Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekend in the Countryside

Wrapping up our weekend trip to the Suffolk area, I want to leave you with a few last impressions. Traveling in February always means that many things are not quite open for the season, and such was the case for two places I would really like to see. Don't you sometimes feel if you leave a few things unseen, it will be a good reason someday to take the road leading you back there again?

Kentwell Hall is one of those places I would love to go back and see when it's open. A red brick Elizabethan mansion surrounded by a moat, it is still a family residence which hosts Tudor re-enactments on occasion. Wouldn't that be fun--a travel back in time?

And when I go back to Kentwell Hall, I'll go just a little ways down the road to Melford Hall where Queen Elizabeth herself stayed in 1528. 
Both homes are in the vicinity of Long Melford, another wool town

whose 15th century church is stunning sitting on top of a slight hill just above the high street with its own charm and timbered houses.

As Saturday drew to a close, we made our way to the village of Clare, that a shopkeeper had recommended.

The timbered houses were also there for sure, but so was this home with its lacy facade.

We were advised to follow the stream towards one of the jewels of the town, and so we set out upon that path.

As we rounded the bend I fell in love with this little thatched cottage,

and took time to marvel at the beautiful sunset

over the countryside.

Through a wooden gate, we made our way into the Clare Priory. This priory (monastery) was the first house of Augustinian friars in England, and in the  peak of medieval times, there were 800 
friars of this order  living in England. 

The priory was founded in 1248, then suppressed in 1538 during the English Reformation,

and serves today as a retreat center and home for the Augustinians since 1953. Seven friars currently make it their home, and we met them on our visit.

We wandered the peaceful grounds of the ancient priory and its ruins, amazed at the tranquility of its location alongside the river, and we understood why for years this has been a place of solitude and holiness.

All too soon, it was time to start our trip home as the weekend closed on Sunday. A rainy cold day set us on our pathway home a bit earlier than we had expected, but not before detouring to the village of Kersey.

Just a small village, but it is packed with charm, and even through the lens of a rainy day, we were captivated by the one main street through town which even served as a ford across a stream. Here we definitely left plenty to see and dream about until we make our way back someday.


And maybe the sun will be shining.


  1. Although originally from the North East of England, I spent a few years working in Suffolk and totally fell in love with the place! There are so many lovely villages and so much greenery and history. It's lovely to be back there again through your photos. If you get a chance to visit Bury St Edmunds, or Newmarket, you won't be disappointed. Thanks for the short trip back home, sally xx

    1. Yes, yes, we made it to Bury St. Edmunds and I loved it and hope to go back some day. Newmarket will definitely be on the list! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Very chatming houses. Do you know what the pink and creme exteriors of the thatched houses are made from? It looks like stucco, but I don't associate that with England.

  3. You've done it again, Debi! Wonderful tour and your photos are getting better and better. Makes me miss England even more!

  4. What a great way to spend my morning joining you on a tour through some beautiful villages of England. I am in awe of how lovely these places are that you visited. I think the 15th Century Church was my favorite picture. Wow would I love to visit it and of course the ancient priory and its ruins.
    Thank you for sharing such a one of a kind weekend with us.
    Gosh my blog is so boring compared to yours.
    I kept thinking of Gretchen who will be going to school in a castle out of London in April.
    I hope she captures the beauty in her visits like you do

  5. How funny I leave here for my site and you had just left me a comment while I was leaving you mine. Made me feel good we were visiting each other aat the same time. lol
    Have a wonderful day honey

  6. I love the trips you take us on...there is so much to see and do here, I wonder how I will ever get it all in. You are so right...there are some things you just have to save for another day. The best part is looking forward to it! I am counting the days until April 2 when many the Trust property homes open their doors once again. Ready, get set...go!

    Thanks so much for your comments. :) I have not been to the V&A least I don't think I have! South Kensington is lovely... so much to see and do, I am sure you just love it..

    Very best wishes for a wonderful week. :)

    Jeanne xx

  7. Hi Debi!
    You won my cookbooks giveaway! :)
    If you send me your details,, I will pop it in the mail to you.

    Best wishes...

    Jeanne xx