Framlingham is famous for its ancient castle; fondly known as the 'Castle On The Hill' thanks to local singer Ed Sheeran. The surrounding villages are delightful and harbour some fine flint churches and old traditional pubs, all with a pretty rural backdrop. Great for walking and quiet cycle rides across interesting and attractive countryside with only limited hills.
The town has several times been in the top ten places in the UK in which to live. It has no main road scything through its heart, just a charming market square overlooked by a magnificent church which in turn gives way to the magnificent castle. A charming little market town, Framlingham is a great place for buying fresh local produce, including lovely Suffolk cheeses and has its share of good restaurants, tea houses and pubs.
Head South out of Framlingham for a couple of miles and you will find the tiny village of Kettleburgh which hugs the banks of the river. The village has a fine church and traditional local pub which is ideal for stopping off for a drink and a home-cooked meal after a long river walk.
Carry on a mile or so up the road and you will end up in the pretty little village of Easton. There is an excellent pub as well as the famiy attraction Easton Farm Park where they host many events and activities suitable for the whole family. Further along the river you will find the rural hamlet of Letheringham where the film 'Akenfield' was set. Just 4.5 miles from Framlingham and situated on the banks of the River Deben the village is little changed with a stunning old watermill which remains but is now a house rather than a working mill.
Head East and you will find the the rather sleepy village of Hacheston. On the outside the village appears not to have much to offer but there are hidden treasures most notably its church. Uninspiring from the outside, it has some fine stained glass windows and a superb 15th century statue of St Thomas - well worth a visit.
If you head North out of Framlingham and head towards the rural village of Dennington you'll find an exceptionally good dining pub, The Dennington Queen. Carry on North and you will come across Laxfield, a very pretty village with a magnificent church at its heart. Once a thriving and bustling town at the end of the long defunct Mid Suffolk 'Middie' railway line. There is a busy village shop and post office, a museum of country life, and two good pubs with one being the Kings Head, known locally as the Low House, which has no bar but a fascinating tap room. A must-visit hostlery!
Head East out of Dennington towards the coast and you will find another delightful village Peasenhall. With a general stores and post office, a local pub just down the lane, the Sibton White Horse And of course there is Emmetts, with its world famous smoked hams and cheese along with the widest range of delicacies you could wish for - there is also a lovely cafe.
Around 4 miles West from Framlingham, Earl Soham is a very beautiful and traditional village in the heart of Suffolk's gently undulating countryside. An ancient settlement, Earl Soham was sited around a Roman road. It derives it name from Soham (hamlet by water) and Earl (a reference to the Bigod family, earls of Norfolk to whom the village once belonged). There are many interesting period houses and cottages in the village which is designated as a Conservation Area.