Who knows exactly why they have it - but the first Monday in May is a bank holiday... I think it's their equivalent of Labour Day, but not 100% sure.
To celebrate, we burnt some fossil fuel and took a cruisy drive to Bury St Edmonds, which is about 30 mins away from Ipswich. Quite possibly every person we've spoken to since we arrived has encouraged us to visit there, and we've finally made it. It was another lovely warm day, no doubt due to the aforementioned fossil fuel burning, (although we're both still finding it weird to have this time of year getting warmer instead of colder... not that we're complaining) and yet another place to add to the list of places to go back to, but it's easily the prettiest town we've found in Suffolk, with a Gothic cathedral, ruined Abbey, and public Abbey gardens... photos are here:
The British go a bit crazy when it starts to get warm - you can bet your bottom dollar (or pound, I suppose) that as soon as the mercury is over 18, the blokes have their tops off... whether they have the bod for it or not. Seriously, they do. I counted 21 in Bury alone... I stopped after that, and have decided that it's just part of the culture and I should stop judging - good luck with that one, huh.
After that we went to Pakenham Water Mill, just outside Bury, which was recorded in the Domesday Book. The current mill was built in the 18th C and is still operational - in fact, we've just eaten dumplings with our dinner made from flour milled there! We had a guided tour of the mill and its surrounds, and managed to blow a few ₤ on second-hand books, not quite what we were expecting to buy at a mill that dates back to 9 hundred and something!
Kent & Eryn x