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A Guide to Suffolk’s Summer Markets

There’s no doubt that one of the most unique features of a summer holiday in England is the option to explore some local markets. Whether it’s to pick up some local produce for a bite to eat, a drop of locally brewed beer to wet the whistle, or to simply browse a range of boutique products, there’s somewhere in Suffolk for everyone in summer. To make it easy to decide which market is best for you, we’ve rounded up a selection of our favourites to provide everything you need to know in one place. 

Where? Bury St Edmunds 

When? Wednesday, Saturday

Bringing together seventy or so stalls, the Bury St Edmunds market takes place each Wednesday and Saturday. With everything from Italian suits to Portuguese pottery – as well as pretty much everything in between – this historic market has been in service since the days of William the Conqueror. When it comes to experiencing a bit of history whilst shopping, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Where? Felixstowe

When? Sunday

Fancy a trip to the seaside combined with a trip to the market? The traders at Felixstowe have you covered! From clothing to plants, flowers, garden furniture and just about everything else you can imagine, this market makes for an unbeatable day out in the summertime.

Where? Southwold

When? Friday

Hosted at the United Reformed Church Hall each Friday in summer, the Southwold Artisan Craft Market is a dog friendly market in Suffolk that brings together craftspeople who take the stage to sell their works of art – if you’re looking to bring back something truly unique from your holiday, this is where you’ll want to head.

Where? Stowmarket

When? Thursday and Saturday

Another long standing market to make its way on to our list, the Stowmarket Market brings together a wide range of stalls to ensure that flower buyers, fruit buyers, clothing buyers, and homeware buyers have everything they can possibly require, all in one place. 

Where? Sudbury

When? Thursday and Saturday

Recently celebrating its 1000th birthday (yes, you read that correctly!), the Sudbury Market has earned a reputation for being one of the most lively markets to take place across Suffolk. Another fantastic opportunity to experience a bit of history whilst shopping, this is a great way to spend an afternoon whilst on holiday.

To discover all of the great markets in Suffolk this summer, why not take a look at the current availability of our Barns and Barges for rent? There’s nothing quite like having a comfortable base to return to, after all…

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A Guide to Shopping The Best of Suffolk This Summer

In addition to offering some of the best places to eat and drink, Suffolk also provides a host of options when it comes to indulging in a bit of retail therapy in the summertime. From known brands to boutique and vintage sellers, as well as markets and pop-ups, there truly is something for everyone looking to treat themselves or others. Providing you with all of the knowledge you need to get out and enjoy the best the county has to offer, we’ve rounded up a short guide to the best places to shop in Suffolk this summer. 

Stonham Barns

Quite literally on our doorstep, Stonham Barns is a shopping village that brings together florists, an antique emporium, a boutique clothing retailer, a candlemaker, an interior design outlet, a garden products shop and even a collectables store. I think we covered everything, but you’d have to visit for yourself to make sure that you find all of the hidden gems available at this village. Oh, and it also has a golf course for those more interested in that sort of thing.

Bury St Edmunds

Confidently dubbing itself a “jewel in the crown of Suffolk”, Bury St Edmunds is an ideal place to pick up some treats in summer. Whether it’s vintage fashion from the outlet in the buttermarket or menswear at Gerald Boughton, shopping in Bury this summer promises to make for a great couples’ day out. How could it not be, when you consider all of the great places to eat and drink along the way?   

Baythorne Hall

Another “one of a kind” shopping experience that we’re proud to have in Suffolk is Baythorne Hall. Something of an experiment in the very format of shopping, Baythorne Hall brings together a wine merchant, a farm shop, an antiques dealer, a garden shop and a butchery. Whilst this might sound like the beginning to a decidedly elaborate joke, it is in fact the perfect distillation of the many great things about Suffolk. With a cafe on hand to serve up refreshments between shopping sprees, we’d certainly recommend the trip when visiting us in summer.

The Courtyard 

Located just outside of Thetford Forest, the Courtyard in Elveden is a shopper’s paradise for anyone seeking out some authentic countryside treats. Complete with its own restaurant, the Courtyard features a farm shop as well as a home and gardenware shop. Whether it’s a small addition or a larger piece of furniture, we’re sure that you’ll find something truly unique when browsing the courtyard this summer.  


It would be remiss of us to produce a guide to shopping in Suffolk this summer and fail to mention all of the great things that can be picked up in the nearby town of Ipswich. From the high end luxury pieces available from Tessuti, to the range of quirky indie stores and countless great places to eat and drink, we’re pretty confident in Ipswich’s ability to create an exciting shopping experience. 

If you’re feeling suitably up for some shopping, why not check the availability of our Barns and Barges for rent to discover how you can enjoy some retail therapy this summer alongside some truly great rest and relaxation.

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Orford Certified as Quirky

Here on our section of the internet, we’ve made no secret of the fact that many aspects of Suffolk are quirky. Indeed, we went so far as to launch a campaign to “keep Suffolk quirky” in the same way that Texans “keep Austin weird”. We also conceded that our Barns and Barges for rent offer some of the best and most quirky accommodation for dog lovers.

With this in mind, it will come as no surprise to learn that we celebrated a recent article in the Times which featured Orford on a list of quirkiest seaside villages. Characterised as curious coastal spots that offer arty shops in addition to their breathtaking geography, being a part of this list was certainly cause to write a blog about.

But what exactly makes Orford a quirkier destination than its neighbouring seaside villages?

By the estimation of The Times, ‘Orford is a weird one’ on the grounds that it features a rather tall castle originally built by King Henry II as well as an oysterage and a considerable number of historic military buildings which line its horizon. Which, when you put it like that, does set Orford apart from more traditional seaside fare.

Offering expansive views of the Orford Ness, a visit to the castle’s tower comes highly recommended from our team, as do the local oysters which have been served up to a host of impressed diners as far back as the 1950s. 

In addition to these unique attractions, Orford offers guests the opportunity to indulge in river trips, pub trips, and trips to the local bakery. It is, in every sense of the word, a “trip” (if we’re going to extend the quirky theme as far as we possibly can).  

Easily accessible from our Barns for rent in Suffolk – less than twenty five minutes by car – we would encourage everyone to experience Orford for themselves as part of their next holiday. To get your plans in motion now, be sure to check our current availability.

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5 Villages to Visit in Suffolk This Summer

Whilst Christmas markets and cosy countryside pubs make Suffolk a delightful place to be in winter, there can be no denying that its villages make for fantastic summertime destinations. Of course, we’d suggest that our guests visit all of the villages that are located along the length and breadth of Suffolk, but if we had to choose five to visit this summer, we’re sure that the following destinations won’t disappoint: 


Declared the ‘prettiest village in England’ by a poll that can be faithfully depended on to judge such things, Lavenham has earned an impressive reputation amongst knowledgeable travellers  thanks in no small part to its appearance in Harry Potter. Complete with windy cobblestone streets, Tudor houses and old timey buildings that you simply won’t find anywhere else in England, much less Suffolk, Lavenham is a quintessentially picturesque village. If such flowery language hasn’t convinced you to visit, perhaps the various woodland walks and refreshments along the way will have the desired effect?


We’ve put Cavendish on this list for two reasons:

  • It’s beautiful and well worth a visit
  • It gives us an opportunity to describe Suffolk Pink

The name given to the distinctive shade of pink which adorns the brickwork of certain villages in the county, Suffolk Pink straddles fact and fiction fantastically. Some will tell you that the shade emerged through the use of ox blood, elderberries, sloe berries and Blackthorn in the limewash that was applied to protect houses back in the 14th century. Others will tell you that it was damsons and bedstraw mauves which created the now iconic shade. Whoever you choose to believe, there’s no doubt that a summertime walk around Cavendish promises to be one set against an eye-catching backdrop.


Located a short distance from the similarly spectacular town of Bury St Edmunds, Horringer is home to Ickworth House, a neoclassical country house that is maintained and made available to the public via the National Trust. With cycles for hire, refreshments and exhibitions, a visit to Ickworth House is undoubtedly one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Suffolk.


Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kersey is another jewel in the crown of Suffolk. Replete with historic properties, winding streets and even an art gallery, the village has become a firm favourite amongst summertime visitors who enjoy their countryside walks with additional things to see and do along the way.

Long Melford

The ideal spot for anyone visiting Suffolk with the intention of escaping the hustle and bustle of town life for something a little more quaint, Long Melford provides the perfect tonic. Boasting not one, but two impressive historic attractions – Kentwell Hall and Long Melford Hall – visitors are welcome to explore fine stately homes or simply enjoy long winding walks in the countryside.

Altogether, the selection of villages in Suffolk make it a veritable haven for those who enjoy the picturesque side of England. To enjoy any or all of these with a comfortable base to return to, be sure to view the availability of our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk.

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Sutton Hoo Goes Sutton Blue

Recently immortalised by Ralph Fiennes in the Netflix production The Dig, Basil Brown, the self-taught excavator who discovered the remains of a ship close to Woodbridge has received a blue plaque on his former home in Suffolk.

Designed to celebrate the homes and workplaces of notable Britons, blue plaques confer an enviable distinction on locations that certainly make them deserving of a blog post or two. We’re also especially pleased to hear of the news as Brown’s home in Rickinghall is only a mere half hour drive from our Barns for rent in Suffolk.

Recommended and supported by a group of dedicated volunteers, the plaque was unveiled in a ceremony on 8th May, a significant date which marked the 84th anniversary of the famous discovery. 

Originally from Bucklesham, a small village just outside of Ipswich, Brown moved to Rickinghall and bought the home in 1935. It was here that he would work alongside local landowner Edith Pretty who had become curious about several mounds of earth on her estate. This curiosity turned out to yield plentiful results once Basil and his team got to work and identified the outline of a 27-metre long 7th century Anglo-Saxon ship after digging for several hours.

Though the original ship had fallen victim to Father Time and left only an imprint of its former self on the soil, a burial chamber at the centre had retained plenty of exciting treasures. Among these treasures were weapons, armour, pots, and the now iconic Sutton Hoo helmet.

Perhaps the greatest time capsule to be retrieved from Anglo Saxon England, many notable scholars agree that the ship was the burial site of Raedwald, King of East Anglia who died in 624. 

Now under the stewardship of the National Trust, the Sutton Hoo burial site is open to visitors keen to get a closer look at English history, with exhibitions running throughout the year.

Now part of the blue plaque brigade, Brown joins fellow Suffolk luminaries who have the prized plate adorning their former abodes. These include:

  • Charles Dickens

No doubt England’s most celebrated novelist, a blue plaque appears in honour of Charles Dickens on the Angel Hotel, a place he would regularly frequent and even featured in The Pickwick Papers.

  • Thomas Gainsbourgh 

As Dickens was to the page, so Gainsbourgh was to the canvas. As an artist who continues to capture the public’s imagination, it’ll be no surprise to learn that there’s a blue plaque celebrating Thomas Gainsbourgh attached next to the home he rented in Ipswich.

  • John Peel 

Responsible for inspiring just about any great rock band of the past few decades, John Peel may not have been from Suffolk originally, but would proudly describe the charms of his adopted county to his loyal listeners. Recognising his significant contributions, a blue plaque was installed in the village of Great Finborough where he resided with his family.

In addition to these few names, there’s plenty more blue plaques to be discovered up and down Suffolk when visiting for a holiday – it is a historic county with a gilded list of former residents, after all. 

To see the plaque for yourself – or to go one step further and pay a visit to Sutton Hoo burial site whilst on holiday – why not take a look at the current availability of our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk.

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The History of Adnams Brewery

Suffolk has many things to be proud of. From saints to famous songwriters and everything in between, it’s fair to say that the county is firmly established in the eyes of the world. On top of significant cultural contributions, however, is the equally important art of brewing that has helped secure Suffolk a leading reputation. Whether it’s the ubiquitous Greene King or one of the smaller microbreweries in the area, you’re likely to encounter the word “Suffolk” on pint glasses in pubs up and down the country.

Less than an hour from our Barns for rent in Suffolk, the Adnams brewery is one with a rich history that we felt warranted a blog of its own. Sure to whet your appetite for a cold pint and a brewery visit, the following story is certainly one of the finest chapters in Suffolk history.

The first record of brewing taking place in Southwold dates all the way back to 1345. And for a rather interesting reason. Charged by the manorial court – the court of law that was active during this century- for serving illegal measures, Johanna de Corby of Southwold was the first to put the seaside town on the map for its brewing capabilities.

In 1880, records show that Tally Ho was first brewed in Southwold – a pint that Adnams still brews to this day, in addition to a wealth of other historic recipes. Ten years later, the brewery was officially established and remains in the same part of Southwold to this day, still as proudly independent as it was back then.

In 1943, an air raid brought down nearby Morgan’s brewery, which supplied Adnams with the yeast necessary to produce their increasingly popular pints. Turning disaster into opportunity, Adnams adapted to create their own dual strain of yeast which is essential for the production of their iconic pints.

Fast forward to 1987 and Adnams had launched their first store, offering top quality kitchenware and wines, a venture that would continue well up to the present day!
In the 21st century, Adnams has earned multiple awards for sustainable development, brewed the UK’s first carbon-neutral beer (East Green, if you’re curious!), and broadened their offering to vodka, gin and non-alcoholic tipples.  

In 2023, Adnams is behind some seriously successful brews and has a number of stores across Suffolk for visitors to pick up gifts during their holiday in Suffolk. Of course, it would be foolish of us not to suggest a tour of the brewery in Southwold that’s combined with a stay at one of our Barns or Barges for rent. Why not take a look at our current availability and make a booking?

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What to do in Pin Mill

Pin Mill Suffolk sunset

Beautiful, unspoilt and quintessentially English: Pin Mill is a gorgeous Suffolk landmark frozen in time. Nestled in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this tiny hamlet on the banks of the river Orwell has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years: a collection of cottages set against stunning shoreline and ancient forest all centred around the world famous 17th century Butt and Oyster pub. Enjoying the view and talking in the landscape with a walk through the fields and along the coast is one of the undisputed highlights of any trip to Pin Mill, but this special place has a whole lot more to offer than that…

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The Harbour Café in Southwold

Southwold Harbour

There is arguably nowhere in Suffolk that offers a better family day out than Southwold: this charming seaside town is as picturesque and quintessentially English as they come. The famous 18th century lighthouse sits in the centre of a cosy collection of shops, pubs, restaurant and houses. Looking out across a breathtaking coastline it has guided vessels into Southwold Harbour for well over 100 years. 


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The harbour itself is home to a boatyard, chandlery, brokerage and the award winning Harbour Cafe. Nestled directly on the banks of the River Blyth the cafe alone is reason enough to pay Southwold a visit. Open every day between 8am and 4pm this eatery bakes fresh scones, cakes and offers a decent list of specials. It’s your choice of a light bite or lunch by the river as soups, quiche and salads are joined by more hearty favourites such lasagne and jacket potatoes. They have a great policy of supporting local producers too so it’s the ideal place to get a taste of real Suffolk.

The relaxed, informal building couldn’t be anymore fitting to its riverside location as oil lanterns and vintage life-rings hang from wooden beams that curve across the roof to give the impression of being inside a gigantic upturned boat. The outside area is perfect for catching a bit of rest-bite and refreshment with ice creams and chilled drinks in the summer sun whilst during those colder winter months there is nothing more comforting than warming up indoors with a decent coffee and cake by the roaring log-burner.

If a good beer is more appealing than a mug of tea then the famous Adnams brewery is right around the corner. This is one of the most respected independent beer companies in the world and a jewel in the crown of Suffolk’s proud brewing tradition. Take a tour of the building, learn the production process and visit the Adnams store to take something home with you… considering the town’s iconic lighthouse makes up the logo for its signature ale, a bottle of Adnams Southwold may be the only memento needed to remember your trip.   

Southwold lies 30 minutes from from some award winning floating accommodation: The Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders. Both vessels are late 1800s sailing barges, the former is moored on the river Alde whilst the latter can be found on the Deben. Proudly combining ‘luxury with an open, dog-friendly approach’, both boats sleep up to 4 and flawlessly blend historic touches with 21st century comfort. If dry land is more your thing then head to Woodfarm Barns. This gorgeous dog-friendly accommodation is made up of a collection of six cottages and an exquisitely maintained 500 year old farm house. All three options are perfect for families and friends staying in Suffolk who want their holiday to live and breath what makes this county so special. 

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A1120: The Suffolk tourist trail

Suffolk is a beautiful and historic county, steeped in quintessentially English countryside, picturesque villages and sleepy coastal towns. It is only natural to want to see the whole thing but at nearly 4000km2,  exploring it can be a slightly daunting prospect. If you are planning on getting around by car then thankfully there is a road that cuts through the heart of this county, passing some of its most loved landmarks and letting you drink it all in via a whole host of ancient paths, medieval churches and award winning restaurants: the A1120.

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