Halesworth, Long Melford, Eye, Stradbroke and Diss
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