10 of the prettiest places to live in Mid Suffolk

Eye Church (c) soapbeard, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Eye Church (c) soapbeard, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

As the largest district in Suffolk, Mid Suffolk is home to over 100 parishes and towns with what are arguably some of the most beautiful places to live in the county. Here are 10 of our favourites

1. Woolpit

Woolpit sits between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket and is well known in the county for being the home of the fabled 'Green Children' - two mysterious children who randomly appeared in the village. They were described by a medieval report as having green skin and speaking an unknown language and reportedly claimed to be from an underground community. Some say that their descendents still live in the village today.

A stroll through the charming village centre - which is also a conservation area - sees lots of pleasantly coloured brick-faced houses with authentic timber frames. The village has two local pubs The Bull Inn & Restaurant and The Swan Inn, both have a casual, relaxed atmosphere and serve a great selection of food and drinks. For cream tea with friends, the Tea Cups tea shop serves wonderful tea and cakes or homemade cheese scones for those craving something savoury.

2. Akenham

The peaceful village and civil parish of Akenham is located on the north-western edge of Ipswich. It is not a busy village, and doesn't have much in way of pubs or restaurants, making it ideal for those seeking a peaceful existence. The abundance of stunning farmland and rural scenery give it very olde world, tranquil atmosphere. It's the perfect place for long walks with the dog particularly in the summer months where you'll struggle to find a more beautiful sunset anywhere else.

With it being so close to Ipswich, you don't have to go far to find a good pub, restaurant or supermarket. The Man on the Moon, just under a 10 minute drive, is a simple, traditional family pub serving an excellent range of reasonably priced food. It's also a Greene King pub so the beer is fantastic. If you're willing to go a little further afield then Ipswich town centre is just over a 15 minute drive with a huge selection of incredible pubs and restaurants.

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3. Bacton

Just a short distance from Stowmarket, Bacton is a village full of beautiful scenery It is home to St Mary's Church complete with a medieval wall painting that dates back to the 12th Century.

Despite its somewhat small size the village has plenty to see and do. The local community is very active with teams for bowls and football, as well as scouts and brownies for the youngsters. Local pub The Bull Inn was reopened back in 2013 after a lengthy renovation. Based over two buildings, a 17th Century public house and a 19th Century reading room and restaurant, the team takes great delight in serving delicious fresh food made from local ingredients. They're also dog friendly and offer a large, ever changing list of real ales from the area

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4. Hinderclay

Situated just 14 miles from Bury St Edmunds, Hinderclay is surrounded by the stunning rolling vistas that the Suffolk countryside is known for. At one time the land in this area formed part of the Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen Site of Special Scientific Interest due to it being a wetland site. However, after serious agriculture damage the area dried out, and there is currently a project to revert the land back to its natural wetland state.

Sadly there are no local pubs to be found in Hinderclay and residents are forced to go further afield in search of hearty pub grub. For this they need look no further than The White Horse in Thelnetham. This dog friendly, idyllic country bar and restaurant serves fantastic fresh food and traditional roast dinners every Sunday.

5. Framsden

Framsden Village can be found just three miles from Debenham, it is known locally for its excellent footpaths - approximately 16 miles worth - that cross through countryside and ancient meadows. The village itself is almost completely surrounded by farmland much of which is owned and maintained by the Helmingham Estate. They actively preserve the wildlife in the area, protecting ancient trees, meadow and ponds making it a truly stunning area to live in and explore.

The village has a fabulous local pub, The Doberman Inn, a small but comfortable local with a great reputation for food and ale. The school, Helmingham Primary, is located on the outskirts of the village and because of its location it has a mix of children from surrounding villages attending as well. It is also home to the Framsden Windmill, a beloved historical landmark that has stood in the village since 1760.

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6. Eye

Known to some as a jewel in the north of Suffolk, Eye is a small market town that until 1970 held the title of being the smallest borough in England. The town is built around Eye Castle which supposedly dates back to the 11th Century.

For food and drink lovers, Eye is spoilt for choice with a plethora of wonderful cafés from Beard's Deli, The Bank for yummy breakfasts and Cocoa Mama's Chocolatier for a decadent hot chocolate. For something a bit more formal restaurants The Auberge and The Oaksmere both serve delicious food with warm and comfortable atmospheres. For such a small town, Eye has a surprising amount of shops ranging from local gift shops to stores selling more specialist items. There is also an award winning Country Market that takes place weekly selling fresh, seasonal produce and various homemade cakes and treats.

7. Stradbroke

Stradbroke is located in between Norwich and Ipswich, just a short distance from the Suffolk coast and popular towns Aldeburgh and Southwold. It has a modest population of around 1,500 people but as a centre for the other hamlets in the area it is surprisingly well developed with an assortment of pubs, shops and local facilities.

The village has two lovely pubs to choose from, The White Hart and The Ivy House. Both establishments boast calm and comfortable atmospheres serving well kept local beer and ales with a toasty open fire to cosy up to during the winter months. As the centre for education in Mid Suffolk, Stradbroke is home to highly recommended Primary and Secondary schools as well as a well stocked public library, a gym, swimming pool and a large playing-field for football, tennis and cricket making it an excellent place for children.

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8. Coddenham

At the heart of Mid Suffolk, Coddenham is a haven for long countryside walks and resplendent views. The Mill Hill walk, a route maintained by village volunteers, is a particular favourite. During the spring walkers will see bluebells and snowdrops draped along the footpaths.

Coddenham is just a stone's throw from the bright lights of Ipswich with its independent shops, bars and restaurants, but if you don't want to travel far, local pubs The Rampant Horse in nearby Needham and The Highwayman serve excellent food with welcoming atmospheres. The village has a strong community spirit and Coddenham Country Club - equipped with darts, pool and snooker - often hosts themed evenings and an annual beer festival.

9. Mendlesham

Mendlesham has a population of around 1,400 people and lies just 19 miles from Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. The centre of the village is a conservation area home to an assortment of charming, colourful houses in hues of pink and yellow.

The village is an excellent place for walkers due to its abundance of public footpaths, and with it being in such close proximity to other villages and hamlets (such as Mendlesham Green) there are plenty of pretty spots to discover. The Kings Head Inn is the only remaining pub in the village, and its friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal place to enjoy a few pints of real ale. Mendlesham has a thriving community spirit with a variety of clubs including writers club, camera club and a bowls club. The village comes alive every year on May Day bank holiday with its annual Street Fayre that raises money for the parish.

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10. Somersham

Just over five miles outside of Ipswich, the village of Somersham has a wonderful mix of historical and modern architecture.

The village has a small population and the facilities available reflect that. The local pub, The Duke of Marlborough, closed its doors in 2014 much to the dismay of the villagers as it had been serving them for nearly 500 years. After years of campaigning and fundraising they were able purchase the pub themselves and hope to have it reopened and running by May of this year. It will become the fifth pub in Suffolk to be owned and operated by a local community.

Want more of the prettiest places to live in suffolk? We've 10 more right here!