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Willow Barn is located in the small rural village of Troston, which is just 6 miles north-east of Bury St Edmunds  

The village has a very well-regarded public house called The Bull Freehouse (dog friendly) – which is less than a 10-minute walk down the lane.  They offer excellent food including a wonderful Sunday roast.  They have a great selection of beers, including their own on site microbrewery.  The Bull Liquor ale is a local favourite.

Troston dates back to Anglo Saxon times with 10th century documents referring to it as Trostongtun. 
The village lies on the route between the possible site of the martyrdom of St Edmund and the Saint’s final resting place in Bury St Edmunds Abbey.
There are plenty of walks and cycling paths (download discoversuffolk.org.uk to view maps) around the village - including the Troston Circular Walk.  Troston Woods is worth a visit – within are some picnic tables and 5 wooden sculptures to find:  woodlice, stag beetle, owl, squirrel and a hare!  Take a walk past Troston Hall which was home to Capel Loft (1751-1824)  – Loft pursued many causes including campaigning against slavery and wanting to see a greater democracy in Britain. 

 

 

 

The village church St Mary’s remains unaltered since the tower was added in 1300.  The tower is unique in Suffolk, retaining wooden shutters which the clerk would open to ring the sanctus bell.  In the nave there are fine medieval wall paintings depicting St Christopher, St. George dispatching the Dragon, and the martyrdom of St. Edmund.  The church also has inscriptions from the time of the Great Plague.  The most striking piece is a carved head known as the Troston Demon, found on the south side of the east face of the chancel arch!

 

 

Ampton Hall Estate is right on our doorstep (6 mins) with a huge lake you can walk around.  They also offer shooting events.

Euston Hall in Thetford (10 mins) – owned by the Dukes of Grafton.  They used to own large parts of London (hence Euston Station/Euston Road named after them).  The hall is open for a small number of days throughout the year.  

Ixworth village (10 mins in car) has more amenities with a range of pubs and places to eat/takeaway. 

Wyken Vineyards (10 mins), has a great farmers market every Saturday morning with a lovely garden, shop, restaurant and pizzeria.  They produce award-winning wines, served in their restaurant and available for purchase in the shop.

Our local bakers at the windmill in Bardwell (10 mins) is called Woosters Bakery.  Get amazing bread, rolls, croissants and morning buns for your breakfasts & picnics here.  They have recently been named by The Sunday Times as one of the top bakeries in the UK.

You can also purchase the award-winning Baron Bigod cheese from Fen Farm Dairy here.  This cheese has been named the best British cheese for 2022/23 in the Fine Food Digest awards.  This cheese is also available at most local farm shops/delis.  Purchase from Fen Farm’s website or the cheese vending machine at Fen Farm (45 mins).

Rougham Estate sunflower field (10 mins) – visit here in the summertime to walk through fields of sunflowers and pick your own.  It feels like you’re walking into a Van Gough painting!  Great spot to take a picnic or enjoy an ice-cream.
 
West Stow Anglo Saxon Village at Icklingham (15 mins).  This is an archaeological site and an open-air living-history museum with a visitor centre & café.  West Stow was the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth!
 
You can also go to the nearby West Stow Country Park (12 mins) with 125 acres of unspoilt countryside, trails and woodland walks.  Fullers Mill Garden in West Stow is an enchanting and tranquil seven-acre creation on the banks of the River Lark and has its own mill pond.

Elveden Farm Estate (15 mins) have a large deli, shop & café.  At Christmas time they have St Bernard dogs towing the Christmas trees to your car.  They offer outdoor pursuits such as off-road 4x4 driving.

Ickworth House (20 mins) is a neoclassical building set in parkland.  The house was the residence of the Marquess of Bristol before being sold to the National Trust.  The house and gardens are both well worth a visit. Particularly lovely during lambing season as you can walk through the fields of new-born lambs.

 

Thetford Forest Park (20 mins) for endless walking and mountain bike trails managed by the Forestry Commission.

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There is also Go Ape the adventure-activity park in Thetford.

Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve (15 mins) is a great place for walking and wildlife spotting.  Ponies graze areas of the reserve all year round.

Ampton Racecourse (6 mins) has races that take place twice a year, in January and March.  They also hold dog shows here.
 
If golf is your game, there is an 18-hole championship course at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club (15 mins).  Or Red Lodge Karting (25 mins) at the go-cart track if you’re a speed demon.
 
All Saints Hotel Golf & Spa in Fordham is only a few miles away (10 mins) and offer spa days as well as a golf course and restaurant.

South of Bury the historic towns of Lavenham and Long Melford (35 mins) make great trips out with lots of interesting buildings and great places to eat.  Visit ‘The Crooked House’ in Lavenham it is a house unlike any other – it’s like stepping into a fairy-tale!

Or visit Clare - Suffolk's smallest town, set in the beautiful countryside of the Upper Stour Valley.

Cavendish one of the prettiest villages in Suffolk (40 mins).  It is famous for its thatched cottages and picturesque green, set against a backdrop of the beautiful church. 

If you love a dram or two of whisky then visit The English Whisky Company in Roundham (25 mins) for a tour.  They are firmly established as England’s oldest and most prestigious whisky distillery.    Explore their award-winning whisky and liqueurs.

The historic cities of Ely, Cambridge and Norwich are all less than an hour’s drive. 
 

The Suffolk coast is an hour away with many great spots to visit including Felixstowe, Southwold, Aldeburgh & Snape Maltings.

Don’t forget a day at the races at Newmarket (30 mins drive) or catch a direct train from Bury train station – which takes just 18 mins.

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