PUBLISHED: 12:19 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:19 22 May 2017
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Known for its architecture and castle ruins, this historic market town promises a busy day out
Small but beautiful, Eye is a jewel of a town in north Suffolk. Deriving its name from the old English word for ‘island’, Eye has grown from one of the smallest boroughs in England once surrounded by water and marshland, into an enjoyable town to visit.
From wandering the countryside in and around the town, to shopping, dining at local eateries and historical exploration, Eye is full of wonderful things to do. Traditional shops, cafes and restaurants line the streets and an award-winning weekly market, is held on Wednesdays in the town square.
Eye is most recognisable by its impressive church tower, which stands at over 100ft tall, however, one of the town’s most visited historic attractions is its castle ruins. Once dominating the surrounding area from the mound it sits on, the castle now offers a tranquil, fun and educational place to visit for all ages, with a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
Stretching across 2,000 acres of parkland, farmland and woodland, the Thornham Estate is located just outside of Eye. Thornham Walks covers over 12 miles of beautiful Suffolk countryside and has a number of highlights along the way, including the folly, memory wood and the butterfly ride.
An impressive array of shops in the town centre provides visitors with both shops for everyday amenities and specialist retailers selling goods that may be less frequently demanded, but still thoroughly enjoyed.
Along with antique, home furnishing and gift shops can be found a haberdashery, a popular women’s clothing boutique and a small, family-led chocolaterie.
The church is also home to a fair-trade shop which sells food, gifts and jewellery.
If you are looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat after shopping, Eye has several places to sit down and tuck in.
The Queen’s Head is the last remaining pub in Eye. With its mediaeval beams and open fires in the winter, it holds on firmly to its traditions. The pub’s real ales and brilliant food can also be enjoyed al fresco in warmer months in its lovely beer garden.
As well as stocking a large range of highly rated savoury food, cakes, cheese, olives and wine, Beards of Eye also has a café that can serves top quality food to those looking for a light lunch.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, chocolaterie Cocoa Mama is continuously developing its fresh truffles and pralines with new flavours inspired by Suffolk.
Coco Mama also has a small café in its shop at which you can indulge in freshly baked, delicious cakes and desserts and the chocolaterie’s own blend of luxury coffee.