Thursday, 14 March 2013

Rural Breaks Away - Arts and Crafts in Suffolk

Log cabin holidays with Windmill Lodges would not be complete without sampling all the local produce Suffolk has to offer. Suffolk is a rich county for food and crafts and a break here is perfect if you like all things handmade. Suffolk is now known as the “curious county”, because of all the interesting things we do and make here; from pottery to paintings, woodwork and metal work, there are many talented craftsmen and women in Suffolk and you can always find something beautiful to take home.

Windmill Lodges is an exclusive development of luxury log cabins set in a peaceful location right in the heart of the countryside and just a short drive to the beautiful heritage coast. Our log cabins have all been awarded 4 or 5 stars by the English Tourist Board and suit families, couples or groups of friends equally for a holiday or weekend break at any time of the year. All our accommodation is fully equipped for self catering log cabin holidays and comes complete with its own decking area and hot tub. 

Holidays with Windmill Lodges are so special you’ll also want to bring back some of the wonderful local produce or handmade items and crafts as a keepsake of your stay. Taking home something handcrafted and locally made is a great reminder of your visit. If you like handmade items and quality local produce, here are some of places you can visit to buy a souvenir of your log cabin holidays.

Click here to enjoy a rural break away in a log cabin in the heart of the Suffolk countryside

Snape Maltings

Snape is a picturesque village famous for its converted Maltings, which is now a world renowned concert hall and the home of the Alderburgh music festival. The Snape Maltings complex also includes nine independent shops selling fantastic gift items and some locally made crafts and foods including home ware, books, art, cards, clothes and toys, so you will always find plenty to inspire you. In fact, there is so much to do at Snape Maltings that you can spend a lovely leisurely day there browsing in the shops for gifts and fine foods and then stop for mid morning coffee or tea and a cake at either of the café’s in the Snape Malting complex: Café 1885 or The Granary tea shop. After a long walk beside the River Alde, it would be time for lunch and a pint of local beer in the traditional 16th century Plough and Sail pub which prides itself on its home cooked local food in beautiful surroundings.

On the first Saturday of the month there is a farmers market held at Snape Maltings where you can buy fresh local produce such as breads, cakes, cheeses, honey and free range meats.


Woodbridge is a bustling market town on the banks of the River Deben with restaurants, cafes, pubs, swimming pool and cinema. Woodbridge boasts well over 100 independent shops so you can pick up some incredible locally made gifts to take home. 

For an unusual craft idea that’s as fun to make as it is to keep, then Jars of Clay in the Thoroughfare is an ideal place to visit, especially if you have a family to entertain. Choose a piece of pottery and relax with a hot drink and a cake while you decorate it with your own design. You can then come back and collect your fired and glazed pottery a few days later.

If food is your thing, then a must for any serious foodie is a visit to Woodbridge Fine Foods in New Street. Selling local vegetables, pies, fish and shellfish and meats, Woodbridge Fine Foods also has an extensive deli and a selection of fine wines to choose from too.

For something really contemporary, RE+NEW, which is all about all things made in Suffolk, is the place to go. This art gallery prides itself on its local and sustainable products that include new and restored furniture by local craftsmen. They have their own brand of stationary, which is fantastic for artwork or as a journal and is designed by R+NEW’s owner Geoff Witts.


Aldeburgh is a fashionable resort, which provides a little bit more sophistication than your average seaside town. No gaudy amusements here, Aldeburgh is home to some stunning local art and contemporary gifts, homeware and clothes shops. Art and photography really come into their own on the Suffolk coast and Aldeburgh has many art galleries that exhibit and sell local work.

Coastal Images on the High Street have fabulous examples of colour and black and white landscapes and seascapes from the Suffolk coast. You can buy from them when you visit or, if you decide to buy later, when you return home, they have over 250 images that can be purchased online along with a selection of frames and mounts to compliment your picture.

With a selection of local art, ceramics, stoneware and sculptures, Aldeburgh Contemporary Arts have an eye-catching collection of unusual gifts for you to take home as a memento of your stay in Suffolk. Artists of particular local note are Paul Evans, whose landscapes of the Suffolk coast were the inspiration for the owners to start the shop, and Robert Greenhalf, a leading wildlife artist whose work often centres around Minsmere nature reserve.

Stonham Barns

Stonham Barns is just east of Stowmarket off the A1120. It is a great day out for all the family with various craft and gift shops, a 9-hole golf course, an owl sanctuary and ample parking.  You can spend the whole day here browsing around the shops, watching the owl and falconry displays, having lunch or a light snack or even having beauty treatments at the Beauty Barn Salon.

Stonham Barns Garden centre is a great place to find seeds, houseplants or cuttings to take home as presents. All the plants are grown on site so the centre can advise you on their growth habits and how to keep them.

The Gift Barn sells many different gifts both sourced locally and from around the world including candles, cards, toys, jams, biscuits, sweets and toiletries.

Stonham Barns host several special events throughout the year including craft weekends, where you can pick up something locally made as a gift or for yourself. You can always give them a ring or visit their website to find out what is on before you visit.

Follow the link to find out more about our luxury accommodation in Suffolk for the perfect rural break

Related articles:

Log Cabin Weekend Breaks in Suffolk - A County Crammed With Things to Do! 

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