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Lavenham cottages against blue sky


Suffolk is blessed with great countryside, a wonderful coast, and exciting towns. However, just as important to Suffolk’s identity are the villages scattered throughout the county. Famous for being quintessentially English, we’ve picked seven of the most picturesque villages, but such is Suffolk’s richness it would have been just as easy to choose twenty or thirty.
The Swan at Lavenham The Swan Hotel is just one of many fine Tudor buildings in Lavenham, Suffolk
Photo (c) The Swan at Lavenham


This mid-Suffolk village has a wonderful cluster of fine Tudor houses, and its church of St Peter and Saint Paul is often said to be the finest of the East Anglian ‘wool churches’. One of the most popular destinations when people holiday in Suffolk, this prosperous Wool Town has preserved much of its heritage, and is so conscious of its image that telegraph poles were taken down in 1967 and the wires were instead fed underground to preserve the historic look of the village.
Kersey postcard (c) Stuart MundyKersey is full of history and charm
Photo (c) Stuart Mundy


A quintessential English village of winding streets and historic properties, Kersey lies between Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, across a tributary of the river Brett. A beautiful 14th century church is at the heart of Kersey, and other pretty buildings include the medieval Bell Inn and the Elizabethan river house.
Long Melford in Suffolk (c) John FieldingLong Melford boasts a distinctive Wool church and two striking stately homes
Photo (c) John Fielding


Another of Suffolk’s famous Wool Towns (though now classed as a village), Long Melford bears the classic hallmarks of medieval wealth: large, timber-framed houses, a grandiose church, and a Tudor mansion with a notably noble history. It’s also full of stories to discover when you visit, involving such diverse characters as Beatrix Potter and Lovejoy!


This gorgeous village is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the south of Suffolk. Part of Constable Country, it’s been the subject of many a picture postcard and it’s easy to see why master painter John Constable was so inspired. The village pond, village church, and village green combine to give Polstead a timeless feel.
Pretty thatched cottages characterize the Suffolk village of Somerleyton
Photo (c) Evelyn Simak


Tucked away in the north-east corner of Suffolk, Somerleyton is most famous for the grand Victorian Hall that stands to the east of the village. Sheep graze the gentle green slopes of the fields around Somerleyton, and thatched cottages cluster around the village green and duck pond. In the summer the village is abloom with well kept flowerbeds and hanging baskets.
Ancient House in Clare (c) Visit EnglandAncient House in Clare is a beautiful example of traditional pargetting techniques
Photo (c) Visit England


The smallest town in Suffolk is another one of the famous Wool Towns. Full of pastel coloured thatched cottages and timbered Tudor houses, it’s also home to one of the most significant medieval buildings in East Anglia, the appropriately named Ancient House. The magnificent St Peter and St Paul’s church in the centre of Clare lends an air of splendour to the town.
Suffolk Pink cottages in Cavendish (c) Karen RoeCavendish is famous for its iconic 'Suffolk Pink' cottages
Photo (c) Karen Roe


Cavendish is to Suffolk’s Best Kept Village as Roger Federer is to Wimbledon; not the current title holder, but they’ve won it so often you feel it won’t be long before it is back in their grasp once more. The reason for Cavendish’s success is obvious to anyone who visits; pink, thatched cottages surround a large village green, while tended flowerbeds and ancient trees add to the ambiance of a chocolate box village.


Just to the west of Framlingham is a beautiful little village full of period cottages as well as wide expanses of fields and greenery. A 12th century church is at the heart of the community and there are many ivy clad timber framed buildings to be found. Such is Earl Soham’s historic importance that much of it has been designated as a Conservation Area.


If you're feeling inspired to visit Suffolk's prettiest villages, we'd love to hear about your adventures via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.