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From friendly locals to Harry Potter’s house: a brief guide to Lavenham

The Suffolk town’s beauty apparently saved Andrew Lloyd Webber from thoughts of suicide. What makes it so special?

‘Thank God for Lavenham,” writes Andrew Lloyd Webber in his new memoir. The composer says that, as a depressed 15-year-old, he bought painkillers and a one-way ticket to the end of the London underground, then a bus to the former wool town. It was the beauty of Lavenham’s buildings and its Grade I-listed church that saved him from thoughts of suicide.

Music fans have got this beautiful village in the heart of Suffolk to thank for Aspects of Love and Cats. But what makes it so good?

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Long-haul flights from UK now cheaper than going to Ibiza

Weak dollar and rising prices in Spain mean it can be worth going the extra mile to get good value

Flying long haul would barely enter the thinking of many families planning their annual holiday, with the perceived cost ruling out many destinations before the search had even begun. However, this year a series of colliding events, including a weak dollar, greedy Spanish hoteliers and competition for tourists in the Middle East, means it can be cheaper to go to Florida, Dubai or Thailand than to spend a traditional two weeks on the Costa del Sol.

Research from price comparison site TravelSupermarket has shown that some long-haul destinations cost significantly less to fly to and stay in than Spain, where British tourists make up the largest number of foreign visitors every year.

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