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Nine reasons why we love Halesworth

PUBLISHED: 14:17 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 14 October 2019

Halesworth has always 'done Christmas' well. This is the 2010 fun. The 2019 switch-on is on November 23  Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Halesworth has always 'done Christmas' well. This is the 2010 fun. The 2019 switch-on is on November 23 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

There's the Millennium Green, shops with character, and plenty more. Have we missed your favourite things?

Millennium Green in Halesworth in 2014. Idyllic.  Picture: LORRAINE COOKE PHOTOGRAPHY /citizenside.comMillennium Green in Halesworth in 2014. Idyllic. Picture: LORRAINE COOKE PHOTOGRAPHY /citizenside.com

Millennium Green

Green for Go! Not far from the middle of town. Visitors can enjoy woodlands, heathland, rivers, meadows and ponds.

There's an all-weather track (great for bicycles, pushchairs, mobility buggies, wheelchairs etc), along with paths. Folk can also walk part of the route of the old railway to Southwold.

Millennium Green was created from more than 30 acres of grazing marsh. More has been added. Now, it covers 50-plus and is, apparently, the biggest such green in England.

The Cut arts centre

From little acorns… More than 20 years ago, an artists' co-operative started holding events in the derelict maltings on New Cut. Today (after a lot of hard work, fund-raising and changes) The Cut is a vibrant home to music, theatre, dance, comedy, cinema, workshops, art exhibitions and more.

Every week, about 900 people young and old come to The Cut - either to take part in something or as part of an audience. Fantastic.

Shopping!

If you're tired of the High Street in Town X looking just like the High Street in Town Y - same national chains; same branding - Halesworth is the perfect pick-me-up.

It's home to a wide range of shops, selling almost everything under the sun, and many are independently owned. The Thoroughfare is pedestrianised, so ambling through town is a true delight.

Halesworth and District Museum

A great setting - in the Victorian railway station. (Enter through the door with "Waiting Room" over it!) Displays cover 10,000 years - featuring Bronze Age axe heads and a working model of the station's moveable platforms, among other things.

There's information about a deadly Second World War bomb strike, too, and lots on the malting, brewing and agricultural industries in the Victorian era.

You may also want to watch:

Check opening times before travelling.

Town Park

Little sister to the Millennium Green and a hop from the town centre. Great place for children to have fun on the play equipment, and good for a loo stop.

Cycling country!

Four seconds in north Suffolk tells you the skies are wide and the countryside beautiful. Prime territory for a bike ride.

This website offers ideas. Click on "Halesworth Wheel Map" for a 21-mile ride and eight shorter jaunts. And the town is never that far away.

Town Trail

The way to know a place is to walk it. Find details here - there are notes about things found en route. Watch for the likely location of the town's first police station, with a grate (to a cell?) low in a wall…

Camel Park Oasis, about six miles away at Linstead

My children, now 20-plus, still talk of a visit long, long ago. It's "the only park in the UK where the whole family can touch and see camels and their animal relations close-up".

If you can't make it by the end of the season on October 27, mark it on the calendar for 2020.

Christmas!

I adore Halesworth's Christmas Lights Switch-On. (I once banged a drum in the parade - not necessarily to the correct tune.) The Thoroughfare is packed like sardines - full of warmth, light, smiles, noise, foody aromas and bonhomie.

This year: Saturday, November 23; 4pm to 6pm - but worth getting there early.

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