The best, most gorgeous, Suffolk villages seem like they’ve been plucked right out of a postcard. Complete with pretty thatched-roof cottages, winding cobblestone streets and cosy village pubs perfect for Sunday roast.
Surrounded by idyllic countryside, meadows with flowing rivers and medieval houses that have set the scene for Harry Potter movies, the historic East Anglian county is scattered with picturesque, quintessentially English villages, brimming with charm.
Here’s a look at some of the best Suffolk villages to visit:
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One of the most well-preserved medieval villages in England, Lavenham has become famous for making an appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts I and II. Once a prosperous Wool Town, Lavenham is blessed with a plethora of picturesque Tudor houses complete with their very own dark wood beams.
Bury St Edmunds
Though not quite a village, the town of Bury St Edmunds is a truly beautiful place. The town is host to the magnificent and only cathedral in Suffolk, the ruined Bury St Edmunds Abbey and Greene King Brewery, which has been brewing ale for over 200 years.
The maritime settlement of Woodbridge features one of the most important Saxon sites in the country and is home to the Woodbridge Tide Mill. The mill, which is 800 years old, is still working and grinding flour ‘til this day.
Nestled in the heart of the county, Coddenham’s countryside walks are what’s sets this village apart from the rest. Stroll through the meadows and countryside trails of Mill Hill Walk in the springtime and spot clusters of wild bluebells and snowdrops sprouting out of the ground.
The charming village of Cavendish is best known for its pretty pink thatched roof houses, cosy local family pub and sweet church. The village has a wonderful community atmosphere, if you’re visiting in the fall, be sure not to miss the annual bonfire night and fireworks celebrations.
The tiny village of Kersey is home to a mere 350 people, making it a traditional, quintessentially English gem. Pop into The Copper Kettle Tearoom for afternoon tea, visit the local art gallery or have a drink at the real ale pub. Just be sure not to miss the wildlife hiding in the trees around the historic properties.
The thatched houses and ancient buildings surrounding the leafy village duck pond complete with weeping willow trees make the village of Somerleyton a whimsical find. Be sure to check out the roses, wisteria and climbing vines at the Somerleyton Estate’s pleasure garden.
The village of Polstead is known as much for its thatched cottages as it is for its surrounding scenic countryside walks and incredible views. Walk the Box Valley trail through the fields and woodlands and take time to appreciate the nature and wildlife on the way.
Rural, tranquil Akenham is perfect for those seeking some peace and quiet, walks in nature with their families and dogs, and beautiful sunsets. Though it lacks pubs and eateries, the nearby town of Ipswich is just a short drive away.
The enchanting former fishing village turned seaside haven with its mock Tudor houses and artificial lake is said to have inspired the story of Peter Pan. Keep an eye out for quirky and unusual architecture, like the ‘House in the Clouds,’ a former water tower that sits head and shoulders above the buildings.
The village of Long Melford is in itself a treasure trove of stories, stately homes and stunning architecture. Set on the banks of the River Stour bordering Essex, you can discover the wonders of Beatrix Potter stories, sip afternoon tea at Fanny Anne’s Vintage Tea Room or enjoy a cask ale at The Bull Hotel.
Rolling hills and beautiful countryside put Hinderclay on the list as one of the best villages in Suffolk. Though there isn’t a local pub, the nearby villages have a wide choice of inns to feast at on a Sunday afternoon.
The famous Wool Town of Clare is one of the tiniest towns in the county and is a proud host to a handful of timbered Tudor houses and picture-perfect pastel cottages. Clare is also home to Ancient House, one of the most important medieval buildings in East Anglia, complete with its very own intricate carvings.
Now a designated Conservation Area, Earl Soham is a mix of lush greenery, ivy-clad buildings and tiny cottages, offering a calm and tranquil atmosphere for visitors and day-trippers.
Although it’s a bustling little town, one of the oldest settlements in England is simply too good to miss. Ipswich dates back to the year 600, when Saxon settlers started sprouting up around the docks. The town’s lively waterside atmosphere has a youthful flare, with old warehouses being converted into restaurants, pubs and galleries.
The village of East Bergholt is proud host to sweet thatched cottages and its very own 18th century watermill, the Flatford Mill. Walk the traditional English roads to the bridge that runs over the river, or visit the birthplace of John Constable, the British painter.
Visit the charming village of Woolpit and you’ll find authentic brick-faced houses and tales of mysterious occurrences. It is rumoured to be home to the ‘Green Children,’ a couple of kids said to appear at random in the area, covered in green skin and speaking in foreign tongues. It is said that their descendants still inhabit the village to this day.
The parish of Ickworth is best known for its neoclassical Ickworth House, set in green parkland. It is the perfect place for peaceful afternoon strolls and a breath of fresh air.
The seaside town of Aldeburgh was home to British composer Benjamin Britten. It also has a vibrant literary and arts scene, hosting the international Aldeburgh Festival. Visitors usually flock to the shingle beach, where they can buy freshly caught seafood and dine on traditional British fish and chips.
With just over 30 inhabitants, Kettlebaston is a tiny parish a few miles down the road from Lavenham. The village is home to a cluster of houses and a church, making for a perfect short visit.
There are many beautiful, charming villages to visit in Suffolk, and though they have their similarities, each one of them is unique in their own way. Whether that’s from their architecture, surrounding landscape or old traditional folk tales, there’s something for everyone.