Melford Hall has changed little externally since 1578 when Elizabeth I was entertained here, and retains its original panelled banqueting hall. It was first the home of monks, and then the Hyde Parker family from 1786 to the present day. It is run on a day-to-day basis by the National Trust. You can see the Regency library, Victorian bedrooms, extensive collections of furniture and porcelain, and a small display of items connected with Beatrix Potter, who was related to the family, including the original Jemima Puddleduck given to a child of the family by Beatrix herself. The garden contains some spectacular specimen trees and a banqueting house and there is an attractive walk through the park. Special events are held throughout the year, including the annual Beatrix Potter Fun Day in July.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Entrance ramp, stair lift to first floor, large print guides
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open 23 Mar-30 Oct, Wed-Sun 12-5 (last admission 4.30)
Also in the area
About the area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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