We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Louisiana
Level Contributor
27 posts
Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

DH and I are planning a trip to London November 2006. We are in the thinking stage of our day trips from London.

Lavenham seems to be an interesting place to visit. What is the best way to travel to Lavenham by public transportation?

I hope it will be by train. If so, how far is the train station from the town center? What is the approximate travel time from North Harrow to Lavenham?

Any must see and do things?

What other towns are close to Lavenham that would be nice to visit? Our plans are to purchase a hop on hop off day train ticket so we can visit more than one town in a day. We like to visit small quaint towns. We enjoy out of the way places.

I have heard that Woodbridge and Framlingham are nice towns to visit also. Is it possible to visit all of these towns in one day. Are the train stations in these towns close to the town center? If not is it easy to hop on a bus to the town center?

Years ago a friend gave me three water color paintings. On the back is stamped Watercolour by George W. Miller Middleton Saxmundham Suffolk. Is this town close to Lavenham? I would love to find more of his paintings.

DH and I like day trips to smaller towns. Yes we will want to see the traditional tourist things like Big Bend, Tower of London etc. but we would also like to visit other places beside large cities.

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

middle england
Destination Expert
for Leicestershire, Norfolk
Level Contributor
3,672 posts
65 reviews
1. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Well at least in November you'll find very few tourists outside of London! Probably one of the worst months to visit the English countryside.

Big Bend? Is that Big Ben with a twist?

You've mentioned some of the best small towns in Suffolk, but you are being hopelessly optimistic for a day trip. I know nothing of the rural bus services in Suffolk but they are probably quite few and far between.

Personally I would give Lavenham a miss. It's not easy to get to without a car and does not have a rail station. The nearest station is Sudbury at the end of a small branch line, but Ipswich or Stowmarket would probaly be more useful.

Woodbrige and Saxmundham DO have rail stations on the East Suffolk line with trains every two hours. Both are small enough to be walkable from the stations and you might get a bus from Saxmundham to Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, and even Framlingham, which has a very interesting castle and little else.

All trains depart from Liverpool Street station in London, so you would have to factor in getting there and back from North Harrow.

Watford, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
44,307 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

I would agree that a day trip to this delightful area isn't practical. It gets dark soon after 4.00pm in November which reduces your available time and I would imagine local buses are one an hour at best. By the time you factor in the 45 minutes to an hour that it would take to reach Liverpool Street from North Harrow then it just doesn't add up.

As an alternative how about St Albans? An interesting market town named after the first Christian martyr, The Abbey is magnificent and there are Roman remains to be explored in Verlulanium. Add to that some quirky shops and (possibly) the oldest pub in the country and you have a pleasant day out that doesn't need great weather.

From your B&B take a bus to Harrow & Wealdstone station and catch a train to Watford Junction where you change to the branch line to St Albans Abbey. Walk or catch a bus up the hill to the town centre and then work your way back down.

www.stalbans.gov.uk/tourism/sect-index.htm

middle england
Destination Expert
for Leicestershire, Norfolk
Level Contributor
3,672 posts
65 reviews
3. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Sorry, fogot to mention that for the East Suffolk line you have to change at Ipswich. The trains to Ipswich are about every half hour.

Louisiana
Level Contributor
27 posts
4. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Thanks for the suggestions.

How did you like my Big Ben with a twist ~?

That is what I get for posting early in the morning.

Thanks for the link to St Albans. You are the perfect tour guide. You have given so me many great tips.

I take it that Woodbridge and Saxmundam are smaller cities. From the maps I have seen Ipswich is are larger town correct?

DH and I like the small out of the way places. We usually avoid larger cities. We find the real country is the small cities. It is like someone saying I have been to the US. I ask them where did they visit and the reply is NYC. NCY is not the US that is like some foreign country to us. In addition we take long motorcycle trips via back roads. Now we are hooked on the smaller cities.

I so wished I could talk DH into renting a car for a few days. My thinking is with us staying in North Harrow if we got an early start, not drive into London we would miss most of the traffic and he would be ok. I will just make sure I do not sleep. We need two sets of eyes to make sure he does not wonder off onto the WRONG side of the road ~!

Again thanks for the suggestion. If you have any more please send them to me.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,788 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

It's not really do-able without a car I'm afraid (I live in the area, about 10 miles from Lavenham). As previously stated, the nearest place with a station is Sudbury and trains are quite infrequent - and about 75 minutes from London.

Woodbridge is easier to get to but you still have to change in Ipswich - it's a nice enough place but I'm not sure it's reall worth the journey on its own. The attraction of Suffolk, I think, is in the soft rolling countryside and pretty old villages and small towns (of which Lavenham is one), but these places are all very small by definition

A great place to tour around with a car - a big time pain to do by public transport

Nebraska
Level Contributor
5,940 posts
1 review
6. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Harley Granny ~ Lavenham is a beautiful special little place. The crooked timbered buildings, the warm hospitable people and the Greene King Ale. But I agree with the others that you would need a car. It's really not that bad to drive in Suffolk...honest! If you decided to do it, maybe you could rent a car at Stanstead airport and do the short drive around the Lavenham area. You could hit Long Melford - full of antique stores and great bookstores (my favorite) and shops selling fabulous food. The countryside is truly lovely. You quickly get used to the driving bit and the country lanes, whilst narrow, are fairly easily navigated.

BUT - I truly like Adam's alternative idea of going to St Albans. In fact, Jim & I have a day planned in St Albans on our trip over in February. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit.

Louisiana
Level Contributor
27 posts
7. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Tell me more about the book stores.. We love book stores.

Granny

Nebraska
Level Contributor
5,940 posts
1 review
8. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Harley Granny ~ did you ever see the BBC series "Lovejoy"? It was about an antiques dealer that solved mysteries. He frequented the antique shops of Long Melford. I found an antique bookstore in Long Melford that was fantastic....ended up buying two books on history and an antique lithograph print of a London Street....which is now framed and hung in my bedroom. Long Melford is incredible...antique shops and the fabulous antique book store where I bought an 1800's print which is one of my best sovenirs ever!

Nebraska
Level Contributor
5,940 posts
1 review
9. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Harley Granny ~ did you ever see the BBC series "Lovejoy"? It was about an antiques dealer that solved mysteries. He frequented the antique shops of Long Melford. I found an antique bookstore in Long Melford that was fantastic....ended up buying two books on history and an antique lithograph print of a London Street....which is now framed and hung in my bedroom. Long Melford is incredible...antique shops and the fabulous antique book store where I bought an 1800's print which is one of my best sovenirs ever!

Yorkshire Dales...
Destination Expert
for North Yorkshire, Suffolk
Level Contributor
3,822 posts
93 reviews
10. Re: Day Trip from North Harrow to Lavenham

Hope you don't mind, but I am smling here at Saxmundham being described as a city!

Pintpot etc are quite correct - don't contemplate visiting this part of Suffolk by any means than rental car, it just won't work.

Also in November many of the 'must see's are closed - a lot of National Trust properties in the more rural areas are 'put to bed' at the end of October and re-open again at Easter.

I'm Suffolk born and bred and always try and encourage people to visit this beautiful area, but a car really is essential.

Talking of day trips, maybe I can float another idea for you? I now live in North Yorkshire and York itself is a great day out from London. There is a fast, efficient GNER rail service from Kings Cross that gets you to York in less than 2 hours. York Station is very central - step out of the station and within a couple of minutes you are in the ancient city. In November there will be plenty open, and it won't be thronged with tourists either. The city is compact and easy to get aorund by foot. The Minster itself is worth the trip. Also there's the fantastic (and free) National Railway Museum, numerous other museums, great shopping in the medieval Shambles area etc etc. Book shops too!

Here are some websites to have a look at -

www.yorkminster.org

www.visityork.org

www.nrm.org.uk

Give me a yell if you want to know more ............

Get answers to your questions about Lavenham