- Credit: Gregg Brown
Admire famous artwork, take a trip down the river, shop at independent stores and pick up some locally produced food and drink in this pretty market town
The market town of Sudbury is perhaps most famous for its links with artist Thomas Gainsborough.
Gainsborough, who was born in Sudbury, became well-known for his portraits and landscapes in the 18th century. His birthplace – Gainsborough’s House – is now a museum and gallery, where you can view a permanent collection of the artist’s work, as well as other exhibitions, and take part in special events.
Sudbury is located on the River Stour, and from Easter Sunday until the last Sunday in October you enjoy a boat trip with the River Stour Trust.
Why not enjoy refreshments at The Granary tea room afterwards?
Children will love the teddy bear boat rides, which will be available on bank holiday Monday, May 29.
Free boat trips are offered to children under 12 and their teddy bears when accompanied by a paying adult on the second May bank holiday Monday each year.
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Meanwhile, The Granary will offer a teddy bear’s picnic menu throughout the day.
Today, Sudbury is very much still a market town, with markets taking place on Thursdays and Saturdays in front of the former church St Peter’s.
St Peter’s, which is at the heart of Sudbury, is today a venue for concerts, drama, exhibitions, craft fairs and more.
Sudbury’s town centre offers a mixture of high street and independent stores and parking is free for up to two hours so there’s plenty of time to shop until you drop.
Head to family run independent department store Winch & Blatch for homeware, womenswear, menswear and more.
Independent fashion business Javelin has a women’s store and a men’s store in the town. The men’s shop also includes an espresso bar offering Paddy & Scott’s coffee.
If you need help with a home project, pay a visit to Amor Interiors. They offer a free interior design service, whether you just want to replace your curtains or need to renovate your whole house. The business manufactures handmade furniture, bespoke upholstery and hand made curtains in the Sudbury workshop.
Food and drink
Pick up fresh local produce at Sudbury Farmers’ Market at St Peter’s on the last Friday of every month.
More than 30 traders offer produce including local venison, pork and beef, homemade cakes, honey, bread and pies, jams and chutneys and locally grown vegetables. There is also a café, run by Sudbury based charity The Bridge Project, which serves coffee, sandwiches, scones and freshly baked cakes.
Suffolk Market Events, who run the market, have taken the lead role in organising this year’s Taste of Sudbury event. The event, to be held in the town centre on June 11 from 10am to 4pm, is aimed at celebrating the best local producers, restaurants and chefs.
There are cuisines to suit all tastes in Sudbury, including some relatively new vegan cafés – Kind Cuisine and Cradle, which is also a bakery.
You can even try wild food at Shillingfords at the Quay – a pop-up restaurant run by Carl Shillingford on the top floor of the Quay Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you’d like to find out how to forage for your own food, nearby Assington Mill is holding a Foraging for Wild Food course on April 30.
Drop into Gainsborough’s House between 10am and 1pm for Easter activities.
Children can create their own Easter cards and, if they discover all of the eggs hidden around the house and garden, win a chocolate treat.
Entry costs £3 for adults and £2 for children, which includes admission to the galleries.
Horror film fans should head to the Quay Theatre for Dead & Sudburied: Horrorthon II, which starts at midday and continues until late.
At this adults only event, six classic horror films will be shown back to back, with a licensed bar and food available.
Tickets cost £20.