Ex­plore

Halesworth, Long Melford, Eye, Strad­broke and Diss

EADT Suffolk - - Inside -

IF you’re ex­plor­ing the north of the county, Halesworth has to be on your list. It would even be a great place to base your­self if you’re plan­ning a longer stay in these parts.

A tra­di­tional mar­ket town, it’s about 10 miles from the Her­itage Coast, nine miles from Bun­gay and 11 miles from Bec­cles. It’s sur­rounded by some lovely vil­lages too – Holton, Crat­field, Wis­sett, Walpole, Wen­has­ton, Lin­stead Parva, Spex­hall and Bram­field to name a few – so you could find a holiday cot­tage and set­tle down to a peace­ful few days en­joy­ing some fab­u­lous Suf­folk coun­try­side un­der vast Suf­folk skies. They truly are ex­pan­sive here.

Halesworth has a rich his­tory. The river Blyth runs close to the town. There is ev­i­dence of Ne­olithic in­hab­i­ta­tion near this river and its trib­u­taries and there were Ro­man set­tle­ments at Chedis­ton and Wen­has­ton. Ar­chae­ol­ogy, un­der­taken when the town’s by­pass was con­structed in the late 1980s, un­cov­ered more of its Saxon and me­dieval her­itage. It has a me­dieval church, St Mary’s, and a va­ri­ety of his­toric build­ings, from early tim­ber-framed con­struc­tions to the rem­nants of Vic­to­rian wealth built on malt­ing and brew­ing. Hale­worth’s in­dus­tries were helped by the ‘New Cut’ which con­nected the town river to the Blyth. The 1950s, `60s and `70s saw fur­ther ex­pan­sion as print­ing and en­gi­neer­ing came to Halesworth. To find out more about Halesworth’s past you can take the Town Trail walk, and visit Halesworth and District Mu­seum, at the top of Sta­tion

‘The town has a thriv­ing col­lec­tion of in­de­pen­dently owned shops and busi­nesses that sup­ply ev­ery­day needs, gifts and life’s lux­u­ries’

Road, which dis­plays his­tor­i­cal arte­facts, from Bronze Age axe heads to a model of Tu­dor Halesworth and Vic­to­rian rail­way mem­o­ra­bilia.

Halesworth’s main shop­ping area is the pedes­tri­anised Thor­ough­fare and Mar­ket Place. The town has a thriv­ing col­lec­tion of in­de­pen­dently owned shops and busi­nesses that sup­ply ev­ery­day needs, gifts and some of life’s lux­u­ries.

One of the town’s great­est at­trac­tions is the New Cut Arts Cen­tre – known lo­cally as ‘The Cut’ – on New Cut Road, a per­form­ing arts and ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre in a con­verted Malt­ings that of­fers an eclectic pro­gramme which in­cludes the two-week Halesworth Arts Fes­ti­val in au­tumn. Be­hind the Mar­ket Place is Halesworth Art Gallery, housed in for­mer 17th cen­tury almshouses, which stages exhibitions from lo­cal and vis­it­ing artists.

The twon has some lovely green spa­ces too, in­clud­ing the town park across the by­pass road, which is reached via an un­der­pass from the main car park. You’ll find gar­dens and recre­ation ar­eas, as well as ad­join­ing Mil­len­nium Green, which is the largest of its kind in the UK at around 50 acres of open space for walk­ing, cy­cling and wildlife.

EAT­ING AND DRINK­ING

There are three pubs in the heart of town – the White Hart (ad­nams.co.uk/white­harthalesworth), the An­gel (www.an­gel-halesworth.co.uk) and the White Swan (www.halesworth­whiteswan.co.uk). All serve food and the An­gel has an Ital­ian restau­rant called Cleone’s.

The Triple Plea (www.thetriple­plea.co.uk), in Up­per Holton to­wards Bun­gay, has a large restau­rant. In Holton the Lord Nel­son pub (www.th­elord­nel­son­holton.co.uk) also serves food.

You can also dine at The Board­ing House Dining Rooms (www.board­ing­house­halesworth.com)

Halesworth An­tiques Street Mar­ket

Above, The An­gel, Halesworth, has a sep­a­rate Ital­ian restau­rant

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