Bungay area guide - Suffolk
Bungay is a market town primarily built around the ruins of an ancient Norman castle and beautifully located on the edge of the Broads National Park. Its idyllic rural setting and stunning views over the Waveny Valley create an especially peaceful and tranquil place to stay.
As with so much of Suffolk, water is always near at hand! Visitors can spend a lazy day on the upper River Waveney by canoeing, kayaking or simply hiring a rowing boat. This is an ideal way to observe the natural habitats and wildlife the Bungay area has to offer. Or, if you'd rather keep your feet dry, and with quiet country roads and unspoilt countryside all around, why not hire a bike to explore the surrounding picturesque villages?
If walking is more to your liking then you will not be disappointed with the many footpaths Bungay has to offer. In particular the Bigod Way provides a series of footpaths meandering through the town and taking in areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Bungay itself offers an array of local craft and specialist shops, and there are plenty of opportunities to sit and relax in one of the many tearooms, cafes or restaurants. Or, on a hot sunny afternoon, perhaps the Bungay Real Ale Trail may provide a refreshing change.
How much local ale was consumed by feudal lord Hugh Bigod and his builders, as they worked on the original castle in around 1165, we can only imagine All that remains today are the foundations up to the level of the ground floor windows, but the castle now boasts a visitor centre with a café and gift shop and the landscape is still dominated by the tower of St Marys Church. In the centre of town there is also the famous Butter Cross which was once used as a prison but is now home to the weekly market.
All in all, Bungay is a charming place to visit or to base your holiday, with more than enough on offer close at hand for a quiet, or an adventurous short break or holiday.
Bungay Castle & Visitor Centre
– Sometimes called Bigod’s Castle after the C12 founder. Twin towers and massive flint walls. Open daily summer, M-Sa winter, 10-4 01986 689156 www.bungay-suffolk.co.uk
– Local history, coins, pictures and photographs. Open all year M-F 9-1, 2-4. Closed BHs
Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum East Anglia's Aviation Heritage Centre
– Over 40 aircraft from pre-WW1 to present day. Models, paintings, flying relics. Open East-Oct Su-Th 10-5. Nov-Mar Su, Tu &W 10-4 01986 896644 www.aviationmuseum.net
St Peter's Brewery and Visitor Centre
(at nearby St. Peter south, Elmham) is a unique working brewery with a restaurant and bar housed in a medieval moated hall dating from the 13th
C. Traditional English ales exported world-wide. Brewery shop open daily. 01986 782322 www.stpetersbrewery.co.uk
South Elmham Hall, St Cross Farm Walks
– A series of short walks through a remote farmland area of Suffolk, based on South Elmham Hall, a moated medieval building used as a hunting lodge by the Bishops of Norwich. Nearby ruins of Saxon Minster. Herd of unusual British White Cattle. Open 9-dusk all year, Cafe open Su 10-5 all year, Th & F May-Oct 10-5 www.batemansbarn.co.uk
– A collection of otters in natural surroundings on the banks of the River Waveney. The only organisation breeding British otters regularly in captivity and reintroducing them into the wild. Waterfowl, Muntjac and Fallow deer, wallabies. Riversidewalks. Tearoom and gift shop. Open daily Apr-Sept 10.30-6 01986 893470 www.ottertrust.org.uk/earsham.htm
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015