Stowmarket Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Stowmarket with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best things to see and do, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Stowmarket

Located in the heart of the English countryside, Stowmarket is a charming market town in the county of Suffolk. With its rich history and beautiful scenery, it’s a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a relaxing getaway. Stowmarket is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a great option for day trips or longer vacations.

List of Places to Visit in Stowmarket

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or the great outdoors, there is no shortage of things to do in Stowmarket. Here are some of the top attractions to check out:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Museum of East Anglian Life: This open-air museum is set on 75 acres of beautiful countryside and tells the story of rural life in East Anglia over the last 400 years.
  • Stowmarket Railway Museum: Housed in a refurbished station building, this museum celebrates the history of the local railway.
  • Combs Wood: This ancient woodland is believed to be over a thousand years old and was once owned by King Henry VIII.

Natural Attractions of Stowmarket: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts: This arts centre hosts a variety of concerts, exhibitions, and performances throughout the year.
  • Debenham Walk: This leisurely walk along the River Deben takes you through beautiful woodland and past historic sites, including a Roman villa and a 13th-century church.
  • Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum: Take a steam train ride through the beautiful Suffolk countryside and learn about the history of the area’s railway.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Stowmarket

Stowmarket is a great destination for hikers and bikers. Here are a few of the best routes to explore:

  • Stowmarket to Needham Market: This 8-mile round trip takes you along quiet country roads through picturesque villages and past fields of grazing sheep.
  • Gipping Valley River Path: This 10-mile trail follows the River Gipping through beautiful woodland and past historic sites.
  • Haughley to Stowupland: This 5-mile walk takes you through rural countryside, past historic churches and quaint villages.

Best Things to Do in Stowmarket: Activities and Tours

  • Sailing and Watersports: The nearby Alton Water Sports Centre offers a range of activities including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  • Visit the Chocolate Lady: This charming chocolate shop in Stowmarket offers chocolate-making workshops and sells a range of tasty treats.
  • The Big Night Out Comedy Club: Held at The Mix on the first Friday of every month, this comedy night is a great way to spend an evening.

Week-Long Itinerary for Stowmarket

Day 1: Explore the town centre and visit the Stowmarket Museum.

Day 2: Take a hike or bike ride through the Gipping Valley River Path.

Day 3: Visit the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Day 4: Take a day drip to nearby Ipswich to visit Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Museum.

Day 5: Explore the nearby villages of Haughley and Wetherden.

Day 6: Take a steam train ride at the Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum.

Day 7: Relax in the countryside and enjoy a picnic in one of Stowmarket’s many parks.

Food and Drink Scene of Stowmarket

Suffolk is known for its fantastic food and drink scene, and Stowmarket is no exception. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Suffolk Ham: A traditional dish made from locally cured ham.
  • Colchester Oysters: Fresh oysters from the nearby coast.
  • Adnams Beer Battered Fish and Chips: A classic British dish made with locally brewed beer.

Local Beverages

  • Adnams Beer: A popular local brewery with a range of ales and beers.
  • Aspall Cyder: A crisp and refreshing cider made from Suffolk apples.
  • Southwold Jack Brand Beer: A range of premium beers made using locally sourced ingredients.

Where to Stay in Stowmarket: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of options for accommodation in Stowmarket, from cosy guesthouses to luxury hotels. Here are a few top picks:

  • The Old Rectory Country House: A beautiful Georgian house with 10 individually decorated rooms and a lovely garden.
  • Red House Farm: A working farm with four self-catering cottages, perfect for families or groups.
  • Travelodge Stowmarket: A budget-friendly option with comfortable rooms and a central location.

What to Buy in Stowmarket: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for unique souvenirs or local products to bring home, here are some of the top options in Stowmarket:

  • Stowmarket Market: Held every Thursday and Saturday, this market offers fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and more.
  • The Chocolate Lady: This chocolate shop sells a range of locally made chocolates and sweets.
  • Wattlefield Plants and Herbs: A nursery specialising in herbs, plants, and natural remedies.

Local Culture and Customs of Stowmarket

Stowmarket is a friendly and welcoming town with a strong sense of community. The locals are proud of their rural heritage and enjoy sharing it with visitors. Suffolk is known for its traditional folklore and dialect, so don’t be surprised if you hear some unusual expressions or superstitions while you’re there.

Best Time to Visit Stowmarket

The best time to visit Stowmarket is during the warm summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is at its best, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. However, Stowmarket is a beautiful destination year-round, with colourful autumn foliage and cosy winter charm.

Do’s and Don’ts of Stowmarket


  • Do explore the beautiful countryside and nearby villages.
  • Do try the local food and drink.
  • Do respect the local culture and traditions.


  • Don’t litter or damage the environment.
  • Don’t be disrespectful to the locals or their customs.
  • Don’t forget to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities.

Safety and Health

Safety in Stowmarket

Stowmarket is a safe and welcoming town, with low crime rates. However, it’s always important to be cautious and take basic safety precautions, such as locking your car and avoiding unlit areas at night.

Health in Stowmarket

There are several medical facilities in Stowmarket, including clinics and pharmacies. If you require emergency medical attention, dial 999.

Getting to Stowmarket: Transportation Options and Logistics

Stowmarket is easily accessible by road, rail, and bus. Here are some of the options available:

Airports Near Stowmarket

  • London Stansted Airport: One hour and 20 minutes by car.
  • London Luton Airport: One hour and 40 minutes by car.

Bus Stations Near Stowmarket

  • Stowmarket Bus Station: Serves local and regional routes around Suffolk and East Anglia.

Other Options

  • Train: Stowmarket Train Station is on the main line between London and Norwich, with frequent services throughout the day.
  • Car: Stowmarket is easily accessible from the A14 motorway, which connects it to Cambridge to the west and Ipswich to the east.

How to Get Around in Stowmarket

Stowmarket is a small town and easy to navigate on foot. However, if you want to explore the surrounding countryside, you may want to hire a car or bike.

Where to Go Next from Stowmarket: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Stowmarket is a great base for exploring other destinations in the area. Here are a few nearby excursions to consider:

  • Ipswich: This historic town is just 15 minutes away by train and offers plenty of museums, galleries, and historic sites.
  • Bury St Edmunds: This lively market town is home to a beautiful cathedral and a range of independent shops and restaurants.
  • Norwich: Just over an hour away by train, this historic city is known for its beautiful architecture and museums.


Stowmarket is a beautiful and historic town in the heart of the English countryside. With its range of cultural and outdoor activities, charming shops and restaurants, and welcoming local community, it’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for a relaxing yet exciting getaway in Suffolk.