Guide to Historical Suffolk for Self-Catering and Country Cottage Holidays

If you have an interest in English history, find medieval buildings and traditions fascinating, then do consider visiting Suffolk.  It's a county where the new has evolved alongside the old. Well-preserved cottages and buildings from the 12th century onwards are lived in and still contribute to the life of villages and towns.  Certain villages contain large numbers of these listed buildings so that a walk down the high street is very much a walk into East Anglia's past.  

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The churches, the centre of life in latter years, are particularly well-preserved and hundreds are in active use today.  The walls of many of these churches are covered with stones or flints - a style popular in East Anglia. 

A large number of pubs are former coaching inns.  It is possible to take a drink in places frequented by the notorious highway man Dick Turpin and others with more salubrious connections. These pubs are full of nooks and crannies, timbered and beamed, with warming fires in the inglenook.  There are many self-catering cottages in Suffolk that are also listed buildings with a story to tell.


Top Historical Places for Self-Catering Breaks in Suffolk

  • Flatford, Dedham and Long Melford are particularly attractive places for cottage breaks in Suffolk. 


  • Lavenham can also be highly recommended for its historical buildings, tea shops, country pubs and picturesque qualities.  Take a look at a couple of such examples below.


  • If you are after some peace and tranquillity you may wish to opt for a stay in one of the less well known Suffolk villages such as Clare or Debenham..
One of the numerous churches in Suffolk that go back centuries and are still the hub of village life Sudbury Suffolk - Former Corn Exchange now a library
Church in Stratford St. Mary Former Corn Exchange in Sudbury, now a library Medieval Lavenham


National Trust Properties in Suffolk

If you adore country houses you may want to visit some of Suffolk's best National Trust Properties.  Guided tours are often available at many National Trust properties, ask on arrival for more information.   Whilst in East Anglia you may want to visit one or more of the following:

  • Melford Hall, located close to the village green in Long Melford.
  • Lavenham Guildhall, a fine example of a medieval Guildhall in the centre of Lavenham.
  • Ickworth, a Georgian Palace surrounded by acres of woodlands.


We hope you've found our guide helpful and that we have given you a taste of special Suffolk and what this beautiful part of East Anglia has to offer.

For inspiration on places to stay, take a look at some of the self-catering country cottages and houses in Suffolk


Country cottages in Suffolk

cottage for weekly lets and short breaks in Lavenham

Suffolk is a county with a number of pretty villages to explore on a cottage holiday.  Suffolk is famous for 'Suffolk pink', a colour that many of the cottages are painted.  Many delightful Suffolk country cottages are painted this distinctive Suffolk pink.  Suffolk has a wealth of outstanding countryside, as well as medieval villages.  The tiny picturesque village of Lavenham was featured in Jonathan Dimblebys program as one of England's best preserved Medieval Villages and is the jewel in the crown of Suffolk's Medieval villages.

Lavenham is a tiny village and it is easy to walk through the countryside.  There are some excellent walks like the one along the disused railway line to Long Melford where the TV series Lovejoy was based and is predictable an antique Hunters dream now. Suffolk is only a short distance from London but the whole area has a really rural feel to it as if it were hundreds of miles away from any City and indeed in Dickens's day school boys who lived in Scotland or Suffolk were allowed to go home a day early as they were both considered so inaccessible.



Take a look at more listed self-catering cottages and houses with yards of history in Suffolk by using the Country Cottages Feature Pages.  Discover the real charm of  Suffolk and the legacy of centuries.

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