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Clare


(Image kindly supplied by Panodream.com)

Clare is a charming Suffolk market town, typical of the wool towns that are long associated with East Anglia. It is full of interesting places to visit and is the perfect base to explore other parts of west Suffolk, so stay a while at one of the friendly B&B’s in this medieval town.



There are several unique places to visit in Clare, starting with Clare Ancient House which was built in 1473 and became the town museum in 1976. This amazing building has superb plasterwork on its exterior, which is an example of the local craft of pargetting. Inside the museum offers a full history of the town’s development over the centuries. Please see Clare Ancient House for more information.



Another very special place to see is Clare Priory, dating back to 1248. This is the ‘Mother House’ of the Augustinian Friars in Britain, who offer religious retreats for all comers. When the Priory was first established the friars were dependant on local people for their daily needs and they would have been familiar figures in the streets of Clare in their black habits as they ministered to the spiritual and welfare needs of their parishioners. The present community of friars welcomes you to stroll around the priory grounds and the church which are open to the public – see Clare Priory for opening times and more history on the Priory.



Clare Country Park is in the middle of Clare and its 25 acres contains the ruins of Clare Castle. This was built upon Saxon earthworks and covered 20 acres! In the Park you’ll also find the former train station and a small museum which was previously a Great Eastern Railway Shed, housing natural history, conservation and railway history exhibitions. The Park has walks and woodland, the River Stour running through it, and a fully equipped playground for our younger visitors.


(Image kindly supplied by Panodream.com)

Additionally Clare has a wonderful Gothic church of St Peter and St Paul. The base of the tower is 13C but the remainder is mainly from the 15C. During your visit to the town it is well worth strolling around to see some lovely old houses dating back to the Tudors right through the Georgina period and into the Victorian era, that are now private residencies.

Opposite the Church is The Bell Hotel, a traditional style Tudor building built in the 16th Century. The Bell Hotel was originally a Coaching Inn and has retained many traditional features. However the Hotel offers modern facilities and great home cooked food so stop in to this 4 star Hotel when you're visiting Clare for a local beer or meal.

But that’s not all! After all this sightseeing you might want to do a little shopping and Clare has a range of independent ‘corner’ shops, including a butcher, pet shop, Clare Bridal Studio, ladies boutique plus a few antique shops and an Auction House that are well worth a visit. There’s also a recently refurbished Café in the heart of Clare for some light refreshment.

So explore this pretty country town and let us know what you think of it!

For accommodation in Clare please see - Clare Accommodation

For accommodation nearby please see -Accommodation in Cavendish
Accommodation in Sudbury
Accommodation in Long Melford

What do you think of Clare - or any Suffolk village? Please send all comments and reviews to suffolkguides.admin@suffolktouristguide.com.
About the author - Sarah Quinlan is the owner of the Suffolk Guides. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahinSuffolk or Google+
Suffolk Tourist Guide