Visitor Attractions

//Visitor Attractions
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Alton Water Park

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Listening to the dawn chorus in the peaceful setting of Alton Water Park with its lovely reservoir, is an excellent way to start the day in this wondrous peninsular playground.  As well as fulfilling its purpose of pumping almost 10 million gallons of water each day to serve the local area, the reservoir is a haven for wildlife and a magnet for birdwatchers, walkers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. Walking An eight-mile (13km) trail circles Alton Water, and the site is accessible every day of the year. Shorter trails are available too and a  three-mile route on the south shore takes visitors through a butterfly garden, wildlife meadow and past bird hides and ponds, alive with reptiles. Download a walks leaflet here (pdf). Sailing There is plenty to do for those seeking more energetic leisure pursuits too, as the nature reserve blends seamlessly with a vast water park and sports centre. There are rowing boats available to hire and visitors can take sailing lessons in kayaking, dinghy sailing or wind-surfing. Dry or wets suits are available for hire at the water sports centre. Cycling Visitors can take their own bicycles or hire them from the Alton Cycle Hire centre. Bikes, trailers for towing children, as well as single or double seated Go-carts are all available. Alton Water has teamed up with the Woolverstone Project to provide tuition and opportunities for those with disabilities and a desire to sail. Fishing The reservoir is also good for coarse fishing. Given its location near the rivers, Gipping, Stour and Orwell, there are good stocks of Bream, Pike, Roach, and the odd Carp or Tench. Fishing permits are available for adults and chilren can fish for free. Do check [...]

Glass & Craft at Kersey Mill

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Kersey Mill is in the picturesque countryside close to Hadleigh and the pretty village of Kersey. It has a coffee shop, a second hand clothing boutique, art gallery, flower shop, craft shop with over 29 crafters' work on display and a glass painting studio. Glass & Craft offers 'a creative experience for the whole family' with workshops in glass painting and decopatch. The craft workshops are ideal for children's and adults' parties where guests are invited to choose from a wide range of pre-painted design templates and glassware. Designs include  poppies and lilies, football and cupcakes and a variety of cartoon characters The decopatch workshops teach visitors how to decorate 3D animals and figures using special decopatch glue and bright decorative paper. Other craft workshops are also available, please visit the Glass & Craft website for further details. Contact Glass & Craft, The Brick Barn, Kersey Mill, Kersey, Ipwich, IP7 6DP T: 01473 517 404 W: www.glassandcraft.co.uk E: info@glassandcraft.co.uk

Thornham Walks

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The 12 miles of waymarked footpaths on the Thornham Estate are known as Thornham Walks and a surfaced path, suitable for push chairs and wheel chairs, leads for half a mile to the Thornham Walled Garden and takes the walker past the newly refurbished bird hide, the pets' cemetery, along the Thornham Rock Trail to the Victorian Folly. For lots of images of the site and all the activities on offer, please visit the Thornham Walks Facebook page. Walks maps (£1) are available from the information board in the main car park. An events leaflet is available from the Thornham Walks' office, or the Thornham Walks website, which gives a list of the extensive programme of activities organised at Thornham Walks. The staff at Thornham Walks are available to lead and organise guided walks and environmental activities for groups and they run very popular environmental birthday parties. Volunteers are always welcome to help with practical work and events. The last Sunday of the month is Volunteer Day, offering the opportunity to meet new people and learn different skills. Thornham Walks are managed by Mid Suffolk District Council and are grateful for the support provided by them and Suffolk County Council. Contact: Thornham Countryside Officer Red House Yard, Thornham Magna, Eye IP23 8HH T: 01379 788345   f  01379 788008 E: thethornhamwalks@gmail.com F: www.facebook.com/ThornhamWalks Open:  9am to 6pm from April to October and 9am to 4pm November to March.  Thornham Walks may be closed occasionally between October and January. Car parking charges apply and all proceeds go towards the management of Thornham Walks. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Long Melford Heritage Centre

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If you followed the BBC's  “Great British Story” with presenters Michael Wood and Dr Carenza Lewis, you will have seen that Long Melford was featured a while ago. Being involved in the community Big Dig was an exciting time in the village and as a result, two local amateur archaeologists John Nunn and Rob Simpson were inspired to set up the Long Melford Heritage Centre in 2011. Since then a willing band of volunteers has come forward to assist in running the Long Melford Heritage Centre which is situated at the rear of the village hall in Chemist's Lane (opposite the Bull Hotel). Many fascinating treasures were unearthed during the Big Dig, from Long Melford's Roman and Medieval past. The centre is open from April until November and its opening hours are Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm, Sundays 12 – 4 pm and Wednesday afternoons 2 – 4 pm. Long Melford Heritage Centre’s current focus is on the men and women from Long Melford who went off to fight in the First World War. What makes this different from most exhibits is that it is not only the names of the fallen on the village war memorial in the churchyard which feature but also those who returned to Long Melford and whose lives would be changed forever by the conflict. Their stories and photographs have been gleaned from descendants, some of whom still live in the village. Photographic and artefact displays of bygone Long Melford is also on view Read more about the project here and you can also follow the Long Melford Heritage Centre Facebook page. Admission free. Chemists Lane, Long Melford, CO10 9JG Suffolk

Needham Lake, near Needham Market

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Needham Lake is a lovely, 13 hectare site and an ideal place for a walk or a picnic outing on a summer's day.  It lies on the River Gipping is close to Needham Market and Alder Carr Farm. Needham Lake is home to a variety of wildlife (including some very well-fed ducks!) and a the path around the lake is surfaced and used by both walkers and cyclists. There are picnic and play areas with many picnic tables dotted around and plenty of grass for children to play games and run around. There is also some play equipment for young children close to the (free) car park and slightly older children can enjoy a climbing boulder and the play equipment. Part of the site is a Local Nature Reserve with wetland areas, meadows and a small woodland with nest boxes throughout the site. There are plenty of wild flowers with pyramidal and bee orchids which can be seen from the paths. The fenced paddocks are grazed in the summer months to help improve the grassland for wildlife. There are toilet facilities and an information room which has leaflets and news of upcoming events and activities. Events at Needham Lake include regular children’s activities and other events during the school holidays. Angling permits for the lake (both day ticket and club membership) are available from Bosmere Tackle (Tel: 01449 721808) in Needham Market High Street. Access to Needham Lake is from the B1078 Coddenham Road,  OS Grid ref: TM 093547 (Explorer 211).

Bridge Farm Barns, Monks Eleigh

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Bridge Farm Barns in Monks Eleigh is located in one of Suffolk’s prettiest villages. It's a collection of  independent shops and a tea room serving homemade cakes and lunches. Bridge Farm Barns was first established in 1970 as 'Corn Craft',  a family business making corn dollies. From there, it has grown into a popular destination for visitors to Suffolk, offering a wide-ranging retail experience including interiors, and art and craft gallery and more in the middle of the lovely Suffolk countryside. Bridge Farm Barns also has free parking, and good facilities for people with disabilities. Contact Bridge Farm Barns, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk IP7 7AY T: 01449 740456 W: www.bridgefarmbarns.co.uk

Woolpit and District Museum, Woolpit

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The museum was established in 1985 after the local history group found pieces of Roman and medieval pottery and decided to share  their finds with the local and wider community. The museum is in a pretty, 17th century timber framed cottage - it's allegedly the smallest museum in Suffolk - and has a permanent display of brick making.  Other changing displays depicting the life of a Suffolk village and there is also a permanent re-construction of part of a Victorian Kitchen. There is a chair lift available and toilets, including one for disabled visitors. There is also a car park opposite the church and on street parking, refreshments are available nearby and there is an area for picnics. Talks and village tours can be arranged by appointment: The village centre (a conservation area), St Mary’s Church and Ladyswell (both part of the Pilgrim’s route) are of great interest and tours can last from one to three hours over easy ground. Contact Woolpit and District Museum, The Woolpit Institute, The Street, Woolpit, IP30, 9TU T: 01359 240822 W: www.woolpit.org

Wattisham Flying Station Museum, Wattisham Airfield

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The Wattisham Airfield Station Museum opened in November 1991 and is housed in the original station chapel built, buy by the USAAF in 1943. Inside the museum you can see exhibitions relating to the history of Wattisham Station with aircraft, thumb photographs and other memorabilia. You may also visit the museums Heritage Workshop which is in a former Cold War Hardened Aircraft Shelter (HAS) where volunteers are working on refurbishing historic aircraft. Visits by pre-booking only please. Wattisham is an active airbase so photo ID required. Contact Wattisham Flying Station Museum, see Wattisham Airfield, Wattisham IP7 7RA T: 01449 678189 W: www.wattishamstationheritage.org   Photo courtesy of Keith Rimmer

The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Dedham

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The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum in Castle House, Dedham in the heart of Constable Country and the Dedham Vale (AONB), is the home where Sir Alfred Munnings KCVO lived for 40 years. Sir Alfred Munnings is most well known for his equestrian art, but he also painted a wide range of other subjects and he was an accomplished sculptor. His home showcases his paintings, drawings and sketches representing his life's work and visitors can wander around the house and gardens. There is also a fascinating little studio, where he worked and his paintbrushes and other things have been left as if he has just stepped outside for a bit of fresh air. It's very atmospheric and gives some insight into the artist. Castle House and grounds are open to the public from April – end October  Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.  Please check the website to confirm opening times before your visit.  There is a small cafe selling a good selection of homemade cakes and light lunches and many events take place at the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum throughout the year. These events including painting workshops, children's events, Christmas events and even demonstrations of how to ride side saddle! Contact The Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Castle House, Dedham, CO7 6AZ T: 01206 322127 W: www.siralfredmunnings.co.uk   Top photo ©David Burton | bottom photo ©Showcapture Save

The Guildhall of Corpus Christi (National Trust), Lavenham

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Lavenham has over 320 buildings of historic importance, discount making it one of the best preserved towns or villages in England. One of the most impressive of these buildings, sick is the splendid Tudor, timber-framed Guildhall of Corpus Christi which is owned by the National Trust in the heart of the medieval village. The guildhall houses a fascinating local history museum (read more about Lavenham and the significance of the wool industry), a small but very pretty and tranquil courtyard garden, a National Trust tea room serving scones, cakes and light lunches and a gift shop. Events take place in the The Guildhall of Corpus Christi throughout the year, including local history lectures, craft shows and the wonderful annual Christmas event. Contact The Guildhall of Corpus Christi, Market Place, Lavenham CO10 9QZ T: 01787 247646 W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Suffolk Owl Sanctury, Stonham Aspal

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The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns in Stonham Aspal is a charity in Suffolk operating a facility for the care and rehabilitation of owls from the region and at the same time it promotes owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond. There are over 80 raptors at the centre, all housed in spacious aviaries and flying free in flying displays and the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has over 90 owls and other birds of prey. There is an information centre, activities for children, woodland walk with a bird hide, red squirrels and chipmunks. Contact Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT T: 08456 807897 W: www.owl-help.org.uk   Photo, courtesy of the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, is of an African Eagle Owl whose name is 'The Matador'.

Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal

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Stonham Barns Leisure and Retail Village is a collection of small specialist shops including gift, fabric and clothing shops. There is also a garden centre, The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, crazy course, Carters of Suffolk (who make pottery teapots), the Mid Suffolk showground, fishing lakes, a restaurant and more. This is a family-friendly visitor attraction in the heart of Suffolk and has a children's play area and a holiday park. Regular car boot sales are held as well as other events throughout the year. Contact Stonham Barns, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal IP14 6AT T: 01449 711755 W: www.stonhambarns.co.uk

River Stour Trust Centre, Sudbury

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The River Stour Trust Centre promotes the River Stour Navigation, prostate its importance in Britain’s industrial and cultural heritage, buy and the Trust’s own role in promoting use of this historic waterway. The centre houses the archival records that will provide resources for schools, pills students and researchers and it is a destination for walkers, cyclists and boaters with a footpath and cycleway running alongside the river from the main road. The River Stour Trust operate boat trips using their electric boats Rosette and Francis J, which each accommodate up to eight passegners and operate between Sudbury, Great Cornard and Great Henny. Scheduled trips and private charters are available from Spring until the end of October. The restored John Constable Lighter can accommodate 12 passengers and is available for charters on the Sudbury stretch of the River Stour. The Trust also operates boat trips on the lower river between Stratford St Mary, Dedham, Flatford and Brantham. Contact River Stour Trust, Dove House Meadow, Baker’s Mill, Great Cornard, CO10 0GF T: 01787 313199 W: www.riverstourtrust.org

Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket

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The Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) is situated in Stowmarket, Suffolk. It is an open air museum set in 75 acres of countryside, with over 20 historic buildings and collections of over 45,000 objects exploring the rural and social history of East Anglia. There are some fascinating displays including steam traction engines, reconstructed historic buildings and lots of animals, including a Suffolk Punch horse, rare breeds sheep, cattle and pigs. It's also a lovely place to take a picnic and go for a walk with three kilometres of riverside and woodland walks. An extensive programme of events throughout the year will keep the children amused throughout the holidays with welly walks, nature hunts and many special events. There's plenty for adults too, with steam days, music festivals and an annual beer festival. There is also a very nice tea room in the grounds of the museum called The Osier Cafe, which serves excellent coffee and homemade cakes, lunches and other snacks. Don't miss the Abbot's Hall which is open all year round and is free of charge. The Museum of East Anglian Life is open towards the end of March to end of October, Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5 Contact Museum of East Anglian Life , lliffe Way, Stowmarket IP14 1DL T: 01449 612229 W: www.eastanglianlife.org.uk

Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum, Wetheringsett

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The Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum (aka 'The Middy') is a railway station that has been restored by a group of enthusiasts, after nearly 50 years since the original Brockford Station platform and railway building were abandoned. The restoration project started in 1990 and the museum is now home to exhibitions of artefacts, photographs and recollections of the railway. Work goes on today, adding to and improving the infrastructure,  to recreate the atmosphere of an Edwardian country railway station and recently The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway received an award from the Heritage Railway Association for its recreation of a “typical back-water light railway with an authentic back drop.” Some wonderful events take place at The Middy throughout the year, including Steam Days, Santa Rides and historical re-creations. You can also buy gift vouchers and learn to drive a steam engine! Contact Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett IP14 5PW T: 01449 766899 W: www.mslr.org.uk

Melford Hall (National Trust), Long Melford

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Built in the 16th century, the stately home of Melford Hall is the ancestral seat of the Parker Baronets and is the much-loved home of the Hyde-Parker family. Since 1960, this beautiful historic house has been in the care of the National Trust. Beatrix Potter ('Cousin Beatie') was a cousin of the family and was a frequent visitor there, drawing inspiration for her work from the house and gardens. The visitors' book has many of her sketches in it, marking her visits to the hall.  The West Bedroom, which is where Beatrix stayed when she visited, is still furnished as it was during that time and also contains memorabilia including some of her watercolours and a model of Jemima Puddle-Duck, which she gave to the Hyde Parker children on one of her visits. Many events take place throughout the year in the grounds of Melford Hall, please keep an eye on our events pages. Contact Melford Hall, Long Melford CO10 9AA T: 01787 379228 W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk Photo ©NTPLRupert Truman

Mechanical Music Museum & Bygones, Cotton

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Enter this enchanting museum and you enter a magical world, an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of musical items and memorabilia. The museum opens on Sundays and visitors can enjoy looking at working mechanical music devices from music boxes to fairground organs and everything in between. There are also regular live performances on the splendid Wurlitzer cinema organ and events throughout the year. The collection also houses an extensive collection of novelties creating a 'musical maze of mesmerising entertainment' with sheet music as wallpaper, gramophone discs and penny slot machines…the list goes on! Contact Mechanical Music Museum & Bygones, Blacksmith Road, Cotton, nr Stowmarket, IP14 4QN T: 01379 783350 W: www.mechanicalmusicmuseum.co.uk

Little Hall, Lavenham

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A stunning timber framed wool merchant's house with 14th century origins, Little Hall is a hall house with an imposing crown post roof. Built in the 1390s for the Causton family of clothiers the house was enlarged and improved in 1425-50 and then ‘modernised’ in Tudor times, when a fireplace was built in the upper floor in the hall. The Gayer-Anderson brothers, who were both soldiers and artists, shared an interest in art, Egyptian art in particular, and collecting  antiques, pictures, books, china and decorative art. They rescued Little Hall in the 1920s and 30s and made it their home. Their  collection of furniture, pictures, sculptures and ceramics is on display in this wonderful building they called home. Contact Little Hall, Market Place, Lavenham, CO10 9QZ T: 01787 247019/ 01787 247554 (groups) W: www.littlehall.org.uk

Laxfield and District Museum, Laxfield

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In 16th century Guildhall. Geology, viagra natural history, here farm and domestic tools. Victorian kitchen, prostate village shop, displays and costume room. Open 30th April-2 Oct, Sat/Sun/BH MOn, 2-5. Groups at other times by arrangement. Contact The Guildhall, High Street, Laxfield, IP13 8DZ T: 01986 798531

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford

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Mellow red brick Tudor mansion with original kitchen, try bakehouse and brewhouse from the 15th century. Award winning re-creations of Tudor life and World War II and other events throughout the year including, among others, A Dickensian Christmas, Scaresville and outside music events. The great annual Tudor re-creation is mid June-mid July with 250 + Tudors. There are also rare breed animals, woodland trails and a cafe. Contact Kentwell Hall, Long Melford CO10 9BA T: 01787 310207 W: www.kentwell.co.uk

HMS Ganges Association Museum, Shotley

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There was a special poignancy when the command ‘eyes right’ was barked on the parade ground at HMS Ganges 40 years ago, as it marked the end of an era. In June 1976, the last recruit graduated from the Royal Navy training establishment known as Ganges and the place still holds special memories for many today. Although the base was subsequently used as a sports camp and then by the Police, who practiced their riot techniques there, Ganges will forever be best known the world over for the tough, uncompromising training, which turned raw young civilians, some as young as 15, into disciplined men, fit to serve on Her Majesty’s ships. The base at Shotley Gate is awaiting development, but the memories live on and the base is now the HMS Ganges Museum, next to the Shotley Marina. Filled with artefacts given by ex-Ganges boys, or their relatives and families over the past 20 years, the museum has become a mecca for all those with any sort of connection or interest in Ganges and its colourful and important history. The museum holds memorabilia from the old shore establishment including honours board, figurehead and clocks. It is also home to a very large collection of photographs and original documents relating to life in Shotley and a small number of documents relating to old 'Ganges' when when it was afloat. Run entirely by volunteers, the ex-Ganges personnel open the museum at weekends, passing on their knowledge and experiences to visitors. The museum is open from March through to the end of October each weekend and bank holiday from 11am - 4.30pm. Entry to the museum is free.  Special arrangements can be made for opening outside of these [...]

Hadleigh Guildhall, Hadleigh

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A fine Grade I listed, Medieval timber-framed guildhall built when Hadleigh was one of the most important woollen cloth towns in England. Teas and guided tours are on offer where you can see the inside of this magnificent building and learn all about its fascinating history, its occupants and it's place in the history of Hadleigh. At the end of your tour, you are invited to relax in the peaceful and beautiful garden and enjoy a delicious cream teas. Please note that these tours must be pre-booked and are only available for parties of ten people or more. Did you know? Hadleigh Town Hall & Guildhall Complex is also a wedding venue and is suitable for other events too. Various rooms and the secluded garden are available for hire. Contact Hadleigh Guildhall, Market Place, Hadleigh IP7 5DN T: 01473 822544/823884 E: info@hadleightownhall.co.uk W: www.hadleightownhall.co.uk

Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury

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This is the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough RA (1727-88) and the house dates back to the 16th century. Now a museum and gallery, the house has many of the original works of Thomas Gainsborough, more than any other gallery outside of London, and some memorabilia from his life. There is an attractive walled garden with a wonderful, 400 year old mulberry tree. There is a varied programme of exhibitions of both historic British and contemporary art and a print workshop which is open to the general public and where you can learn some new skills on courses that run throughout the year. There is a gift shop and coffee shop and tea may be taken in the garden when the weather is fine. Gainsborough's House is open all year Monday - Saturday, 10-5. Closed Suns, Good Friday and 24th Dec - New Year inclusive. Contact Gainsborough's House, 46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury CO10 2EU T: 01787 372958 W: www.gainsborough.org

Framsden Windmill, Framsden

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This post mill was built in 1760 and the roundhouse was added in 1836. The mill stopped work in 1930 and became derelict, illness after which it was restored by a group of volunteers in the late 1960s and now houses a country bygones exhibition. Opening times are by appointment only on Saturdays & Sundays between March and October. Photograph © Robert Edwards Contact Grid reference: TM 192 598 OS sheet: 156 Postcode: IP14 6HB About 9 miles N of Ipswich on B1077. Access is via a small lane beside the road. T: 01473 890328

Eye Castle, Eye

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The remains of a Norman motte and bailey with medieval walls and a Victorian folly. There is an excellent panoramic view of Eye from the top. Open week before Easter-October, daily 9am - dusk. Contact Eye Castle, Castle Street, Eye T: 01449 724639/676800

Bridge Cottage, Flatford

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Set in the glorious landscape of the Dedham Vale (AONB), the 16th century Bridge Cottage houses an exhibition about the life and work of John Constable. There are guided walks in the summer with National Trust guides who will show you the sites of some of Constable's most famous paintings. You can walk up the lane to look at Flatford Mill (not open to general public, but you can attend a course there on art, conservation and photography) and to see where the Hay Wain and Willy Lott's Cottage were painted. The area is remarkably unchanged since the time John Constable lived there and you can see why he loved the area so much and found so much inspiration here. You can row a boat along the River Stour to the nearby village of Dedham, in the summer or you can take the same route that the young John Costable took when he walked across the fields every day to school. For opening times of Bridge Cottage, please visit the National Trust website. Contact National Trust, Bridge Cottage, Flatford Lane, Flatford, East Bergholt, CO7 6UL T: 01206 298260 W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk Additional information Wheelchair access, Electric buggy available, National Trust tearoom and shop

Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, Baylham

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Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is a working farm in the middle of the beautiful county of Suffolk.  The small livestock farm breeds animals that were once common but are now very rare. You can bring your whole family to the farm to meet the piglets, health feed the goats and let the kids loose in the play area whilst you settle into the calm surroundings with a piece of homemade cake or a cream tea from our cosy café. Baylham Farm is open from February half term to early September, stomach from 10am to 5pm every Tuesday to Sunday as well as all Bank Holidays. Just in case, cialis please check the website for opening times before visiting Contact Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, Mill Lane, Baylham Nr Needham Market IP6 8LG T: 01473 830264 W: www.baylham-house-farm.co.uk

95th Bomb Group Red Feather Club, Eye

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The Red Feather Club, medicine operated and managed by the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association, cialis (95th BGHA) is the official UK museum of the 95th Bomb Group. The award-winning museum in a former NCOs’ club houses uniforms and memor­abilia relating exclus­ively to the 95th Bomb Group and has been described by visitors as “stepping back in time”. The museum is continually being updated as new addi­tions are donated or acquired. It aims to tell the story of the 95th from their early days in the US to their return home after the end of the war through displays, films and the first hand accounts of locals and servicemen. Open from around 10:00am on the last Sunday of every month between April to October, The volunteers who run the museum are often doing with renovation work on Saturdays too, so if you see the flag flying, pop in and see them! Contact 95th Bomb Group Red Feather Club, Denham, Eye IP21 5EU T: 01728 860930/01379 384472 W: www.95thbg-horham.com

95th Bomb Group Hospital Museum, Eye

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The Hospital buildings were purchased from a local farmer by Tony and Val Albrow with the view to restoring them as a museum dedicated to The 95th Bomb Group. The buildings have been used for different things since their original use during WWII; firstly as chicken sheds, decease then as a pig unit, doctor a grain store and finally as a mushroom farm for 18 years. The buildings have under gone a ten year restoration which has been privately funded and are now open to the public. The restoration is ongoing and fourteen of the fifteen rooms are now open with many displays. Some rooms are restored to their original state as if the 95th were still an operating group. Others have exhibits and displays to view. Open May - October, last Sunday in each month, 10-4. weekdays by appointment. Contact 95th Bomb Group Hospital Museum, Shingle Hill, Denham, Eye IP21 5EU T: 01379 870514 W: www.95thbghospitalmuseum.co.uk

Courtyard Craft Centre, Needham Market

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Craft centre with The Piggery Pottery, a sugar craft shop, The Country Studio, an artist's studio, also selling silk flowers and other goodies; The Garden Mill with their wonderful range of plants, gardening tools, garden gifts and accessories and the courtyard cafe selling homemade cakes and light lunches. There is also the Alder Carr farm shop, filled to the brim with local produce and a PYO farm where you can pick the fruit of the season. Open Tuesday - Sunday. Opening times of individual shops vary. Contact Alder Carr Farm, Hawksmill Street, Needham Market IP6 8LX T: 01449 720820 W: www.aldercarrfarm.co.uk

Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead

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Perhaps one of the country's most well-known farmers and a familiar face on our TV screens, Jimmy Doherty's story of how he set up Jimmy’s Farm on the Shotley Peninsula has been well documented in the BBC series of the same name, which was filmed over ten years ago. Since then, the farm has gone on to become a popular visitor attraction with an award-winning restaurant and holds several major events each year.  Jimmy and his wife Michaela took some time out of their busy schedule to chat with Nichola Adams. Growing from a small business raising rare-breed pigs to the sizeable venture it is now, which employs in the region of 40 staff, has raised the profile of the village of Wherstead on the Shotley Peninsula where the Farm is situated. “When we first saw the farm it hadn’t been touched in 20 years. Rather than be put off, I could see the potential in the landscape and I wanted to bring it back to life and use the land the way it had been for all those years,” said Jimmy. “Our ethos when we started was to farm sustainably and provide people with good quality, British meat. As time went by, more people took an interest in what we were doing and making it accessible to the public seemed the natural next step, so we set about opening the Farm Park.” The Farm Park is open 364 days a year and provides a fantastic opportunity for the public to get up close to the animals and have a hands-on experience of British farming.  Jimmy explained: “It’s a real pleasure to see people, especially young children come in to the farm and ask questions, [...]

Hollow Trees Farm Shop and Trail, Semer

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Farm shop selling home grown and local produce and plants. There is a lovely cafe with home made cakes and lunches and a children's farm trail where you can get up close to the animals and enjoy activities such as feeding the goats and 'welly chucking'. Open all year, Mon-Sat 8.30-5.45,Sun and B Hol 9-5 Contact Hollow Trees, Semer, Ipswich, IP7 6HX T: 01449 741247 W: www.hollowtrees.co.uk

Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market

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Alder Carr Farm is a visitor attraction for with things suitable for the whole family. There is the Alder Carr farm shop, ask filled to the brim with local produce and a PYO farm where you can pick the fruit of the season. The craft centre has The Piggery Pottery, shop a sugar craft shop, The Country Studio, an artist’s studio, also selling silk flowers and other goodies; The Garden Mill with their wonderful range of plants, gardening tools, garden gifts and accessories and the courtyard cafe selling homemade cakes and light lunches. There is a play area, farm animals and there are regular seasonal food events - please see the Alder Carr website for full listing. Contact Alder Carr Farm, Creeting St Mary, Nr. Needham Market, Ipswich, IP6 8LX T: 01449 720820 E: farmshop@aldercarrfarm.co.uk W: www.aldercarrfarm.co.uk

Helmingham Hall Gardens, near Stowmarket

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Helmingham Hall Gardens, near Stowmarket are lovely moated and walled gardens, surrounding the fabulous Helmingam Hall. There are many rare roses, a kitchen garden and herb and knot garden.  Helmingham Hall is not open to the public, but the garden and parkland area (with a herd of red deer) are a garden lover's delight. Helmingham Hall Gardens also include a classic parterre and an orchard filled with wild flowers The influence of the well-known garden designer and owner of Helmingham Hall, Xa Tollemache, is clearly visible - the parterre was redesigned in 1987 and the new rose garden was created in 1982, together with the knot and herb garden. Events take place at Helmingham Hall Gardens throughout the season, with guided walks through the estate, the annual Plant Heritage Spring Fair, Suffolk Dog Day, Classic & Sports Car Festival and the East Suffolk Game & Country Show. Please keep an eye on our events pages for details. Regular Cookery Days also take place, with Suffolk chef Emma Crowhurst. Open 3 May-18 September, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun and Bank Holiday Mon, 12-5 Contact Helmingham Hall, Helmingham, Stowmarket IP14 6EF T: 01474 890363/890799 W: www.helmingham.com Additional information Wheelchair access, refreshments, shop Images ©Showcapture.com Save Save

Flatford Wildlife Garden (RSPB), Flatford

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A beautiful wildlife garden developed by the RSPB to show how we can all make our gardens more wildlife-friendly and beautiful at the same time. Admission is free and volunteers are on hand to answer your gardening questions. The garden is in the hamlet of Flatford, where painter John Constable lived and painted many of his most famous works, including The Hay Wain and Willy Lott's Cottage, which are just a short walk down Flatford Lane. Also in Flatford, is Bridge Cottage (National Trust), the Flatford Field Studies Centre and you can take a boat trip on the River Stour as well as lovely walks across the fields to Dedham - the same route John Constable once walked every day to get to school. Open: 29 March to 3 November everyday 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. Contact Flatford Wildlife Garden (RSPB), Flatford Lane, Flatford, East Bergholt CO7 6UL T: 01206 391153 E: stourestuary@rspb.org.uk W: www.rspb.org.uk Additional information Entrance to the garden is free although the car park at Flatford is owned by the National Trust,  so charges apply unless you are a NT member, in which case parking is free. Alternative, free parking is available a one mile walk away, in East Bergholt. There is a National Trust tea room and shop and a small exhibition in Bridge Cottage about John Constable. The Flatford Field Studies Centre (the mill where John Constable lived and worked) is not open to general public, but you can take art and environmental courses there. The Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage can both be viewed from the outside and the place where The Hay Wain was painted can also be viewed.