Framlingham is a charming English market town which these days is famous for being the place where pop star Ed Sheeran grew up – but there are plenty of other points of interest which make it ideal for a day out.
Windmill Lodges, who offer 4 and 5 star log cabin holidays in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, is located less than three miles from the town. Here we look at some of the activities you can enjoy, and places you can visit, during a day out in Framlingham.
The Framlingham Spy Mission Treasure Trail
This is ideal for people of all ages who may be new to Framlingham. The idea of the trail is to make your way around the town by following a series of clues, which may be found on buildings, monuments and at places of interest. You can download an entry form from the trail website or have it sent to you in the post.
There is no time limit on completing the trail, so you can set your own pace around the town. People usually complete it in a couple of hours and find it is the perfect introduction to Framlingham. If you do get stuck, there is a mobile text service which can help you with the more difficult clues. And you could even win £100 as all correct completed entries go into a prize draw.
If you are a wine connoisseur, or just enjoy an occasional glass, then this vineyard could be the place for you. It has a range of award-winning red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, available from its shop.
If you want to get up close to the grapes and see how the wine is produced, the vineyard offers a range of tours and experience days – with tastings included. You can enjoy a picnic in the grounds, and there is a play area for children.
Framlingham Castle and Mere
No mention of Framlingham would be complete without the castle, which dominates the town’s skyline. It dates from the late 12th century and has its own place in modern popular culture – it is referred to in the lyrics of Castle on the Hill, by Ed Sheeran. (“We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill.”)
Visitors can walk around the castle walls, then check out the special exhibition area and learn more about its former occupants, including Mary Tudor, who learned she had been proclaimed Queen of England while staying here in 1553.
If you are hungry, you can enjoy a picnic in the grounds or eat in the café. If you time your visit to Windmill Lodges well, then the castle often hosts special events such as historical re-enactments and special open-air theatre productions within the castle walls.
Adjacent to the castle is the Mere, a 34-acre site managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. It is the ideal place to chill out and relax, or to spot unusual flowers such as massed marsh marigolds, delicate ragged-robin and lady’s smock. Birds such as the green and common sandpiper and the snipe can also be seen here.
St Michael’s Church
History buffs will also enjoy a trip to the town’s parish church. Most of St Michael’s dates from 1350-15555, and items of interest include the striking 16th century font and the intricate 15th century hammerbeam roof. A more recent addition is a hatchment which commemorates the USAAF flyers who were based at Framlingham Airfield in nearby Parham during World War II and who did not survive the conflict.
The church has a strong musical tradition, and regularly plays host to choral concerts from visiting groups, so you may be able to catch one during your stay.
If you need to stock up with essential provisions for your lodge holiday, you should be able to find everything you need here. The market runs from 6am-6pm on Saturdays and from 6am-4pm on Tuesdays, with plenty of produce on offer from local farmers.
Framlingham has plenty of independent shops to suit a variety of tastes. The Theatre Antiques Centre, which is very close to the castle, has a number of different dealers offering unique furniture and collectables from the 17th century to the present day. You can also buy unusual metalwork gifts at the Blacksmith Gallery in Bridge Street.
Ed Sheeran has donated many old clothes and other items to the town’s St Elizabeth Hospice shop on the Market Hill. His mother Imogen designs her own range of jewellery which is also sold at the shop.
Hot Tub Holidays in Suffolk
Windmill Lodges’ 4 and 5 star log cabin holidays in Suffolk are ideal for a short family getaway, and couples who fancy a romantic break. Our 5 star Kingfisher Lodge is the jewel in our crown, with luxury facilities including an infra-red sauna and a king size sleigh bed. All our remaining 4 star cabins are also well equipped, and all have their own private hot tubs, coal effect fires, kitchens and TVs. Our Wagtail and Woodpecker Lodges are both suitable for pets.
If you would like to find out about the current availability of our cabins at Windmill Lodges, click here.