The hidden treasures of Mid-Suffolk
The towns and villages of Mid-Suffolk have lots to offer when it comes to searching for those interesting, specialist Christmas gifts you’re unlikely to find on the high street
WHERE TO FIND PERFECT GIFTS
The team at Lilac & Lily’s of Needham Market have worked hard to secure exclusive partnerships with some of their suppliers, which means you really won’t be able to find many of the items they stock anywhere else locally. Stock changes regularly too, so every time you visit you’ll find something new, be it handmade 100% ethically sourced cotton clothing from Saskia, soft, tactile Powder pashminas and socks, printed scarves, and intricate jewellery made in Scotland.
Over in Bacton you’ll discover Bacton Bears, which has delighted visitors for years with its enormous selection of bears – from soft, plush play bears to collectors’ items. Brands sold range from Steiff to Merrythought, made in Ironbridge. There are puppets and lots of other toys and gifts to browse too.
For cake decorating or crafting, pay a visit to W&M Smith at Middlewood Green near Stowmarket. At Christmas there is an astounding array of decorations and DIY décor to choose from, including everything you need to make your own door wreath. Want to buy a keepsake with a difference? How about an iconic, handcrafted teapot from Carters of Suffolk, now based at the Stonham Barns complex? At the pottery you can see the products being made, and even have a go at painting your own teapot.
If you head to Framlingham you’ll find lots of lovely little shops to explore, and one that’s ideal for gifts is Ruby Tyger. No corner has been left empty in this shop, found in a petite courtyard. Whether you’re after affordable jewellery stocking fillers, bags, trinkets or even a cowhide rug, they have it here.
In Stowmarket find parking at Milton Road or the Meadow Centre. IP14 1EZ. In Needham Market there are around 30 spaces at Station Yard IP6 8AS – otherwise parking is on-street. Parking’s free at Stonham Barns IP14 6AT. In Framlingham parking is 60p for up to two hours at Fore Street or £2 for two hours at Framlingham Castle IP13 9BP.