Nine Suffolk farm shops you should visit this summer with locations in Ipswich, Beccles and Felixstowe
Suffolk, with its beautiful countryside, quiet villages and quaint market towns, is a haven of farm shops selling fresh produce.
If you're looking for a fun trip out with the kids this summer, many of these shops have cafes serving hot drinks and treats and some are even open to see animals and pick fruit.
Here's our list of nine of the county's finest farm shops for a shopping trip:
1. Emmerdale Farm Shop - Saxmundham
Emmerdale Farm Shop, located on Westleton Road near Saxmundham, specialises in home-produced, slow reared beef raised in their own fields in the village of Darsham.
As well as fresh and frozen meat products, the store sells home-made ready meals, pies and pizzas alongside locally-sourced vegetables, fish and shellfish.
When the weather permits, there is also a welcoming tea room, Red Poll Tea Rooms, on site making it the perfect place to stop for a cuppa and buy some quality produce.
Emmerdale Farm Shop is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
2. Alder Carr Farm - Needham Market
Alder Carr Farm Shop can easily fill a whole day this summer holiday, as there is so much to see and do.
The farm shop, situated in Needham Market near Stowmarket, stocks everything from baked goods to fresh locally sourced meat to pantry goods and alcohol, and has an impressive deli counter with over 60 cheeses, some of which are local artisan specialities.
The shop boasts a pretty courtyard cafe with a seasonal menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner food, and many local independent businesses such as Sugarcraft Studio and Paddy Peters Ceramics have shops on the site.
A garden centre sells plants from local family run nursery Katie’s Gardens, based near Woodbridge, and a children's play area along with walking trails and the option to hire bikes means the whole family will be entertained at Alder Carr.
3. Grange Farm Shop - Woodbridge
Two miles from Woodbridge in the village of Hasketon you will find Grange Farm Shop, a family run business that prides itself in local, organic and sustainable produce.
Selling fruit and veg, pantry items, meat and fish, dairy, baked goods and drinks as well as a selection of 'natural' household items and organic cleaning products, Grange Farm Shop is a one-stop shop for all your fresh produce needs.
Grange Farm also takes online orders for delivery or collection, with orders received before 12 noon ready to collect from 8.15am the following day.
4. Railway Farm Shop and Market Garden - Saxmundham
Railway Farm Shop, located on Main Road, Benhall, just a few minutes drive from Saxmundham, provides fresh, home-grown and locally sourced vegetables as well as eggs from their hens and honey from their bees.
The store is described as "relying on solar power, recycled water and roll your sleeves up hard work, determination and passion," and the ethos of the business is to encourage people to shop sustainably and try seasonal home grown vegetables they may have otherwise shunned.
Their weekly vegetable box surprise scheme, which comes in size medium or large, offers customers a chance to try various veggies and fruits they wouldn't typically include in their meals, along with staple vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots.
5. Hog and Hen Farm Shop - Debenham
This farm shop, found in Debenham near Stowmarket, specialises in free range poultry, rearing, slaughtering and processing their turkeys and chickens on the farm in small batches, ensuring zero food miles go into their meat.
Hog and Hen also offer a variety of seasonal local produce and the option to sit, relax and take in the countryside in their cafe.
There is also a child friendly picnic area, mud kitchen and some friendly pygmy goats to keep the children amused, as well as a maize maze during the summer months.
6. Wilde and Greene - Tuddenham
Wilde and Green in Tuddenham is an eco-concious farm shop with a passion for reducing landfill waste and cutting down on single use plastics.
With this in mind, the store offers a huge range of products, from washing up liquid to pasta to coffee beans, as 'refillables' meaning you take an empty container to the shop, fill it up with your chosen product and re-use it to avoid wasted packaging.
Orders for collection or local deliveries of meat, vegetables, hampers, milk, bread, cheese, cakes, ice-cream, and alcohol are all available.
7. Goslings Farm Shop - Felixstowe
Goslings Farm offers the perfect family day out with the opportunity to 'Pick your own' strawberries and raspberries from over thirty polytunnels.
With the farm shop selling everything from rhubarb to redcurrants to pumpkins, there's plenty to choose from all year round and a cafe and garden centre mean a trip to Goslings can turn into a whole-day affair.
Two secluded fishing lakes full of carp, bream, tench and loach, are available to fish on with day tickets starting at seven pounds.
8. Suffolk Food Hall - Ipswich
Award winning Suffolk Food Hall, which boasts a butcher, greengrocer, deli, fishmonger, chocolatier, garden and home department, is Ipswich's one-stop shop for all things food and drink, with a few surprising twists.
With a cafe serving toasties and snacks and a gelato hut with a variety of delicious flavours, as well as several health and beauty outlets and homewares vendors based at the site, you could easily spend the day at the food hall and not get bored.
There's even a pilates studio which will reopen for in person lessons in September.
9. Maisebrook Farm Shop - Beccles
This small farm shop in Beccles breeds its own free range wild boar, pigs and chickens, all of which can be purchased in store.
They also offer the Maisebrooke BBQ Box, available to order for delivery straight to your door, perfect for a summer BBQ with friends.
Will you be visiting one of these farm shops this summer?