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Top places to live in Suffolk Polstead

We've cherry-picked this quintessential Suffolk village due to its pleasing amount of thatched cottages, historic church, beautiful rural setting and manor house thrown in for good measure. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY? 

Picture-postcard timber-framed cottages, village pond and green, great pub, post office and shop – no wonder people seeking rural life gravitate towards this bucolic village by the River Box.

EAT

Grade II-listed, 17th Century local The Cock Inn is a popular place to hang thanks to a massive garden for summer months and roaring fires in winter, plus a menu with something for everyone, from sourdough baguettes to a plant-based sharing board and sirloin steak. It even has a gin bar with more than 30 gins to try, er when can we move? 

The Brewers Arms is more your ‘large garden for kids to play and eat fish and chips’ vibe. Angel Inn in nearby Stoke-By-Nayland is considered the best place to eat locally for fancier food, think venison and red wine ragu. It reopens this autumn after a major refurb of the restaurant and 11 luxe bedrooms.

SHOP

Limited but lovely. The cute as a button pink community shop with a post office is like something from Fireman Sam and sells excellent local goods, think freshly made bread, preserves, cakes, bacon and sausages, but also random items like pet food, local footpath maps and Polstead tea towels – what’s not to love? The village is also a short drive from several farm shops, like Assington.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

It’s on the edge of Constable country, with Dedham Vale to explore including Flatford Mill and Willy Lott’s house. Go Ape at Thetford or for a dose of culture visit Munnings Art Museum.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE 

£445,000, with detached houses going for around £496,750, while semi’s fetch around £315,500. 

HOT PROPERTY

Polstead’s such a hot spot RN there isn’t much for sale, but Just outside the village is this detached four-bedroom house for £685,000 in the nearby hamlet of Calais Street.

SCHOOLS 

There’s a sweet little pre-school in the village, then Littlegarth, an independent school for 3-11 year olds on the Suffok/Essex border, is a ten-minute drive. Muddy-reviewed Royal Hospital School, which takes day pupils and boarders through to 18, is 13 miles away.

BEST KEPT SECRET 

Polstead was famous for cherries (there’s a Polstead Black variety!) and cherry trees are dotted around the village. Surrounding orchards and farms, like Honey Tye, are bursting with them and make a fun pick-your-own afternoon in season. 

COMMUTE

Easy access to the A12 and A120 to reach Ipswich (20 mins), Colchester (20 mins) and Stansted (60 mins). Sudbury and Colchester train stations are a 20-minute drive away and have direct trains to London Liverpool Street which take over an hour. 

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live  

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