With its skew-whiff half-timbered houses, thatched roofs, rolling hills and ancient church, Lavenham is every American tourist's idea of little England. All of this medieval Englishness is encapsulated in one building: the Guildhall. While it won't impress you with its size (it's quite small compared to many National Trust buildings), the higgledy-piggledy arrangement of its rooms across a number of buildings, lends it a magical Grimm's fairytale atmosphere.
Inside, everyone loves Rammeses the mummified cat, believed to have been interred next to the chimney to guard against evil spirits. The dungeon is too well-lit to be spooky, but the dark cells outside in the yard are home to a man-trap and hearse, enough to send a few shivers up my spine. There are displays in every room which tell the story of the town, but I was content to soak up the building itself: a great place for conjuring stories of a ghostly nature.
Fab C18th house. We stayed in the De Vere room, overlooking the rear gardens. Gorgeously styled room with a four-poster, soft comfy bed and a pristine bathroom. Welcoming and kind hosts - boasts a good chef too who can rustle up a perfectly poached egg!
B&B from £175
01787 247572, www.lavenhamoldrectory.co.uk
Definitely the posh end of the B&B business. Grade 1-listed half-timbered and dating from the 13th century. Lots of oak beams and floors, Elizabethan wall paintings, four-posters, bateau lit etc. There’s even an honesty bar.
01787 247404, lavenhampriory.co.uk
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