The work of writers and artists inspired by the beauty of a historic market town will be showcased in a new exhibition.

Bungay's picturesque and peaceful location provides inspiration for artists and writers, and appeals to all those who love outdoor pursuits, be it walking, cycling, wild swimming or canoeing.

Beginning this weekend, the exhibition will highlight several writers and artists who drew on the limitless beauty of the Waveney Valley for their acclaimed work.

Elizabeth Jane Howard

Author of the best-selling Cazalet family chronicles, the celebrated novelist moved from London in 1990, to a large ancient house overlooking Falcon Meadow.

Her neighbours were long-term friends, artists Sargy and Frances Mann, and wrote some of her most famous books - including her 2002 autobiography Slipstream.

She became a keen supporter of the town's Fisher Theatre, and a patron of Bungay Library at a time when its future was precarious.

A commemorative plaque on the façade of her former Bridge Street home honours her work, following her death in 2014.

Louis de Bernieres

While his most acclaimed novel, which was later made into a popular film, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, was published before his move to Denton in 2000, he published a number of other novels in the following years, including Birds Without Wings.

Sir Henry Rider Haggard

Diss Mercury: Sir Henry Rider HaggardSir Henry Rider Haggard (Image: Courtesy of Chris Reeve)

Sir Henry wrote his first novel, King Solomon's Mines, while living at Ditchingham House, close to Bungay.

The novel won instant acclaim, selling 31,000 copies in the first year of publication.

He would go on to write 58 more, including Allan Quatermain and She, both in 1887.

Sir Henry was also a keen agriculturalist, farming his 240 acres of land and recording his enthusiasm in A Farmer's Year, in 1889, and A Gardener's Year, in 1903.

He was knighted for his work on various government commissions for improvements in agriculture and farming.

Diss Mercury: The Bath House, Ditchingham, home of Lilias Rider HaggardThe Bath House, Ditchingham, home of Lilias Rider Haggard (Image: Courtesy of Chris Reeve)

His daughter Lilias also achieved success as an author, including her regular Country Woman column in the Eastern Daily Press which focused on rural life and was later published in three volumes - which proved popular during the war years.

She also organised the editing and publishing of memoirs of two local men from impoverished backgrounds.

The Rabbit Skin Cap was written in 1939 by George Baldry, who lived in a cottage on the banks of the Waveney beside Outney Common in Bungay, and I Walked By Night, by Frederick Rolfe in 1935, which both became East Anglian Classics and remain in print.

Adrian Bell

Diss Mercury: Adrian Bell , left, tilling the soil at Brick Kiln Farm, Redisham, c. 1948Adrian Bell , left, tilling the soil at Brick Kiln Farm, Redisham, c. 1948 (Image: Courtesy of Chris Reeve)

Like Sir Henry, Adrian Bell was a writer and farmer who managed agricultural farmland at Redisham near Beccles, with most of the 20 books he published relating to the Suffolk countryside and farming.

Between 1930 and 1932, he published a trilogy of novels - Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree - which achieved immediate success.

He later retired to a house overlooking the River Waveney in Beccles and was buried in Barsham churchyard following his death in 1980.

Roger Deakin and Richard Mabey

Two friends who lived close to each other not far from Mellis Common, near Diss, also drew inspiration from the Waveney Valley.

Mr Deakin was an enthusiast for wild swimming in the Waveney and popularised it in Waterlog, in 1999, while Mr Mabey promoted his passion for natural history in dozens of books, achieving notable success in 1972 with Food For Free, focusing on the offerings to be gleaned from the local countryside.

Mr Mabey's move to the Waveney Valley, with its serene river and water-meadows, helped him recover from mental health issues and solitary withdrawal, as described in his 2004 book Nature Cure.

Sir Alfred Munnings

The artist was born in Mendham and drew inspiration for his early work from local scenes of rural life, including Bungay Races and the annual Bungay horse fairs.

Alongside his friend Adrian Bell, the pair were guests of honour at the annual Bungay Town Reeve's dinner in December 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

Other local artists include John Constable-Reeve, who painted the River Waveney from her studio window at Ellingham Mill, and Neil Lanham, who is both an artist and a countryside historian.

Other displays feature changes in agriculture from Victorian times to the present day, as well as a rare opportunity to visit Alder Farm, in Mettingham, and learn about the Suffolk Punch horses there.

Diss Mercury: A Suffolk Punch horse, with groom.A Suffolk Punch horse, with groom. (Image: Jane Vass)

A preview event will be held on Friday, October 21, at 7.30pm, with Gail Sprake, former chair of the British Rare Breeds Survival Trust, as the guest speaker.

Admission is free, although donations are welcome, and booking is essential. To book, call 01986 893133 or 01986 892855.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 22 until Sunday, October 30, from 10am until 4pm.