Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Exploring the Eye Town Trail

Eye church 
We are camped in a gorgeous wild flower meadow in the tiny hamlet of Braiseworth in Suffolk. Surrounded by tall trees for shade and with space for just five units, Frog's Hall campsite is absolutely perfect for us! It's a Camping And Caravanning Club CS with minimal facilities - electric hookup, drinking water and waste disposal - run by Denise and John who are friendly and very helpful. On arrival we were given the loan of a comprehensive information pack detailing local cycling routes, shops and businesses in Eye, dozens of leaflets for attractions in the area and further afield, and a map of the nearby footpaths. Traffic noise is rare and the soundtrack here is basically birdsong and a light breeze rustling leaves. Idyllic! Frog's Hall is great value at £13 a night though you will need to bring your own toilet (we are glad of our portable toilet!)

Lacons brewery plaque 
Having not travelled far from Wood Norton to get here we had a whole afternoon to explore and decided to walk into Eye and do the historic Town Trail, a leaflet for which was in the information pack. Eye is about an hour's wander away on quiet single track roads and footpaths. In hindsight it probably would have been better to have cycled in because, with the town walk as well, over three hours turned out to be a bit much on the hot afternoon but we didn't realise that until too late of course!

In reality little more than a good-sized village, Eye was actually designated a borough until the 1970s complete with its own mayor and local government. A prosperous trading centre until the railway didn't come here in the 1800s, Eye can possibly blame its lack of subsequent growth on trains taking all their potential business to Diss. However, back in Norman times, nearby Hoxne was a flourishing market town until Eye stole their thunder and trade - what goes around comes around?

Eye's church and castle both date back to the Normans with one William Malet being given the Honour of Eye by William the Conqueror. His original castle has been rebuilt several times and is now again a ruin, but one that stands high on the original bailey around which the town centre is shaped.

There are many old buildings dating from various periods dotted around and I enjoyed discovering a number of them including thatched cottages, medieval town houses and Victorian facades disguising older structures. There are good independent shops one of which sells knitted cakes, a proper hardware store and The Bank which is now a not-for-profit cafe and art space where we went to a fantastic gig! We climbed up to the ruined castle to look over the town and then descended to the Co-Op where we discovered Wendy's House baked slices - delicious! Dave enjoyed Raspberry And Coconut and I can recommend the Banana, Date And Pecan!

Walking home along a different footpath route, I loved finding ourselves at a farming version of a Richard Long sculpture!

No comments:

Post a comment