Clare

The lit­tle town with lots to see and do

EADT Suffolk - - Explore -

THE town of Clare, in the beau­ti­ful Suf­folk coun­try­side, has a fas­ci­nat­ing history, plenty of com­pelling places to visit and a wide range of shops, an­tiques out­lets and eater­ies.

The old wool town has a time­less qual­ity, evolved over many cen­turies, and boasts sev­eral his­tor­i­cal gems, in­clud­ing a 13th cen­tury Au­gus­tinian Pri­ory, Clare Coun­try Park and the stone ru­ins of Clare Cas­tle, a me­dieval town church, and the An­cient House Mu­seum.

A hostelry dat­ing from the 16th cen­tury and a num­ber of pubs, restau­rants and cafes all serve ex­cel­lent food, while a se­lec­tion of an­tiques shops, art gal­leries and well stocked shops pro­vide a plethora of things to browse and buy for lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike.

AN­CIENT HOUSE MU­SEUM

The Grade I listed build­ing was given to the town in 1938, but it wasn’t un­til 1979 that a mu­seum was es­tab­lished on the site. Ex­hi­bi­tions in the mu­seum tell the history of the town and of the lords and ladies who once lived in Clare, as well as of the or­di­nary peo­ple who lived and worked in the area. A new ex­hi­bi­tion for 2017, The Story of Clare, presents var­i­ous top­ics about the dis­tinc­tive­ness of this very small town, from its early me­dieval be­gin­nings to its mod­ern day life.

CLARE CAS­TLE COUN­TRY PARK

Only a two-minute walk from the town cen­tre is Clare Cas­tle Coun­try Park. The park con­tains the re­mains of the 13th Cen­tury stone cas­tle keep which, set upon its 70ft high motte, over­looks the town be­low. The park’s ‘history trail’ re­veals his­toric se­crets to vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing sto­ries of the for­mer Clare rail­way sta­tion, which op­er­ated for over 100 years. Mean­while a na­ture trail takes in the River Stour, while the Rail­way Walk takes walk­ers from the heart of the park into the wider farm­ing land­scape.

Beau­ti­ful his­toric Clare.

Sarah and Alaric Pugh at Sea Pic­tures Gallery.

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