Tuesday 15 June 2010

Not Quite Thelma & Louise

Eight villages, two tiny towns, three churches, one fruit farm, a pub, plenty of shops, a continental market, two antique centres and miles of amazing countryside. Now they, if you ask me, are the perfect ingredients for a road trip and a half. And I've just come back from a rather marvellous one indeed to lovely Lavenham in Suffolk.
One dark and freezing night in January my lovely friend Lucy and I got totally carried away in one of our regular discussions about how we love the countryside and discovering beautiful new villages especially. And then a plan began to form - how about a road trip to somewhere neither of us had been before for a bit of a nosey around?
So Suffolk we plumped for having heard very good things, somewhere to stay was booked, travel guides dug out and the waiting began. And it's been a long time coming but finally we set off on Saturday with bacon sandwiches to munch on the journey and headed east for Lavenham.
I hardly know how to describe this beautiful corner of England really. It's chocolate box and more, but in the most hugely charming way. I absolutely fell in love with the corner of the county we trailed through; such a different place to the hill farming country I know.
I've taken so many photos that I'm planning a couple of posts to share the delights we discovered in 36 hours away. Today is all about the tiny town and the amazing architecture there. Even on Saturday afternoon it was ever so calm and quiet, just a few tourists like us ruffling the surface of this little place.
A centre of the medieval Suffolk wool trade, Lavenham and its guild grew rich on the profits and the buildings that give the place its special character are testament to its past.
Lucy and I though were here for a potter about. (I studied the medieval wool trade at university years ago and that's plenty thanks!) We spent the day strolling the pretty streets, admiring wonderful gardens and floral displays and mostly wondering if somewhere so impossibly pretty really exisits or we were just imagining it.
Even the Londis was pretty. And the butcher and baker (no candlestickmaker) were delightful, straight out of a child's story book.
Later in the afternoon we found the church and even for a wool church (usually huge and ornate thanks to the wealth of their original benefactors) it was particularly glorious. Full of light and astounding glass.
And by then we were a little bit foot sore and it was time to head off to our little place for the night. So not quite Thelma & Louise but very, very Lucy & Steph. More next time.


Pea Green Kitty said...

A fab Road Trip!!!
What a lovely church that one is, I Love churches!
Cant wait to see the next posts

Connie said...

Sweetpea, your blog about life in the countryside of England makes me smile! Keep up the fantastic charm of your life.

Karen said...

Oh Steph I love Suffolk too there are so many pretty villages and the coastal villages are lovely too. My Mum and I had several holidays there before my children were born on our own as my father and my husband had no desire to go to somewhere so flat!
Now my cousin lives there in a lovely little town called Hadleigh. What a lovely time you must have had. Karen X

Frances said...

Wow, what treasure you have found and shared with us. Thank you so much. I hope that you all will have some more of these road trips, packing the camera every single time.

That village is amazing. The church is beyond amazing.


jessica daisy said...

Lavenham is lovely isn't it. There is a lovely barn there that you can hire out for parties, and sleep in! My friends hired it for their 40th.
So disappointed I missed you! We live in Essex very close to the Suffolk border, we're about 20 mins from Sudbury.
Glad you enjoyed the trip though.

Leisa said...

What a lovely trip Steph. It's exactly the way I would love to see your beautiful country - one day!!

VintageVicki said...

Glad you enjoyed your visit to the nicest county in the UK ;)

If you ever head further over to the Suffolk coast let me know ;)

periwinkle said...

Wow, I've never been to Suffolk but it does look very inviting and as you say chocolate boxesque ... can't wait to see the rest of your pics

Celia Hart said...

Welcome to my (adopted) county :-)

I'm so pleased you had such a lovely time. I wonder what other adventures you had while you were there?

While you were happily strolling around Lavenham, our Village Fete was in full swing - just a few miles up the Stour valley.


bellaboo said...

We are so lucky to live in a country with so much history and so many lovely villages to explore.Your trip sounded really wonderful.Lavenham is on my list of places to visit!

Bellaboo :0)

...Nina Nixon... said...

Wonderful pictures Steph of what looks like such a delightful place and I'm so glad you did as Suffolk is a place we are strongly considering moving to!

take care,

Nina xx

Dawn said...

There's no better county than Suffolk. I may be a tiny bit biased though!

melanie said...

Thats my kind of road trip. :) xxx

Katy Noelle said...

I just love adventures. It sounds like you had a whopping fun time. I can't wait to hear about (and see) the rest of it. Your country is so beautiful and interesting to me and I sigh and feel envious but, then, I realize that I live in a similarly wonderful place. I just need to get out and see it! You keep prodding me and inspiring me!

Steff, I go back to what I said the first time I left a comment - you're wonderful! You seem to just know what the best kind of magic is.

Love, katy

A Thrifty Mrs said...


Teresa said...

Thanks for sharing your trip and photos. Fascinating and very enjoyable!

Lucy said...

Sounds like a great trip, I love discovering little villages too and their churches ( especially when they're not locked!), and right now there are such gorgeous scents wafting from the cottage gardens!

I am impressed you have studied the medieval wool trade! I never did but I do have a phrase stuck in my mind for some reason that I think I saw in the Cotswolds, ' God be thanked and ever shal, it is the sheep have paid for al.'


Those yellow roses are amazing!

MyCretanlife said...

Well you did have a jolly good time love the photos. You picked a great place to go and visit.

Victoria said...

Wow..! Such fab photos. It looks so traditional and fancy. xx

Bobo Bun said...

Looks like you've been having a wonderful road trip. What a fabulous idea. Glad you've discovered how lovely East Anglia is. Suffolk is beautiful, almost too picture postcard at times.

Lisa x