Originally settled by the Anglo Saxons in the 8th century Sudbury became notable as a centre of the textile and silk trade during the Middle Ages. Many of the grand buildings, churches and mills of this picturesque market town, located on the border between Suffolk and Essex, date back to this era.
During the 18th century the landscapes of the surrounding countryside of the Stour Valley and Dedham Vale famously provided inspiration for artists such as John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, the later becoming Sudbury’s most well known native. Gainsborough’s House, the place of his birth, is open to the public and includes museum exhibits, a permanent collection of Gainsborough’s works, a print workshop and a fabulous shop.
As it runs through the heart of Sudbury The Stour Valley is flanked by water meadows. The meadows, a mecca for nature lovers and walkers, are traditionally managed as The Sudbury Common Lands nature reserve. The River Stour itself is classified as navigable and is popular with rowers and canoeists.
Sudbury’s charming town centre still plays host to its historic market on Thursdays and Saturdays with a farmers market www.suffolkmarketevents.co.uk in St Peter’s Church on the last Friday of every month. The usual high street names can be found here as well as a thriving community of independent local shops and places to eat.