The surrounding area of Suffolk and the Suffolk/Essex border offers a tempting array of niche shops and small boutiques, as well as the larger independent stores and national names.  The larger towns such as Ipswich, Woodbridge and as we mentioned Bury St Edmunds have the usual well-known retailers and high street names as well as many smaller independent shops.

HINTLESHAM (1 mile, 2 mins – click here for route map)

Set in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside and only a stone’s throw from the cabins, Hintlesham Barns offers fashion, home, lifestyle, coffee shop with homemade cakes plus whatever they come across on their travels they think you will love! Open: Tuesday – Saturday 9.30am – 4.00pm.

Shrublands is a family run plant nursery in Elmsett, close to The Suffolk Escape.  They grow and sell a diverse range of plants from cottage favourites to more modern and unusual varieties. Visitors to the nursery can be assured of a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you are new to gardening or a green-fingered enthusiast they will always be happy to help you with suggestions for any situation in your garden.

HADLEIGH (4 miles, 8 mins – click here for route map)

Our local market town of Hadleigh has a busy high street with a good range well known and independent shops to meet your daily requirements. These include Co-operative, Boots, The Post Office, Avis’ newsagents, Partridges farm shop, The Jolly Meat Company butchery and the amazing Partridges Hardware store, which sells literally everything, but the kitchen sink. This unexpectedly large shop spanning two floors is worth a visit in its own right, packed with indispensable items for the home and garden. In addition to these are a few niche shops:

Situated on the High Street in Hadleigh, Cellar & Kitchen has a selection of fine wines and beers as well as stylish kitchenware and gifts. There are also stores in Southwold and Woodbridge.

An independent shop on Hadleigh High Street selling beautiful gifts, homeware, accessories, jewellery, clothes and fresh flowers.

A lovely shop selling beautiful traditional toys, games and books.

Tatty Broyds is an exclusive fashion boutique featuring a collection of stylish labels from sought after designers. Their labels and accessories are chosen to appeal to stylish women across the boundaries of age and place.

Girls Love Roses sell fun and stylish clothing, jewellery and scarfs at an affordable price. From day wear to smart/casual and something a bit more special. They are situated on Maiden Way which is feet away from the high street.

We have to mention this delightful café bar on the high street as it is the perfect stop off to refuel during a shopping in the town. They serve freshly ground award winning coffee throughout the day as well as offering a tempting selection of freshly prepared snacks and main meals.

IPSWICH (7 miles, 20 mins – click here for route map)

The county town of Suffolk has a wide variety of shops, with two modern shopping centres, TowerRamparts and The Buttermarket. In addition to this is the “golden mile” of Tavern Street and Westgate Street with its mixture of high street stores, including H&M, GAP, Past Times, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Monsoon, as well as long-established local businesses and specialist shops. The Walk, St Peters Street and St Nicholas Street are just some of the locations where you can find independent boutiques, delicatessens, antiques shops, art shops and much more. On the edge of town is the recently refurbished Coes, a quality clothing company offering a wide range of designer outfits ( Newly opened is a John Lewis store with Waitrose next door.

MONKS ELEIGH (8 miles, 15 mins – click here for route map)

A collection of unique independent retailers situated in the nearby historic village of Monks Eleigh. The restaurant and tearoom provides a place for a well-earned break after all that retail therapy!

Offering an extensive range of distinctive gifts, including local prints, jewellery, ceramics, stationary, cards, preserves, candles, silk flowers and the traditional ‘corn dollies.’

An array of country living styles accessories, including garden giftware and furniture, lifestyles accessories, original art, soft furnishings, seasonal displays and much more! From October onwards the shop is transformed into a ‘winter wonderland’ with a fantastic Christmas display.

Traditional and educational toys and games for children – a great place to shop for children’s presents!

an independent family run plant nursery.

LAVENHAM (12 miles, 20mins – click here for route map)

Lavenham, England’s finest medieval village, offers a wealth of independently owned shops, including fine art galleries, antiques shops, clothing and accessories boutiques and shops selling high quality gifts, collectables and designer home ware. The many tearooms located around the village provide ample opportunity to rest and soak up the atmosphere of this ancient Suffolk wool town.

DEDHAM (13 miles, 20mins – click here for route map)

This beautiful village in the heart of ‘Constable country’ provides a very relaxing setting for some retail therapy. In addition to some small niche shops, there is a large art and craft centre which covers 3 floors of a converted church, offering a wide range of independent retailers, including artwork, clothing, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and glass, woodcraft, furniture, books and antiques – the perfect place to buy gifts for others or treat yourself!

SOUTHWOLD (45 miles, 70mins – click here for route map) and ALDEBURGH (36 miles, 60 mins – click here for route map)

Both of these beautiful seaside towns have a number of niche shops and galleries as well as some of the well known national names. For those with an interest in amber, Southwold is home to the oldest and largest amber specialist retailer in the UK. Southwold also has a selection of lovely antique shops in the high street and a handful of quirky shops on the pier.

SNAPE MALTINGS (30 miles, 45 mins – click here for route map)

Set in a beautiful location on the River Alde, SnapeMaltings is home to 9 independent shops, including art galleries, antiques, home accessories, a clothing boutique and a children’s toy and clothes shop. A choice of refreshments is available in the on-site pub, café or tearooms.

CARTERS TEAPOTS, DEBENHAM (18 miles, 30mins – click here for route map)

Within this pretty, traditional Suffolk village can be found a world renowned, unique pottery which designs and makes unusual teapots. Visitors can enjoy watching the teapots being made, and even have a go a decorating their own in the ceramic café.

LONG MELFORD (17 miles, 30 mins – click here for route map)

Famous for its numerous antique shops, you can spend hours strolling around Long Melford hunting out all sorts of treasures and seeking advice from the local experts.