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Dog Holidays, new ways to celebrate your four-legged doggy friends

dog holidays featured image

Is your dog getting restless at home because he knows there are plenty of fun things to do out there, but you just don’t have the time or energy to take him on big, extravagant dog holidays? Well, we’ve got some good news for you! 

There are now a number of dog holidays designed specifically for pet owners who want to make their furry friends happy. From cruises where dogs are welcome aboard to resorts that offer playtime and doggy daycare, your pooch will love you for taking him on one of these amazing getaways. So read on and start planning your pup’s next holiday today!

This article is about dog holidays, if you would like to take your dog on holiday, please have a look at our dog friendly cottages and barns

Dog holidays are a great way for dog owners to celebrate their pup and show them some extra love. There are many different dog holidays throughout the year, and each one provides a unique opportunity for dog owners to get involved. This article covers just a few dog holidays, why not create your own and start a new annual trend!

One of the most popular dog holidays is National Dog Day, which takes place on August 26th every year. This holiday was created to celebrate all breeds of dogs and to encourage dog adoption. 

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate National Dog Day with your pup, such as taking him for a hike in the park, going for a swim at the beach, or heading to a dog-friendly restaurant for a bite to eat. You could also visit a nearby shelter to adopt a dog in need, or simply show your dog some extra love and attention. No matter how you choose to celebrate, be sure to have plenty of treats and toys on hand to make your dog feel special.

National Dog Day is a holiday that celebrates dogs and dog owners alike. It was founded in 2004 as a way to promote dog adoptions, fundraising for dog shelters, and free vet checkups for pets. There are many ways that dog owners can celebrate National Dog Day, from taking their dog for a walk to participating in events like dog adoptions or fundraising walks.

5 fun ways to celebrate national dog day with your furry friend

  • Take your dog for a walk in the park.
  • Go for a swim at the beach.
  • Visit a dog-friendly restaurant.
  • Take your dog for a hike in the countryside.
  • Adopt a dog from a shelter.
dog holiday on a beach
We have some great dog-friendly beaches in Suffolk

Ways to show your dog some extra love on national dog day

Make your hound a special treat for dog holidays

Dogs love treats, that much isn’t news! We give every dog who stays with us here at Woodfarm a healthy treat when they arrive. But have you ever tried making your own dog treats? It’s easier than you might think!

When cooking a treat for your dog, it’s important to make sure that it is safe and healthy. Here are a few recipes that you can try:

Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats:
These treats are easy to make and dog-friendly. All you need is one banana, one cup of natural peanut butter, and one cup of wheat flour. Simply mash the banana and mix it with the peanut butter and flour until a dough forms. Then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Dog Treats:
These treats are perfect for fall, as they contain pumpkin puree. You’ll need one cup of whole wheat flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one and a half teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and one fourth cup of water. Simply mix the wet ingredients together and then mix in the dry ingredients. Roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Carrot Dog Treats: 
These treats are healthy and easy to make. You’ll need two cups of whole wheat flour, one cup of grated carrots, one teaspoon of baking powder, and one fourth cup of vegetable oil. Mix the wet ingredients together and then mix in the dry ingredients. Roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Give your dog a hug and a pat on the head every time you pass them

When you’re walking around the house and you see your dog, give them a hug and a pat on the head. This will make them feel loved and appreciated, which will help to reduce their anxiety and stress.

Dogs are commonly considered to be man’s best friend, and for good reason. They are loyal, loving, and always happy to see us. What’s more, dogs provide us with a sense of companionship that is unmatched by any other animal. So making an effort to pat your dog on the head more often can also help your own mental wellbeing.

Play with your dog in the park

One great way to celebrate dog holidays is to take your dog to the park and let them run around and play. This is a great way to get some exercise for both of you, and it’s always fun to see your dog have a good time. You can also plan special dog-themed activities for your holiday celebrations and meet fellow dog lovers in the park. For example, you could have a dog costume contest, or make dog-shaped cookies and treats. You could even take a trip to a dog park or petting zoo. Whatever you do, be sure to include your furry friend in the festivities!

One thing to keep in mind when planning park playdates on dog holidays is that not all dogs enjoy being around lots of people or other animals. If your dog is shy or scared, it might be best to stick to smaller gatherings or activities that are tailored specifically to them. That way, they’ll still feel like they’re part of the celebration without feeling overwhelmed. No matter what you do, just be sure to have fun and enjoy spending time with your dog on their special day.

dog in a park
All dogs love the park, take your dog for an extra walk on a dog holiday

Take your dog to work day

Not all employers will support this dog holiday, which is a shame, but if your boss is a dog lover this could be the best working day of the year! 

Finally, if you really want to spoil your dog on dog holidays, you may want to consider buying them a new toy or two. This can be a lot of fun for your dog, and it will also help keep them entertained. When you’re buying dog toys, it’s important to get something that will keep your dog entertained. Some good ideas include:

  • Dog toys that can be filled with treats or food. 
  • Toys that can be stuffed with dog hair or cotton to simulate a prey animal
  • Interactive toys that require your dog to manipulate them in order to get the treats out
  • Puzzle toys that require your dog to figure out how to get the treats out
  • Squeaky toys
  • Tug toys
  • Bouncy balls
  • Kongs (a rubber dog toy with a hole in the middle that can be filled with food)
dog with kong toy
Has your dog got a Kong?

Yappy Hour!

Yappy Hour is a dog-centric holiday that celebrates the human-canine bond. The holiday is often celebrated at bars and restaurants that allow dogs on their premises, and dog owners can enjoy socializing with other dog lovers while their furry friends play. Many dog-friendly establishments offer special Yappy Hour menus and deals on dog-related merchandise.

Yappy Hour is a great way to socialize your dog and meet other dog owners in your community. It’s also a fun way to support local businesses that are dog-friendly. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your dog, consider attending a Yappy Hour event!

One of our local dog friendly pubs, The Dog in Grundisburg was recently featured in a Yappy Hour article The Guardian!

How can dog owners ensure their pets enjoy dog holidays as well?

To ensure their pets enjoy dog holidays as well, dog owners should be sure to include their dog in the planning and preparations. This means picking out a fun costume or activity that both the dog and owner can enjoy. It’s also important to be aware of any dog-specific holiday hazards, such as fireworks or chocolate toxicity. 

Finally, dog owners should make sure to keep their dog safe and secure during all holiday festivities. If you are looking at holiday cottages make sure they have enclosed gardens.

Invent your own dog holiday!

If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate your dog, consider inventing your own dog holiday! There are many ways to create a new dog holiday. You could choose a special day of the year to celebrate your dog, or come up with a special theme for the day. Maybe you could create a “national dog day” and encourage dog owners all over the country to celebrate their dogs. Or, if you’re feeling particularly creative, you could come up with a whole new way to celebrate dogs!

Conclusion

Celebrating our dogs during special occasions is a fun and important way to show how much we love them! 

Whether you choose to dress up your pup in a special outfit, make them their own personalized treat or just spend some extra time playing fetch and giving them lots of love, celebrating your dog during holidays is a great way to show how much you appreciate all they do for you. 

Because we run a holiday business with dog friendly accommodation we also recommend you bring your four-legged friend for a dog friendly holiday here at Woodfarm Barns!

holiday cottages with hot tubs
One of our holiday cottages with hot tubs

If you book a break for you and your dog at Woodfarm you also get a luxury hot tub to chill out in!

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5 ways to make your dog walk even better

5 ways to make your dog walk special

Dog walks are automatically better when you stay at Woodfarm Barns – but here are five more tips to help you and your pup get the most out of your dog walks!

Take them somewhere new and exciting

As we said, dog walks are better when you stay at our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages at Woodfarm Barns! This is because your dog can be treated to a variety of different environments, from our fantastic Suffolk beaches to our tranquil countryside.

However, if you can’t make it over to our cosy cottages yet due to the fact that you’re self-isolating, you can still take your dog somewhere new that’s local to you! Turn a corner that you wouldn’t usually turn; head down a road that you’ve never walked before. You’ve probably got more options than you think!

Dog on a walk in Suffolk near Woodfarm Barns

Bring along a picnic for you and your pup

Picnics are great fun wherever you are! When you’re on your next dog walk, sling a lightweight picnic in a bag over your shoulder and enjoy some treats at your destination. A picnic is a great way to break up the walk and a good chance for you and your dog to get some rest.

You can even bring along some treats for your furry friend! Just make sure not to feed them too much if you’re planning to walk much further or engage in rigorous activity right after you’ve finished your picnic, as this puts your dog at risk of developing a distended stomach.

If you’re staying with us, there are plenty of local farm shops that offer delicious picnic foods. Take a look at our favourites here.

Exercise minds as well as bodies

Although we usually think of walks as exercising our dogs’ bodies, it’s also a great chance for them to exercise their minds! Walks present dogs with sights, scents and sounds that they may not have experienced before, and they love trying to figure out what they are!

If you usually take a familiar route and your dog has become used to it, you could always bring along a toy to keep their mind busy while they’re out. If you haven’t got a toy to bring with you, you could always try doing your regular walk backwards! This might be confusing for your dog at first, but you’ll soon see the excitement when they ‘rediscover’ their usual walk in a different way.

Dog playing with football near Woodfarm Barns, Suffolk

Practice agility

Almost anything can be used to practice agility with your dog, from tree stumps to low fences! If your dog already knows basic obedience, you should be able to work out how to train them to sit on top of or jump over objects. Bring treats to reward them when they get it right!

Bring your camera

We sometimes treat dog walks as a bit of a chore. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Treat your dog walk like a photo shoot so that you have physical memories to cherish. Keep your camera handy in case you spot a beautiful backdrop for your dog to post in front of!

Walkies at Woodfarm

Your dog will absolutely adore being on holiday at our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages! We don’t just tolerate dogs, we welcome them, which means that we have plenty of perks to help your dog feel at home.

There are many excellent dog walks right outside our front door, so we invite you to enjoy them while you join us for a stay! We also have two Historic Dutch Barges that are Dog-Friendly! 

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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 to be jumping around in the car and stressing out both you and themselves, then make sure to give them a good walk or play to get rid of all that excess energy. It’ll stop them from bouncing around on the back seats or jumping up at the windows and looking at passers by, reducing the chance of injury just in case you need to make a sharp stop.

Black and white dog in back of car

2. Buckle up

Just like you, dogs should be safe and secure in cars! There are many ways to secure your dog in the car. The most popular is a car harness which attaches to a buckle. In a similar way that a seatbelt protects humans, this device protects your dog in case of an accident or a sudden stop. 

A barrier is another safety option, and should be used in tandem with a car harness. It’s comprised of a sturdy sheet which creates a barrier between the back and front halves of the car. Some completely cover the back seats of the car, providing a cradle for your dog, while some are just flat sheets which act as a ‘wall’.

3. Stop for rests

If you’re going on a long drive, rests are essential. In the case of your dog, rest breaks allow them to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. 

If your dog is quick to get their energy back, stop at a service station and take them for a walk on a lead so that they can exercise safely before getting back into the car. It’s best not to stop by the side of the road or in a lay-by for a rest break, as fast passing cars create unsafe conditions.

Dog looking out of car window

4. Temperature control

To ensure that your dog doesn’t overheat or get too cold, change the temperature of your car to a comfortable setting using your fans or air conditioning. 

Because dogs are covered in fur, it’s easier for them to overheat. If your dog is too hot, they will start to pant. You should keep an eye out for this clear indicator and change the temperature of your car immediately, as a dog that is too hot can become dehydrated or get heat stroke. 

It’s unlikely that you’ll set your car to a temperature that is too cold for your dog, as you will probably become uncomfortable much before your dog does (thanks to their fur).

5. Manage anxiety

If your dog is not used to travelling in a car, or they find it particularly stressful, you may want to use some techniques to manage their anxiety. All dogs are different, and what works for some may not work for others, but some tips for managing travel anxiety include:

  • Slowly introduce your dog to your car with rewards, such as dog treats
  • Start off with a series of short journeys with your dog in the car before embarking on any long journeys
  • Provide your dog with something familiar during the car journey such as a blanket or cushion from your home
  • Keep them occupied with their favourite toy

We hope these tips help in keeping your dog safe and happy on your car journey – wherever you’re going! If you would like to visit the wonderful rural and coastal county of Suffolk on your next break, find out more about our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages here, and our Unique Dog-Friendly Dutch Barges here. Lastly, discover more about our dog-friendly ethos here.

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Crash on Planet Trash

Jason and James - 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 has now joined forces with Jason, the writer of a children’s book, who asked James to illustrate it. The goal is to get this book into schools across Suffolk, and beyond, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our planet. It’s a fun book, designed to inspire kids not to litter.

Photo of Jason & James - Crash on Planet Trash
Jason & James – Crash on Planet Trash

Crash On Planet Trash is a children’s book about a pair of lovable aliens called Blip and Boom, who head off on a space adventure but end up on a planet full of trash. The story plots their journey across the planet to try and escape. The book culminates with a section focussing on their top 10 tips on the things we can do to reduce the damage being done to our planet.

Jason is the founder of a small Suffolk based social enterprise called Rubbish Walks CIC. They work to raise awareness about the issues of single use plastics, litter and waste in general. One of the key ways they do this is by engaging with, educating and inspiring as many children as they can. 

The two have collaborated to bring the book to life via a Crowdfunding campaign to get Crash on Planet Trash going, and they have done amazingly well! They hit their original target and have stretched the campaign so that they can roll the book out further afield.

We’re doing our little bit to help but I asked James if he could put together a short video especially for ‘Woodfarmers’ to explain a little bit about his work and the project.

It would be amazing if anyone reading this felt compelled to go to their Crowdfunding page and just donate just a few pounds for this incredible project. I’m really confident that they will have a positive impact on the children reading the book. It’s so professionally done and carries such an important message.

Blip & Boom - Crash on Planet Trash
Blip & Boom – Crash on Planet Trash
CLICK THE PIC TO GO TO THE CROWDFUNDER PAGE

Thank you so much for reading and I do hope you can give a little to help this wonderful project reach a wider audience.

Click here to support ‘Crash on Planet Trash’…

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Visit England Gold Awards all round

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges

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 done since the beginning is offer Barns, and then Barges, that are presented and equipped how I would like them if I was a guest. And we seem to keep getting it right.

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges
Visit England Gold Awards for all seven of our Barns

As I write this on a cold and drizzly Friday in the middle of November 2019, 60% of our guests this weekend are returning customers. We are immensely proud of this as this means people come and stay, they love it, and they come back. Not only that, but they tell their friends about us too as we have guests every week that have been recommended. And the nice people at Visit England know this.

Visit England Gold Awards for Woodfarm Barns & Barges
Visit England Gold Awards for both of our Barges

Receiving the Gold Awards all round for the quality of our accommodation is great but they also mark us on our level of customer service. With hundreds of Five Star reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook and Google, we seem to be hitting the sweet spot there too. And again, Visit England are aware of this.

It is a real team effort at Woodfarm, both with our Barns and Barges, so it’s great that Visit England recognise the work we put in

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Dog Passport – your dogs become OUR guests

Dog Passport - VIPooch

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 you do!) but the majority of our guests are Dog owners. That’s where we’ve built our reputation. We understand that your Dog is your ‘VIPooch’ and we’re known for providing them with a warm welcome, as well as catering for their needs and ensuring that you can relax.

We have thousands of rave reviews from happy Dog owners and have featured in a number of Dog Magazines, The Times, and on the TV!

VIPooch - The Seal of Approval
VIPooch – The Seal of Approval – your Dogs are Royalty around here!

With fully-enclosed gardens at the Barns, and a fully-enclosed 2 acre Meadow for our canine guests to run around in and meet each other, your VIPooch will have a great time. They’ll get loads of exercise amongst the wild grasses, with the scent of rabbits, muntjac deer, pheasants and lots of other wildlife.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes have fun in our meadow
Dogs of all shapes and sizes have fun in our meadow

The Barges are a different proposition obviously as they don’t have gardens, but your Dogs will still receive their very own Dog Passport and return for free. You do have room for them to join you in the fresh air on deck, with breath-taking river views. Ok, they may not rave about the views as much as you, but they’ll love all the amazing smells and sounds! You do have incredible walks right from the gangplank of both Barges too, which they will love!

Happy Dogs aboard our barges
VIPooch – Dog-Friendly Woodfarm Barns & Barges

We welcome up to three Dogs in each Barn and Barge and they’ll each have their own Dog Passport, as well as doggy treats. We have a small charge of £15 per Dog, per stay, to cover the extra work required in our cleaning and maintenance regime, when Dogs have been to stay. We charge as we believe it is fairer on our guests without Dogs that way. However, when they come back, they will be our guest!

Once your Dogs have been stay with us, then they will stay for FREE as ‘our guest’, the next time you come!

Yes, that’s right. Once your Dog has been to stay at Woodfarm, they’ll return as a VIPooch, free of charge next time, as our guest.

They will get their very own ‘Principality of Woodfarm’ Dog Passport when they stay, with lots of valuable information inside, such as Dog-Friendly beaches, walks and vet info etc. It also has the codes to ensure they come back FREE!

Dog Passport - VIPooch
VIPooch Doggy Passport from the Principality of Woodfarm

After your stay, we’ll drop you a line to remind you, to make sure your Dog comes FREE of charge next time.

Would you like a Dog Passport ( or 2 or 3) in the post?

If you’ve stayed with us before and you’d like your dog to have their own Woodfarm Dog Passport, just drop us a line and we’ll pop one in the post for each dog.

We have so many Dog-Friendly Pubs & Restaurants that your Dogs will love to visit, they’ll be wanting you to re-book as soon as you leave! CLICK HERE to see a few of our faves nearby.


Please note:
This is a brand new incentive, with affect from October 2019 and under no circumstances can we apply it retrospectively to any existing repeat bookings. It’s a new thing. It’s a bit like popping into Debenhams and seeing the jumper you bought last week is now in the sale; you can’t ask for the difference.  Sorry, we just can’t do it.

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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.

Dog showers at Woodfarm Barns
Dog Showers are a must at certain times of the year for certain pooches!

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 mixer taps in all our cottages, they will still have a lovely shower, whatever the weather!

Dogs are such a big part of what makes Woodfarm what it has become. We spotted years ago that dog-owners, who are looking to holiday in the UK, do like to have somewhere nice to stay for them, as well as their dogs. It’s not rocket science.

With the emphasis on warm welcomes for pooches and people alike, we’ve worked hard for a decade now (2019) making sure our cottages, and latterly our Barges too, are as high quality as we can make them. Other than providing you with dog treats, towels, bowls etc, for your dogs, we also have fully enclosed gardens with each of our Barns, as well as our amazing doggy meadow too!

The dogs get to run around in 2 acres, mostly set to long wild grasses and wild flowers, with a path mown all around the perimeter. Have a look at our fab video here…

But all this outdoor fun comes at a price, which is usually muddy paw prints during the Autumn and Winter, because Woodfarm is for life, not just for the Summer! So how do we solve the muddy problem?

Dog Showers at the Mucky Pups Shower Station with every Barn and Woodfarm House

Dog Showers at Woodfarm Barns
Dog Showers with Hot & Cold taps at Woodfarm Barns

Each of our Barns, and Woodfarm House, comes with a Mucky Pups Shower Station, with hot and cold taps and a spray gun to ensure your mucky pups come back in with you all nice and clean. And the great bonus for them is the hot water tap to get the temperature just right in the colder weather!

Working with our friends at Doodledales

As if all that wasn’t enough, we also have dog shampoo supplied by our friends at Doodledales, just round the corner at Stonham Barns. They also supply the tasty, healthy dog treats we leave for your dogs too!

Please do visit them during your stay as they offer a FREE TREAT BAG with every purchase to our guests as part of our Preferred Partners scheme.

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Brambles Animal Sanctuary

Brambles Animal Sanctuary is a not for profit animal sanctuary in neighbouring Norfolk. And we’d never heard of them until yesterday. Here’s how….

Brambles Animal SanctuaryBrambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham Market, Norfolk was completely unknown to us until a twist of fate caused by the weather. Due to heavy snow this week in Buckinghamshire, some first time guests who were really looking forward to their stay, couldn’t make it out of there. All was well in Suffolk with a light dusting and clear roads.

Fortunately they had taken out ‘Booking Protect’, which is an insurance policy we offer when booking. This covers all sorts of things, including adverse weather conditions so the good news is they get their money back. As gutted as both they, and we, were, they will be re-booking soon with us.

This all happened on the Friday morning they were due to arrive. Although it was really last minute I decided to see if we could offer the weekend break at a knockdown price but give all the money to a charity. I quickly put together a newsletter to send out to what we call our ‘VIP Rewards Group’, explaining the situation. I really didn’t think we’d be able to get anyone as it was such last minute. Boy, was I wrong!

Brambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham MarketI like to think we’ve done our bit over the years for various charities, so decided to offer the incoming guests the opportunity to choose where the money went.

My phone didn’t stop ringing for hours and we had sold the break within ten minutes! Karen and Alan booked and headed down from Norfolk in the afternoon. I asked Karen where they would like the money to go and they said Brambles Animal Sanctuary in Downham Market, Norfolk. It’s a privately operated, not for profit, animal shelter near them and they have helped out in the past. I was really over the moon at this, as everything they do relies on donations and having dug a little deeper, it looks like they do amazing work! As you can see, they really do help all creatures, great and small.

I met Karen and Alan in the afternoon and they told me all about the great work that Sue does at Brambles, so they will be taking a cheque for £200 back to her when they leave.

Brambles Animal Sanctuary in NorfolkI’m really pleased that we could do this and make the most of a bad situation. Our original guests will be getting their money back from the insurance company, we had some new lovely guests who managed to get a bargain weekend, and most satisfying of all, a not for profit animal sanctuary will be get a little extra cash this weekend. All because it snowed.

So if you live in or near Norfolk and are able to help them in any way, please get in touch with them by visiting their Facebook Page.

I’m humbled by the sheer volume of email replies I got from people saying that they couldn’t come but that it was a nice gesture. Thank you to all of you who took the time and trouble to do so. I really appreciated that. I only did it because I could.

It’s nice to be able to do things like this from time to time, so please make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter if you don’t want to miss out in the future. We use this to drop you a line every couple of weeks with news about things to do in Suffolk, as well as cancellations and exclusive offers. We didn’t put this out on social media. It went to one of our VIPs. Don’t worry about the GDPR guff, we NEVER share your info and you will only EVER hear directly from me. I worked far too hard to build our database to do stupid things with it! You can unsubscribe any time you want to miss out on all this stuff.

If you’d like to subscribe to our newsletter and get £25 off your first stay, then click HERE.

Oh and the real spooky thing? Karen and Alan came to stay on the same weekend as their friends, also called Karen and Alan. It was a pure coincidence and they only found out following a random text to wish one of the Alans a happy birthday!

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Suffolk Holiday Cottage business with 600 Five Star Reviews!

Suffolk Holiday Cottage business with 600 Five Star ReviewsFree Break giveaway to show our thanks

Our Suffolk Holiday Cottage business now has 600 Five Star Reviews! I am so humbled to read every one of them as they come through. What it means to me is that our guests do our advertising for us, without us having to!

I hardly ever post on social media or write newsletters trying to ‘sell, sell, sell’. All we ever do is ‘set out or stall to tell prospective guests what we do. It’s almost ten years since I set up my Suffolk Holiday Cottage business. And over that time I consider myself very lucky to have had so many people not only recognise what we have set out to achieve, but also to acknowledge it by taking the time and trouble to tell the internet.
How many people have a business where their strongest, most powerful advertising is done by their customers? I have! Yes of course it strokes my ego, but I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to not have to launch into a massive sales pitch every time you do something. We just let our customers do it.
We have thousands of guest book reviews from our Barns and Barges now, but to hit 600 Five Star Reviews in the public domain is so mind-blowing!
 
When we started getting these I was amazed when we hit 100. I absolutely LOVE reading every single one of them. We now have 342 on Tripadvisor, 59 on Google, and 199 on Facebook.
 
Suffolk Holiday Cottage reviewsThis is a Google one from Lisa, one of regular guests. It’s a comprehensive one but if you want to know what we are all about, without us telling you, then read on. This pic is from Lisa too.
 

“A little piece of heaven!

We have stayed here several times since 2015 and every time we stay Carl is a fantastic host! Woodfarm Barns has just a handful of Barns for couples to stay with the added bonus of a hot tub as well.
Suffolk Holiday Cottage with a fully enclosed 2 acre meadowThere are not many places to stay which you can take your dog but Woodfarm Barns acknowledge that they are part of your family. With this in mind Carl has gone the extra mile, with spare towels provided, a dog bowl provided to have a drink in the garden, doggy treat on arrival and the best bit now there is Woodfarm Meadow. A large meadow opposite Woodfarm Barns for you to take your dog to run around!!! There is also a small section fenced off for those dogs who would like to have their own space. My dog just loves it so much he just lay’s down on his blanket and relaxes.
Carl provides a lot for a self catering accommodation. Firstly there is a welcome hamper full of fresh local produce so you can have a good breakfast but that’s not all. There is Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Cookies which is great after you arrive from your journey. Carl also provides some basics, salt n pepper, tin foil, washing up liquid, towels, dressing gown & slippers if you have a barn with a hot tub. Shower gel, shampoo, hairdryer the list is endless.
Suffolk Holiday Cottage with private hot tubThere is a BBQ in the garden which is fab, this means you can buy some local produce to cook weather permitting. However if you don’t want to cook there are lots & lots of places to go to which accept dogs. Woodfarm Barns provide a welcome folder with lots of places they recommend but also previous guests have a folder who can also recommend places for you to go with your dog.
If you are wanting a special touch for example your going stay for a Birthday, Anniversary or you want to pop’ The Question’ to your other half then Carl is your man!!!! Just give him a call and he can arrange a cake, balloons, a pamper session or even scatter rose petals & pop a bottle of champagne in the fridge.
Nothing is too much trouble for him and his team at Woodfarm Barns. Thank you Carl for being such a fabulous host, it is great to see you every time we stay and have a good catch up!! Look forward to seeing you again soon x”
So there you go! Huge thanks to Lisa and the other 599 guests who’ve taken the time and trouble to write us a Five Star Review. I’m very lucky to have all of these, as well as an amazing team to help me run my Suffolk Holiday Cottage business
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Dog-Friendly review from a unique perspective

Dog Friendly review

This Dog-Friendly review from a unique perspective took us by surprise when it came in the other day. We like to think that Woodfarm Barns & Barges are universally appealing, and it’s this reason that we get all types of guests staying here. Read on and you’ll see why we were taken aback with this review!

Dog-Friendly Cottages in Suffolk

Whether you’re a couple or a family, coming from near or far, searching for adventure or a peaceful break, our Suffolk-based luxury cottages are versatile enough to suit your idea of a holiday, whether you need dog-friendly or not.

Recently, we received a message from a guest who stayed at Woodfarm Barns with his family for a weekend exploring the Suffolk countryside. It wasn’t long after his short break that he got in touch to leave us a review, and as he gave such a unique perspective we thought it was only right to publish it (with his permission) on our blog. So, without further ado:

“I have never visited anywhere quite like Woodfarm Barns. My family and I live in London, and although we regularly head to the countryside for short breaks, we haven’t been spoiled with such tranquil surroundings, plush cottages and excellent amenities before. This was a real treat for us.

Dog-Friendly Cottages with a fully enclosed 2 acre meadow!

Arriving into Woodfarm by car, we were greeted by the owner, Carl, who helped us with our bags and showed us the amazing 2 acre, fully enclosed doggy meadow before showing us to our cottage. We stayed in Alde Barn – all of the barns in the meadow are named after local rivers (how quirky!) – which was a delight as soon as we walked in. The first thing I noticed was the excellent level of cleanliness; I’m very fastidious and have a sensitive nose, so I was worried I would see or smell remnants of previous canine and human occupants, but that wasn’t the case!

Dog-Friendly Cottages with private hot tubs

As we looked around the cottage we spotted a range cooker in the farmhouse-style kitchen (perfect for my mum’s delicious roast chicken) as well as plenty of workspace and a Nespresso machine – a nice touch even though I’m not a coffee drinker. A walk through to the living room revealed a comfy settee with a TV and a log burning fire (I fell asleep in front of this each evening, as it was just so cosy). Upstairs we spotted a mezzanine bedroom with an attractive sleigh bed, and outside we stopped to appreciate the huge hot tub, which my parents were very excited about.

For me, it was all about the spacious, private garden. Spending time outside is a must for me, being from a city apartment without even so much as a balcony, and this was perfect. I had my own privacy, and with Suffolk having such agreeable weather, we had no rain during our stay.

Being an adventure-loving family, we spent lots of time exploring the local area. From the dozens of nearby walking trails to the charming, clean beaches, there was plenty for us to see. We visited a couple of dog-friendly pubs along the way, where we indulged in some delicious local cuisine. I recommend Aldeburgh’s White Hart Inn and The Golden Key in Snape – I spent most of the time under the table, but from what I could tell, the atmosphere was lovely.

Dog-Friendly Cottages with a fab breakfast basket

After long days spent walking around, we were glad to come back to our homely cottage where we could put our feet up. Woodfarm provided us with a bountiful breakfast basket full of local goodies as a gift – and there was even a treat for me, too! How very thoughtful.

I would happily return to Woodfarm Barns in a heartbeat. I felt more welcome here than I could have wished for. The entire cottage was comfortable, clean and well looked after.

Nothing seemed to be too much to ask for the staff. All in all a real gem in the Suffolk countryside.”

Max, age 21 (3 in human years)

Thanks Max! You’re welcome back here any time 

(Pics 2 & 4 by Emma Bearman, with Alfie Bear)