Visit Bungay: Places to stay, things to do
Bungay, situated on the outskirts of the Southern Broads, is a haven of British heritage. Hannah Sweetnam explains why this tranquil tourist spot is worth a visit...
The valley town of Bungay really is a picture postcard dream. This thriving market town sits alongside the stunning River Waveney and boasts extensive views of grazing land framed by silver green willows.
Positioned atop the highland to the side of the river the site was popular with early settlers due to its defensive position. This is made evident by the town’s wealth of historic delights. The time capsule of a town holds a Roman well, a Saxon church, remains of a Norman Castle, a Benedictine priory and the Georgian Fisher theatre.
With a population of just under 5,000 the town can be easily accessed via the A144, a minor road running from the A12 to Bungay itself.
When venturing out of town, it’s easy to become lost in the beautiful surroundings of the Broads National Park. The network of rivers and lakes cover over 300 square kilometres of mediaeval landscape.
Not only does the town have reams of history but also St. Mary’s Church, positioned in the town centre, beholds a dark legend. The legend of the Black dog claims that in 1577 on a stormy Sunday there appeared the devil in disguise of a black dog, which attacked the congregation.
The popularity of the legend led to the incorporation of a black dog into the town’s coat of arms and it has given name to the football team, running club and antique shop.
If delicious food isn’t enough to tempt you, the Castle Inn also offers accommodation. In walking distance of the Fisher theatre and Bungay’s other attractions, the Inn has a range of different rooms and a pretty courtyard garden where you can lounge about in the summer sun.
If you would rather stick to the outdoors, then Outney Meadow Caravan Park is for you. The family run plot is within walking distance of the town centre and open all year round.
A great place to eat whilst out and about in Bungay is The Willows Café. Situated in the Three Willows Garden Centre, the café serves food using the best locally sourced ingredients in Norfolk and Suffolk. The café boasts a selection of fair trade tea and coffee and food from award winning cake to Chilli.
If you are more of the fine dining type, try the Castle Inn. Michelin recommended and locally sourced food makes for gourmet at an affordable price.
Did you know?
In 1688 the town of Bungay was devastated by a bakery fire, which damaged most of the buildings including St. Mary’s Church, which was partially rebuilt and fully refurnished throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.