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Arts and Culture in the Heart of Suffolk

Discover Art and Culture within the Heart of Suffolk, the home of the John Peel Centre, Gainsborough’s House, Wingfield Barns, Museum of East Anglian Life and so much more! The Heart of Suffolk is not only a place of natural beauty, but a destination that embraces cultural wealth throughout the region.

The Heart of Suffolk is undeniably rich in artistic history being the home place of Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable. Both artists captured the beauty of the land and inspired people across the globe. We’re here to talk about all things bright and beautiful within the heart of Suffolk’s art and culture scene.

Art brings people together, whether you love a piece of work or hate it, those differences in opinion and continuing discussions about the arts are what keeps creativity alive. Throughout the Heart of Suffolk, you’ll find a generous array of cultural attractions that keep the artistic spirit of Suffolk flourishing.

 John Peel Centre

Right in the heart of the county, Mid Suffolk homes the famous John Peel Centre in Stowmarket named after the eclectic Radio 1 DJ, presenter, and journalist. Paying tribute to Peel who lived locally the John Peel centre now hosts a number of incredible events throughout the year including live bands, and comedic acts, as well as performance groups and classes. It’s a much-loved part of the historic town that brings an abundance of artistic life.

 Wingfield Barns

Simply stunning. Situated on the Suffolk/Norfolk border in the Waveney Valley, Wingfield Barns is another marvellous arty location that is well worth a visit. This unique venue, canters around a beautifully restored timber framed barn, surrounded by studios and galleries. Not only do they host some incredible art exhibitions, music, and drama performances, but it’s also the perfect place for sophisticated celebrations, conferences, education, and training.

The Food Museum

“Food is culture” Another fantastic location to enjoy the wonders of Suffolk is The Food Museum – formerly known as the Museum of East Anglian Life – which will be hosting the spectacular Primadonna Festival this summer! The museum is a brilliant destination in its own right. Not only are they showcasing the production of food and social history relating to it, which reflects the region’s strong agricultural character, but there are acres of land around the museum to explore and enjoy.

With events taking place throughout the year, including family activities during the holidays, The Food Museum is a brilliant place to be.

Woolpit and District Museum

Perhaps Suffolk’s smallest museum is the Woolpit and District Museum, set within a 16th-century cottage via the Woolpit Institute. Some displays are changed annually but you’ll still find the popular permanent displays about the legend of the Green Children, the Woolpit Brickworks, the Victorian Kitchen, and the War Memorial.  All have recently been cleaned and refreshed and usually prompt a lot of interest.

Gainsborough’s House

In the market town of Sudbury, you’ll find Gainsborough’s House, set to re-open this summer! The museum is set in the town centre holding the most comprehensive collection of Thomas Gainsborough’s artwork within a single setting anywhere in the world. Having undergone major refurbishment Gainsborough’s House will soon be open to fascinate and inspire audiences. Enjoy the art, life and passions of one of Britain’s foremost artists, in the special setting of his childhood home.

This plaque sits on the spectacular Mulberry Tree in Gainsborough’s House gardens

Mill Tye Gallery

Stunning artwork with a view. Mill Tye Gallery sits idyllically alongside the River Stour within Great Cornard. It’s a wonderful destination showcasing some of the best local pieces from printmakers, contemporary artists, sculptures, potters, and textile designers. They also host a fantastic selection of workshops and exhibitions throughout the year. Take a look at their website here to find out more.

Beyond the Image Photographers’ Gallery

Beyond the Image Photographers’ Gallery is a unique exhibition space in the Heart of Suffolk. The gallery space allows the group to give something back to the community in the form of three guest exhibition spaces suitable for showing various artwork. The Gallery is not just limited to photography, exhibiting work from guest artists working in any media. Photographers who have exhibited, include Lee Acaster, overall winner of the British Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014, and Gillian Allard, winner of the Sky Arts Photographer of the Year 2017, Photographers with visual impairments in association with EffstopEyes, and many more.

Quill & Inkling – The Prisoner of Zenda

On 2nd July, 2022, The Inklings are bringing to life the classic story of The Prisoner of Zenda! This promises to be an exciting theatrical experience with a dynamic retelling of a classic story, in the unique setting of Eye Castle.

Rudolf Rassendyll a man about town, decides to have one last hurrah before (shudder) taking a proper job. A jaunt to the Eastern European kingdom of Ruritania to take in the coronation of their new King, Rudolf Elphberg, seems just the ticket (especially as family legend insists that one of his ancestors was scandalously very familiar with the one of the previous Kings!)

Arriving in time for the coronation everything is prepared and several people even mistake Rudolf for their soon-to-be-crowned King, but things quickly take a serious turn when the real King is kidnapped in the first stage of a coup. All seems doomed…unless someone who looks the part could step in…

You can book tickets for the Prisoner of Zenda here.

The Heart of Suffolk has a lot to offer and this is just a taster.   If you’re a lover of arts then venture out to the Heart of Suffolk, not just to enjoy the cultural creativity but the natural beauty that inspires artists alike.

Enter here for your chance to win a stay in the Heart of Suffolk countryside.