Not only is Elveden Hall one of Suffolk’s premier stately homes, it’s also a favourite filming location for blockbuster movies.
It was the place where Timothy Dalton filmed the closing scenes of his first Bond film, The Living Daylights, foiling the evil plans of General Georgi Koskov and Brad Whitaker. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were there in the nineties for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the Hall has also had roles in Tomb Raider, Stardust and The Moonstone amongst others.
You can find out everything you want to know about Elveden, including where to stay and what you can see, on their website.
The smallest town in Suffolk is also one of its prettiest.
Clare is one of the famous Wool Towns, and is full of pastel coloured thatched cottages and timbered Tudor houses. In fact it has an amazing 135 listed buildings, including the magnificent St Peter and St Paul’s church, and the appropriately named Ancient House. There is even the ruins of Clare Castle which dates back to the time of the Norman Conquests. These stand in Clare Country Park, 32 acres of historic buildings, woodland walks, play areas and water features.
See more of everything Clare has to offer at the official website.
There are countless miniature battles taking place at Houghton Hall. The Soldier Museum, housed in its own building, is the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world. It was started by the 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley as a school boy, and he continued collecting throughout his life, often commissioning whole scenes to his specification.
The museum shows many reconstructions of battles, such as Waterloo and Omdurman, as well as displaying a selection of paintings and militaria.
To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall. Find out more about the area, and explore with Visit Norfolk.
To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall.
Celebrated for its seafood and its cooking, Pinneys is another world-class food producer in the tiny Suffolk village of Orford (see day 253).
The oysters they grow are their raison d’être – succulent, meaty shellfish that are prized by the top restaurants in London. But you’d miss out if you ignored their range of smoked fish, or the fresh seafood that is brought ashore daily just a few metres from your table.
Whether you want to eat in at their no-frills restaurant (it’s all about the food) or take your catch home with you, Pinneys is a must visit for a real taste of Suffolk.
In the heart of Bury St Edmunds you can find The Nutshell, a pub that has been serving beer since 1867. It can be easy to miss it though, as this watering hole holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest pub in Britain.
The bar measures just 15ft by 7ft, and yet somehow they manage to serve a wide range of beers and local ales. Even more surprising is the sheer amount of memorabilia and paraphernalia attached to every surface. From an aeroplane propeller to military items to hundreds of banknotes from around the world stuck to the ceiling, this is far more than just a novelty pub.
See more of The Nutshell on their website and discover more about beautiful Bury St Edmunds here.
Lynford Hall, a neo-Jacobean country house close to Thetford, is now a hotel, but in the 70s and 80s was used several times as a filming location by the BBC.
It was a favourite for Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft shows especially, with ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Dad’s Army and You Rang M’Lord all using the site for shooting. And a few years ago Michael Portillo visited on one of his Great British Railway Journeys, discovering that the Hall was once considered for a royal residence by Queen Victoria, only for her to choose the far larger Sandringham to the north of the county instead.
Find out more about this unusual filming location at their website.
The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds is a popular place for people to enjoy. There are open spaces and well tended flowerbeds, as well as tennis courts, a play area, bowling green and museum. Interspersed between all these are the ruins of the Abbey that once stood here and ruled the surrounding area.
They vary from small mounds of rock to complete archways, but the most astonishing thing is the overall size of the Abbey. It measured more than 500 feet long and 246 wide. (To give that some context of scale, Westminster Abbey, including Lady Chapel, is 530 feet long with a nave that is 85 feet wide.)
The story of the Abbey’s rise and fall is a long and bloody one, and you can find out more here.
Like a bit of entertainment with your breakfast? Throughout every day of Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016, Norwich Arts Centre was host to the Egg Festival Café.
Throughout the festival, top quality breakfasts were on offer in what proved to be a spontaneous, creative and chaotic environment – (think Basil and Sybil bump into Alan Partridge in Cromer and decide to set up a business together). The breakfast bemusements were served up with a smile, a snarl and a spontaneous surprise or two.
Customers enjoyed the presence of hosts Simon Floyd and Amanda Coleman from The Common Lot (featured in an earlier 365 post), supported by a cast of artists from across the region.
Newmarket is largely regarded as the international home of horseracing, and the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, which opened in October 2016, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the sport, as well as learn more about a horse’s life after racing.
The National Horseracing Museum and the British Sporting Art Trust’s collections are housed in a completely renovated five acre site in the heart of Newmarket, which includes the remnants of a palace built for Charles II in 1671, alongside a number of new temporary and permanent exhibition galleries.
Outside, there are fully functional paddocks, offering practical demonstrations with retired racing horses, shedding light on what becomes of horses at the end of a racing career.