Two Suffolk villages named best to visit by a national newspaper

Lavenham's architecture, including that of the Swan Hotel and Spa, is famous across the country

Lavenham's architecture, including that of the Swan Hotel and Spa, is famous across the country - Credit: Phil Morley

A national newspaper has named two of the prettiest Suffolk villages as among the best to visit in the UK. 

Included on The Times' list of the countries prettiest villages, Orford and Lavenham were picked for their haunting beauty and fantastic vintage shopping respectively. 

This comes after Orford was recommended in the Guardian's list of 30 of the best villages to visit, and Lavenham was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 50 best villages in which to live in the UK

Weird Suffolk: Orford Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The keep is all that remains of Henry II's 12th century castle - Credit: Archant

The newspaper noted the "nuggety keep" of Orford Castle was the only reminder that the former rotten borough had once been a bustling port, which they described as the "Plymouth of the middle ages".

However, rather than focusing on this bustling past, they emphasise the quiet of the present, celebrating the fact that the "broad lanes have little louder than cooing woodpigeons on rose-tousled red-brick cottages".

The nautical nature of the former town did, however, intrigue The Times, who were fascinated watching "sailors mess about in boats", and excited by the potential of a ferry trip across the River Ore to the National Trust's Orford Ness nature reserve. 

Boats at Orford Quay. Picture: KAREN DUTTON

Boats at Orford Quay. - Credit: Karen Dutton

The national paper also celebrates Pump Street Bakery, recommending it's sourdough sandwiches and endorses a £135 stay in the Crown and Castle hotel. 

In Lavenham, The Times loved the architecture of the village, calling it the "best preserved Tudor village in England", and waxed lyrical about the "wonky, half timbering and candy coloured houses." 

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"Must sees" included Shilling Street, High Street and the splendid Market Place, home to the National Trust’s Lavenham Guildhall museum.

De Vere house in Lavenham is up for sale. Some of the house was used to filming for the Harry Potter

The De Vere House in Lavenham was used to film Harry Potter: The deathly hallows part one - Credit: Phil Morley

They also recommend visitors stop by at the De Vere House, which famously played Harry Potter's childhood home in the film The Deathly Hallows part one. Here the boy wizard first defeated Lord Voldemort, and suffered the death of his loving parents, Lily and James.

The Times suggested the Lavenham Greyhound for "posh pub food", while The Swan, which appeared in the good hotel guide, is recommended as a place to stay, with double rooms available from £110. 

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