One very long day between packing up, making our way to Heathrow, picking up the rental car, and finding our way to the heart of East Anglia – no blogging. Another very long day driving from one village to another and an evening with the wifi down – no blogging. At last, I am up and running again, so let me tell you about the villages of Suffolk.
|As cute as anything in the Cotswolds|
I honestly do not know why they have taken a back seat to the Cotswold villages all these years. They are loaded with thatched cottages, and are beautifully maintained. Each village greets you with a distinctive and decorative sign, and they have easily as many well-tended greens and ancient churches. The real difference lies in the materials and colors. Instead of the warm golden tones of the Cotswold stone, you have half-timbered cottages in-filled with either brick or pargetting on plaster in colors that range from a lovely rich mustard to deep rust and back to what must be called pink. Now if you asked me if I wanted to spend the day driving around looking at pink cottages, I would be dubious at best, but somehow, it works.
|Yes, I said pink....|
Like the Cotswolds, the Suffolk villages are not inhabited by the poor. Thatched cottages are not cheap to maintain and driving down the narrow country lanes here you are overtaken by speeding Bentleys, Jags, Mercedes, and BMWs. On the edges of and between them you pass gated entrances to estates that leave you wondering if someone famous lives there – and someone famous probably does.
Today we visited ten villages. Half of them were only intended to be drive-thru’s but in the end, only one was. We could have spent a whole day wandering through a couple of them, especially Lavenham, a well-known tourist stop and calendar subject. Between my daughter and I we took 367 pictures. Given enough time and a little sunshine we could have easily taken twice that.
|Just one of the many amazing buildings in Lavenham|
|Pargetting...more about that later.....|
Somehow, way back in the early days when tourism was just a baby, the Cotswolds got a jumpstart on Suffolk. But I'm not complaining, we had traffic to deal with in Lavenham and Long Melford, but otherwise we had these lovely villages all to ourselves.