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4 reasons why Suffolk is the perfect year-round holiday location

Beach huts Suffolk

Many holiday locations have their ‘ideal season’: Some say that it wouldn’t be summer without a trip to Cornwall or the Isle of Wight, while swathes of people head to The Cotswolds for vibrant autumn walks and cosy pubs. However, Suffolk is one of those very unique places that works its magic all year round.

At Woodfarm Barns, we think ourselves very lucky to experience all four glorious seasons in Suffolk – and we are delighted to say that our guests say the same! We are busy throughout the year, which is a testament not only to how popular Suffolk is as a holiday destination, but also to our beautiful Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages. These luxurious cottages provide a charming introduction to the county’s countryside, while our Historic Dutch Barges Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders (also dog-friendly!) offer a unique take on Suffolk coastal life.

We consider ourselves experts in our area, purely as we’ve been doing what we do well for so long, so we’ve put together a guide to Suffolk by season to help you plan your stay. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, we hope you consider staying with Woodfarm Barns and Barges!

1. Spring

Suffolk is rich in agriculture and literally comes alive in spring with hundreds of newborn animals! Easton Farm Park offers an interactive experience for families, where you can walk around the working farm and see adorable young animals, including lambs, chicks, and calfs, finding their feet. If you’re visiting the west of the county, Kentwell Hall is a unique experience not only for its live historical re-enactments, but also for its rare breeds farm where the spring lambing is a truly wonderful sight.

Come to Suffolk at the right time of year, and you’ll be able to witness forests carpeted in blue! Bluebells thrive in certain wooded areas in Suffolk, like Captain’s Wood in Woodbridge, where you can see the sight for yourself on a walk around the area’s three kilometre trail. Photographers and nature lovers alike will adore this sight, which only occurs once a year.

Southwold Pier and beach

2. Summer

Suffolk beaches are blissful in summer – and each one has its own set of unique characteristics that set it apart from the last. For example, Southwold is known for its historic pier, which stretches 623 feet from the shore. There you’ll find arcades, various eateries and the opportunity to go sea fishing.

Conversely, quieter beaches such as Covehithe will attract those looking for some real rest and relaxation. Its sandy surface is perfect for a peaceful, barefoot walk with nothing but the sound of the sea to fill your ears.

If you’re a festival-goer, Latitude is not one to miss. Getting bigger every year, the Henham Park-based festival has played host to some of the biggest acts in music, including Suffolk’s own Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, and The Killers. Latitude is known as a family friendly festival, and there are many activities available for children, including rides and play areas, workshops, discos and performances.

Deer rut in Suffolk

3. Autumn

Witness the falling foliage across Suffolk’s forests as the county transforms into a sea of reds, oranges and yellows. There are many walking trails which provide stunning views of the countryside; however, RSPB Minsmere is ideal for its diverse collection of plants and rare wildlife. Visit in October for the red deer rut – it’s the star attraction during the autumn months!

Suffolk is a foodie county, with an excellent selection of fish, meat, cheese, confectionary, condiments and drinks produced right here on our doorstep. You’ll find that most pubs, restaurants and cafes will utilise a wide selection of quality Suffolk food, so you won’t have to look hard to find a good, locally-sourced meal.

Beach huts in snow in Suffolk

4. Winter

Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! There is plenty to do in Suffolk in winter, especially in the run-up to Christmas when things can get really festive. Christmas fairs are aplenty here, with tourists and locals flocking to town centres to make the most of the festive season. Bury St Edmunds hosts a very popular market each year, with over 300 stalls, plus rides, workshops and fireworks. If you’re searching for unusual gifts, Woodbridge market is full to the brim with quirky creations made by local craftspeople. Foodies will adore the Christmas Fayre at Jimmy’s Farm, which offers tasty grub and food-related gifts from local producers in amongst the art, fashion, homeware and more.

However, if you’re not in the festive mood, nothing beats a trip to the pub – and Suffolk has many quality establishments. With excellent beer and cider from local breweries Adnams and Aspall, as well as all the fantastic food mentioned above, you’ll be well looked after. All you need is someone to enjoy it with – luckily, there are many dog-friendly pubs in Suffolk if you’re struggling to find a human companion!

We at Woodfarm Barns hope you have a relaxing holiday, wherever you decide to go. Hopefully our recommendations have inspired you to visit Suffolk, as there is much to see and do here, with new activities popping up all the time. 

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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 these woolly creatures taking their first steps. 

Where and what is Kentwell Hall?

Kentwell Hall is a Tudor mansion near Sudbury in west Suffolk, just over a 45-minute drive from our Luxury Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in Stonham Aspal. It’s a great day out at any time of year for all the family (especially when they’re holding a Tudor recreation event), but it’s particularly magical in the spring when the Hall’s flock of sheep suddenly start multiplying! 

Kentwell Hall
Kentwell Hall is a 500 year old private residence that’s full of history!

Head on over to the Hall to see newborn and young lambs at the lambing yard in the Tudor Stables, as well as older lambs out in the paddocks. You might even see a lamb being born! 

These adorable animals are right at home against the backdrop of snowdrops, aconites, primroses and violets, as well as the swathes of daffodils on the front lawns and the moat banks. It’s ‘spring’ here in every sense of the word! 

Once you’ve had a good gander at the lambs, it’s highly recommended that you have a look around the house. This 500 year old private residence opens up to the public on special event days, allowing us all to take in the secrets of its long history. Originally built by wealthy local wool merchants (Suffolk was a prominent wool county!), the house retains marks from the many families who have owned it, including decorative embellishments, paintings and furniture from various periods of time.

Where to find wildlife elsewhere in Suffolk

Suffolk is a wildlife haven! Not only do we have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Suffolk Coast and Heaths, and Dedham Vale) which are full of untouched flora and fauna, but we also have several nature reserves and countless sanctuaries where you can view animals in rehabilitation and help raise funds for conservation. We’ve actually written a blog post about the best places to see wildlife in Suffolk, which you can read here.

Where to stay if you’re visiting Kentwell Hall

As we mentioned earlier, Kentwell Hall is just over 45 minutes from our Luxury Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages. Our comfortable, self-contained cottages each sleep two people plus up to three dogs, and five of the cottages also feature luxurious hot tubs. We also have a stunning Thatched Farmhouse which sleeps up to seven guests and three dogs very comfortably. Alternatively, we also have two Historic Dutch Barges – one moored at Snape Maltings, and the other at Tidemill in Woodbridge. If you would like to find out more about these, visit woodfarmbarges.com.

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Days Out in Suffolk to put in the Diary for 2020

Abbey Gardens ruins

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:

Seckford Spa hot stone massage
Seckford Spa is renowned for its excellent facilities and treatments

1. A Sumptuous Spa Day

Why not spoil yourself with a spa day in Suffolk? You can relax and recharge your batteries whilst enjoying a steam, sauna, massage or treatment, then sit back and enjoy the breath-taking Suffolk countryside, have a swim and then enjoy a light and healthy meal or a classic afternoon tea.

A spa day gives you the chance to indulge whilst giving your well-being a lift so you can walk away refreshed and ready to face the days and weeks ahead.

Suffolk sunset
Ness Point is perfect for catching the sunrise

2. See the Sunrise

You can be the first person in the UK to see the sunrise from Britain’s most easterly point – Ness Point in Lowestoft. Unlike some of the country’s other extremes, Ness Point is quiet and understated, a little more remote and perfect to be able to sit peacefully and enjoy everything that mother nature can show you.

You are a short walk away from the town of Lowestoft and its beautiful beach with a little more activity – the ideal place to go and have a cup of tea or coffee and tuck into some breakfast.

Anglo Saxon mask
See the Anglo-Saxon relics at Sutton Hoo

3. A Visit to Sutton Hoo

The National Trust’s Sutton Hoo is an Anglo-Saxon royal burial ground on Suffolk’s east coast. There are two cemeteries from the 6th and 7th centuries, one of which contained a burial of a ship that was completely undisturbed. The site has been very important to historians as it comes from a period where myths and reality are confused.

Sutton Hoo has recently been undergoing a project worth millions of pounds to enhance the experience of their visitors, with additional features in the High Hall exhibition hall and Tranmer House.

Abbey Garden ruins
Stroll through Abbey Gardens to see these centuries-old ruins in the flesh

4. Amble in Abbey Gardens

Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens are another important historical location in Suffolk. They were the grounds of Bury St Edmunds’ abbey – a powerful monastery going back to the 13th century. The abbey now lies in ruins but the grounds feel wonderfully spacious, with delightfully attractive floral displays and the perfect place to have a wander. 

With over 50,000 plants planted each year, the Abbey Gardens are a sight to behold and a joy to experience.

Stonham Barns
There’s plenty to do for all the family at Stonham Barns

5. Fun at Stonham Barns

Nestled in Suffolk’s beautiful countryside, Stonham Barns describe themselves as being a “leisure and shopping village”. There are activities for all the family and a visit here is a great way to spend the day for everyone. Some of the activities which you can get up to here include:

  • Soft play (inside)
  • Adventure golf
  • An abundance of shops
  • Meerkat castle
  • Own sanctuary
  • Fishing lakes
  • Golf course

They also host events throughout the year, including classic car shows, dog shows, Christmas events, and fireworks.

Jimmy's Farm
For local food and family fun, visit Jimmy’s Farm, based just outside Ipswich

6. Enjoy Jimmy’s Farm

Jimmy’s Farm is a working farm and wildlife park located near to Ipswich, giving all the family the chance to see animals which are well looked after, get up close and personal with butterflies in the butterfly house, help to feed the animals, and learn about looking after them. There are also two crazy areas, a hobbit house, den building, a zip wire, and a lot of climbing!

There is a restaurant, tea-room, farm shop, and a whole host of other family-friendly fun to be had at Jimmy’s. They also host events throughout the year so it is recommended to have a look at their website to see what else is going on.

John Constable painting
Constable saw inspiration in this county for a reason!

7. The Land of Constable

For lovers of England’s traditional countryside and one of the UK’s favourite artists, a trip around the Suffolk and Essex border will show you some of the wonderful landscapes which inspired Constable in his paintings. You can visit the famous Flatford Mill and enjoy the Constable Country Walking Trail which leaves from East Bergholt.

Whether you are looking to enjoy a day out on your own or you have a longer family holiday to plan in 2020, there is plenty to do in Suffolk. In fact, the difficulty will be finding enough time to do everything that you want to.

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Our pick of the best farm shops in Suffolk

Hog & Hen Farm Shop

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 of farm shops, as well as pubs where local produce is also available (but somebody else does the washing up!). Stay in one of our seven luxury, dog-friendly cottages, or, if you fancy something a bit different, hop aboard one of our historic, static barges at Woodfarm Barges. The choice is yours!

Now, let’s take a look at these fantastic farm shops.

Hog & Hen Farm Shop
Just five minutes from Woodfarm Barns!

Hog & Hen Farm Shop

We’ve talked about the Hog & Hen Farm Shop on this blog before, and we still highly recommend their business to our guests! Located at Mill Green Farm, just a five minute drive from Woodfarm Barns, the farm shop is housed in an attractive wood-clad building, which is often surrounded by potted plants for customers to browse.

Inside, the shop is well-stocked with local produce, as well as some special food and drink options from further afield. You might also be able to spot some free range chickens milling about on the farm – you can’t get any more local than that!

Find out more about Hog & Hen Farm Shop here.

Alder Carr Farm
Famous for its ice cream – but there’s lots more to see here!

Alder Carr Farm

Not just a pitstop for foodies, Alder Carr Farm is a fun trip for all the family. It features a farm shop and deli, cafe, craft shops, plant centre, picnic play area and farm nature trail; there really is something for everyone here. 

Alder Carr Farm is famous for its ice cream, but you’ll also find a huge range of locally and ethically sourced produce in the shop. There’s also a plastic-free shopping section for those of you looking to reduce single-use plastic on your holiday.

Find out more about Alder Carr Farm here.

Grange Farm Shop
An eight-minute drive from our Twee Gebroeders barge

Grange Farm Shop

Based in Hasketon, just outside the market town of Woodbridge, Grange Farm Shop is an award-winning farm shop and cafe. It’s an eight-minute drive from our Twee Gebroeders barge, which is just a walk away from some top quality pubs, and a short drive from some excellent pubs, including the Turks Head.

A warm and welcoming shop, you’ll probably find yourself here for longer than you intended! There’s lots to browse, and even a selection of hampers for you to take home to friends and family – or just save for yourself!

Find out more about Grange Farm Shop here.

Jimmy's Farm
You may recognise this from the TV!

Jimmy’s Farm

Those of you who watched Jimmy’s Farm on the BBC back in 2004 will recognise this entry! Run by Jimmy and Michaela Doherty, this working farm, shops, wildlife park and cafe is a great destination for families.

Located just outside Ipswich, Jimmy’s Farm is home to delectable, high quality and high end food, some of which is produced at the farm – particularly the pork, which is even butchered onsite. We also recommend a bite to eat in The Restaurant, which takes full advantage of the local ingredients available.

Find out more about Jimmy’s Farm here.

Friday Street Farm
So much to browse here – including incredible meat from the butchery

Friday Street Farm

A thriving arable farm, Friday Street Farm is a stone’s throw away from the popular seaside towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold, as well as our Onderneming barge which is moored at Snape Maltings.

Here, you’ll find a large farm shop stocked with many home grown and locally produced foods, complemented by unusual artisan products from outside the county. The new butchery is an excellent addition to the premises, offering the finest meats available in Suffolk.

Find out more about Friday Street Farm here.

Try Suffolk’s farm shops for yourself

If you find yourself slightly salivating after reading this, and you can’t wait to tuck into a delicious basket of farm shop goodies, you’ll just have to book a trip to Suffolk! We would be delighted to welcome you at our luxurious, dog-friendly cottages or historic barges, where there’ll be even more recommendations waiting for you in your welcome pack.

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Antiques and homeware shops in Suffolk

House and Garden, Snape Maltings

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 of Suffolk. What we lack in Ikea stores, we make up for in independent antiques parlours and quirky homeware shops. You can find one in almost any town – especially near our barns and barges.

Here are just a few of our favourite antiques and homeware shops located nearby:

Clara Bowe, Ipswich
Clara Bowe is a family business, run by husband and wife team, Beverley and Patrick, and Beverley’s sister Gail

Clara Bowe, Henley

This adorable shop in Henley, just outside Ipswich, sells everything from fine china to vintage and nearly-new clothing. Their one-off furniture pieces span the 20th century, and some have even undergone restoration for a kitsch, upcycled look. The staff at Clara Bowe are highly meticulous when it comes to selecting their wares, making sure that customers are receiving items which are pre-loved, but never low quality.

Visit their Facebook page here.

Distance from Woodfarm Barns: 8.2 miles

Swan House and Garden, Debenham
Swan House and Garden is situated in the historic and idyllic village of Debenham

Swan House & Garden, Debenham

Visit this well-appointed Debenham-based shop for a highly curated selection of goods sourced from across the world. Here, you’re just as likely to stumble across a Persian rug (hopefully not literally) as you are a white leather sofa from the 1970s. Plus, for particularly discerning clientele, an interior design service is available.

Visit their website here.

Distance from Woodfarm Barns: 4.7 miles

House and Garden, Snape Maltings
This award-winning independent shop is the largest at Snape Maltings

House & Garden, Snape Maltings

You’re in for a treat if you’re staying on board our Onderneming barge, as it’s moored right next to Snape Maltings. Here, a plethora of stunning furniture and home decor options await you at House & Garden, which is housed inside a renovated maltings building. The capacious shop features British-made goods, from upholstery to lighting, as well as a large selection of plants.

Visit their website here.

Distance from Woodfarm Barns: 20.7 miles

BONUS distance from Onderneming: 0 miles

Yoxford Antiques, Yoxford
Over 70 dealers offer their wares at Yoxford Antiques

Yoxford Antiques Centre and Gardens, Yoxford

This is more than just an antiques shop. Yoxford Antiques stocks treasures from over 70 dealers! If you want to step back in time for a couple of hours, this is definitely the place to go. You’ll be astounded by the range of furniture and decor available – think fireplaces carefully removed from historic properties, and ornate silver dining sets in need of a second chance.

Visit their website here.

Distance from Woodfarm Barns: 18.2 miles

the-barn.co, Saxmundham
the-barn.co was established in 2015, and has since thrived from a cult upcycling following

the-barn.co, Saxmundham

the-barn.co takes upcycling to a new level! As soon as you walk through the doors of this Saxmundham barn, you’ll find treasures that look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. This shop is known for its eclectic finds, and it even produces upcycled items – one memorable sight was a completely one-off jerrycan dining chair set. Stop by for gifts for friends and family, or pieces for your own home. We guarantee you’ll find something you love.

Visit their website here.

Distance from Woodfarm Barns: 18.4 miles

 

We hope you visit one of these recommended stores when you’re next in Suffolk – and don’t forget to browse our luxury, dog-friendly barns and barges for a comfortable stay during your trip.

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Newbourne dog walk – Riverscapes and countryside vistas

The Fox Inn, Newbourne

If you’re an outsider, you might not have heard of the charming Suffolk village of Newbourne. But there are many reasons to visit, including a beautiful medium-length dog walking trail.

Just a half hour’s drive from Woodfarm Barns, 15 minutes from our Twee Gebroeders barge and 30 minutes from our Onderneming barge, Newbourne is an excellent choice for a day trip with your dog. A small rural community with a population of less than 350, the village ticks all the boxes of an idyllic ‘storybook’ location, with its peaceful atmosphere, attractive houses and well-kept gardens.

Children's play area at Newbourne Village Hall
The children’s play area at Newbourne Village Hall, where you start the dog walk

Here, you’ll find an easy, circular walk which takes around an hour and a half, if walking at a steady pace. Factor in a stop or two at the irresistible pubs along the way, as well as a couple of photo opportunities, and you’re probably looking at three hours. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, and your dog will love it!

A nest swing in Newbourne
You might be tempted to try this relaxing swing!

Newbourne Village Hall – begin your dog walk

Unless the village hall is in use, you can usually find a space to park your car and begin your walk. Otherwise, the nearest car park is at The Fox Inn (more on this fantastic pub later), which is just down the road.

At this point, your dog is probably raring to go – and you’re likely excited to work up an appetite for a delicious pub lunch, too! Pop a leash on your pup and make your way past the children’s play area (try not to give in to the oddly relaxing nest swing), and head into the forest onto the boardwalk.

A walking track next to a field in Hemley
Take in the beautiful views of the Suffolk countryside

You’ll come to an open, grassy area. Just follow the trail where the grass has been walked over. Pass through two gates and the trail will finally start to look like a proper track. This takes you through Hemley, where you’ll see the All Saints’ parish church, which dates back to the 14th century.

All Saints Church in Hemley on the Newbourne dog walking trail
The All Saints Church in Hemley

Turn left before the church and walk past the beautiful country houses and cottages which sparsely line the street. At the end of the street, you’ll find a metal gate. Walk around it and continue down the tree-lined track (avoiding horse poop as you go!) past Hemley Hall and to the end of the path where you’ll see a sign for a bridleway.

A farmer's field near Waldringfield
Stroll through rolling farmland on this trail

Take a right at this sign to walk down a pretty lane where you’ll come to White House. Turn left and walk through the fields, once again walking into a forested area where you’ll find a lake. If your dog is inclined to swim, this is a good spot. If not, continue on the forest path towards the river bank, turning left before the boats, and follow it to The Maybush pub. You can’t miss it – there are usually customers sitting outside on the spacious terrace, especially on a sunny day.

Enjoy a meal at The Maybush

A Deben Inns pub, The Maybush oozes charm, making it a popular hotspot for people of all ages, with or without dogs. Park up outside if it’s sunny and enjoy a pint of our local brew, Adnams, and a hearty pub meal. Head inside to see the specials on the chalkboard by the bar, or pick from the well-rounded menu.

The Maybush Inn, Waldringfield, Suffolk
We recommend taking a peek at the specials board at The Maybush

In summer, this venue in the divine riverside village of Waldringfield is bustling with locals and visitors. On the weekend, you’ll likely see families enjoying the narrow strip of sand below the pub, as well as those with boats heading out on the water for a leisurely sail. If your pup is eager to make friends, there are plenty of opportunities here, as it’s a favourite of dog owners!

Head back into the countryside

Once you’ve satisfied your stomach, walk across the terrace to the right side of the pub, and turn left. You should see a red phone box near the entrance to the car park. Follow this road for around 350 yards, admiring the surprising mix of architecture, until you reach a footpath sign on your left.

A field of dandelions
Your dog will relish the open spaces on this walk

Turn left here and follow the track to the gap in the hedge on the right, where you’ll see a large, open field. Walk across the field to another gap in a hedge and cross the road to continue to the next footpath.

Walk down the path and through the trees, into a field with an oak tree, and then a straight grass track. Take a right along the road to walk around 100 yards, then another right at the footpath sign. Cross the field, descend the stairs, then follow the road.

Indulge with some dessert at The Fox Inn

Along the road, you’ll find the attractive village pub, The Fox Inn, another arm of the local Deben Inns group. With a pink facade fringed with colourful blooms, The Fox could be one of the prettiest pubs in the region; however, it’s not just its appearance that attracts patrons.

The Fox Inn, Newbourne
Enjoy some dessert at this central village pub

This dog-friendly pub is known for its great service and excellent food. In fact, they recently bagged county winner in The National Pub & Bar Awards 2019 – so if that doesn’t convince you to stop for a second helping of yummy local grub, we don’t know what will!

Newbourne street signs
Newbourne is small, buts packs a punch in terms of charm!

Walk through Newbourne village

Enjoy a pleasant walk through this peaceful village and along the way stop to admire the stunning Newbourne Hall. This manor house features architecture from various eras, the earliest being 14th century and the latest additions made in 1870. Visitors are able to take a guided tour of the property for £10 with a prior written appointment.

You’ll also pass St Mary’s Church, a grade I listed building and functioning parish church for Newbourne. The church is medieval in origin, and in its graveyard lays the bodies of two brothers known as the Newbourne Giants. George and Meadows Page were 7’7” and 7’4” respectively, and became famous after joining a travelling circus. Their home, Giants House, remains on The Street in Newbourne and can also be spotted on this walk.

After you’re confident you’ve absorbed all that Newbourne can offer, finish your trip at the village hall and head back to Woodfarm Barns where your cosy, dog-friendly cottage is waiting for you, or Woodfarm Barges to your unique and historic barge. We look forward to seeing you!

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Sail a canoe in Suffolk during your Barns and Barges stay

Iken Cliff

Did you know that you can hire a canoe in Suffolk to explore the breathtaking River Alde? It’s a unique way to see Suffolk’s rural and riverside beauty – and you can access canoe hire near your Woodfarm Barges or Barns location!

Canoeing is great fun for all the family, a stress-reducing form of exercise and an opportunity to seek out photo-worthy views of the local landscapes.

As you’re canoeing in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you’ll all see many different types of wildlife that you may not see in other parts of the county, like seals and river dwelling birds. 

If this sounds like your idea of fun, just head to Iken Canoe, located at Iken Cliff, a stunning area along the River Alde which was once a busy trade route for corn exports. Here, you can hire canoes, kayaks or paddleboards starting from as little as £15 for an hour.

We’ve written a blog post telling you more about the joys of canoeing in Suffolk during your Woodfarm Barns or Barges holiday over on our Barges website. Click here to read it.

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The Grundisburgh Dog near Woodfarm Barges & Barns

Dog treats at The Grundisburgh Dog

The Grundisburgh Dog just happens to be an amazing, Dog-Friendly Pub & Restaurant, smack bang in the middle of the ‘Woodfarm Barge & Barn Triangle’. What’s not to love?

Yep, draw a line from Woodfarm Barns to ‘Twee Gebroeders’, our Barge in Woodbridge, then on to ‘Onderneming’, our Barge in Snape, and then back again. That’s the Woodfarm Triangle, and it just happens to have a fab, Award-Winning, Dog-Friendly pub in the middle. So whether you’re staying aboard a Barge or in a Barn, the Grundisburgh Dog has it covered.

The Grundisburgh Dog
The front garden of the Grundisburgh Dog

Eilir and Charles Rogers are the owners and they really focus on the quality of the food and drink, along with a passion for making their customers happy. As I write this in May 2019, they’ve just been awarded ‘Pub of the Year’ in the ‘Eat Suffolk, Food & Drinks Awards‘, and deservedly so! Not only that but they won a National Award in 2018, that of “Best Dog-Friendly Pub”!!

The Grundisburgh Dog
Winners of Pub of the Year, The Grundisburgh Dog

A large proportion of our guests, whether it’s Barges or Barns, are dog owners, so it’s great when we can recommend the very best that Suffolk has to offer our four-legged friends. And the aptly named Grundisburgh Dog really hits the spot! They have doggy treats and a doggy menu, to go along with their very inclusive approach to welcoming dogs.

The Grundisburgh Dog
Fish n Chips at The Grundisburgh Dog

And the food is fabulous too! There’s an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu as Eilir is a vegan. Though not strictly one myself, I follow a predominantly plant based diet and I can thoroughly recommend the vegan and veggie menu. The menu is very varied and they have a wonderful wood-fired pizza oven, as well as a very seasonal selection, with a real emphasis on local produce. They do great steaks (so I’m told), burgers, curries etc, as well as a number of fish dishes. They have a lunch and full restaurant menu, as well as light bites and bar snacks. And their puddings are really good, with some great vegan options too!

Great food at The Grundisburgh Dog
Great food at The Grundisburgh Dog

And for Woodfarm Guests…..
Just to show the love for Woodfarm guests, The Grundisburgh Dog are now part of our Preferred Partners programme, where some of our great local friends have special offers for Woodfarm guests. Just take your VIP Rewards Card in and you’ll get;

  • 10% Off your food bill
  • Doggy treats
  • A polaroid of your Dog on the Doggy Wall of Fame
  • And if you go on a Sunday, the dogs will get a FREE Sunday Roast!

So as I said, what’s not to love?!

Please note they are closed on Mondays. Being this good takes it’s toll and they need a rest! Please book ahead to avoid disappointment. They do lunch until 2pm Tue to Fri (2.30pm on Sat and then all day on a Sunday)

The Green
Grundisburgh
Suffolk
IP13 6TA

01473 735267

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Holiday Postcards from Suffolk – with stamps!

suffolk holiday postcards postbox

Holiday Postcards are part of our heritage. They are as quintessentially English as it gets. We’ve had them here for years for our guests to send. And now we’ve decided to go the extra mile and put stamps on for you!

Holiday Postcard Postbox

Yes of course we live in different times now. We all post our holiday pics on Facechat, Instabook, Snapper and what have you.

But how about grabbing a postcard or three and making someone smile when one lands on their doormat. We designed our own postcards years ago and our guests have been sending them to their friends and family since that time.

We’ve built our reputation on ‘the little things’, ‘the extra touches’, and ‘going the extra mile’. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference. So now we’ve decided to even give you a few with First Class stamps on!

And on top of this, at Woodfarm Barns we even have a postbox on the bike shed now, especially for your postcards!

CLICK HERE to read the full blog post on Woodfarm Barges

Wish you were here?

 

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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 SuffolkWhether 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 tubsAs 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)