White Dove Barn, Ellough | Becks Green Barn, Ilketshall St Andrew | The Barns at Marsh Farm, Ellough | The Shooting Lodge, Gillingham | Becks Green Barn (10), Ilketshall St And | Worlingham Hall, Worlingham |
Made famous as the centre of Queen Boudicca’s kingdom the South of Norfolk and the Suffolk and Norfolk Broads National Park is an area of slow-moving rivers, fens, marshes, woodland and open countryside. Very much a rural idyll, the narrow lanes trace the ancient field boundaries; lonely flint clad churches, traditional barns and country houses abound. Here the ancient villages and small towns have changed little in years, despite being just a short drive from the wonderful city of Norwich, with, it is claimed, a church for every week and a pub for every day of the year, make this a fascinating area to visit at any time of the year.
From Beccles and Bungay in the south to Wroxham and Potter Heigham there are around fifty shallow lakes and some 190 kilometres of waterways. Busy in the summer, there are yet some excellent quiet cycle routes and footpaths both beside the water and across the beautiful countryside south of Norwich. There are some lovely self catering cottages around this area including Seven Meadows in Ditchingham, Beech Cottage in Bungay and the Shooting Lodge in Gillingham. For a real treat you could stay in one of the finest houses in Suffolk, Worlingham Hall.
The Venta Icenorum at Caister St Edmunds, some 3-miles south of Norwich contains the remains of the town built by the Romans following the defeat of Boudicca. Norwich, it seems was developed by the Anglo-Saxons as early as 410 AD. The Vikings, Late Saxons and Normans all made their mark. Work began on the Cathedral in 1096, although it took around 200 years to complete. A stone castle was begun in 1125, now rebuilt, the castle contains a superb museum housing fine collections of art, archaeology and natural history. Medieval buildings abound and the narrow cobbled streets and river walks are well worth exploring.
As well as some lovely shops, restaurants and pubs, Norwich is a centre for the arts. The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a treasure trove of world art. For local art there is the Norwich Gallery and the Castle Museum. There are three theatres, including the Elizabethan style Maddermarket, the Puppet Theatre and the Theatre Royal.
Standing on a loop of the river Waveney, Bungay is an attractive and thriving market town, with many historic buildings. The centre of religious protest in the 15th century, the town was largely rebuilt in brick in the 18th century after most of the wooden houses had been burnt down.
Older stone buildings survived including the Holy Trinity Church, with its round Norman tower, a phenomenon of this part of East Anglia. Close by are the ruins of the 12th century Bigod's Castle, the ancient Buttercross - where a market is held each thursday, and the old Borough well. The Fisher Theatre, a 19th century building currently being restored to its former use, lies in Broad Street.
Bungay has many fascinating specialist shops including a wealth of antique shops, fine restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars.
Just six miles East of Bungay, again on the buff of the Suffolk bank of the River Waveney, lies Beccles (river-pasture), another ancient market town with excellent town museum and very good shopping area and market. The streets and lanes are peppered with fine Georgian town houses. Down by the river is the quay and a series of landing stages – a wonderful place for a walk or a boat trip. Just outside the town lie two fine old houses, Roos Hall, a lofty Elizabethan fragment and Worlingham Hall, a late 18th century mansion, its rich interior by Francis Sandys. Cottages for self catering close to Bungay and Beccles include The Gallery and Black Barn at Brampton and The Homestead near Southwold. In Beccles itself stay at Riverside Cottage which as its name suggests is on the river.
is a well kept old fashioned Market Town situated on the Norfolk side of the Waveney Valley. It has a wealth of interesting architecture and is surrounded by the picturesque countryside made famous by the local painter, Sir Alfred Munnings. The modern day Harleston is known nationally for its 'Magpies', not just the birds, but for one of England's top Hockey Clubs for boys, girls, men and women.
Close by are the Waveney Valley Lakes, well stocked with carp, roach, tench, etc and popular with coarse fishermen.