Just 25 minutes from Bury St Edmunds, the pretty village of Long Melford is one of Suffolk's "wool towns" and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
In the 1980s and 90s Long Melford was made famous as the setting for the BBC television series Lovejoy. But it has many other cultural connections. It visited by Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe, who mentioned the village in his book A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain.
The Bull Hotel in Long Melford features in the BBC documentary The World of John and Yoko and in the film Witch Finder General and The Wind in the Willows were both partially shot in Long Melford. The frontage of Kentwell Hall was also digitally added into the film, The Chronicles of Narnia.
We've picked out our 'must dos' in Long Melford.
A romantic, moated Tudor mansion in a tranquil parkland setting, Kentwell Hall is known for its unique recreations of everyday life in Tudor times but has so much more to offer.
From the open-air plays, concerts and cinema in the summer to the famous Tudor re-enactment weekends and from the popular annual Halloween event Scaresville to exploring the splendid gardens and maze, this is a wonderful place to spend time.
Long Melford Heritage Centre
Visit the Heritage Centre that was created following filming in the village by historian Michael Wood, for The Great British Story, a BBC series which featured Long Melford. You can see the artefacts and items found during the dig as well as learn about the history of Long Melford.
There’s a good reason why this beautiful village was featured in the TV series Lovejoy, a show which followed antiques dealer play by Ian McShane. The village is well known for its antique shops.
At Long Melford Antiques Centre there are more than 40 antiques dealers along under one roof and at Melford Antiques and Interiors warehouse there are four floors of treasures to browse. Plus there are numerous other independent antiques stores and regular antique and vintage fairs held in the village.
At the National Trust’s Melford Hall you can explore the mansion once visited by Queen Elizabeth I and discover the connections to children’s author Beatrix Potter, who was a cousin of the family who own the Hall and a frequent visitor.
Although the Hall is over five hundred years old on the outside, the interior tells a very different story - one of fortunes gained and lost, illustrious visitors and disasters both natural and deliberate.
Whether you’d like to relax on a sofa in the Great Hall and soak up the atmosphere or stretch your legs on one of the guided walks or simply potter in the garden, Melford Hall has something for everyone.
Holy Trinity Church
The beautiful Medieval Holy Trinity Church is one of the great Suffolk wool churches and was built almost entirely in the 15th century at a time of growing prosperity among the local cloth merchants and stands at the top of the great green.
Be sure to look for the Rabbit (Hare) window which symbolizes the Trinity, one of many panels of the original medieval stained glass which is over 500 years old.
Food and Drink
There are some wonderful restaurants, pubs and cafes to try in Long Melford from fine dining, cosy cafes to pub grub.
Tiffins Tea Emporium is the village’s only traditional tea room open for breakfast, light lunches and wonderful cakes and serving a large variety of loose leaf teas.
Long Melford Country Park
After a busy day exploring, Long Melford Country Park is the perfect place to unwind with its small lakes, wooded areas, and viewing points beside the River Stour.
The Country Park is a great starting location for Walkers, and Cyclists, who wish to explore Historic Long Melford. The Park is also very close by to the Valley Walk pathway. This takes you just a few miles, along a traffic free scenic route, into the nearby town of Sudbury.
There are some lovely tranquil picnic spots and dogs are welcome.
You can easily spend a morning or afternoon wandering around the small independent shops of Long Melford.
Small boutiques with friendly staff sell a wonderful variety of quality items including clothes, china, furnishings, works of art, books, kitchenware and food.
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