite Clothing, Pigeon Organics and Toby Tiger, as well as their own Pickles & Lillies range of children’s nightwear, UK-made from 100% cotton.

In addition, there is also an engaging selection of traditional wooden toys, mobiles, cute hand and finger puppets. children’s accessories, pocket money toys, organic children’s toiletries and natural bristle hair brushes.

The beautiful shop sets out to appeal to parents, grandparents and children alike. This is achieved by combining products loved by the owner and her children and by stocking new ranges each season to include the latest trends.

Pickles & Lillies has a lovely friendly atmosphere and welcomes visitors of all ages.

Pickles & Lillies
92 High Street, Lavenham, CO10 9PZ
Telephone 01787 247938

The Wool Towns Advent – December 23

Rippingales | Clare

Welcome to The Wool Towns Advent – each day, between now and Christmas Eve, we will be opening the doors on one of the region’s shining stars. Oh come all ye faithful, sing in exultation!

Rippingales is a small and pretty, family-run antique shop in the ancient market town of Clare. This ‘little gem’ of a shop should always be on your list of places to visit.

Situated in the High Street  Rippingales is owned and run by dealer Paula Rippingale Mills who has been trading in Clare for over 10 years.

Having a special interest in childhood collectables, Paula always has a selection of antique and vintage dolls, teddies, toys, books and items such as samplers relating to the history of childhood.

With a varied and constantly changing stock, from Georgian ceramics to advertising to Hornby trains there is always something new to see and buy. You will also always find examples of cottage furniture, silver, jewellery, and garden items.

Rippingales are members of the Essex Antique Dealers Association, an association dedicated to raising the levels of professionalism in the Antiques Trade.

6 High Street, Clare, CO10 6HS
Telephone 01787 278165

The Wool Towns Advent – December 22

Jim Lawrence | Hadleigh

Welcome to The Wool Towns Advent – each day, between now and Christmas Eve, we will be opening the doors on one of the region’s shining stars. Oh come all ye faithful, sing in exultation!

Jim Lawrence is a British interiors company creating beautiful lighting, furniture, ironwork and home furnishings.

The story of Jim Lawrence began in the farm forge in 1993, when Jim started making candlesticks for friends. From their reactions, he realised there was a demand for stylish, designer quality products made with natural materials.

Jim was joined in the forge by the farm stockman and today the company employs a skilled team of 130 engineers, welders, painters, seamstresses, lampshade makers, electrical technicians, customer services assistants – to name just a few!

The business outgrew the farm in 2008 and moved to the nearby market town of Hadleigh. There is now a large showroom displaying the complete range of products, and customers no longer have to bump down a farm track to find them. However, the heart of this country business remains the same – individual, handmade products and the highest possible levels of customer service.

Jim Lawrence is a true family business, run by Jim and his wife Sheena and employing up to three generations of local families as well as several pairs of husbands and wives – mainly amicably!

Jim Lawrence
Lady Lane, Hadleigh, IP7 6BQ
Telephone 01473 826685