Our Blog Posts

Here’s where we write about all sorts to do with spending time in Suffolk & Tuscany. There’s lots to scroll through, including where to eat & drink, what to do, places to walk & visit and things like that. There’s some daft stuff in there too. Hope you find something of interest to you.

Lambing weekends at Kentwell Hall

Spring is on the way! That means warmer weather (hopefully!), yummy seasonal food in the local pubs and restaurants and a sudden abundance of daffodils. For us, in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, it also means that we’ll see a big rise in wildlife, and our once lonely winter fields will be teeming with farmyard animals. March and April are the ideal months for spotting young and newborn lambs, in particular. However, if you don’t want to go on a wild sheep chase in the countryside, then a trip to Kentwell Hall will almost guarantee you a sight of…

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Why choose a Holiday in Suffolk at Woodfarm Barns or Barges?

Thank you for considering a Holiday in Suffolk with us… Thank you for taking the time to look at Woodfarm and considering us for your next Short Break or Holiday in Suffolk, it’s much appreciated. Please let me know if you have any queries by calling me directly on 01449 710032, or emailing carl@woodfarmbarns.com. You can even Whatsapp me by clicking below… This page gives you a little overview of what we’re about. We have lots of pages on our website, where we have carefully placed nice pictures etc but this is all just about info; reasons you might want…

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Easter Egg Hunt with our Barges & Barns

Our Easter Egg Hunt is on! And YOU could be our lucky WINNER! Up for grabs is a very posh, mouth-watering Chocolate selection from Earsham Street Deli, a tail-wagging range of Dog treats from Doodledales, and a whole bunch of Woodfarm branded merchandise. A prize worth well over a hundred quid! Ok folks, we posted this prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and as we are currently in ‘Lockdown’ as I write this, things have changed somewhat! This was to be an awesome competition where you win some great prizes. I would still love it if you want to join in…

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How to keep dogs safe in the car

There’s no questioning it – dogs are more than welcome at both our Luxury Cottages and unique, historical Dutch Barges! We provide all the comforts and conveniences that you need to keep your dog happy while staying with us. We think that a happy dog is equal to a safe dog, which is why we decided to put together a few handy tips on how to keep your dog(s) safe in the car when you’re (hopefully!) travelling down for a fabulous Suffolk holiday with us. 1. Give them a good walk before the journey If you don’t want your pup…

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What’s on in Suffolk in 2020?

What’s on in Suffolk during 2020? Funny you should ask. Here’s a whole bunch of things to get you excited this year…. There’s so much to do in Suffolk at any time, but here’s a guide for you of lots of events throughout the year. So have a little read, get your diaries out and start planning. Most of these events are Dog-Friendly but do double-check first. March 21st Flatford Ramble – Constable’s Footsteps April 4th Framlingham Country Show & Festival of Dogs 19th Suffolk Young Farmers Country Fair at Stonham Barns 25th April Flatford Ramble – Spring Bluebell Walk…

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Crash on Planet Trash

What is Crash on Planet Trash and what does it have to do with Holiday Cottages? Well, kind of nothing, except that it is an amazing Suffolk based educational project that my friend James is a key part of. So we are trying to help raise some funds. Pleeeeease read on…. Ok, the really quick answer is that a friend of mine is an amazing illustrator and he uses his iPad to draw. He has suffered from depression in the past and his drawings really helped him through some dark times. He’s used them to raise money for MIND, and…

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Days Out in Suffolk to put in the Diary for 2020

Whether you live in Suffolk and are looking for a special day out, or you’re planning a staycation in one of the UK’s most beautiful counties, there is plenty to do in Suffolk. Lying in the east of England, the historic county of Suffolk is bordered by Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and the North Sea to the east, and boasts glorious rolling hills in the west and the famous broads in the east. If you are looking for days out in Suffolk, there is an abundance of things to do, and here are some of the best: 1. A Sumptuous Spa…

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Holiday Cottage in Tuscany – update January 2020

I bring you this update from Bar San Michele in Lucca, as I visit ‘Trebbio’ towards the end of January 2020. There’s been lots going on at our Holiday Cottage in Tuscany. We have had all the floors taken up as they were very uneven and poorly done. We now have a wonderful new floor throughout the house. I’ve gone for a traditional Tuscan terracotta brick tile for the whole house except the bathroom, which is a lovely slate grey. I didn’t ever imagine that renovating a Holiday Cottage in Tuscany would cost quite so much! We have white tiles on…

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HS2 Suffolk style…

HS2 has hit more controversy as it now tops £106 BILLION at the time of writing. We do things a little differently in Suffolk, with far less embarrassing results… Whilst HS2 spirals out of control to make it ever so slightly faster to get from A to B, I bring you embarrassing news of some local controversy regarding our own version SHSS2; that’s ‘Slightly Higher Speed Suffolk 2’. That’s the new travel service making access to rural parts of our fair county more accessible, shaving up to 15 minutes of some journey times! For years we’ve been getting on just…

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Extraordinary Holiday Cottages in Suffolk (and Tuscany!)

Extraordinary Holiday Cottages. According to the old advert, The Halifax gave us extra. And that’s what we have always aimed for at Woodfarm. I do a lot of thinking whilst running this little business of mine. One of the things that I think about is why, over the decade since I started Woodfarm, it has exceeded all of my expectations. I think it’s all about providing extraordinary holiday cottages, as opposed to ordinary. This little paperweight on my desk was a present a number of years ago and it’s a constant reminder to me of how we go about doing…

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Our pick of the best farm shops in Suffolk

If you’re heading to Suffolk for a foodie holiday, we’ll let you in on a secret: we have some of the best farm shops around. Suffolk and the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex are home to excellent food and drink producers, including some nationally (and even internationally) known brands such as Adnams, Stokes and Dingley Dell Pork. Our farm shops reflect this completely, offering the most mouth-watering local produce that will make you want to come back again and again. Need a place to stay? Woodfarm Barns is ideally situated and within easy reach of a great selection…

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12 Days of Christmas: WIN a FREE BREAK!

Here’s the form to fill in for your chance to WIN the FREE BREAK, with a really tough question you must get right. And don’t forget you MUST Fill in the form, Share the competition post on your Facebook or Instagram pages, and ‘Like’ Woodfarm Barns and Barges on Facebook, or Bargesandbarns on Insta… Loading… OK, we know Christmas is over now but as we started it on Christmas Day 2019, that’s what it was all about. You can even recommend a friend to enter, for the chance to BOTH WIN! For the 12 Days of Christmas 2019, we thought…

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Re-cycle bikes and improve lives

Re-cycle (.org) are a Colchester based charity sending bikes to Africa to transform lives. And through a Suffolk-based friend involved with the charity, we buy our bikes, which in turn helps raise funds.  Re-cycle take unwanted bikes and ship them to partners in Africa who run bicycle projects, refurbishing, distributing and maintaining bikes, running bicycle maintenance workshops and teaching courses in safe riding.    In 2019 Re-cycle sent over 10,500 bicycles to Africa. Spadge Hopkins has been collecting and receiving bikes for Re-cycle since 2016. When he has a decent amount, another volunteer comes to collect the bikes in a…

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Shop Local and support your community

When you Shop Local, you’re not just ‘buying stuff’, you are investing in the area you live. We all know that shopping with the likes of Amazon and ASOS is convenient, but pleeeeease don’t forget those businesses that still provide quality, customer service and a smile. Shop Local and you get all that, as well as sustaining your local community, not to mention cutting down on air and road miles. Before I go any further, I don’t want you to think I’m on a planet-saving soap-box here, because I’m not. This is just about the week I’ve had, shopping with…

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Bug Hotel @ Woodfarm Barns

Providing a Bug Hotel is just is just one way we can help the conservation of this lovely planet of ours, so we decided to get to it! We are in the accommodation business, and we just happen to care about the planet we live on in, as well as the other beings on it. So we decided to have our very own Bug Hotel at Woodfarm Barns!  I’d seen these in various places, usually on woodland walks. But I was enjoying breakfast in the Summer, at one of my favourite places, Honey & Harvey and noticed one outside. Their…

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Trolley Coins from Woodfarm Barns & Barges

Trolley coins are the latest little giveaway when you stay with us, just to make your life a little more convenient and to remind you of your favourite place to stay! If you’re anything like me and have to scrabble around for £1 when you need a trolley, these little gems will come in handy! In our cashless society, I’ve often had to pop into a shop to get change just to shop there. With our new trolley coins I’ve now always got one with me, and every guest at Woodfarm Barns or Barges now has one too! If you…

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The Crowfield Rose

The Crowfield Rose is our nearest pub and is walkable from Woodfarm Barns. The week I started work on the renovations here in 2009, I went round for a lunchtime pint with my builder. We just happened to go in on the day they were closing! Doh! Well, after being closed for ten years, they are now back with a bang! Earlier in 2019 I’d heard it was re-opening, which was obviously great news as it is walkable from Woodfarm Barns. Once it had opened I popped in for a pint and met the landlord, Glen Hughes. Glen is a…

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Tuscan Holiday Cottage update – Nov 19

Our Tuscan Holiday Cottage is under way. It looks like a building site but then again, it is! Just thought I’d put an update together as I’m over for meetings and checking on progress. With a little bit of luck our Tuscan Holiday Cottage will be ready to open it’s doors to guests around Easter 2020. So far the builders have taken up crumbly concrete floors and re-laid nice and level, put all the ducting in for the electrician, plastered the kitchen and bathroom, and put RSJ’s in the cellars to hold the ceilings up, thus ensuring the whole lot…

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Suffolk Christmas Markets 2019

If you’re not in the festive spirit yet, a visit to a Suffolk Christmas market will get you in the mood! Suffolk is bustling with life at Christmastime, with fairs and markets taking place every weekend in the lead-up to the big day. There’s plenty to do if you visit one of our many festive markets, including slurping down some delicious hot mulled wine and mince pies, and ticking presents off your checklist (Santa who?). With a vast selection of producers and retailers from Suffolk and the surrounding areas present at most markets, this is also a great way to…

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Fully Enclosed Gardens for your Dogs

With Fully Enclosed Gardens at all our Barns, you can be sure your Dogs are happy and safe when you come to stay at Woodfarm Barns. “Do you have Fully Enclosed Gardens”? is one of our frequently asked questions. And the answer is… YES! Right from the start we made sure that our gardens were secure, so that our guests could relax, safe in the knowledge that their Dogs were happy pottering about outside. We’d had feedback when did our market testing, that one of the most common problems with Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages, was that people often found that there…

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Dog treats with your Woodfarm break

Dog treats is just part of what we do to make your Dogs feel welcome and happy with a stay in our Barns or barges We leave some scrummy (well the Dogs tell us they are!) Dog treats for all our four-legged friends when they come to stay. We work closely with Doodledales, our friends round the corner from Woodfarm Barns. They are our local, independent pet shop and provide us with raw Dog treats from their ‘pick n mix’ range, as well as our Dog Hampers and Dog Shampoo for our Mucky Pups Shower Stations.  As a non meat-eating…

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Visit England Gold Awards all round

Visit England are, as the name suggests, the authority on tourism standards in our fair country. And for the sixth year in a row they have awarded us their Gold Standard for all of our Barns and Barges! We are so pleased that the Visit England inspectors are continually impressed with what we do. Keeping on top of our maintenance and housekeeping regimes is paramount to us here at Woodfarm. It’s what keeps these guys happy, and more importantly, keeps our guests happy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “it ain’t rocket science”. All I have ever…

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Dog Passport – your dogs become OUR guests

With a Woodfarm Dog Passport when they stay, your Dog becomes our VIPooch. What on earth is a VIPooch I hear you ask? Well, we all know what a VIP is, and at Woodfarm we value our human guests and prospective guests. However, we like to go one step further for your furry family and let returning Dogs come and stay for FREE as ‘our guest’! Because they are VIPooches!… Dog Passport?!?! Or should we say ‘Pawsport’? (sorry, couldn’t resist!) You don’t have to have a Dog to come and stay at our Barns or Barges (though some people think…

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Dog Showers with all our holiday cottages!

Dog showers for Mucky Pups at all our cottages! With a hot and cold water supply outside every cottage, come rain or shine, we’ve got it covered for your furry family. Drizzly days with puddles & muddy fields? Not a problem. We laugh in the face of the British weather! Our Dog Showers are the perfect antidote for your filthy fur-babies. The big blue buckets with our Dog Showers double up as paddling pools to cool off in the Summer, as well as baths in the winter. Sorry if your dog doesn’t fit in it but with hot and cold…

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Tuscan Holiday Cottage update!

Our Tuscan Holiday Cottage renovation is now properly underway, and should be ready for you to stay in Spring 2020! Owning a Tuscan Holiday Cottage has been a dream of mine for many years, and finally I can see it happening! As you may know from our previous posts, we have a Tuscan Holiday Cottage that you will be able to enjoy from 2020. You can read all about it in my launch Blog Page Here. ‘Trebbio’ will sleep 2-4 and has breath-taking views across the Garfagnana, which is the upper valley of the river Serchio, just 20 minutes North-West…

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Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Breakfast Basket options

Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Breakfast Basket options were simply not on my radar when Woodfarm Barns was ‘born’ in 2009. Now they are! Ever since the start, we’ve provided a fabulous Suffolk Breakfast Basket with every break, and these have always gone down a storm! Our breaks are self-catering but we do like to make sure that your first morning with us gets off to a flying start with a delicious Suffolk Breakfast Basket. But with so many people (myself included) choosing alternatives, I decided it was high time we gave Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free choices too. Our…

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Antiques and homeware shops in Suffolk

There’s nothing like discovering a one-off piece of furniture or decorative piece for your home or garden! Luckily, there are plenty of Aladdin’s caves within easy reach of Woodfarm Barns and Barges. We like to be unique in everything that we do, from our unbeatable luxury dog-friendly holiday cottages with relaxing hot tubs, to our historic Dutch barges on the Suffolk riverways. We even love distinctive furniture and homeware – as you might have seen if you’ve ever stayed in Woodfarm House! If you have a similar taste for unique finds, you’ll be right at home in the beautiful county…

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