Castle on the hill | A visit to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

You must have heard the song. Framlingham Castle sits on the hill at the top of the market town in the middle of the peaceful Suffolk countryside. Over the years I must have been here around four times, but quite some time since venturing into the castle itself. We became members of English Heritage this summer so it was only a matter of time before we made our trip to Framlingham. On Saturday afternoon I suggested that we should get up early for a road trip to the castle in order to get back home again for lunch. It dawned, or didn't, with thick mist which spent a few hours enveloping the roads but by ten o'clock the sun had broken through and lit everything up to a dazzle. Blue skies overhead were most unexpected but welcome nevertheless.
The lovely country roads wind their way through the Suffolk landscape, it was an enjoyable drive. The town was as I remembered it, leading uphill on narrow roads towards the castle - thinking this can't be right - but it is and just as you reach the top you're in the car park.

The castle itself is remarkably intact. The history of the castle starts back in 1200 and of course has evolved over the years, yet there is still so much to see. As members we had free entry, but the entry fee does include an audio tour. It really wasn't that clear that this was not an additional charge and that you have to go in the shop to ask for a gadget. So I went in and it was no trouble but I suspect many people wouldn't have done this which is a bit of a shame. The information display (starts above the shop) was excellent and laid good foundations for our understanding of the history in the area. With the audio tour you have two options; the sensible straightforward stuff or the more jaunty and quirkly tales. Being a peaceful Sunday I was happy to go sensible, though in a more boisterous mood I would have opted to go off piste with the second option which did sound amusing.
Within the castle walls the delicious smells from the cafe wafted, luring us in. I resisted. Benches in the sunshine were kept very tidy and clean.
The wall around the entire castle can be walked around, it's very safe and not at all scary, the views are magnificent. We stopped quite a bit to listen to audio tour instalments. I can't emphasise enough how brilliant it is to talk around the top of the whole castle wall.The castle is so intact with plenty of features to study.
The benefit of having your own audio device is that it's beautifully quiet around the castle with only the people interested holding the device to their ears so leaving everyone else undisturbed.



The old workhouse within the castle is a stark reminder of the more recent history. It's not all bow and arrows and armies, fighting for the crown. Just survival was a goal.
The fascinating chimneys are worth a closer look, so fancy!
The parkland outside the castle is free entry and you can walk all around the mere itself, We did and although a couple of patches were a little sticky it was an easy walk of around three quarters of a mile. You do get a stunning view of the castle, the image at the top was from across the water.
There was this super fun looking slide. Had I not been wearing new jeans then I would certainly have dumped my camera, handbag and coat on C to hold while I have a go myself. I'm a bit sad that I didn't try it now.
We had such a lovely few hours visiting. For more information on planning your trip take a look here. Let me know if you've ever been or have though about going!
Sophie

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1 comments

  1. I went the day before my birthday for a picnic with family. We sat in the shade of the tree in your third photo! It's a lovely castle, I used to camp there when I was a teenager - great fun! It's ages since I've been inside, and the slide is new!

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