Discover: Grove Farm
Set in rural landscape just outside of the tiny hamlet of Priory Green, we are accessed only by a single track lane with footpaths and fields to stroll through from our doorstep and a dog friendly pub just a couple of fields away. These cottages are the perfect place for a peaceful, rural break.
The South Suffolk Cycle Route runs right past these cottages, taking you through the most beautiful villages in Suffolk such as Boxford, Kersey and the ‘Lovejoy’ famed Long Melford with its many antique shops and the longest village high street in England. Bikes are available free of charge, the perfect way to explore these quaint little villages.
I have marked out a walkers OS map with all of the best pubs, restaurants and village highlights to make your break easy to fill with great stuff to see and do.
There is a large car park for the guests of the Grove Farm Cottages overlooking the large orchard which is doggy exercise area.
There are many pretty walks straight from the cottages with both the picturesque church and the local pub being just a 15 minute walk across the fields.
Just 10 minutes away is Polstead where the steep little hills lead down to the river Stour. There are some wonderful walks here along the Pilgrims Way or explore the lovely woodland at Polstead called The Dollops, where the bluebells put on a wonderful springtime display: Polstead
Food & Drink
Try one of the many great gastro pubs around like The Lindsey Rose or The Anchor in Nayland overlooking the river Stour. Or perhaps try the award winning Crown in Stoke by Nayland and also another Crown in Bildeston! The Great House or The Swan Hotel in Lavenham are also fabulous restaurants.
In Charles Dickens’s days, boys living in Scotland and here in East Anglia would be allowed to leave boarding school a day early because it took so long to get back home to those places.
Even though we are just 60 miles from London, this area was always very inaccessible and remained so until very recent times.
Now the local mainline train journey to London is a mere 45 minutes and a car journey takes about an hour and a half.
Suffolk has retained an unusually strong independent rural atmosphere and one of the great joys of the area are the beautiful little hamlets that even locals get lost in, to though the meandering ‘spiders web’ of tiny lanes and by roads. Many of these villages are wonderfully preserved in their medieval origins, our local village of Lavenham being a fantastic example.
The area is very rich in history from the Saxon treasure of Sutton Hoo and the rebel Queen Boadicea who defeated the Romans, right up to the many expeditions of settlers leaving for America – in fact the First Governor of Massachusetts came from this tiny hamlet of Edwardstone where I am based.
The landscape and the architectural beauty of the area has long inspired artists to work and live here. The greatest English landscape painter John Constable painted all his famous masterpieces along the Stour which is just 5 miles from The Grove Cottages. His work undoubtedly created this landscape as the quintessential English landscape, which is one reason why visitors to the area feel so at home.
Flatford Mill where many of Constables well known works of art such as The Haywain were painted, is now a National Trust area devoted to this artist and preserving his memory and the area he made famous.
The great portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough lived in Sudbury which is the closest town to us and it is a real pleasure to visit his home which is now a very interesting museum and exciting show case for local artists and events. It also has a wonderful print making workshop where courses on all kinds of are constantly held and very much sought after.
The great artist Sir Alfred Munnings, famous for his portraits of rural Suffolk life lived and had his studio close to the river Stour at Dedham, there’s also an interesting museum devoted to him and his works of art.
Above are a few photos I took around the area of Lavenham, Long Melford and Polsted – The seaside at Aldeburgh which is a totally unspoilt village, famous for its arts events and good food and is about one hour from Lavenham.
About the Suffolk Coast
Below is an article about the Suffolk Coast
Telegraph Travel Newspaper……..
“Popular though the Lake District and West Country are as tourist destinations, they can be rather damp. If you want to reduce the risk of a rainy holiday, statistics show that you should head east. Suffolk for instance, has only about a third as much rainfall as the. It also happens to have one of the loveliest stretches of coastline in Britain.”
The Met office regional statistics per annum.
The Lake District – Suffolk
Rain fall 2300 – 3900mm 600 – 660 mm