Family Outings: » Kentwell Hall, Suffolk

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The Independent Travel

The venue

Kentwell Hall is a perfect Tudor manor continuously occupied since 1540. Now, for a few weeks each year, it returns to the 16th century with up to 300 "Tudors" going about their business. Unlike some re-creations - the next begins on 19 June - there is nothing tacky about Kentwell, perhaps because there is little pretending. From the archers and blacksmiths in the 25-acre grounds to those making bread andthe spinner (pictured), the people are actually doing what they appear to be doing.

Something for children

Down the path "betwixt the yew trees" is a hut occupied by a Dumbledore-like alchemist who held us spellbound as he unveiled the meaning of his tarot-style cards. Surrounded by jars with mysterious contents, he explained that the great house gives him "the lavender thrown out after the cleansing of the bedchambers", which, he explains with a twinkle in his eye, he turns into essence and sells back to them "for gold guineas".

Something for adults

With up to 60 Tudor occupations represented here, there is something for everyone.

Refreshments

Tudor-style biscuits from peddlers wandering the estate. Modern sandwiches and burgers/sausages from Kentwell's own organically reared meat served in the marquee outside the gate. During smaller re-creations, sandwiches/burgers are on sale at the Stable Yard café and there is good home cooking in the Undercroft restaurant. Or take a picnic.

Souvenirs

Tudor cookbooks (£3) and kitchenware. For children: quill pens (£1-£2.30) and Tudor figures (from 60p).

Admission and access

Open 11am-5pm during re-creations. Main event: weekends 19 June to 10 July. Adults £12.95, children £9.70. Smaller re-creations 26-29 August and 24-25 September. Wheelchair access limited.

How to get there

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk (01787 310207 www.kentwell.co.uk).

By road: signposted in Long Melford on the A134.

By public transport: Train to Sudbury, then taxi (about £7).

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