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Antiques in Suffolk © Rod Edwards

Antiques Shops and Fairs in Suffolk

Ever since the BBC TV series Lovejoy hit our screens in the late 80s and early 90s, Suffolk has found its place on the map as a destination for those who enjoy the thrill of hunting for vintage treasures.

The industry was well-established in the county before then of course, but the scenic countryside depicted in the series, coupled with the adventures of Lovejoy, the mischievous antiques dealer, helped to raise the profile of Suffolk, and people still come to visit the places they saw in the series.

There are many antiques shops around the county and regular vintage fairs take place throughout the year. Here are some of the highlights...

Hunting for antiques in Suffolk © Rod Edwards
Shopping for antiques in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards

Long Melford

Well known as one of Suffolk's wool towns and as a centre for antiques and art galleries, Long Melford lives up to its name with a three mile long main street that runs through the village.

The architecture is a happy mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian and residential houses sit alongside shops, hotels and cafes. The village has the added attraction of two historic houses (Kentwell and Melford Halls) which are open to the public, and a magnificent church, with concerts throughout the year.

Clare

The pretty village of Clare has a large antiques warehouse, Clare Antiques and Interiors, as well as Market Hill Antiques and Collectables. A long-established antiques fair takes place at regular intervals throughout the year and if you visit, don't forget to explore Clare Country Park and make your way to the top of the mound to the castle ruins. Clare in Suffolk

Woodbridge

The lovely riverside town of Woodbridge has a good number of antiques shops including the Woodbridge Antiques Centre and also, rather wonderfully, a violin shop selling new and antique instruments.

While you are there, do take a stroll along the picturesque River Deben and visit nearby Sutton Hoo. Owned by the National Trust, the Saxon burial ground has given up its treasures and some of the original finds and a replica of the famous Sutton Hoo helmet are on display.

Woodbridge Violins in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards
Woodbridge Violins in Suffolk ©Rod Edwards

Snape Maltings

Iconic Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast would seem a perfect place to browse for antiques. The location is beautiful and there is a cafe and other shops and galleries to have a look around too.

Visit the Antiques and Collectors' Centre, which has antiques from over 40 dealers and look out for the Vintage and Makers Markets which pop up at regular intervals.

Boats at Snape marshes (c) Visit England
Boats at Snape marshes (c) Visit England

Beccles

Beccles, in the Waveney Valley, has several antiques shops and is also host to two major antiques markets each year. Taking place on a Sunday in April and August, the markets are in the town centre with around 100 dealers selling a range of collectables. Street food, including a hog roast is usually available and the town's cafes and shops remain open too.

Halesworth

Also in the Waveney Valley, the charming market town of Halesworth has six vintage shops, including Blackdog Antiques; there are monthly antiques and vintage markets, with over 30 stall holders; plus a major street market, Halesworth Brocante Antiques and Vintage, on the August bank holiday weekend (Sunday) each year.

Southwold

Over 50 dealers get together at Saint Felix School in the coastal town of Southwold each year for the prestigious Southwold Fine Arts and Antiques Fair over the August bank holiday weekend.

The Fair on the Green with over 120 dealers, also takes place in August each year and the town itself has several antiques shops.

While in Southwold, make sure you take a stroll along the beach and visit Southwold Pier, have some fish and chips and enjoy the quirky entertainment on offer there.

Sunrise over Southwold Pier in Suffolk (c) Martin Pettitt
Sunrise over Southwold Pier in Suffolk (c) Martin Pettitt

Glemham Hall

The Tudor manor house, Glemhall Hall, is the stunning backdrop for the Glemham Hall Antiques and Classics fair in September. Just north of Woodbridge, this is a large fair which also shows vintage and classic vehicles.

Yoxford

Not far from the Suffolk coast is the Yoxford Antiques Centre and Gardens. Over 70 dealers sell their vintage treasures from here – anything from clocks to carpets, fireplaces to film memorabilia and all sorts of other vintage goodies. There is also a cafe on site and a five acre garden for visitors to explore, with alpacas and a menagerie of different breeds of chickens!

Keep an eye on our events listing for antiques fairs in Suffolk

 

Shopping for antiques in Suffolk
©Rod Edwards

Date for your diary...

The BBC Antiques Roadshow will be at Helmingham Hall near Stowmarket, on Thursday, August 31st 2017. What treasures might be lurking in your attic? Dig them out and take them along to this free event to find out more about them and what they might be worth!

Where do you shop for antiques?

There are many antiques shops in Suffolk, which we have not been able to include here. Let us know your favourites via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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