Why is this magical village one of the most photographed on Instagram?
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk village has been named as one of the most photographed locations in the UK by Instgram.
Lavenham was number 15 in a Top 20 chart of the most popular places in Britain according to Instagram, with the picturesque village clocking up 44,540 hits on the social media site.
Famous for providing the backdrop to films including in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – where the village’s De Vere House represented sections of Godric’s Hollow - the village was also the setting for John and Yoko Ono’s 1970 film Apotheosis.
In 1980, notorious drug runner Howard Marks was arrested at The Swan Hotel and many scenes for the BBC drama Lovejoy were shot in the village with an episode aired in 1994 called ‘Last Tango in Lavenham’.
It has become a much-loved and sought-after tourist destination attracting visitors with its quaint tearooms, stunning Tudor buildings and traditional shop fronts.
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Chris Osburn is one of many thousands of people to tag Lavenham on his Instagram page and said of the village: “A few friends of mine who’ve been to Lavenham have raved about it to me on a number of occasions for its beauty and historical significance. When my partner and I were trying to think of somewhere to go for day trip from London, Lavenham sprang to mind.
“The village was ideal for strolling around and enjoying a break from the urban grind.”
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And locals agree. Widget Finn, journalist and one of the organisers of the Lavenham Literary Festival, said: “Lavenham is a picture-postcard village crammed with medieval buildings, beamed, limewashed and pargetted, a reminder of its history as a wealthy centre of the cloth industry in medieval times.
“But it’s also a living, thriving community, with activities for every interest from gardening and bird-watching to a flourishing literary festival.”
Carroll Reeve, chairman of Lavenham Parish Council, said: “Lavenham is often quoted as the finest mediaeval town in East Anglia and perhaps the country - it is in fact a village.
“It is a good place to live and work, and is very much part of the East Anglian tourist route and is within easy reach of many other fine places to visit and therefore a good place to be based for a holiday to this part of Suffolk.
“It has some notable architecture going back to 14th century, and in all some 330 listed buildings.
“Many of these buildings are drawn from the rich industrial past that was Lavenham and in the early 1500s it was one of the richest ‘towns’.
“Sitting atop a hill, Lavenham and its historic buildings give rise to many and varied photo opportunities.
“When Clare Teal first gave a concert in our parish church she christened the village Wonky Town and this gives some insight onto the eclectic character of the village and its historic buildings.”
Chairman of the Lavenham Community Hub, Lee Morris said: “Lavenham is by far the most friendly and comfortable place we have lived. We have not regretted moving here for a single day.
“We have found the neighbours to be friendly and welcoming. We are blessed with wonderful local shops: a bakers, a butchers and three general stores. There are a host of clubs and societies with a wide variety of subjects to join.
“You really cannot complain of having nothing to do! Because many visitors and tourists come into the village we are lucky to also have a choice of tea shops, restaurants and pubs to visit.
“There are historical houses, parks and attractions close by to visit. We find that those who stay here for several days are all impressed by the friendliness and the ‘feeling’ of the village.
“The history of the village together with the abundance of medieval buildings attracts those interested in history and architecture.
“With a little imagination a walk around the village can transport you back to a previous era; magical.”