Europe,  United Kingdom

Lavenham: The English Village I Fell in Love With

We all know the famous images of small villages in England starring adorable cottages, curving roads, and the occasional sheep grazing in the meadows. Especially the Cotswolds are known for these typical English scenes. Movies like Bridget Jones’s Diary and the television adaptations of Jane Austin’s novels make you believe that the Cotswolds are the place to be. But don’t just focus on this region, as there are plenty of other areas where you can immerse yourself in romance and history.


Lavenham, Suffolk

Lavenham for example is a small town in Suffolk that we found while driving through the English countryside. We just spent an amazing day in Cambridge: one of the most famous university cities in the United Kingdom.

However, we weren’t ready to return to our campsite yet. It was April and we drove past hundreds of yellow fields of oilseed rape. Of course, I had to go out of the car to surround myself with the beautiful flowers. Later I learned that the oil that is derived from these flowers is used in the production of everyday products like oil that is used for cooking and food processing.


Afternoon tea at The Swan at Lavenham

It was already 4:30pm when we passed the ‘Lavenham’ sign. We immediately noticed that this town had to be something of interest. The houses were… different in this place. I quickly grabbed my Lonely Planet (my Travel Bible), which described Lavenham as ‘one of East-Anglia’s most beautiful and rewarding towns.’ It is also acknowledged as the best example of a medieval wool town in England.

Those kinds of descriptions definitely hold a promise! As it was quite late in the afternoon already – time flies when you’re having fun! – we decided to park the car and find a tea room for a cup of tea.


While walking through town we couldn’t stop staring at the cottages. The 300 medieval houses in Lavenham are a combination of half-timbered, targeted, and thatched. Walking around this magnificent town feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Only the cars driving through some of the streets give away that it’s the twenty-first century and not the fourteenth. Some of the houses are crooked. So crooked even that I was surprised that the facade is still standing upright.

Crooked House

We ended up at ‘Crooked House’ which is the most crooked house I have ever seen in my life.  As you can see in the picture, the building was home to a tapestry gallery when we visited, but nowadays it houses a tea room. We found a tea room however a bit down the street and enjoyed a wonderful cuppa and scones with clotted cream at The Swan at Lavenham.


Harry Potter in Lavenham

While scrolling through these pictures, maybe some of them look familiar to you? Especially when you’ve watched the Harry Potter sequels, you must recognize some of the houses in the pictures. The village was used as the setting for the Godric’s Hollow scenes in Deathly Hallows Part 1. This was a choice that makes absolute sense. Due to its history and the unique architectural style of the buildings, the village breaths this sense of magic that is present in the Harry Potter movies as well.

We finished our tea about an hour later and headed back to the car. I could have stayed in the little town for hours and hours, to take pictures and just gaze at the impossibly crooked buildings, wouldn’t it be for the fact that it became dark and we had to head back to the campsite we stayed at. Lavenham proved to be yet another jewel that we found in East Anglia, and probably the most photogenic one at it.

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6 Thoughts on Lavenham: The English Village I Fell in Love With
    18 Mar 2015

    Wow, it looks beautiful there! I love all the little villages around England. They’re straight out of a storybook!

      18 Mar 2015

      It really was beautiful. I’d love to go back one day. Exactly, very pretty and romantic.

    Gabrielle @
    20 Mar 2015

    Great post Maaike – England does have some beautiful places (doesn’t stop me wanting to head off somewhere else as soon as possible though ;). I can really recommend Turville in Buckinghamshire as a village to visit. The Vicar of Dibley was filmed here (classic) and the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang windmill stands proud on the hill. Definitely worth a trip :). I’m planning on writing a post about it in the coming weeks so keep your eyes pealed! Looking forward to reading more about your travels.

      20 Mar 2015

      Hi Gabrielle, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I really appreciate it. Yes, you’re absolutely right, England does have some gorgeous places. I can’t seem to get enough of these charming villages. I haven’t heard of Turville before, so thank you for the recommendation 🙂 I’m adding it to my (evergrowing) list. I will definitely keep an eye out for your post about it. Looking forward to reading it!

    Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi
    22 Jun 2015

    These are the English discoveries that I adore too – such a pretty stop off!!

      Travellous World
      22 Jun 2015

      Absolutely! And the UK is perfect for these kind of charming towns. Thanks for visiting Emma!

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