Situated in the lovely Suffolk countryside in the Stour Valley, is the Suffolk wool town of Clare. The town has a fascinating history and several interesting places to visit.
There are art galleries, second hand bookshops, antiques shops and also the large antiques warehouse, some lovely boutiques selling gifts, handbags, jewellery and homeware and some great places to eat or enjoy a cup of coffee.
Clare is a small country town but still has many historical gems including a 13th century Augustinian Priory, Clare Castle Country Park, the ruins of Clare Castle, which dates back to William the Conqueror, a Mediaeval church, and the Ancient House Museum.
You can cycle or walk along the disused railway line, feed the ducks in Clare Castle Country Park and admire the Victorian Railway Station building that still stands. See here for walks details: clarewalks.co.uk
Make sure you clamber to the top of the hill to look around the castle ruins and don't forget to look out for cricket bat willows. Their wood is tough, pliable and light, which makes them perfect for producing cricket bats.
The annual Clare craft fair, which takes place in the grounds of the priory is a perfect opportunity to stock up on handmade goodies and to walk around the lovely grounds of the priory. Keep an eye on our events page for details of the event, which normally takes place in July.
Clare was the Suffolk Village of the Year 2010 - 2012 which means it is not only a lovely place to visit, but also a good place to live with a strong sense of community.
Need to Know
The norman motte and bailey castle was once home to the de Clare family. The aristocratic Elizabeth de Clare, whose father had been one of England's wealthiest and most powerful nobles, and her mother, daughter of King Edward I, used much of her considerable wealth to found Clare College, Cambridge in 1326.
For more information about Clare, please visit the village's community website.