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3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

bandon, county cork
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3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

I will be taking two ladies in their 80s (slow on their feet!) touring in Suffolk for a long weekend (we will be based near Bury). They enjoy old houses, gardens, pottering in interesting shops (snape maltings looks appealing based on the other forum suggestions), countryside views, pretty towns. A few questions:

Where should I take them in Bury. I need to make sure that the distances for walking aren't too arduous. I have the Abbey gardens on the list - where else? I thought of taking them to Bressingham Gardens after Bury on day 1 and to Helmingham Hall Gardens on day 2 followed by a drive down the coast - Southwold, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge etc. Does this seem like a good plan.

Secondly, if I had to choose between Kentwell and Ickworth, which should I opt for?

Lastly, based on the above, does anyone have recommendations of good places to stop for coffees, teas. They love really English places (we are coming from Ireland all inspired by the queen's visit here).

Yaxley, Suffolk
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1. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

Either Kentwell or Ickworth are very nice. If I had to choose one then it would be Kentwell but only because I believe there is more to see there.

For coffee/tea you can't beat the Thornham coach house on the Thornham estate in Thornham Magna near Eye. However this will depend on which way you decide to go from bury to the coast.

London, United...
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2. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

Hi there,

Bury is a good base to explore Suffolk, although it is quite away from the coast, if you are wanting to visit there. If you wanted to do a route down from Bury I would visit Ickworth House first, lovely National Trust property. Then drive down and visit the pretty villages of Clare, Cavendish and Long Melford. Then perhaps go onto perhaps Suffolk's prettiest village which is Lavenham.

Chocolate Box houses galore! Walk up and down the pretty high street, with quaint little shops and tea rooms. Perhaps have afternoon tea at the Swan which is very nice. www.theswanatlavenham.co.uk

As for Bury itself, Abbey Gardens is a must, and I would certainly take in a tour of the Cathedral if they like that sort of thing. www.stedscathedral.co.uk.

Southwold is quite a drive from Bury, but if you make a day of it, its well worth it. Again a lovely little town with nice individual shops, great pubs, beautiful beach to sit on or walk on the prominade, and get fish and chips on the pier.

One other place I love for Afternoon Tea is Hintlesham Hall Hotel, just outside Ipswich. A very big grand house and in summer you can sit out on the patio enjoying the beautiful gardens, and just feel like royalty for an hour or two. www.hintleshamhall.co.uk.

Hope this helps!

Yorkshire Dales...
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for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
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3. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

Bear in mind that the Abbey Gardens cover quite a large area when you are walking around. There's a lovely (slightly tucked away) rose garden with lots of seats in it. In fact there are numerous seats all over the Gardens. You can walk from the Gardens themselves to the Cathedral precincts. There's also a tea garden in the Abbey Gardens.

Opposite the entrance to the Gardens, across the Angel Hill, is the Angel Hotel. They recently opened a very good restaurant at the front of the Hotel (good views across to the Abbey, Atheneum etc) called The Eaterie. Excellent place for lunch, slightly old fashioned in a modern way if that makes any sense.

www.theangel.co.uk/eaterie

I was born and raised in Bury - it's a really lovely part of the country but never over run by tourists.

Ickworth is lovely (I was married in the church there) but if you went to Kentwell you would also get to seee Long Melford and Lavenham as mentioned above.

Most Suffolk villages, however small, have a magnificent church, often built on the lucrative profits of the wool trade (and therefore known as 'wool churches'). The churches in Long Melford and Lavenham are particularly superb.

http://longmelfordchurch.com/

discoverlavenham.co.uk/virtual-on-line-tour-…

Edited: 06 June 2011, 12:04
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

I think Kentwell is better than Ickworth for your purposes

There's more to see in the house itself and the gardens sound like they're more to your taste (there are varied walled gardens, woodland walks and the like whereas Ickworth is mostly one very big deer park and a smallish formal garden). I also think it gains from being in private ownership, you get quite idiosyncratic notices and the like and there's a real variety of architecture on show from 16th century up to relatively modern. Ickworth is a bit sterile by comparison, it's all very 18th & early 19th century, some great art but very "National Trust"-y , if you see what I mean

Also more shops/tearooms etc in the adjoining village of Long Melford than in Ickworth's adjoining village of Horringer

bandon, county cork
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5. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

Thank you to everybody for your fantastic replies to my post. Lots of great ideas so I am now all set for next weekend. Thank you also for the links.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

If by "next weekend" you mean 18-19 June, then I know Lavenham has open gardens (where you get to poke about in peoples' private spaces - always fun!) on the 19th

bandon, county cork
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7. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

That's a shame as I mean this weekend, 10th to 13th June. However, you have reminded me of a 'historic private house visit programme called invitation to view which a guest here told me about and I think it is in Suffok. I'll try to google it as it sounded great

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

Yep, that's here (I'm sure you've found it)

http://www.invitationtoview.co.uk/index.asp

Plenty of other "open gardens" events too:

opengardens.co.uk/open_gardens_in_suffolk.php

Nayland might be worth a look - pretty village by the River Stour on the edge of "Constable Country" a shortish journey south of Bury St Edmunds

bandon, county cork
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9. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

fantastic. Thanks for the open garden link. - As you say, there are some good ones

Cambridge, United...
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10. Re: 3 nights in suffolk with two ladies in their 80s

I agree take them to Lavenham I went there if you have a driver it's fifteen mins away. Go to the Guildhall museum and the church is so peaceful one could really believe god lived there. Take tea and scones in one of the many lovely tea shops set in the timberframed buildings. Visit Village Fete a geat gift shop and boutique and the Crooked Gallery with its beautiful artwork. Everything is in walking distance.