willis building


The Willis building is one of Ipswich’s most identifiable landmarks, and is home to global insurance broker Willis.

The building was one of the earliest designed by Norman Foster, and is recognised as a prime example of the ‘high tech’ architectural style. The exterior is formed of 890 dark smoked glass panels, and contains no right angles, which is both due to the location of the building (nestled in the heart of the town centre), and references Foster’s favourite building, Manchester’s Express Building.

In 1991, because of its unique style, the Willis building became the youngest building to be given Grade I listed building status in the UK.

To visit the Willis building, and explore the rest of Ipswich’s architecture, see All About Ipswich.

Photo: TKCA Photography
assembly house


The Assembly House is a Georgian Grade I listed building in the heart of Norwich.

It was designed by the architect Thomas Ivory, and incorporates the original layout of a previous structure, the medieval college of St Mary in the Fields. When it opened, The Assembly House was used as a centre for entertainment and assemblies for the local gentry. During its long history it has hosted a waxworks exhibition by Madame Tussaud, a concert by the composer Franz Liszt, and many lavish balls including one in 1805 to celebrate Nelson’s famous victory off Cape Trafalgar.

Treat yourself to an afternoon tea at The Assembly House.

Why not make it a luxury getaway? Plan a trip and experience the luxurious side of the city with Visit Norwich.



Nestled in the heart of Southwold on the Suffolk coast, beer has been brewed on the site of the Adnams Brewery for over 670 years.

Established in 1873, Adnams has always been committed to having a positive impact on society and making great reasonably-priced products. The company has grown and grown, and now includes a distillery, hotels, shops and pubs.

Beer brewing, however, still remains at the heart of the company’s operations and visitors can take tours of the brewery and follow the beer making process from start to finish. Of course, taking a tour is thirsty work, so there’s even the opportunity to sample the final delicious product in a tutored beer tasting.

For more information visit the Adnams website.

Explore Southwold and the rest of the region with The Suffolk Coast.

national trust suffolk walks


Start the new year with a long winter walk around the grounds of picturesque National Trust properties. These National Trust Suffolk Walks are of varying lengths and suitable for all abilities.

Seen here, the Dunwich Heath Mount Pleasant farm walk traverses a rare and precious habitat, home to special species such as Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark and ant-lion. Along the walk you’ll pass Dunwich museum, Mount Pleasant farm and Greyfriars monastery.

The National Trust also have a series of walks in Norfolk, as explored in a previous Culture365 post.

Explore the Suffolk landscape with downloadable walks from the National Trust.

After taking a long Suffolk walk, why not spend the night? Visit Suffolk is packed full of recommendations and ideas for having the perfect break.

Photo: National Trust
john jarrold printing museum


Anyone interested in the publishing industry should take a trip to the John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich to step back in time and explore the processes printmakers used to use.

The John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich is committed to preserving historic printing machines, and practising the ancient crafts of printing and bookbinding.

This museum is the only working printing museum in the country and has an active band of volunteers, many of whom trained in the skills of typesetting.

The museum is open every Wednesday morning, and by special arrangement.

For more information, and to plan a visit, see the John Jarrold Printing Museum.

Explore the rest of Norwich, home of the Jarrolds, at Visit Norwich.

Photo: Daniel Weir
lavenham guildhall


Set in the lovely village of Lavenham, the Guildhall of Corpus Christi (or Lavenham Guildhall) tells the story of one of the best-preserved and wealthiest towns in Tudor England.

This wealth stemmed from Lavenham’s wool industry, most notably its blue woollen cloth which was highly sought-after.

The Lavenham Guildhall stood at the centre of this extremely wealthy community in the middle of the market square.

When you step inside this fine timber-framed building, you’ll feel the centuries melt away. You can discover the stories of the people who have used the Guildhall through its almost-500 years at the heart of its community, and learn about the men and women who have shaped the fortunes of this unique village.

Plan a trip to the National Trust-managed Lavenham Guildhall.

Explore all of Suffolk’s wool towns with Visit Suffolk as your guide.

Photo: John Mabbitt
boxing day walk


Beat the post-Christmas slump by exploring the grounds of Fairhaven today.

Fairhaven is in the grounds of the South Walsham estate in North Norfolk, and for one day only, you can walk off Christmas dinner with a tour of Fairhaven’s Woodland Garden by the Head Gardener.

Learn about the history of Fairhaven, the collection of plants introduced by the 2nd Lord Fairhaven and the organic working methods still used today.

The walk ends with a complimentary mince pie and hot mulled wine in Fairhaven’s cosy eco-tearoom.

To find out more, visit Fairhaven Woodland.

Can’t make the Boxing Day walk? Plan a trip in the future with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Kevin Millican
balancing barn


Imagine spending the holidays in a precariously balancing barn on the edge of RSPB Minsmere.

It looks like this is the case here, but there’s nothing perilous about staying in this home. It’s perfectly safe, and sleeps up to eight people as a holiday cottage.

Clad in elegant silver tiles, the house dramatically cantilevers over the landscape, providing views from its huge panoramic windows over woods, ponds and meadows. The house was designed by the Dutch firm MVRDV, who have won a world-wide reputation for the ingenuity, playfulness and comfort of their designs.

Find out more about the Balancing Barn, and book a stay at the Living Architecture website.

If you stay at the Barn (or if you prefer your buildings firmly on the ground) plan your trip with The Suffolk Coast.

Dunwich Heath


Dunwich was once one of Britain’s biggest towns, until several huge storms swept the majority of it into the sea. Now it is a peaceful village in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, with a heath that is a nationally important ecological site. This walk takes you around the village, through the heath and past Greyfriars Monastery. The gentle countryside means this pleasant route is never too taxing, and its five mile length can be completed within 2-3 hours.

Get full details of the walk here.



Photo: Snappa2006 (Flickr)
norwich lanes


With only a few days left until Christmas, what better place to grab those final gifts than the Norwich Lanes.

The Lanes are a series of alleyways and open communal spaces set just a few steps away from the imposing clock tower of Norwich City Hall. The medieval architecture is some of the finest to be found anywhere in the UK.

Today the lanes are home to a thriving independent retail area and a vast array of cafes, restaurants and bars. Mainly pedestrianised, the lanes offers something for every one morning, noon and night.

Wander the Lanes and find your new favourite places. Visit the Norwich Lanes to find out more.

Norwich is so much more than the Lanes. Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Paul Sturgess