If you enjoy mooching around vintage shops and flea markets, this part of Suffolk is for you. From the moment you hit the A12 after Ipswich you will find a trail of treasure troves:
1. Marlesford Mill
Set on two floors, this vast space includes both vintage and upcycled pieces for home and garden. Our kitchen table is from there, as well as a few of our vinyls. There's also a lovely farm shop and cafe next door.
2. Snape Vintage and Makers market
Between July and October, Snape hosts a range of traders selling everything from prints and cookware to furniture and lighting. If you are visiting outside those times, you can check out the permanent antiques centre there. No dogs allowed though unfortunately. Our dog tail hooks and tea and coffee pots are from this market.
3. Yoxford Antiques Centre
This is a huge space crammed with stuff, including jewellery and vintage clothing as well as home and gardenware. There are lamas on site too, although I've never been to have a peek at them! Some of our bedroom furniture came from Yoxford. The village itself is worth looking at too, with cute little cafes and another more traditional antique shop and well worth a look at the Rowe&Williams Gallery.
4. Black Dog Antiques
The best is the nearest! This lovely shop is in Halesworth market place and has beautiful furniture, as well as some ironmongery and other bits and bobs. We eyed the Hungarian Settle in our lounge up at Black Dog for many months before taking the plunge. The team at Black Dog also organise the regular Brocantes in Halesworth and larger outdoor fairs around Suffolk, including at Glemham Hall and Bungay. We got a haul of stuff at the last Glemham event such as our coffee table, pendant lamp and plant stand.
5. Various, Halesworth
Do check out the charity shops in Halesworth, where we've found some lovely trinkets, kitchenware and cushions. There are two other vintage shops in Halesworth itself, including one regularly stocked by Red Eyed Dove, the source of some of our kitchenware, and HunkyDory. A couple also open their cottage opposite the library from time to time to sell various vintage items and that's where we bought our bird prints from.
About thirty minutes drive from the cottage is Shingle Street, which was rumoured to be the site of a failed German invasion. It's eerily quiet, even on a summer's weekend, but all the more atmospheric and tranquil for it. There's not much there so definitely somewhere to take a picnic!
Our top picks
Dog walks, pubs, vintage shops and more!