Top places to live in Suffolk Long Melford
Melford, as it’s known locally, has got it going on. From a celebrated high street with top quality galleries and antique centres to plenty of period properties and not one but two stately homes - this is prime relocation territory. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
That should really be why not, because who wouldn’t want to live in one of Suffolk’s most attractive villages with its long high street filled with independent shops, art galleries, cafes and pubs and bookended by Tudor mansions? Situated between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds, on the edge of the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty, you won’t be short of stunning landscape photo opps.
Good places to eat and drink are not in short supply. So great is the demand for loose-leaf tea in china cups and clotted cream, jam and scones, Long Melford Tea Room has just expanded into the cottage next door. Converted 15th century coaching inn The Black Lion serves next level food (the Sunday roast is unbeatable) in the cosiest of courtyards, while another good local is the Hare Inn. Scutchers, on the road out of Long Melford towards Cavendish, is a classy joint with crisp white table cloths and menus featuring things like hand-dived scallops on a spinach risotto with a curried lobster bisque.
They say (we’re not sure who ‘they’ are, but we like this fact so we’ll go with it) that the High Street (Hall Street) in Long Melford is the longest in the country at 2.5 miles. Records aside, what we love most is that it’s filled with independents, from places like The Woolpatch, for fabrics and haberdashery, to picking up a cosy sweater at the Clothes Lounge or unique furniture at Melford Antiques.
Privately owned, moated Tudor mansion Kentwell Hall sits in 30 acres of gardens and parkland on the edge of the village and has all kinds of things on, from family days and outside cinema to halloween and Christmas events. Ditto Melford Hall, which is run by the National Trust and has plenty of activities, great grounds for a picnic and a lovely tea room
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
It’s reasonable (for the lovely area) at £352,940. You can snap up a detached house for an average of £466,662, semi-detacheds sell for £347,636 and you could pick up a terrace for around £266,766. House prices are up 11% on the previous year, proving this pretty village is on the up.
This attractive townhouse dates back to 1840 and has five bedrooms, a walled garden and garage and needs a bit of TLC – up for the job for £625,000?
Long Melford C of E Primary School is rated Good by Ofsted. Stoke College is a co-ed day or boarding school for children aged 11-18 in beautiful Stoke-by-Clare around a 15-minute drive away, read our review here. Old Buckenham School is a very well regarded rural Prep School, just 20 minutes away, with a strong musical heritage and amazing grounds.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Francis Bacon used to visit Long Melford in the 70s when his lover’s brother, David Edwards, owned Westgate House. Also, Long Melford was the background star of TV series Lovejoy.
Train-wise, Sudbury Station is just over two miles away from where it takes around one-hour 20 minutes to reach London Liverpool Street via a three-minute change at Marks Tey. It’s an hour’s drive from Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds or 30 minutes to Colchester.
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