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Sudbury (Suffolk)

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Sudbury (Suffolk)

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Sudbury is a small but historic market town in Suffolk in the region of East Anglia in England.

Get in[edit]

Sudbury has a small rail station linking via a branch line to the main Norwich to London Liverpool Street line at Marks Tey.

Even though trains are scheduled to run hourly, seven days a week, it is common for trains to be cancelled without notice. At other times there is a replacement bus service which takes three times as long on a good day.

Get around[edit]

Due to Sudbury's small and compact nature, it is no problem at all to cover the town from edge to edge on foot. However, the recently renovated Tesco store and commercial park are situated off the Sudbury bypass, a fair walk from the town centre and best reached by car.

See[edit][add listing]

The house of painter Thomas Gainsborough is located in the aptly named Gainsborough Street at the bottom of Market Hill. A wonderful experience to step into another world light years away from the bustle of the nearby market place. The museum houses a permanent collection of paintings and drawings set amidst contemporary furniture and several times a year hosts shows by more modern artists. Almost worth visiting just to have a cup of tea in the charming walled herb garden. Serenity personified.

The idyllic water meadows around the river Stour can be found just outside of the town centre. There are many paths and perfect picnic settings to take advantage of on summer evenings.

Buried beneath the locally famous Mill Hotel there is a mummified cat which can be viewed in the corner of the hotel foyer.

There is a small infogram located by St Peter's Church in the town centre marking the fact that Sudbury was mentioned in the original novel 101 Dalmations by local author Dodie Smith and is well worth a look for fans of English literature.

Do[edit][add listing]

Despite the lack of many common amenities such as a cinema or shopping centre, there is still much to enjoy in the small market town.

Weekly Markets On the Market Hill, twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays, is Market Day. The parked cars are cleared away, replaced by many stalls clamouring for your business. Occasionally there are French or Italian markets on a Sunday. Last Friday of the month there is a Farmers' Market inside the deconsecrated church of St Peters. If you like bric-a-brac, on Sundays there is a regular car boot sale at the Stour Valley Business Centre in Brundon.

Shopping There are still some independent shops in Sudbury, including department store Winch & Blatch, Compact Music, & Torque Bikes as well as the usual high street stores and supermarkets.

Museum & Art Gallery The Thomas Gainsborough Museum has an exhibition on the life and works of the locally born artist. There is also a garden, shop and cafe. It is also the home of the Gainsborough's House Print Workshop.

Theatre The lively Quay Theatre, has a regular programme of entertainment including plays, music, films, and exhibitions.

River Stour During summer month weekends you can book a tour of the River Stour from the Granary on Quay Lane.

Weavers' Piece at Siam Gardens There is a permanent, outside exhibition illustrating how the weavers trade in Sudbury evolved at Siam Gardens.

Regular public events inside St Peters on Market Hill St Peters church, on Market Hill, was deconsecrated 30 years ago and is now used for community based events. The is always something going on there, check the posters which are hung on the fence all around the church.

Parks & Watermeadows Belle Vue park has a variety of activities that can be enjoyed by those of all ages. Facilities include a miniature golf course, a childrens adventure trail, a playpark, rollerskating park, tennis courts, animal enclosures and a large picnic area. The local watermeadows and nature reserve are great for a walking and offer a picturesque view of the River Stour. Or if it is sunny you can join locals by heading to friars meadow to play on or by the river (swimming not recommended).

Simon of Sudburys Head The head of Simon of Sudbury is housed in the church of St Gregory near to the Croft. If the church is open and someone is there to direct you then you may be able to see it (You will have to ask as it is not normally visable to the public).

Buy[edit][add listing]

The town centre has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, with many shops being forced to close due to the current economic climate.

There are still some modest outlets for local goods but most shops tend to be part of major chains.

Apart from proliferating charity shops, the main shops in the town are a pair of W.H.Smith's, an Iceland, a discount shop called Thing Me Bobs and a 99p store which forced a pound shop across the road out of business.

For those not inclined to trek out to Tescos there is a fine Waitrose store situated near the station and a recently opened Sainsburys. For anyone looking for the fine old deli/grocers shop Kings, disappointment is in store: unfortunately this closed down some years ago and was replaced by a youth-oriented clothes business called Shut-Yer-Face or something along those lines ...

Eat[edit][add listing]

In addition to the chain restaurants in the town such as Prezzo, Pizza Express, Café Nero and Wetherspoon's, there are some independent eateries.

For a delicious and well priced lunch (or even afternoon snack), Niche in Gainsborough Street offer a great selection of freshly prepared hot and cold sandwiches in addition to a great drinks menu.

There are two local pizza restaurants in the town centre which provide a good alternative to the recently opened and vastly overpriced Domino's takeaway.

Also within the town centre grouped at the top end of North Street are a multitude of rather insalubrious looking Chinese, Indian and Kebab takeaways - possibly only for the gastronomically intrepid (or very drunk). The Codfather on Market Hill is a decent fish and chip shop (sit in as well as take out). The most highly recommended indian restaurant is The Ballingdon Valley in Ballingdon Street.

Further out of town there is also a McDonald's and a KFC, although these are best avoided, especially at night time as these areas attract unpleasant crowds of Suffolk youths revving their small cars, shouting abuse and throwing food about.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The two highest profile bars in Sudbury are both unfortunately chain pubs. However, there are many other pubs that offer a better atmosphere and a friendlier crowd at a slightly increased price. Unfortunately the town's oldest and most characterful pub, The Ship & Star called time for good a few years ago and has now been converted to flats. Another famous old Sudbury pub, the Waggon & Horses, has been bought by local Growler Brewery and is currently being refurbished and due to re-open in October 2013. On a summer evening, the bar at the Mill Hotel is a sublime spot to enjoy a drink and take in the glorious water meadows.

There are several small breweries in the area and sampling the delicious local beers is a must for any ale enthusiast.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Sudbury is host to a wide range of hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and even a caravan park.

As the town is a quiet area there shouldn't be much problem finding somewhere to stay for the night.

  • The Crown Inn Hotel, Hall Street, Long Melford, Sudbury, CO10 9JL. Family run 17th Century Inn complete with restaurant offering a full A La Carte menu for dinner & lunch  edit
  • The Mill Hotel, Walnut Tree Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 1BD, [1]. Edwardian style well furnished hotel with popular restaurant  edit

Get out[edit]