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Holidays in Eye

Home to an Italianate town hall and a medieval castle

The Suffolk countryside around Eye

Eye is a small town in mid-Suffolk. It is thought to have derived its name from the Old English word for island, which is ‘eye’. The first settlement in the Palaeolithic to Roman age was thought to have been surrounded by water. Close to the River Dove and the River Waveney, it is a pleasant waterside region to holiday in. The best-known building in Eye is its titular Norman castle ruins.

Eye Castle is a motte and bailey medieval castle with a prominent Victorian addition. The fort was built shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066, but the castle was sacked and largely destroyed in 1265. A local nobleman commissioned a stone house on the motte in 1844; the house later decayed into ruin, becoming known as Kerrison's Folly in subsequent years. Eye also has a unique Italianate town hall built in the 1800s, which draws in architecture buffs from all around.

Eye should also be on your radar if you like good food. It’s been a short while, but the County Market was shortlisted as one of the country’s best back in 2009. You can catch it every Wednesday morning if you want to buy some of the best farm produce around. Suffolk foods have a great reputation for being amongst the best farmed and regulated in the country, with many producers embracing organic methods.

Open countryside in Suffolk

The choice of shops on offer is small yet interesting, especially if you like a dig for antiques and support independent shops. There are also a few small supermarkets. Eye also hosts a good range of pubs and restaurants, so there are some good alternatives to self-catering.

For day trips beyond Eye, take a day trip to the lovely market town of Bury St Edmunds. Visit St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the abbey ruins and Abbey Gardens for riverside relaxation.

The choice of independent shops and museums are very engaging and you’re bound to find somewhere interesting to eat in one of the towns restaurants in pubs. Many established food chains are represented in town too.

“Eye should be on your radar if you love buying good food…”

Bury St Edmunds has two great cinemas: a mainstream multiplex, and a smaller complex showcasing arthouse favourites. The cobbled streets and squares enhance the shopping experience and a visit is bound to remind you how towns looked 20 years ago.

If you fancy a trip to the coast, take some time to visit Walberswick with its long expanses of peaceful and open beaches. To the south is the interesting port town of Felixstowe. A beautiful promenade and recently renovated cliff gardens await visitors. You also have easy access to nature reserves and viewing spots to see the ocean bound freight ships getting loaded up with crates. A planned trip to Orford Ness is also a must if you a military history buff and a bird watcher. A short boat trip takes you across to one of the loneliest and most beautiful beaches/marsh peninsulas in the east of England.

We have some lovely cottages in and around Eye in Suffolk. Why not browse our collection of Eye cottages to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Orford Ness

Pack a bag, some lunch, plenty of water and take a boat out to the bewitching Orford Ness for nature and remnants of 20th century military intrigue.

Eye Castle

Visit the ruins of this motte and bailey castle for a trip back in time. Views of the town and surrounding countryside awaits.

Bury St Edmunds

If you fancy a trip to this laidback and pretty market town take a camera. The Abbey Gardens are a must-see.

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