The Swan Hotel & Spa
Lavenham, Suffolk, CO10 9QA (view map)
Located close to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, Lavenham is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Britain. Nestling at its heart sits The Swan, one of Suffolk’s finest hotels.
The Swan dates back to the 1400s, when it played a key role in Lavenham`s wool trade. During World War II its Garden Bar was a great favourite with American airmen stationed nearby, and many of their signatures are scrawled across the walls of the bar.
This is the archetypal medieval inn, with a timbered exterior, beamed ceilings and thick walls, reminiscent of a bygone age. The American band leader Glen Miller is said to have stopped at the hotel for a drink before setting out on his last fateful flight.
It is also reputed to be haunted by a ‘white lady’, possibly a pregnant housekeeper whose lover jilted her at the altar. She is said to have hanged herself in her room (Room 15).
Today, this quintessential medieval inn has been lavishly restored; its traditional oak beams, minstrel gallery and inglenook fireplaces blend seamlessly with luxurious contemporary furnishings.