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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 a 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 in 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

So as I said, what’s not to love?!

Please note they are closed on Mondays. Being this good takes its 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 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)

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Happy Dogs hang out at Woodfarm

Happy Dogs hang out at Woodfarm

Happy dogs is what we like. That’s why we try to ensure they have the best holidays, as well as the humans they drag along with them.

We’re not rocket scientists; we just know that if we have happy dogs, we have happy owners. And as they (you) are the ones who pay to stay, then we have a win/win! Dogs love dog friendly holidays!

So how do we ensure we have lots of happy dogs? Well…

Happy Dogs safe in our fully enclosed gardens

Fully-enclosed gardens

All of our Barns and the Woodfarm House have their own fully-enclosed, secure gardens. You can rest assured that your pooches are safe and can nip out for a wee. They can enjoy our own little slice of the Suffolk countryside whilst you put your feet up and chill out.

Dog Treats

The first thing we do is leave doggy treats in all the barns and barges. We have a great selection box from Bob & Lush that we leave for our canine guests. We are also fortunate to have Doodledales just around the corner from Woodfarm Barns so we usually have some of their mixed ‘pick n mix’ treats too!

Happy Dogs love our secure meadowGuaranteed Happy Dogs in Woof-farm Meadow

We have a fully secure, 2 acre doggy fun meadow across the lane from our Barns. It’s just for your dogs to run around, smell all the amazing smells of rabbits, pheasants & muntjacs. There’s a couple of places for you to sit and let them run wild with other four-legged friends that they meet.

Our meadow really is the the place that Woodfarm Dogs go to socialise.

Dog Walks on your doorstep (and gangplank)

Whether you’re in a Barn or a Barge, you have fabulous dog walks right from your front door, ensuring happy dogs every day!

If you’re at Woodfarm Barns, then you step out onto our lane and turn right down to the stunning Crowfield Church.

Happy Dogs on the River AldeIf you’re aboard one of our Dutch Barges, you have fabulous river walks directly from the gangplank. Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge offers walks in either direction along the River Deben, with some amazing sights and wildlife. At Onderneming at Snape Maltings you have the most stunning and tranquil walk, all the way to Aldeburgh if you wish.

If you walk from Snape you’ll come across this view at Iken, taken by our photographer friend Gill Moon.

Dog-Friendly Pubs

Ok, let’s be honest here, this is more for you lot than the dogs but it’s another win/win. Dog-friendly pubs in Suffolk usually means that dogs are spoilt. When dogs are spoilt, dogs are happy. When dogs are happy, humans are happy. It’s quite simple really.

Here’s a blog post I did yonks ago featuring a bunch of dog-friendly pubs across Suffolk.

Happy Dogs love our log firesRoaring log fires and Underfloor heating

All the Barns have underfloor heating and very cosy woodburning stoves. Woodfarm House has a fabulous open fire that the dogs love. And our cavernous Dutch Barge Onderneming has a woodburning stove too!

There’s no log fire aboard Twee Gebroeders but there is an amazing double range cooker that hounds love snuggling up in front of. Does make cooking difficult though!

Happy Dogs aboard our bargesDog Life Jackets aboard the Barges

For those who are worried that their dog may decide to pop over the side for a swim when you are up on deck, then we have doggy life jackets in all sizes.

You can relax knowing they’ll be safe.

Once inside, there’s no way the dogs can get out so you can breathe easily!

Dogs in the woods

We are blessed to have so many forests and woods all around us, whether you’re Barning or Barging. From the Barges you have Tunstall and Rendlesham Forests between Snape and Woodbridge, which are both wonderful, and your dogs will have a whale of a time!

From the Barns, we have Thornham Walks and Hoppit Wood just ten minutes away, again giving you space for the dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy themselves.

Happy Dogs on the beach at SouthwoldDog-Friendly Beaches

From Walberswick to Southwold Denes, from Thorpeness to Dunwich.

We are so lucky to have a choice of incredible beaches along the picturesque Heritage Coast of Suffolk.

There are many that you and your dogs can access all year round and there are some with seasonal restrictions.

Here’s a list for you.

Dogs at our TWO (!) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Yes we are greedy. We weren’t content with one Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we had to have two within easy reach of our Barns & Barges. And both feature some fabulous dog walks.

Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale are truly beautiful. Both barges are within the former and Dedham is well worth a visit. The walk from Dedham to Flatford is a real favourite of mine, as well as being one of my fave kayaking spots.

Dogs Welcome Award from Visit England

Ok, your dogs may not be too excited about this but this award does give you the comfort that we meet the exacting standards set out by Visit England.

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Dog Friendly Magazine and Woodfarm

Dog Friendly Magazine and Woodfarm

Dog Friendly Magazine is arguably one of the industry leaders, and a respected journal amongst dog lovers. So we were delighted to have such an amazing 6 page feature in June 2018!

Dog Friendly Magazine and WoodfarmWe met one of the writers for Dog Friendly Magazine in February 2018, Emma Bearman, and her partner James, along with well known Instagram dog Alfie Bear and his little African Pygmy Hedgehog ‘Snuffles the explorer’.

They came to stay in one of our Barns at Woodfarm Central and then aboard our huge Dutch Barge ‘Onderneming’. And they loved them both!

Alfie Bear has a huge following on Instagram and his little prickly mate is building quite an audience too. So it was great that they both came to stay.

As you can see, they sampled (well Emma and James sampled) our breakfast basket, as well as enjoying the surroundings, not only of the Barn, but Alfie got to run around in our 2 acre fully enclosed meadow across the lane.

They managed to get time to relax in their own private hot tub. Again, that was Emma and James, not the dog and the hog!

Dog Friendly Magazine and Woodfarm BargesAfter a couple of days enjoying the Barns, we took them down to our enormous Dutch Barge ‘Onderneming’ to sample life aboard a 100 year old converted cargo vessel. Onderneming featured in The Times list of 50 “Best Unusual Holiday Houses in the UK” in the same month that they came to stay!

It’s such an accolade for us to feature in Dog Friendly Magazine. It’s all very well us saying how great we are but we could be making it all up! The fact that we have hundreds of Five Star reviews on Tripadvisor, Facebook and Google, as well as Quality in Tourism Gold Awards for each cottage and Barge, kind of backs up what we are about. But beyond that, it’s great feature in places such as the Times and a prestigious publication like Dog Friendly Magazine. We were overjoyed that our other Barge ‘Twee Gebroeders’ also featured in The Times in 2018 too, in their article on “Love Nests: Great places for two”

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Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses ‘Milking’ Technology

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses producing amazing milk

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses are based just around the corner from Woodfarm Central and our guests  have been enjoying their wares since we opened. But now it’s even more exciting!

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses gang

Jason and Katharine Salisbury are based at Whitegate Farm, Creeting St Mary, IP6 8PG. There is a white gate at the entrance and not only that, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses also do exactly what they say on the tin! They have a herd of over 50 cows helping them produce the renowned Suffolk Gold & Suffolk Blue, made using traditional methods by Katharine. Jason just talks to the cows all day long and plays with his amazing robotic milking system. 🙂

You can buy the products directly from Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and you’ll also see them in a number of local Delis (Earsham Street Deli and The Deli at the Chilli Farm both stock it) as well as farmer’s markets, farm shops and restaurants.

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses Suffolk Gold

Suffolk Gold is a creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese, with a rich golden colour. Perfect with oatcakes or an apple (I concur).

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses Suffolk Blue

Suffolk Blue is a creamy lightly blue-veined cheese. Whilst the appearance of the blue veining changes with the seasons, the depth of flavour stays the same.

We used Suffolk Gold for the years that we held our Pop-Up Restaurant in Woodfarm House and it went down a storm with our diners enjoying the cheese course supplied by Earsham Street Deli.

One of the girls at Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses

The really exciting thing now though is that they have the most amazing robotic milking system, which enhances the welfare of the cows and makes life easier for a farmer! I was invited down to take a look and was genuinely wowed by the whole process. And the great thing is that they have a viewing bay for customers to simply walk in and see the milking in action during the day. It’s fascinating for kids of all ages (this kid was 53 at the time of viewing!).

Hopefully my little videos (below) will give you an insight into the process but do go down and see for yourself and pick up some milk and cheese whilst you are there.

The cows, (having initially been trained where to get food from) simply come in whenever they like as they get fed throughout the process. Each cow has been set up on the system so the ‘robot’ knows where their udders and teats are! A camera then locates the teats and washes them, before applying the milking device. Their yield is recorded electronically for each teat and it even shows you the expected yield beforehand! It then stops when they have given the milk they are going to give, the feeder stops giving them food and out they go, making way for the next cow. It really is fascinating to watch so please do pay them a visit whilst you are with us. It’s a bit further from the Barges but well worth it!

You can then buy seriously fresh milk from their amazing vending machine, and the taste is incredible! The shelf-life of the milk is one week from purchase. They are currently producing around a staggering 700 litres per day but most of this is used for cheesemaking. Only a small proportion is sold via the milk vending machine.

We are very grateful that Jason and Katharine have agreed for Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses to be one of our Preffered Partners too. See that blog for more info on all of the wonderful local businesses, including the two Delis mentioned, giving extra love to Woodfarm Guests.

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The Barn.co at Friday Street

The Barn.co at Friday Street

The-Barn.co at Friday Street is an amazing barn full of unique furniture, gifts and art, along the Suffolk Coast. And you can grab a 10% Discount as a Woodfarm Guest too!

Ironwork Pig at the Barn.co in Friday Street

Friday Street farm shop is well a visit if you are heading along the coast from our Barns or Barges, which is how I came across The Barn.co

There are so many shops that sell ‘upcycled’ goods as we all know but this is a really unique one with a fabulous range of the above, as well as lots of hand-crafted gifts, soft-furnishings and art. I absolutely loved this pig and wanted it for the Barns but I couldn’t justify buying it to myself as there are more guitars I need first but it is so striking!

Garden ornaments from The Barn.co Friday Street

They are based in Friday Street near Aldeburgh on the Friday Street Farm and are just tucked around the back. I discovered them whilst at the farm shop and noticed them as they had some amazing iron sculptures of animals outside.

Venturing inside was so exciting as they sell so many unique pieces, as opposed to the run of the mill items that one sees in so many shops nowadays.

I picked some sweet little garden ornaments for the grounds at Woodfarm Barns but they have all sorts of things for home, garden and the office.

Interiors at The Barn.co Friday StreetThey have some great lines of bespoke furniture, and will work to your specifications. I met Tony there who is responsible for some fabulous pieces.

So do make a point of visiting Friday Street Farm Shop when you’re having a day out and call in at The-Barn.co. And as one of our ‘Preferred Partners’ you can get a 10% Discount just for being a Woodfarm Barns or Barges Guest! Read more about this on our ‘Preferred Partners’ page.

The Barn.co are big on Instagram so do follow them here.

Do have a look at The Barn.co website (they are in the process of having a new one made) or call them on 01728 652159 or email tony@the-barn.co.

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Spotlight on The Fire Station Woodbridge

The Firestation Woodbridge are a fabulous Suffolk business, roasting coffee and providing visitors with a great coffee shop in which to try their wares. In our latest ‘interview’, General Manager Jacqui Grimsey gives us an insight into the wonderful world of coffee. Suffolk style.

Fire Station Woodbridge doing what they do best

We asked Jacqui a whole bunch of questions about what she does and why she does it, as well as what she loves about doing her thing in Suffolk at the Fire Station Woodbridge.

What’s your background?

I have always had a varied working life, ever since I was younger, but I have always been based in retail and customer facing. As I got older, I realised I had a real love for food and drink, and so ended up leaning towards roles in restaurants, delicatessens, even a local brewery and now a coffee roasters and cafe.

What made you decide to do this? 

I fell in love with the Fire Station Woodbridge through living here, and then when a good friend started working here, it became a regular haunt as it just has a completely different vibe to the rest of Woodbridge. It’s always been the slightly lefty, quirky place, that was accepting of everyone and had the added bonus of roasting their own coffee. I got to know the staff well and through one of those lovely life moments, I was invited to manage the place. I felt very humbled to be asked to run my favourite coffee house, as my dream was to always run my own food business. 

What would you say your role is?

The Fire Station Woodbridge Roastery and Cafe

My role at the Fire Station Woodbridge is technically General Manager and a large part of my role is looking after the wholesale side of the Roastery, but I am a complete martyr and I love to get stuck in and get my hands dirty. I get such a kick out of interacting with my staff and customers, and making sure everyone is having a good time. So when you pop in, you’ll probably see me making coffee, whizzing around, or sitting in the cafe answering emails and chatting to the locals. 

Is Suffolk a great place to work and if so, why?

You know, if you had asked me this pre-University, I would have given you a proper teenage grumble and told you I hate Suffolk and it’s all rubbish. I now think the complete opposite. University and a year travelling really opened my eyes to how beautiful Suffolk is. I feel very privileged to have grown up here, and to work in Woodbridge is very special. I think Suffolk, and especially Woodbridge, has a great community spirit and a big food and drink culture, and it’s very easy to meet like-minded people to share your passions. And if you need a break, the scenery is perfect to get lost in for a couple of hours. 

Fire Station Woodbridge Coffee Roasters

What do you think makes The Fire Station Woodbridge out from the crowd?

Well, we certainly don’t like convention at the Fire Station Woodbridge. We are very proud of being very inclusive of all ages, genders, races and backgrounds – I like to see the cafe as a big front room where we welcome our customers like old friends. I want everyone to feel like they can come in, relax and put their feet up, whilst enjoying really fresh coffee roasted just behind the cafe. We also like to be a bit different in the music we play, the art we display and the bar events we offer. Previously we have had themed vinyl nights, board game nights, themed quizzes and pop-up restaurants, and 2018’s calendar is gearing up to be even bigger and better! watch this space…

What does the future hold for you and the business?
We’re always looking ahead here at the Fire Station Woodbridge as we always have so many exciting things we want to do! But the short term sees the addition of a monthly quiz hosted by Desmond Sparkles (he may be familiar to some…), as well as (I’m VERY excited about this one) our new Monthly Sunday Boast slot. This is on the 1st Sunday of every month, and we will be hosting a Roast Dinner club! Big plates of wholesome food, beer and wine to boot, so come fill your boots. The future future holds an exciting new venture collaborating with the Artstation in Saxmundham, so keep an eye on our social media for more information…

Which products or service are your personal favourite and what are the most popular with your customers?

I guess it might be obvious, but just our love of coffee. Coffee is our most popular seller in our cafe, both hot offerings and beans. We are always happy to chat to customers a the Fire Station Woodbridge about what we’re roasting and using for espresso, and how they can tailor our coffee to their needs. I’m very adamant that pretentiousness and snobbery – which can often be associated with the speciality coffee world – is not welcome here and I encourage my staff and customers to share their experience and feel comfortable to ask questions, no matter how silly they might think they are. Trust me – no question is silly, we all have to learn somehow!

What’s been your most embarrassing or most humorous moment in the business?

Blimey, I mean I’m fantastic at always being an embarrassment. Luckily I can’t think of anything too major, but I’m very good at forgetting how small our cafe is and that everyone can see me, so I am always singing or doing some stupid dance in the kitchen and then realising that I am fully on show. I do worry that my singing is going to put customers off…

Well us about three other businesses or organisations in Suffolk that you admire and why? (You can leave Woodfarm out!)

Fire Station Woodbridge Coffee Roasters in Suffolk

Ooo that’s a good question… It might be cheating, but I really admire the Wright Family and everything they have done with the Cake Shop Bakery. They are the hardest working, most driven and determined people I have ever met, and I am proud to now be working with them. 

I would also say I really admire Applaud Coffee in Ipswich. I’ve known Hannah and Beth for some years since working at the Suffolk Food Hall together, and those 2 women have worked their socks off to make a success of their coffee shop. Their coffee is always spot on, and I love their cakes. They are always so smiley and happy when I go in too, and I wish them all the best with their new projects. 

And lastly, I would have to say Old Jet Arts Centre at Bentwaters Park. What Jesse has done with the buildings up their is hugely inspiring, and I always have huge admiration for anyone trying to boost locals artists and creatives in the area. The monthly film Club there is brilliant – where else can you see great independent films whilst eating a Twix on a chaise-lounge? If you don’t know about Old Jet, go and look now – their events calendar is really exciting.

Thank you so much to Jacqui for this insight and for the fab coffee on my recent visit! To find out more about what they’re all about, check out their website and do go in when you’re in Woodbridge, you won’t be disappointed.

I’m also delighted to say that as of 2018 The Fire Station will be supplying the coffee in all our cottages and barges so you’ll be able to try their amazing produce whilst you’re here!

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Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market is just around the corner, literally. Both in miles and also in time as I write!

Bury St Edmunds Christmas MarketThe Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market is a real barometer for me to tell me that Christmas is near. Once the adverts start appearing locally for it, I can almost smell the chestnuts roasting! There’s always a stall there that does amazing toasted almonds too!

The town has a great mix of old and new nowadays, with the Market based in the old part, just a stones throw from the new shops.

With the Abbey as a backdrop, the market takes on a great feel and is so popular with our Holiday Cottage guests. It’s only a 25 minute drive away and has an array of amazing stalls to get you into the festive mood.

With 300-plus stalls, the Market is a traditional street market, adding to Bury’s quaint cafés, traditional tearooms, cosy pubs and award winning restaurants. Oh, and shops galore! Check out the full programme of events on their website.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market in SuffolkIt runs from the 23rd to the 26th November 2017 with a firework display on the opening night and loads of free entertainment throughout. There’s a Christmas Magic show in the Abbey Gardens, Face Painting and Circus skills workshops. Santa’s Elves will be there, as well as Reindeer in the Abbey Gardens from 12 noon on Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. There are Ice Cookery Theatre demonstrations in the Cathedral and a Provisions Market, as well as Carol Services. There is so much to do at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market for kids of all ages.

The Angel Hill area of Bury St Edmunds, with its recently crowned cathedral, medieval Abbey Gate and links with Charles Dickens is the ideal setting for this traditional Christmas Fayre. The town’s cosmopolitan shopping centre has a great mix of famous name stores and independent shops plus cafés and restaurants galore. We have some festive availability at the time of writing so check out our calendar below.