Buckenham House is one of the most elegant Georgian houses in Southwold – and you’ll find it’s one of its most intriguing. Externally it looks every inch a Georgian town house, but step inside and you’ll see it’s pure 16th century. It was built by a wealthy Tudor merchant. Today, it houses the Buckenham Galleries, one of the finest contemporary art galleries in the region with an eclectic mix of paintings, ceramics, glass work and sculptures. Its permanent exhibition features the work of artists engaged by the gallery, with the emphasis on displaying different styles and mediums. You’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye. In addition, it hosts further exhibitions by invited artists throughout the year. The gallery occupies the ground and first floor, and the cellar has been transformed into a cosy coffee house serving lavish cream cakes.
- Opening Times: Open Mon–Tue and Fri–Sat 10–5, Sun 12–4, and Bank Holidays 10–5
Also in the area
About the area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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