If you’re fed up of the hustle and bustle of London then a day trip away to the country might be just what you need. And even if you’re not, it’s always a good idea to get out of the capital for a short while.
Just a couple of hours away on public transport, or around a two-hour drive, Kersey in Suffolk is the perfect place to go to escape the city. It has widely been lauded as one of the top 10 most beautiful villages in England, and we can see why. Its narrow lanes, historic buildings and breathtaking natural setting make it a must-visit for Londoners seeking a day away from London life.
A quick tour around the village reveals a tight-knit, quiet community which is unhurried by any city rush and bother. Instead, allow time to stand still around you, take a deep breath, and enjoy.
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Kersey is a small village in Suffolk located between Sudbury and Lavenham. In the south east of England, it is just a 30-minute drive from Ipswich and isn’t far from the sea.
The village is actually the only one in the parish, although it is surrounded by many small hamlets which are just as picturesque and worth visiting if you are heading all the way out to Kersey. The village traces its roots back to the Middle Ages and has just 359 people living there, according to travel blog darekandgosia.
It’s basically just a single street village, although the church and school are located on a more main road, which then merges into a country lane.
Kersey can trace its beginnings back beyond the 12th century, making it a truly medieval settlement. As you walk the streets of Kersey, you will see timber-framed thatched cottages, cobbled streets, and a 12th Century Church. Some houses are thought to also date back centuries, some possibly as old as the church.
You can still see many of the original buildings still standing today. Look out for the timbered front of the same building above in an image taken far more recently.
The village was a hugely influential player in the medieval wool trade, which resulted in an economic boom for the area and a type of wool named Kersey wool which you can still buy today.
If you love history and architecture, definitely make sure to check out the Old Drift House. The large peach coloured, timber-framed, thatched-roof cottage was originally home to a weaver. It can now be rented out by visitors to the village. The house is an impressive 500 years old and has no foundations.
St Mary’s Church is one of the oldest in England and has been a site of worship for more than 1,000 years. As well as the church and churchyard, you can also follow a labyrinth which takes you around the churchyard.
And if you’re tired out after a long walk, make sure to stop at the Bell Inn. The 14th-century inn has been family-run for generations. It’s got a good reputation as a traditional British pub with great food – and drinks too!
Kersey is a little further out than you might imagine for a day trip, but it’s definitely worth it. And depending where in London you live, the journey time can be halved. From central London, the trip would take about two-and-a-half hours to drive there or to arrive by public transport.
But from Barking, it would take just an hour and 20 minutes. And the village is only an hour on from Chelmsford, which isn’t far outside of London at all. If you are planning on taking public transport, you will need to take a Greater Anglia train to Colchester and then a bus – so make sure to plan ahead.
The main thing to be aware of when approaching Kersey is that it is beautiful for a reason. It’s in the heart of nature, meaning the roads approaching the village are very winding and at times are little more than a single-track country lane. So ease off the accelerator, give way to other vehicles and just enjoy the ride.
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