Halesworth is one of Suffolk’s many pretty market towns in the north of the region and less than ten miles from the coast, close to Southwold and Blythburgh
Halesworth is a town that prides itself on offering a traditional shopping experience. It is centred around the Thoroughfare, a pedestrianised area where many buildings date back to the sixteenth century.
Perfectly located for exploring The Suffolk Coast and countryside, in Halesworth you are ideally situated to travel to the many coastal resorts, attractions, villages and towns.
Things to do in Halesworth1. Catch a concert or exhibition
Halesworth is fast becoming a centre for the arts. The New Cut Arts Centre is a multi-purpose centre holding events throughout the year; including dance, drama, weekly cinema film, live screenings and exhibitions plus it has a dance studio and a café bar.
The Centre also hosts the Halesworth Art Festival every October and the Tessa Fuchs Chamber series which is held every Spring. Now in its third year, the INK Festival champions new work from emerging and established playwrights, with a host of events including plays, radio plays, films and children's workshops.
Peruse the works of national artists including contemporary paintings and sculpture to ceramics and textiles at The Art Gallery, located in ancient Alms HousesThe Art Gallery, located in the ancient Alms Houses. The exhibitions run between April and December.
2. Discover Suffolk's agricultural, aviation and brewing history
The Halesworth and District Museum (which has been runner-up in the Suffolk Museum of the Year Awards) is housed at the railway station. The displays take you through 10,000 years of local history; from the earliest Bronze Age settlers in the Blyth Valley to the busy hub of malting, brewing and agriculture which Halesworth was well-known for in Victorian times, and on through the 20th century.
Financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund to honour the Maltings heritage of the town, a Malt ‘Experience’ and ‘Trail’ is to be launched in 2017.
Halesworth was the base for a famous USAAF Fighter Squadron and Bomber Group during WW2. Explore the extensive memorabilia of the air war at The Airfield Memorial Museum which is open Bank Holidays and Sundays.
3. Green Spaces
Just to the east of the town centre is the largest Millennium Green in the country – 50 acres of wildlife-friendly grazing marsh and flood plain with footpaths, an all-weather track, great views, a hide and a community orchard.
The Millennium Green abuts Halesworth Town Park which is home to a newly developed children’s playground including equipment for disabled children.
The Park has latterly been transformed by the hard work of the volunteer group Halesworth in Bloom and now has a Green Flag Award. They have added colour to all parts of the town, gaining gold awards three years in a row and Best Small Town in East Anglia.
Work is currently underway to revive the old Halesworth to Southwold railway track and associated buildings along with the New Reach waterway, used to bring wherries into the town in days gone by. Events are run throughout the year, including fascinating talks and walks and the annual Winterlights Festival in February.
4. Adventures on foot or bicycle
The optimum way to explore the timeless landscape is via walking and/or cycling. The gentle slopes of the countryside provide many interesting trails including circular walks suitable for all ages and abilities and linear routes following local railway lines.
The town itself is on National Cycle Route 1, part of which crosses the Millennium Green on a traffic free all-weather path.
4. A splendid selection of cafes, restaurants and delis - perfect for foodies!
Halesworth has a great cafe culture. With 28 different places to buy a cup of coffee! Restaurants make good use of the wonderful local produce: there’s the Boarding House Dining Rooms in Marketplace, Cleone's Italian Restaurant at The Angel and Edwards on the Thoroughfare, serving traditional home-cooked food.
Delicious Indian food is on offer at Raj Puth; serving traditional Bangladeshi home cooked food on special Bangla nights, and Thai food at Singtong Neeyom which has received a Thai Select Award from the Thai Government acknowledging that the cuisine is authentic. Something to suit all tastes and pockets!
And don't miss Focus Organic and the Halesworth Delicatessen, which stocks award-winning pies!
The pedestrianised Thoroughfare makes it easy to browse the selection of independent shops on which Halesworth prides itself. Among the items on sale are shoes, Fairtrade clothes and accessories, gifts, crafts, greengroceries, jewellery, flowers, retro items, and locally reared meat from two independent butchers.
There is also a weekly outdoor market (Wednesday mornings) and monthly indoor produce market/farmers market and brocante in the Old Print Works plus quarterly markets in the Marketplace – a Garden Market in April and Food & Drink Markets at other times.
Halesworth also looms large on the antiques and vintage trail with Black Dog Antiques, Antimacassar, Red Eyed Dove and several vintage/retro outlets.
A date for your diary! The wildly popular Halesworth Antiques Street Market is always held on the Summer Bank Holiday Sunday!
6. Architecture and Curiosities
There are fine examples of 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century buildings in the town, many of which are occasionally open to the public. On a biannual basis, the town participates in the national Heritage Open Days Scheme, with events taking place across the town. More information can be found on the Halesworth and Blyth Valley page.
Following the Halesworth Town Trail is a useful way to catch other elements of architectural interest.
5. Gateway to the Blyth Valley
The Blyth Valley is truly magical - perfect for exploring at any time of year. From its source 17 miles inland near the village of Laxfield (which has an excellent small museum), the gentle River Blyth meanders through delightful villages, past Heveningham Hall and quintessential Suffolk countryside before merging with the sea at Southwold and Walberswick.
You can find out more about this beautiful area, what there is to do and see here by visiting www.blythvalleyexperience.co.uk
Useful InformationPublic conveniences and Baby Changing Facilities in Halesworth
Public toilets are available in The Market Place, IP19 8BA and The Town Park. Neither have baby changing facilities.
There is a RADAR key operated toilet for disabled people in the Thoroughfare Car Park.
Visitor Information Points (VIPs) are located at:
Halesworth Library, Bridge Street, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8AD
The Angel Hotel, Thoroughfare, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8AH
For more information and ideas on things to do in and around Halesworth and the Blyth Valley visit www.blythvalleyexperience.com and the daily posts on Facebook/blythvalleyexperience
For further information about the area in general visit www.halesworthtowncouncil.org.uk or www.halesworth.net
How to Get to Halesworth - Public TransportBy Bus:
Local services connect Halesworth with Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft, Norwich and Southwold. Timetables are available at www.suffolkonboard.com
or you can find out more from The Blyth Valley Experience website here.
By Rail: Halesworth's rail station is located on Station Road, Halesworth IP19 8BZ. Local services run to Lowestoft and Ipswich. From Lowestoft onward travel is available to Norwich and from Ipswich on the mainline service to London Liverpool Street.
All train tickets can be purchased via the Greater Anglia Website.
How to Get to Halesworth - By Car
From Norwich, take the A146 then the B1332 to Bungay.
From Bungay take the A144 to Halesworth.
From Ipswich, take the A12 north and turn onto the A144 just north of Darsham.
From Lowestoft, take the A12 south, turn right on to A145 at Blythburgh and then left on to B1123.
From London, take the A12 north and turn onto the A144 just north of Darsham.
Car Parks in Halesworth
All car parks are Pay and Display
Post Office, Halesworth, IP19 0JL - 25 spaces
Angel Link, Halesworth, IP19 8SW - 80 spaces
Angel Creamery, Halesworth, IP19 8SW - 46 spaces
The Thoroughfare, Halesworth, IP19 8BF - First hour free, short stay and long stay.
Station Road, Halesworth, IP19 8ER - 25 spaces
Market Place, Halesworth, IP19 8BA - Free for 2 hours with restrictions on Wednesdays (market day)
Halesworth Station, Halesworth, IP19 8JS - Parking for rail customers only.
WHERE TO STAY IN AND AROUND Halesworth
WHERE TO EAT IN AND AROUND Halesworth
Things to do in Halesworth