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Did Green Children Really Visit Suffolk?

We never shy away from the opportunity to talk about our green friends here at Woodfarm Barns and Barges. Indeed, as we’re only a short distance away from an alleged UFO hotspot in Rendlesham, it should come as no surprise that we like to talk up the martians whenever we get the opportunity.

Whilst the idea of aliens is broadly accepted across the globe – and perhaps the universe at large – the notion of green children may be a little confusing to anyone unfamiliar with Suffolk myths and legends.

Allow us to explain.

It is believed by many that at some point in the early 12th century, a group of villagers from Woolpit chanced upon two young children with green skin. According to reports from Ralph of Coggeshall, an English chronicler who presumably received the story secondhand, the children behaved nervously and spoke to one another in a language of their own. After being taken into the care of local squire Sir Richard de Calne, the children refused to eat until they stumbled across some green beans in the garden which they delightfully gobbled down straight from the ground.    

Keen to introduce the children to a more balanced diet and to understand more of their history, Sir Richard spent the next few years raising the children as though they were his own. Over the course of these years, the children gradually lost their green complexion and were able to answer questions that the villagers put to them.  

Obviously, one of the more popular questions was “where did you come from, and why was your skin green?”.

To this they replied:

“We are inhabitants of the land of St. Martin, who is regarded with peculiar veneration in the country which gave us birth.”

“We are ignorant of how we arrived here; we only remember this, that on a certain day, when we were feeding our father’s flocks in the fields, we heard a great sound, such as we are now accustomed to hear at St. Edmund’s, when the bells are chiming; and whilst listening to the sound in admiration, we became on a sudden, as it were, entranced, and found ourselves among you in the fields where you were reaping.”

“The sun does not rise upon our countrymen; our land is little cheered by its beams; we are content with that twilight, which, among you, precedes the sun-rise, or follows the sunset. Moreover, a certain luminous country is seen, not far distant from ours, and divided from it by a very considerable river.”

Eerie stuff indeed!

Convinced that the children were speaking about some otherworldly realm, rather than a less pleasant village than the ones we have here in Suffolk, Sir Richard took the children to the local church to have them baptised.

Sadly, the young boy passed away not long after disclosing the mystery of his origin, whilst his sister went on to marry the archdeacon of Ely, Richard Barre. Though records were kept with far less vigilance in the 12th century, it is believed that the couple went on to have at least one child together.

In the intervening years, there have been numerous attempts, both scientific and paranormal, to ascertain the truth of this fantastic story.

The more generally accepted view amongst the scientific community is that they were the children of Flemmish immigrants whose parents had fled persecution from King Henry II. Totally confused, they took off and found themselves in Woolpit speaking a language that none of the locals could understand.

The consequence of malnutrition, the scientifically-minded suggest that the green skin is a result of the childrens’ poor diet. This argument is largely supported by the way their skin returned to a normal pallor once they began eating properly.The more romantically-inclined like to believe that the children were delivered from another world, either from elsewhere in our solar system or from some subterranean labyrinth beneath our feet.

And then there are those who think the whole thing is simply a folk tale that has gotten wildly out of hand.

Whether you choose to visit Woolpit – a village that is crowned by a sign bearing a reference to the green children – during your stay in Suffolk, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy it all the more for returning to one of our Barns or Barges for rent.

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Where to get the best Sunday roast in Suffolk

Besides moaning about the weather and respecting the legitimacy of queues, the traditional Sunday roast is perhaps the most English thing next to the Queen. Whether it be beef, chicken, or a vegetarian or vegan option, we’re rather spoiled in Suffolk when it comes to dining out somewhere special for a Sunday roast. When staying at one of our Barns and Barges, our guests have a tremendous number of options to choose between, which is why we’ve taken the time to whittle the list down to five of our favourites.

  1. The Plough & Sail, Snape

No distance at all from our Barges, the Plough & Sail in Snape has earned a commanding reputation when it comes to places to tuck into a Sunday roast in Suffolk. Perfect for those Sundays when you’re looking for something to fill you up after an afternoon out on the water, this establishment is also dog-friendly, making it a particularly good fit for those staying with us.

  1. The Henry Swan, Sudbury

Staying with our water theme, the Henry Swan in Sudbury can be accessed directly from the banks after renting a canoe in Sudbury. After docking up, guests are able to easily get inside to enjoy a range of contemporary pub favourites alongside a traditional Sunday roast. With outdoor seating available from April through to September, anyone taking the two-mile journey across the water to reach the Henry Swan will have no difficulty in parching in their thirst with the large selection of draft beers available on tap. In short, when it comes to eating and drinking in the Suffolk countryside, it doesn’t get much better than this.

  1. The Manger and Stables, Bury St Edmunds

When it comes to choosing somewhere to grab a Sunday roast, it’s important to find somewhere that has ample experience in serving up such an important meal. Having been around since the 15th century, it’s fair to assume that the Manger and Stables in Bury St Edmunds passes such a test. Another dog-friendly pub in Suffolk, this is a great spot for refreshments after enjoying everything that the town has to offer. 

  1. The Anchor, Woodbridge

As proud Woodbridgians, it would be remiss of us not to feature our local. Located in the heart of the town, the Anchor is a beautiful 18th century quayside pub that can be relied on by any of our guests who fancy going out for a bite that doesn’t require them to travel too far from their Cottage with a hot tub.

  1. The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge

Another pub close to our Barns and hearts, the Unruly Pig in Woodbridge provides a wide range of Sunday roast options, from guinea fowl to beef, as well as vegetarian and vegan alternatives. We’re also very partial to their impressive selection of desserts…

To enjoy these restaurants, as well as everything else that Suffolk has to offer, why not book one of our Barns or Barges for rent to truly do it in style? If your appetite is still not satisfactorily whetted, we’d also invite you to take a read of our guides on the best delicatessens, cafes, and veggie and vegan dining options in Suffolk.

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Where to go boating in Suffolk

At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, we’ll never pass up the opportunity to use the oft-repeated phrase that “there is nothing – absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”. Coined by Scottish writer and author of The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame, the quote perfectly captures the playful spirit that makes boating such an enjoyable pastime. 

Whilst our neighbours in Norfolk might have the Norfolk Broads, we have plenty of boating destinations to shout about in Suffolk, and plenty of places for our visitors to get out and experience for themselves when staying at one of our Barns or Barges for rent. 

Whether you prefer a boat tour or the chance to become the captain of your own vessel, the following locations and providers come highly recommended from our team.

  1. Waveney River Tours 

Taking sailors from Oulton Broad to Beccles, Waveney River Tours provides the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature. Indeed, when joining this team for a spot of afternoon sailing, it is not uncommon to pass by reed buntings, marsh harriers and warblers when taking in the coastline.  

  1. Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant 

Whilst there can be no doubt that there is nothing half so much worth doing as messing around in boats, it is equally true that enjoying a spot of lunch whilst doing so is just as much of a worthwhile pursuit. When boarding the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant at the Ipswich Haven Marina, sailors are treated to a delectable menu of meals to tuck into when enjoying some time on the water. With choices ranging from a 2-hour brunch to a supper cruise and candlelit dinner, there really is a cruise for everyone. 

  1. Iken Canoe

For those who prefer a far more hands-on approach to their boating, Iken Canoe provides the opportunity to sail down the Alde Estuary in a – you guessed it – canoe! Certainly the best way of getting about this fantastic stretch of water, canoeing down the Alde Estuary means navigating creeks and flood waters as well as gently gliding along low water sections. Often populated with basking seals, the waters in these parts have everything you could possibly want from an action-packed day out.

Whether you’re a keen sailor or prefer to enjoy the water with a spot of lunch, we’re confident that you’ll find everything that you’re looking for when enjoying a holiday in our Barns and Barges in Suffolk.

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Spotlight on: The Little Hall in Lavenham

Suffolk is, in many respects, a bit of a curiosity shop. Abounding with uniquely quirky things to see and do, it has a camel park, a living museum, and a UFO trail all inside of its 1,500 square miles. In addition to these unusual destinations is the Little Hall in Lavenham. No doubt better known as the setting for Godric’s Hollow in the Harry Potter franchise, Lavenham is a beautifully preserved village that proudly bears traces of its mediaeval past in the form of half-timbered wonky cottages and cobbled streets.

One of the standout attractions of the village is Little Hall. Built in the late 14th Century, the house belongs to the village’s main square and is very much a living document that tells the story of Lavenham over the centuries. First built as a family house and workplace for the Causton family of clothiers in the 1390s, Little Hall became the slightly less little hall when it was enlarged and modernised during the mid 1550s. Later on, it underwent an even more significant enlargement to make its original name entirely misleading. Indeed, to give some idea of how big Little Hall was in the 1700s, it helps to consider how it was home to six families. 

Lovingly restored in the 1920s and 1930s, Little Hall was later used as an outpost of Kingston College of Art in the 1960s and 1970s before it was entrusted to the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust in 1975. Wasting no time in opening it up to the public, the Preservation Trust opened the doors of Little Hall in  1978 to allow visitors to feast their eyes on a collection of art and artefacts lovingly curated by the Gayer-Anderson brothers.

Providing visitors with the rare opportunity to study the development of a Tudor house, Little Hall is a fantastic destination to visit in Suffolk, whether you’re a proud history buff or simply enjoy a quiet afternoon in a quintessential English village. With a walled garden to relax in, as well as plenty of knowledgeable guides on hand to tell you the tales of this magnificent building, we can’t really recommend this museum enough.

Easily accessible from our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk, why not team up a visit to Little Hall in Lavenham with a dog-friendly staycation?

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Suffolk Beaches Earn Distinguished ‘Blue Flag’ Award

At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, we’ve never been shy about our love for the beaches in Suffolk. Confident that they rival even the bluest of Caribbean beaches, we were naturally encouraged by the recent news that Felixstowe South and Pier and Southwold have been awarded Blue Flag status.

For those not in the know, the Blue Flag award was launched in 1987 as part of an initiative to improve the quality of England’s coastline, and is awarded to only the best maintained beaches which have a superior water quality. 

In addition to this criteria, it is necessary for beaches to have a clear emphasis on safety and services to earn the Blue Flag award. From first aid services to lifeguarding facilities, the panel of judges is incredibly rigorous when it comes to determining which beaches are officially considered to be amongst the very best in England. In many respects, the Blue Flag is like the royal seal of approval when it comes to the world of beaches.

Not the only two beaches in Suffolk to earn an award for themselves this year, both Lowestoft and Kessingland were made recipients of the Seaside Award. Much like the Blue Flag, the Seaside Award is issued to beaches which represent a superbly managed coast. 

Altogether, these awards reveal just how much work and investment has been put into making the beaches in Suffolk amongst the very best to visit. Fast becoming a coastline that glitters with gold as much as it does quality water, there is seemingly no better time to get out and enjoy the array of beaches in Suffolk. 

To experience the Blue Flag difference for yourself, why not book one of our Barns or Barges for rent in Suffolk? In close proximity to these two fantastic destinations, you’ll have no difficulty in accessing Felixstowe South and Pier as well as Southwold when enjoying a holiday with us.

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Tuscany update May 2022

Starting to think about Woodfarm Tuscany again. It’s been a strange two years. Not sure if it has for you, but I really think this whole pandemic thing has altered our lives a little.

Anyhoo, a few years ago I finally realised my dream of buying a home in Tuscany. I’m kinda fortunate that a) I could afford to, but I’ve worked for it so I don’t feel bad, and b) That I had a business with which to use as a vehicle to do it, and help pay for it. It’s actually over three years since I announced it to the world in February 2019.

It was an ‘interesting’ process dealing with the Italian system and people. They operate a little ‘differently’ to us. Actually most humans operate a little differently to me so I should have expected it. I’ve written fairly extensively about buying my little house on the hill, with the BIG views. You can read more if you’re so inclined, by going to the Woodfarm Barns website and scrolling to the bottom of the homepage. There’s a big banner directing you to the Tuscany section.

But along came COVID, and pressed the pause button on all our plans didn’t it?.

Work had begun in earnest, when suddenly it was stopped and all my Italian builders had to stay at home for a while. Once lockdown restrictions were lifted momentarily they carried on, but I can assure you that trying to deal with builders in another country is far more challenging when you can’t go over there, buy them biscuits, point at things, and explain in your best attempts at their first language when they don’t have a second one is tricky, to put it mildly.

I’d been over with my mate Steve in the summer of 2019 and spent a few days in the blistering Tuscan heat, smashing off wall and floor tiles for the builders to start from scratch, simply because they charge so much for everything. I figured I could do this as I have my ‘Smashing stuff up’ certificate, with distinction. We had fun though, got a lot done, and got to not see Sting live in concert within the medieval walls of Lucca. We could see the top of his head though from our Al Fresco dinner table, and sing along with all our new Italian friends that night. It was the best gig that Steve and I have never been to!

But once things could get going again, the builders finished the work, including my very ambitious, and expensive terrace. When I first saw the house, all I could envisage was a big terrace to replace the puny balcony, to enjoy morning coffee, afternoon sun, or a glass of something nice with some scrummy local food in the evening.

When COVID struck I went into meltdown for a few weeks thinking that I would lose everything I’d worked for over here in Suffolk, let alone Tuscany. But once I’d got my head straight on that, and realised I wasn’t going to lose Woodfarm, I focussed on getting through it, and coming out the other side. A lot poorer, but alive and just about kicking. I just put all my dreams of dinner on that terrace, wandering aimlessly around Lucca, and exploring the towns and villages that I love in the Garfagnana valley, enjoying the occasional glass of Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, my favourite local-ish tipple, on hold. For two years!

Prior all this COVID nonsense I’d rented a lock-up and was gradually filling it with an entire house-worth of furniture and stuff from here. I’ve been antique and interiors shopping over in Italy, and it’s mostly nasty. Apologies if I offend anyone, but in my opinion, to which I’m entitled, most of the things I’ve seen tend to be on the, how should I put it, gaudy and chintzy side. But that is just my opinion, and everything in life is subjective. What I really wanted to do was to bring together a collection of furnishings that felt kinda English and kinda Woodfarm, with touches of Tuscany and Italy. And I’m pretty confident I’ve done it. I can’t wait to share with you how it’s all looked in my head since day one.

The house isn’t quite finished as the kitchen is just a bare room still. The plan though was that I was driving all the stuff over in May 2020 to kit the house out, and then plan the kitchen with the builders. So roll on two years, and now I’m starting to think about Tuscany again. I’m in high level talks with a couple of mates about driving over with it all and having a laugh getting it to the house. Sorry, I mean planning a work event. I can categorically state for the record that there will be no alcohol or pizza. And if there is, then we weren’t there. But if it later turns out that we were there, then we will not break any rules. And if we do, then Sue Gray will look into it before the police send us a questionnaire and it’ll all just fizzle away like the flat Prosecco that wasn’t there. Or was.

Once I’ve done that I’ll share photos and videos with you to whet your appetite.

I’m really hoping that we will have it all ready for you to go and stay by the summer of 2022, but then who knows? I’ve said that before! Rest assured we will get it ready for you as soon as is feasible.

If you want to be informed as to when we will be ready to take bookings, then head to that Tuscany tab and get yourself signed up to our ‘Tuscany VIP’ list. You will be the first to hear about a live calendar, and get yourselves over to find out what I’ve been banging on about for over three years now!

One thing we have done is teamed up with an airport parking specialist for you. More news to follow once we are properly up and running, but I’ve used Parking Compare a lot in the past. Great service and very competitive.

In the meantime, so that you know exactly where we are, please find attached a detailed map, highlighting our exact location. You can find it from there can’t you?

#tuscany #holidaycottagetuscany #tuscanholidaycottage #woodfarmtuscany #dogfriendly #holidaycottages #dogofinstagram #doggo #dogpassport #dogpassports

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Secret Suffolk – What’s the deal with Shingle Street?

Truth written on a typewriter

Now you may have never heard about Shingle Street, and you’re probably wondering what on earth it is. Well, you’ve come to the right spot if you want to know more about what it is and why it has a special place in Suffolk history.

Shingle Street is a coastal settlement in Suffolk about 8 miles north of Felixstowe, facing the North Sea. Today, there are about a dozen buildings in the settlement.

So, what is so important about some buildings lining a dead-end street on the North Sea coast?

It all started in World War II when multiple conspiracy theories arose about the place. These include conspiracies around a German landing on the village, the shoreline seeing burning bodies washed up, various chemical bombs testing, the North Sea being set ablaze,  German troops washing up on the beaches, and even a firefight with German soldiers who were part of an invasion attempt.

So, did any of this stuff actually happen?

Well, today, what we know is that there were four German airmen who washed up onto the beach, although different sources have stated that they were washed up elsewhere. We also do know that weapons testing led to the Lifeboat Inn being blown up. But why are there so many theories?

The village was evacuated around the middle of 1940 due to the anticipation that there would be a German invasion, and it was thought that the Germans were looking at Shingle Street for their spot to invade England, so there ended up being no real eyewitness accounts to go from.

The village remained uninhabitable until the late 1940s because three years after the evacuation, the town was used for munitions testing. After having to go back and clear the mines that were left on the beach, people started to slowly return to Shingle Street.

So what actually happened at Shingle Street during the years of the Second World War?

Well, it wasn’t found out until 1992, when a series of top secret documents managed to be declassified and the truth was found out about what actually happened. Although, originally, the expiry date for the documents was set for 2021. What else could have been circulated if they weren’t released in 1992?

These documents explain that more than 20 homes at Shingle Street were needed to be requisitioned by the military, that mines were going to be laid on the beach, and the area would be used for bombing test runs. But what wasn’t included in the documents was anything about a defeated Nazi invasion or soldiers appearing on the beach after the sea caught fire.

An historian named James Hayward concluded the above, and added further onto the idea. He stated that there is no evidence for a German landing attempt onto the beach. As well as that, he ventured further into the ‘setting fire to the sea business’. He detailed Britain’s initial military experiments around the ‘setting fire to the sea business’, but concluded it took place in Orford (which is about 6 miles up the coast) and in 1914 – during WW1 and a few weeks before Christmas.

Some sources, such as one of the more popularly held ones,  believe it to be a propaganda stunt – an idea manufactured by the head of propaganda for Britain. The BBC East Inside Out Team, who did research into the Shingle Street incident, suggested that a former Daily Express Journalist called Sefton Delmer organised Britain’s ‘black’ propaganda unit, might have spread rumours about the failed Nazi invasion to boost the morale of the British public during the indescribably hard times of World War 2.

So, what’s at Shingle Street today?

At Shingle Street today, you will find a Martello Tower, which are small defensive forts that were built to protect England from an invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, preserved WW2 pillbox defences, and a single row of cottages looking out over the North Sea. Oh, and the shingle break at Shingle Street.

Whilst this may not immediately have you thinking of renting a Barn or Barge in Suffolk, it remains a testament to the rich historic significance of our county. And this is just one of the many reasons we think it’s so deserving of a visit.

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5 places to go golfing in Suffolk

A golfer taking a swing

Whilst it’s rare that we find reason to disagree with American literary greats, Mark Twain’s assessment that golf “ruins a perfectly good walk” is clearly up for debate. In our minds, golf “complements a perfectly good walk”. With this in mind, we’ve gathered together five of the best places to take your clubs out when renting one of our Barns or Barges in Suffolk.

  1. Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club

Kicking this list off to a great start is the Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. Surrounding players with some perfect peace and quiet, the course brings added picturesque views to the equation. Situated along the Suffolk coastline, players are also welcome to enjoy a spot of food in the clubhouse.  The golf club is open to visitors and as well as members, making it a fantastic choice for one time golfers as well as more seasoned enthusiasts. So why not enjoy the sunrise over the Suffolk coast while having a chilled day playing golf at the Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club?

  1. Halesworth Golf Club

Halesworth golf club is a great choice for golfers of all abilities, offering a simple nine hole for anyone who may be slightly newer to the sport as well as a 72 par course that presents an attractive challenge for the more serious players. Halesworth Golf Club also offers lessons for anyone starting out in the world of golf, so it’s truly a great introduction to the scenic game. 

A golf ball close to the hole
  1. Aldeburgh Golf Club

Aldeburgh has two amazing courses for visitors to our Barns and Barges to enjoy. From a 9 hole river course that overlooks the calming river, to a similarly scenic and more challenging course, Aldeburgh Golf Club boasts fast draining soils which makes the golf course ideal for playing during the winter months. During the winter months, there’s also the option of enjoying a hot meal in the clubhouse.

  1. Thorpeness Golf Course

Thorpeness offers a James Braid heathland layout, and is open to golfers all year round thanks to its hardy terrain. A mere fifteen minute drive from our Barges to rent in Suffolk, this one couldn’t be simpler to visit when staying with us.

  1. Woodbridge Golf Club

At Woodbridge golf club there’s a vast range of different courses and experiences for you to enjoy. From their 9 hole forest course to their heath course which boasts 18 and 9 hole options, the club is distinctly traditional and one that will appeal to golfers of all abilities.

Altogether, golfers are spoilt for choice when visiting Suffolk. No matter what time of the year you plan to stay with us, we’re sure that you won’t struggle to get out and enjoy a day of golf when renting our Barns and Barges in Suffolk.

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22 things to do in Suffolk in 2022

A 3D rendering of the number 2022

We’ve all been there; trying to plot and plan days out during the year, only to find that we’re struggling to find the best activity or new adventure to embark on. As keen problem solvers at Woodfarm Barns and Barges, we took it upon ourselves to solve this particular challenge by compiling a list of 22 fun and exciting things for you to do in Suffolk during 2022.

1.Go Ape, Thetford
A thrilling way to start off a Suffolk to-do list this year is to strap in and climb the treetops at Go Ape in Thetford Forest. However, should you be a little more of a land dweller, Thetford Forest also offers segways that provide a slightly calmer and more grounded way of experiencing this fantastic Suffolk treasure.

2.Pleasurewood Hills
Whether you fancy getting your adrenaline going, or simply fancy being a big kid for the day, the rides Pleasurewood Hills will take you up, down, and all around. 

3.Lowestoft South Beach
A slightly more relaxed activity than the previous two on this list, the South Beach at Lowestoft offers a dog-friendly environment from May through to September and has a short pier to walk along to soak up the ocean mist. 

4.Ipswich Transport Museum  
A museum boasting over 100 major forms of transport will transport you back to  how people once lived and got around. Complete with a tearoom, this destination is also a fantastic place to enjoy some light refreshments.

5.Regent Theatre
A stunning theatre that has a vast array of shows on throughout the whole year, the Regent Theatre in Ipswich is nearby our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk and is perfect for musical and comedy lovers alike.

An actor on a stage

6.Framlingham Castle  
Perhaps even more renowned for featuring in an Ed Sheeran song than its place in history, Framlingham Castle affords you the opportunity to walk along the same wall that would have been used by locals almost 900 years ago. With an excellent view of the picturesque grounds and views of Suffolk, you won’t get tired of the breathtaking views on offer from the castle.

7.Curve Motion
Not only does this roller-skating arena in Bury St Edmunds have a serious case of disco fever, it’s also not too far from the town centre, making it the perfect start to a day spent in one of Suffolk’s crowning towns.

8.Oasis Camel Centre
Yes, you read that correctly, there is indeed a camel centre in Suffolk. Making for a great day out, visitors are welcome to get up close to the camels, horses, and donkeys that call the Oasis Camel Centre in Halesworth home.

9.Suffolk Ski Centre
Learning how to do snow sports in England can often be a little tricky – whilst it’s often cold and wet, it’s never quite wet and cold enough for us to have naturally occurring ski slopes. Thankfully, the Suffolk Ski Centre has sorted this out by offering a wide range of snowsports for visitors to try out on their artificial slopes. Whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder, or both, there’s serious fun to be had here.

10.Congo Rapids Lost World Adventure Golf
With a fun and engaging course, Congo Rapids Lost World Adventure Golf offers a slightly easier day out than “proper golf courses”. Should you be more inclined to proper golf, however, we have assembled a guide to five of the best golf courses in Suffolk [link].

11.Anglia Indoor Karting
If you’re on the lookout for a few thrills, this karting experience is for you. With the high speed of the karts and the multi-level course, it’s hard not to have a fantastic day out here.

12.Christchurch Park
Offering a more relaxed pace than go karts and treetop adventures, Christchurch Park provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy calm surroundings crowned by a flowing river. The ideal spot for a summer’s picnic.

13.Africa Alive
Africa Alive provides an incredible experience for all animal lovers. Something of a Suffolk must-try, there’s over 100 acres to explore, all populated with a range of different animals, from lions to rhinos. Included in their centrepiece are five different species that all live together harmoniously – something of a Disney film come to life.

14.National Trust Ickworth
Take in the beautiful architecture of Ickworth House and explore the stunning gardens belonging to the estate. The paths around the house are great for a stroll as well as bike rides. On the west wing you’ll find a café should you feel at all peckish when exploring the grounds.

15.Dunwich Heath
Another calming experience, Dunwich Heath affords the chance for visitors to look at some old stone architecture and paths when walking along the beach. A great place for just being able to appreciate the landscape, this destination is a fantastic place to escape to in Suffolk.

16.Latitude Festival
Held each summer, Latitude Festival is arguably one of the best places to soak up a weekend jam packed full of music. From local to major acts, and from genres as far apart as dance and heavy metal, Latitude has earned a reputation for being one of the most enjoyable festivals going.

17.Kentwell Hall
An elegant manor house complete with a moat and sprawling lawns, Kentwell Hall is truly remarkable in its stature. The Tudor house has been lovingly preserved and has some features modified by the owners to make it truly unique.

18.Mid Suffolk Light Railway
This prized railway museum allows you to have the chance to experience a steam train ride in Suffolk. In addition to getting to enjoy a classic rural pursuit, visitors are also welcome to explore exhibits around the museum and sit in the ale bar or the tearoom during the day.

19.Tenpin Ipswich
Perfect for everyone, no matter how competitive or non-competitive they might be, Tenpin Ipswich offers the chance for visitors to enjoy one of the most classic pastimes.

20.Suffolk Escape Academy

Enjoy the themed escape rooms on offer at this up and coming venue. With unique clues and challenging puzzles, this is certainly a great place to give your brain a workout!

21.Glass and Craft
At Glass and Craft, visitors are able to unlock their creative side when enjoying a pottery, painting, or glass painting workshop. Situated next to a local craft store, this Ipswich gem makes for a perfect day out.22.Suffolk Owl Sanctuary
What kind of list of things to do in the country would be complete without an owl sanctuary recommendation? At Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, there are around 80 species of birds that have been rescued or adopted and the daily flying displays make for great entertainment.

With your inspiration nicely stoked, we hope you’re now more prepared than ever to come and visit us at our Barns and Barges for rent in Suffolk!

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A Guide to the Races in Suffolk

Horses racing

To look for availability of dates and bookings for Newmarket Racecourse events, follow this link here

When journeying in Suffolk as you enjoy one of our Barns or Barges for rent, should you find yourself entering an unassuming town in the west, you might notice the welcome sign telling you that you are now entering the ‘Historic Headquarters of Horseracing.’

Any guesses for where you might be? 


Newmarket is a market town located near the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire border, and is considered to be the headquarters of British flat racing. And for good reason. The history in this town of horseracing dates back to around the time of the Iron Age Iceni Tribe, where they very possibly enjoyed a spot of horseracing themselves. Indeed, the Romans recorded that the tribe sold and bred horses of their own.

Then, in the mid-17th century, the Newmarket Town Plate became the first horse racing event which had a proper set of rules to adhere by, which were instituted for the Newmarket Town Plate by King Charles II in 1665, instead of the ones which were previously made up by the locals. This has continued even to this day, and up until 1972, it was the only event which allowed female jockeys to participate.

Today, horseracing events run through the summer months, allowing visitors to enjoy the lovely summer weather whilst watching the horses race around the two courses that Newmarket Racecourse has to offer – the Rowley Mile and the July Course.

Throughout the summer, why not take a trip on a Saturday to Summer Saturdays at Newmarket Racecourse? Here you can enjoy the serenity of the July Course and experience outstanding horseracing events whilst enjoying the summer weather. With different “themes” for each race day, check out their website to see what is on offer!

As well as that, why not enjoy the Afternoon Racing, such as the ‘Cambridgeshire County Day’, taking place on the July Course on the 23rd June where you can enjoy the live racing action and Cambridgeshire’s showcase of different businesses, charities and more. Or, book for the 26th Augus,t where you can enjoy another highly anticipated day of horseracing.

Now, deciding what to wear to the races can present a challenge. Luckily, visitors of Newmarket Racecourse are advised on what will be best to wear. Click here to see what might be the best thing in your wardrobe to wear for the racing event.

Depending on where you are positioned in the course area, and where you have booked to be, there is a different range of different food and drinks that are on offer. If you want to know more about what will be on offer in your stand, click here. As well as that, throughout the Newmarket Racecourse complex, there is a different variety of bars and food outlets which host a wide variety of different food and beverages for everyone to enjoy, as well as different restaurants to find foods that may be a little more formal. To find out more about the different bars and food outlets, click here, and to find out more about the different restaurants available, click here.

Throughout the year, Newmarket Racecourse hosts a wide range of other events besides horseracing, such as music events, which are collectively known as Newmarket Nights, which run through the summer months. This year, Newmarket Racecourse has a lineup of: Paloma Faith, Rudimental, The Script, Queen Symphonic ,a concert celebrating the hits of Queen, Anne-Marie, The Wombats and Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics, where your favourite club-classic hits will be played throughout the July Course. Want a ticket for Newmarket Nights? Well, look no further, and click here so you can get your tickets now.

So, if you want to spend a day out in Suffolk when renting one of our Barns or Barges, why not head over to Newmarket and spend a day at the races?