After falling in love with the pargetting in Saffron Walden and doing a bit of research, I decided a little road trip exploring Clare in Suffolk was in order. It did help that someone on instagram told me to visit Clare as I would love the village…and they weren’t wrong at all!
Suffolk as a county isn’t far from Bedfordshire so I could visit three little villages in a day starting with Clare.
After a drive through some very narrow little country lanes where I’m pretty sure my bikini line got a trim or two…I needed a wee and a piece of cake so I found myself a little tea shop to settle into.
The cake wasn’t the best I’ve ever had (it was a little dense for my liking) but still very tasty; the service was sweet and the hot chocolate laden down with a million marshmallows (just the way a hot chocolate should be presented…I suffer from marshmallow rage if there isn’t enough!) and the loo were the bees knees.
Fuelled up, shoe laces tied, flowers located and shoefie taken…
…I went out in search of some pargetting and found the most famous house in Clare…aka the Custard Creme Biscuit House…
…okay not it’s official name but it bloody well should be! Anyone craving a Custard Creme biscuit now? And yes that is a graveyard right in front of the house as well.
A graveyard must mean there is a church close by….
…there you go now!
The village is rather quaint with a number of little independent shops so you can wander around peacefully window shopping…
…or maybe do a bit of antique shopping…
…this place was amazing, there was so much I wanted to take home…I had to remind myself that I can’t fit a 3 piece lounge suite in a Fiat 500…in my mind I could…then my mind got distracted by gluten free cake which they were serving in the cafe inside the antique centre…I didn’t have a slice but it did look bloody tasty…gluten free salted caramel cake…I’m drooling as I write this!
You know I love a castle or ten and Clare is home to a castle…or remains of one…
…which means you can climb to the top of it and get amazing 360 degree views of the town and surrounding countryside.
It was at this point that I realised that I really love Suffolk a lot…the colours, the friendly locals and just how I feel totally calm while visiting Suffolk…it’s very different to the honeycomb villages of the Cotswolds which I find a tad too touristy and a bit beige.
Next stop was to take a snap of a car…you know, a little oh lala car in Clare…
…I crossed the bridge and ended up in the Priory…
…a peaceful little spot…
…which you enter through a private gate and go in search of some Earls, a Duchess and a Countess or two (relatives of King Richard III and Queen Anne Neville) that are buried within the grounds.
I think this sign clarifies quite well who is buried within the grounds of the old priory with dates for all those history buffs out there!
You know I can’t help myself…I took a few photos of some pretty cute little doors…
…told you they were cute!
Wandering around Clare in search of the pargetting which I finally stumbled on…
…it was very beautiful, not as much as Saffron Walden but still impressive for pargetting lovers.
There of course was a number of wobbly houses…
…it wouldn’t be Suffolk without a wobbly house or two!
Just take a wander around Clare, it’s a magical little place that will leave you enchanted.
I really enjoyed my day trip to Clare in Suffolk…the county is a colourful and much cheaper alternative to the Cotswolds.
Travel Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Day Trip Exploring Clare, Suffolk
- There is a car park by the castle and antique centre which you will need to pay for however you can park on the outskirts of town and walk in which is what I did and it took less than 5 minutes to walk in.
- There are a few little tea rooms offering gluten free snacks in Clare, I visited Honey Hill Cafe which also do afternoon tea if you need an afternoon tipple.
- If you want to walk to the top of the castle then sensible shoes are a must!
- There is no charge for the castle or the priory and both offer lovely spots of a picnic
- If you love pargetting as much as I do then I would highly recommend Saffron Walden for a visit as I think it’s the best spot for pargetting in England. Nethergate Street is where you will find most of the pargetting…the Custard Creme Biscuit house is found by the church in the middle of the village.
- If you plan to do a Road Trip to Suffolk then why not read my Chocolate Box Suffolk Villages Travel Guide that offers a complete itinerary of places to visit for a weekend or longer including Clare and Lavenham which is a must visit for Harry Potter fans.
- Clare is apparently a village however folks do call it the smallest town in Suffolk…who really knows. The folks are so sweet and I had a lovely chat with a few locals on my visit who stopped me and asked what bought me to Clare.