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Laptops for children – can you help?

As I type this, we are a year into a global pandemic, meaning our schools are pretty much closed. I don’t want to make this all political, but we know there’s a big shortfall in the need for Laptops for children, so I decided to do something about it. I’m asking for your help too, so please give me a few minutes of your time and read on…

I can’t make much of a dent in the problem, but figured if I could buy just one laptop that could go directly to a child in need of one, then you know what, that would make a difference. So that’s what I did. And then I opened it up a bit to try and get some more.

Laptops for children to help with home schooling

One of my oldest friends is Justin Skinner, the owner of Orchard House Computers, another independently owned business in Suffolk. Justin started the business way before Woodfarm was even a twinkle in my eye. As the name of his business suggests, he’s a tech whizz, not to mention being a generous chap. I spoke to him about my idea of supplying some laptops for children, and he immediately said he’d help too.

I then spoke with another friend, Woodfarm regular guest Tracey Short, who happens to be Personal Development Lead and Head of Stem Faculty at Alde Valley Academy in Leiston. She told me that the school is in need of more Laptops in order to support our students during these difficult times.  Tracey said “The community has been great in giving us some already but we need more to help give all our students the best chance in life.  Alde Valley is a local school in Leiston with over 500 students from all walks of life.  Remote learning has been difficult for some families due to them not having access to a computer.  We have managed to ensure every family in our school is able to borrow a laptop from school, however sometimes there are  2 or 3 students (and a parent) using the one laptop. 

Whilst we hope schools will  go back in March, this might not be the case for all students.  The virus will be with us for a while yet, so these laptops will be used to ensure students who are isolating can access their classroom teaching in real time.  Having access to the right equipment to support their learning really does ensure that our students get the best of remote teaching and learning and helps to support them to progress and not fall behind their peers”

Laptops for children at the Alde Valley Academy

As well as not going down the political route in this post, I’m also not going to be drawn deeply into the education debate either. However, I look at things very simply, and if there are children without the fundamentals in place to be able to study, then I’d like to help if I can.

Laptops for children – this was the first one I bought, which is now on its way to an Alde Valley pupil.

I managed to buy a boxed and reconditioned ASUS laptop online myself, so that got the ball rolling. Ok, it’s not going to allow the recipient to access the latest in super-duper gaming, but that’s not the point. It’s all set up and ready, with a built-in webcam for Zoom lessons, and enough memory and capability to more than handle what they will need for school. Justin is the technical one not me, but when I sent him the spec he said was ideal for what we need.

To add to the ASUS, Justin found three used new laptops he had, and had them brought up to date to make them fit for purpose too. I did get his guys to look over an old one of mine, but that has been sent to laptop heaven!

Anyway, where do you come in? Well…. I decided to set up a Just Giving page to see if we could raise a bit more money to buy some more reconditioned laptops like the first one. So please, please, please, if you’d like to do a little bit to help then I’d be very grateful, and although I’m sure we’ll never know the children who are benefitting from this mini initiative, they’ll be really grateful too. Please CLICK HERE to go to the Just Giving page, even if you just give a few pounds. It’ll all add up. I don’t know how many laptops we will be able to buy, once we’ve raised what we can, Justin and I have said that we’ll add to any money left over to buy another one, to ensure that every penny goes towards supplying laptops.

As we are both based in Suffolk, we are going to make sure they go to children in the county, though we know there are children in need all over the country. We can’t do it all but ‘every little helps’.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go to our Just Giving page by clicking the photo below and donate a little if you can.

Laptops for children – PLEASE go to our Just Giving page

There is another way you can help…

If you have an old laptop that you no longer need, then Justin and his team can possibly bring it up to spec and recondition it. If any parts are needed, then we can potentially utilise some of the money raised to buy parts. All the labour will be done for nothing, on a voluntary basis by Justin or his team, and of course parts will be purchased at cost. If you are able to help in this way, please email me directly to let me know what you have. It’ll need to be a maximum of 5 or 6 years old. Email me at carl@woodfarmbarns.com

Anyway, that’s about it. Thank you very much for reading, and please, if you can donate even just a few pounds that would be awesome.

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5 Reasons Why You Have to Rent a Barge in Suffolk This Summer

Kenneth Grahame, celebrated author of The Wind in The Willows, once famously declared that “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats”. Whilst the Barges available to rent Woodfarm Barges are moored, we’re still confident that our guests are able to discover the truth of this wisdom when enjoying a holiday on board either Onderneming or Twee Gebroeders.  

Dating back to the 1800s, our converted Dutch Sailing Barges are comfortably furnished and equipped with everything guests would expect from modern holiday accommodation. From cozy cabins to comfortable saloons and all the necessary amenities, they are effectively floating cottages which can be used as the perfect base from which to enjoy everything that Suffolk has to offer. 

Each awarded with Quality in Tourism Gold awards, you don’t just have to take our word for them being an excellent choice for your next holiday. But to get down to brass tacks and explain things in a bit more detail, we’ve rounded up a list of the five reasons why you absolutely have to rent a barge in Suffolk this year: 

1. Our barges are dog-friendly

Allowing you to take your best friend away with you on your next holiday, our barges are dog-friendly and provide all of the comfort your pooch deserves. Part of a broader move to open up the county to canines, many of the pubs and walking trails nearby our barges have a “dogs welcome” policy that means you can take the whole family away with you when enjoying a holiday in Suffolk. If you’re at all concerned, then we have life jackets of all sizes aboard.

2. Our barges are moored in beautiful locations

Based in Woodbridge and Snape Maltings respectively, Twee Gebroeders and Onderneming are perfectly positioned for guests to enjoy the various charms of Suffolk. For those on board Twee Gebroeders, for instance, it’s easy to get out and sample the delights of the restaurants in Woodbridge, all within an easy walk. Similarly, for those staying on board Onderneming, getting out for a stroll on Aldeburgh beach only requires a short drive, and you have a fabulous choice of pubs within walking distance. Of course, all of the other fantastic things on offer around Suffolk are accessible no matter which barge guests choose to rent. Of course, the river views on offer from both of our barges make it very easy for those on board to unwind and relax against a picturesque backdrop.

3. Our barges are beautifully converted

Whilst they may have started their lives back in the 1800s, our barges have been painstakingly converted to ensure that they provide all the benefits that visitors have come to expect of modern holiday accommodation. Complete with comfortable dining and socialising areas, as well as proper toilets and inviting sleeping cabins, both Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders offer everything that you would expect to find in holiday accommodation based on land.

4. Our barges are full of cozy living areas

We’ve mentioned the cozy living areas you’ll find on board our barges a few times, but it certainly bears repeating that it’s easy to enjoy some quiet downtime whether you’re staying on Twee Gebroeders or Onderneming.

Traditionally styled and complete with all of the comforts you need to relax in style, the saloons have been specially designed to treat guests to an authentic experience of living life out on the water. From fresh breakfasts to long evenings spent gathered together for a game of cards or light entertainment, those on board will have no difficulty in making the most out of the available social spaces.

5. Our barges are perfect for families and couples

Highly flexible, our barges for rent in Suffolk have a cabin configuration that makes it easy for them to accommodate both families and couples. Onderneming, for example, has three double cabins which allows it to sleep up to six guests at any one time, plus a double sofa-bed in one saloon, and a single bunk in the kid’s den! Similarly, Twee Gebroeders features a double as well as a twin cabin (more suited to kids) to allow up to four guests at any one time. Altogether, this cabin formation makes it easy to enjoy both romantic and family holidays on the water. 

Set to step on board?

If this article has you inspired to experience a holiday on board one of our barges, get in touch with our team today to start planning a getaway on the water.

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5 Reasons Why You Have to Rent a Cottage or Barn in Suffolk This Summer

At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, it will come as no surprise to learn that we believe renting a Cottage or Barn for a holiday in Suffolk is the best thing you can do in summer. Providing you with everything you need to relax in comfort and style, our Cottages and Barns allow you to experience everything that our fantastic county has to offer from a comfortable and superbly equipped base.  

To put forward a case for why you absolutely have to rent a Cottage or Barn in Suffolk this summer, we’ve assembled a list of the top five reasons for why we think they have the edge over other kinds of accommodation. With the exception of barges, obviously. 

We could have easily extended this to be a list of a hundred or more reasons, but we’re aware that would mean writing a novel rather than a blog post.

Here, in no particular order, are our five reasons:

  1. 1. Our Cottages and Barns provide an authentic countryside experience:

When you’re taking a holiday out in the countryside, it really doesn’t get much better than doing it in an authentic style. With all of the high vaulted ceilings, beams and original fittings you could ask for in a traditionally styled Barn, we’re confident that we provide the ideal kind of accommodation for holidaymakers in Suffolk. 

We’ve not neglected the modern touches and flourishes either – alongside all of the styling you’d expect from a country Barn or Cottage, you’ll also find a host of modern furnishings and fixtures to ensure that you also enjoy all the benefits of the 21st century.

2. Our Cottages and Barns have hot tubs:

Well, all but one do! Such a luxurious addition to your holiday accommodation requires very little introduction or argument for why it’s brilliant, but the benefits cannot be overstated. Allowing you to enjoy a soothing soak after a day out exploring and enjoying everything that Suffolk has to offer, our modern tubs are well placed to create exactly the kind of ambience that such a soak deserves. In most of our Cottages and Barns you’ll find the hot tub beneath a covered garden room. For the stargazers out there, Deben Barn, is naturally the best bet as we’ve left this uncovered for you.

3. Our Cottages and Barns are in a beautiful part of the world:

Providing Barns, Barges and Cottages for rent in Suffolk, it will also come as no surprise that we’re big fans of the county we operate in. We’re such big fans, in fact, that we’ve dedicated time to writing about all of the exciting things you can do when you visit. From our list of “6 reasons to holiday in Suffolk” to an article all about its hidden gems, we’re confident that no matter how well travelled someone is, they’ll find something new and memorable in Suffolk. We’ve even helped our guests to prepare with our list of “9 must-have essentials for a Suffolk staycation”. 

The ideal base to return to and relax in whilst discovering Suffolk, our Cottages and Barns are within driving distance of many of the standout attractions. From the walking trails at Thetford Forest to the restaurants and cobbled streets of Bury St Edmunds, our visitors have no difficulty in enjoying the best of the best.

4. Our Cottages and Barns have enclosed gardens:

When you’re taking a summer holiday, you want to be outside. Preferably drinking something nice whilst you soak up the rays. It’s for this reason that we’ve attached enclosed gardens to all of our Cottages and Barns. Suitably decorated in a countryside style and equipped with outdoor furnishings, our guests are able to easily unwind in the sunshine after returning from a day out. Alternatively, our guests may well prefer to enjoy the entire day out in the garden before warming up at night with a nice glass of fizz and soak in the hot tub. We don’t make the rules, we just provide the accommodation.

5. Our Cottages and Barns are dog friendly

There’s nothing quite like going on holiday with your four-legged furry best friend. It’s for this reason that our Cottages and Barns are all dog friendly and promise to provide the same level of comfort to pooches as they do their owners. With so much for canines to enjoy in Suffolk (take a look at our list of “5 of the best dog walks in Suffolk” if you’d like more reasons), this feature of our Cottages and Barns is one that we’re particularly proud to shout about.

Suitably convinced?

If this article has got you excited about the idea of renting a Cottage or Barn in Suffolk for a holiday, be sure to get in touch with us today to start turning that idea into a solid plan.


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10 of the Best Places to Wine and Dine in Suffolk

At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, we’re committed to providing the best possible experience for couples looking to get away for a holiday in Suffolk. Situated amidst beautiful countryside surroundings and equipped with hot tubs and cosy bedrooms, we’re fairly sure that our accommodation has everything you could possibly require for a memorable romantic break.

We’re confident, too, that the location of our Cottages, Barns and Barges make it easy for guests to do all of the things they could possibly want to do when taking a break, whether they’re celebrating a special anniversary or simply enjoying a summer holiday.  

Recently, we provided readers of this blog with everything they need to plan the perfect romantic staycation in Suffolk. Demonstrating how it’s possible to enjoy everything from horseback riding to long walks along the beach all in the comfort of the county, we did a pretty good job of showing how well Suffolk stacks up against the more renowned romantic hotspots of the world.

In this blog, we suggested that Suffolk is a great place to wine and dine, and in an earlier blog, our list of 6 romantic restaurants in Suffolk, we touched on the wining side of the wine and dine equation a little bit.

Now we’re going into even more detail for you here, as we’ve gathered a list of our favourite places to wine and dine when taking a couples holiday in Suffolk.

1. The Highwayman:

A truly historic wine and dine spot in Suffolk, the Highwayman has been treating travelers to a warm welcome since the early 17th century. A beautifully maintained grade II listed building, this establishment is certainly the best in class when it comes to wining and dining in the form of home cooked food and real ales.

2. Maison Bleue:

We’ve recommended Maison Bleue in previous articles, but it certainly deserves a second, a third, and a fourth mention. Serving up a rich variety of French and modern dishes in the heart of Bury St Edmunds, this award-winning restaurant is absolutely one to check out when enjoying a holiday in Suffolk.  

3. Wyken Vineyard:

Another truly historic wine and dine spot, the Wyken Vineyard earned a mention in the Domesday Book and was previously occupied by the Romans. Stretching over 1200 acres, the estate that the vineyard is situated on captures all of Suffolk’s natural beauty. Naturally, their signature wines are served up with the dishes available at their restaurant and visitors can also purchase a few bottles to take home. Only a half hour drive from our Cottages and Barns to rent, Wyken Vineyard makes for a superb day and evening out.

4. Shawsgate Vineyard:

Producing a spectacular range of red, white, and rose wines, the Shawsgate Vineyard also hosts tours and tasting sessions. Providing visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at life at a Suffolk vineyard, a visit to Shawsgate is sure to please wine enthusiasts and foodies alike. 

5. Gifford Hall:

Another Suffolk vineyard offering tours and tasting sessions, Gifford Hall is a fantastic place for couples to pass a balmy summer afternoon. Located in the picturesque village of Hartest, and just over half an hour drive from our cottages, this vineyard offers informative and small group tours to demonstrate exactly how their fine wines are created. As a bit of a bonus, Gifford Hall is near to the Crown, a traditional pub serving traditional grub. When it comes to wining and dining, it doesn’t get much better than this.

6. Greene King:

Pumping out delicious ales for more than two hundred years, it would be no stretch to suggest that Greene King is one of the finest producers of beers in Britain. Whilst this article is all about wining and dining, we thought it would only be right to suggest a way of beering and dining, too. Here, couples are able to discover the historic brewery for themselves, with guided tours taking them through the process that crafts their signature drinks. Winding up in the beer cafe, a visit to this Bury St Edmunds brewery makes for a properly entertaining day out.

7. The Ramsholt Arms:

Providing riverside views and superb food, the Ramsholt Arms is a beautifully secluded pub a short distance from Woodbridge. Around 350 years old, this fine establishment serves us fresh food and is the only south facing pub along the River Debden. This means it’s the only place that couples can truly enjoy the sunset in this part of the world. It’s a great place for lunch after a morning looking around the Anglo-Saxon burial grounds down the road at Sutton Hoo, made even more famous by ‘The Dig’ on Netflix, starring Ralph Fiennes.

8. The Mariners:

Found aboard a one hundred year old Dutch boat docked in the Ipswich mariner – stick with us – the aptly named Mariners is a fantastic French restaurant that has everything couples need to wine and dine amidst unique surroundings. Indeed, it’s possible to sample all the delights of a mouth-watering A La Carte menu whilst enjoying pleasant waterside views.

9. Lady Florence Orford:

For couples who are keen to push the boat out – sorry, we couldn’t resist that one – the Lady Florence Orford provides a unique cruising dining experience that transports couples along the River Alde and Ore whilst they tuck into their dinner. Complete with a fully stocked with an eye-catching selection of imported wines, this is wine and dining done in style. Departing from Orford Quay, guests at our cottages and barges will have no difficulty accessing this restaurant on the water.

10. The Salthouse:

Another unmissable restaurant in Ipswich, the Salthouse boasts a wine list with over thirty selections. No wonder, really, that it has made its way onto our list of ten of the best places to wine and dine in Suffolk. With a menu serving up fresh dishes using fresh ingredients and fresh ideas, this is somewhere that all couples are sure to enjoy.

Developed an appetite?

If any or all of these restaurants sound like somewhere you’d like to sample when holidaying in Suffolk, get in touch with us today to book a luxurious cottage or barge for your next getaway.

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Secret Suffolk: 5 of the Best Hidden Gems You Should Know About

Every county in the world has its hidden gems and Suffolk is no exception. Behind every one of its standout attractions, there are various exciting destinations tucked away just waiting to be discovered by the more informed traveler. 

From a forest and walking trail rumoured to be visited by UFOs, to a farm full of rare breeds, there’s a lot more to our floral and historic county than meets the eyes.  

Giving you the lowdown on some of these lesser known spots, we’ve rounded up five of the best hidden gems you should know about when renting one of our Cottages, Barns or Barges for a holiday in Suffolk.

1. Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm

A working livestock farm dedicated to the breeding of rare breeds, Baylham House is undoubtedly one of the most unique places to visit when taking a holiday at Woodfarm Barns. It’s one of Suffolk’s best kept secrets, too. Family owned, the farm has been operational since 1985 and welcomes visitors to get up close to its lambs, goats and calves. Complete with an onsite cafe, visitors can also enjoy some light refreshments and food when visiting Baylham House. Only a fifteen minute drive from our cottages for rent, this hidden gem in Suffolk comes highly recommended. 

2. Rendlesham Forest

For years now, sceptics and scientists have been trying their level best to dismiss the idea that Rendlesham Forest was visited by a UFO in 1980. Legend (or truth) has it that forty years ago lights appeared above the forest that couldn’t be explained away by anyone official. Witnessed by nearby US Air Force Personnel, the incident has earned itself a respectable place in history by becoming the most-famed UFO sightings in the United Kingdom. 

Occasionally referred to as “Britain’s Roswell”, the forest has since become something of a hidden gem in the tourist world. Equipped with picnic areas and boasting walking and cycling trails that are all dog-friendly, this location is a great choice for a bit of an alternative day out. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Rendlesham Forest is a ten minute drive from either of our Barges, and just a half hour drive from our Barns and Cottages and promises to set the scene for a memorable walk, with or without the green men in the sky.  

3. Landguard Fort

Located at the mouth of the River Orwell, Landguard Fort is another hidden gem in Suffolk that promises to make for a great day out. Originally designed to protect the entrance to the port of Harwich, the fort and its various defensive structures are now open to the public for tours. Providing visitors with a behind the scenes look at a fortification that has served the country in just about every conflict since it was first established back in 1667, this attraction is around forty minutes drive from our Barns and Cottages for hire in Suffolk, but just fifteen minutes from Twee Gebroeders.

  1. 4. Red Rose Chain Theatre 

An independent theatre company based out of Ipswich, the Red Rose Chain Theatre hosts annual outdoor performances each summer. Regularly drawing in crowds of around 8,000, these events are refreshing and modern interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays that make it easier than ever to enjoy the Bard’s celebrated works. Full of quirky characters and colourful set designs, attending one of these performances in the forest on a summer’s evening has all the hallmarks of entering into a secret club. Hosted at a purpose-built venue in Sutton Hoo, visitors at our Cottages will only need to take a half hour drive to enjoy this hidden gem in Suffolk, and it’s a stone’s throw away from Twee Gebroeders, our Barge in Woodbridge.

5. Lavenham Falconry

The phrase “bird of prey experience” isn’t one that you encounter often. But when you do, it should make you sit up and think “well, that does sound kind of interesting!”. Such an experience is exactly what’s on offer at the Lavenham Falconry. Inviting visitors to choose from a range of options, it’s possible to enjoy a two hour owl encounter, a hawk experience, or even a four day training course for those properly committed to birds of prey. Certainly a hidden gem in Suffolk, the chance to enjoy the rolling countryside in the company of such large and unusual birds isn’t something that gets talked about as much as it probably should! What’s more, the falconry is situated in the uniquely beautiful village of Lavenham that is full of sights and cozy pubs to enjoy after a visit.   

Now that you’re in on the secret:

If all of this inside information has made you eager to discover Suffolk, why not get in touch with us today to book the perfect Barn, Cottage or Barge for rent to get out and discover it all.

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Snuggle Up In Suffolk: How To Plan The Perfect Romantic Summer Staycation

We’re pretty confident that Suffolk rivals the big boys when it comes to romantic holiday destinations. We’re so confident, in fact, that we previously mentioned it in the same breath as Paris and Venice when describing the best place to take a couples holiday.

Doubling down on this suggestion, we’re back to provide you with a detailed plan for the perfect romantic staycation in Suffolk. From fine dining to long walks on the beach and even horse riding, we’ve got everything you could possibly desire from a couples holiday right here in our beautiful county. 

Whether you’re marking a special anniversary or simply fancy a memorable summer holiday with your better half, here are five exciting activities to consider when planning a romantic break in Suffolk:

Enjoy a candlelit dinner at Maison Bleue:

No romantic getaway would be complete without a candlelit dining experience. And where better to enjoy such a meal than Maison Bleue? Combining antiquated charm with a splash of modern sophistication -basically all of the things true romantics are after- this cozy and modern establishment offers a fantastic three course dinner menu.

Nestled in one the town which describes itself as “a jewel in the crown of Suffolk”, Bury St Edmunds makes for a fantastic day out with plenty to see and do before you settle down for dinner.

Sample some wine tasting at Flint Vineyard:

You don’t need to travel to somewhere with a fancy name in the South of France to experience an enjoyable day of wine tasting. It is, in fact, possible to sample some of the finest tipples right here in Suffolk.

Ok, here in Norfolk, if we’re being pedantic.

Only a half hour drive from our romantic cottages and barns for rent in Suffolk, Flint describes itself as an “innovative English vineyard with beautiful views and a state of the art winery”. Founded by a couple with a clear passion for their craft, Flint Vineyard invites visitors to join tours around the establishment to learn more about their story, enjoy some food, and, most importantly, sample their wares.      

And whilst you’re there, you could pop in to our favourite emporium for the taste buds, Earsham Street Deli and pick up some amazing foodie treats to take back with you.

Go Horseback Riding at Bardwell Manor:

Picture the scene. You’ve just woken up in one of our stunning cottages for rent in Suffolk after spending the night relaxing in the hot tub. You’re feeling rejuvenated, of course, because you’ve slept in a little later than usual and enjoyed a perfectly brewed cup of coffee along with a croissant.

Suitably enlivened, the idea of seizing the idea and doing something that puts all of that energy to good use would no doubt be the best course of action.

And what better and more romantic activity to enjoy than a spot of horse riding?

At Bardwell Manor Equestrian Centre, couples are able to indulge in some horse riding no matter how experienced they are. With options for total beginners as well as more seasoned horse riders, couples are in very good hands when visiting the Manor.

Situated a half hour drive from our barns and cottages for rent, there’s few afternoon activities which promise to be quite as romantic as this.

Go boating on the Suffolk Broads:

Whilst the Norfolk Broads certainly gets a lot more press, its Suffolk sister is just as incredible. Made up of waters belonging to the glorious Suffolk Heritage coastline, couples are able to get out and explore a wide range of navigable waterways when boating in this part of the world.
From Corton down to Lowestoft there are numerous lakes and reservoirs that can be easily accessed using vessels provided by day boat hire companies. Easily the best way to get immersed in the beauty of the Suffolk, boating on the Broads provides couples with the opportunity to appreciate the scenery as well as the wildlife that make up the county.

With many of the waterways only a short drive from our barges for rent, returning to a snug retreat after a day on the water is beautifully simple, too.

Take a romantic stroll along Aldeburgh Beach:

Is there any better way of wrapping up a romantic staycation than by taking a suitably romantic stroll along the beach?

No, thought not.

A mere ten minute drive from Onderneming, Aldeburgh has earned itself quite the reputation amongst romantics. No doubt owed to its timeless charm and seemingly endless pebble beach, couples have been known to return time and again to this postcard perfect town for a bite to eat and a relaxed walk by the sea. It also serves up some of the freshest, and, in our opinion, best seaside fish and chips in Suffolk.

Ultimately, for any couple keen to take a romantic stroll in Suffolk, Aldeburgh is a destination that’s sure to tick all of the boxes.

Starting to Fall in Love?

If any or all of these ideas have left you feeling inspired about your next staycation, why not get in touch with us today to rent a romantic cottage or barge in Suffolk?

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COVID-19 Policy

The PM has laid out his ‘Road Map’, which says that we may be open again from the 12th April, barring a downturn in the numbers etc

We are forced to stay closed until then but are taking bookings from that date. In the case of the Barges, which both sleep more, we will still have to bear the household mixing rules in mind too, until they relax.

We are happy for you to book a future break on the basis that it may be affected by the above. We have no choice or say in the matter of course.

Please have a look HERE if you would like to hear about our COVID cleaning regime….

If you already have a break booked, which falls into the lockdown period, we will postpone your break and credit the money you have paid to a future break. If the situation changes we can of course proceed.

There will be no restriction on when you have to rebook your break, or when you have to take it. You will not lose your money. You booked a break with us because you want to come and stay, and you will.

None of us has a blueprint for how to deal with this and I am trying to face it head on like everybody else. We are a small independent business, owned and run by me, with a tiny but awesome team, and we are just looking to get through it and to help our guests do the same.

In the meantime, I hope you and your family and friends stay safe.

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WIN Jelly Beans & Woodfarm stuff!

Here at the Woodfarm Marketing Department, we have weekly Zoom meetings during lockdown. Andrew (Mr. Tech Geezer) has an enormous jar of Jelly Beans in his office, so we thought it would be a fun idea to get you lot to guess how many are left in there, and WIN your own tub of Jelly Beans, along with some ‘money can’t buy’ Woodfarm goodies!

Andrew and his Jelly Beans – But how many are left in the jar?

SIMPLY SHARE THE POST ON FACEBOOK, AND FILL THE FORM IN LOWER DOWN THIS PAGE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!!!

We are working on our magazine ‘Woodfarm Life’, which is challenging over Zoom, but we’re almost there. We’d been waiting until we’d finished the renovations on Woodfarm House and Meadow View Cottage, so we could include them. We should have the magazine wrapped up soon, but after Andrew snaffled a few Jelly Beans from his jar on the shelf, we figured we’d run a competition for you to guess how many are left in there. It’s not a trick question. How many were in the jar when this was taken?

Here’s a photo of my computer screen, showing Andrew taking a photo of himself and some Jelly Beans. Yes, our lives, and yours, really have come to this! Don’t include the six Jelly Beans on his desk in your answer!

This is my view as Andrew took the selfie above: how many Jelly Beans are left in the jar?

We’ll announce our WINNER on Sunday 7th February at our PUB QUIZ at the Virtual Pub ‘Woodfarm Arms’ on Facebook Live! In the event that more than one of you guesses correctly, we will simply put all the correct answers in a hat and draw one. If none of you guess the correct answer, we will give it to the closest.

PLEASE eat Jelly Beans responsibly. Do not guzzle the whole lot as quickly as you can, and do share with members of your household. We are in no way promoting the irresponsible consumption of Jelly Beans, or other sugary foods.

SIMPLY SHARE THE POST ON FACEBOOK, AND FILL THE FORM BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!!!

Terms & Conditions;

The prize for this Competition is for a jar of Jelly Beans and some Woodfarm merchandise as pictured in the main image at the very top of the page.

Please note that we cannot announce the winner first on Social Media, it has to be by email. If we do not hear back from you within 48 hours of notifying you that you have won, we will pick another correct entrant and so on until someone responds. By entering you do consent to us announcing your name on Social Media once you have accepted your prize. We won’t divulge any personal info of course. We’d obviously really appreciate it if you could then shout it from the rooftops!

There is no cash alternative.

Victor Meldrew clause; If all that doesn’t suit you or you are of the opinion that “no-one ever wins these” then feel free to not enter and gaze at your navel instead. We have given away so many prizes over the years to some very happy people, but you’ll never be one of them if you bumble through life with Meldrew shaped chips on your shoulders.

GDPR gubbins;

We absolutely never share your info and we retain it purely and simply so we can keep you informed. Informed of our regular Competitions like this one, Exclusive VIP Offers, Cancellations, Events, Places of Interest to you, and News from around the beautiful County of Suffolk. It is called Marketing. We keep you informed of the good stuff so that you may consider us when making your holiday and short break decisions.

If you do not wish to hear about the things I mentioned you can opt out now or at any time simply by unsubscribing. 

We do not bombard you. This is just a small, independent business, having fun and working hard to promote escapes from the norm in Suffolk; that’s all. We are not out to get you!

We would love to stay in touch with you but it is your choice. We have built our database in a very professional and responsible way and continually given you the opportunity to not hear from us again. If you choose to ‘leave’ us then I wish you all the best for the future and hope you have enjoyed reading what we have had to say in the past.

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5 Questions The Internet Is Asking About Suffolk

As well as online shopping, video streaming and a whole host of other exciting things, the internet has made it possible to find out the questions everyone is asking. 

Indeed, Google regularly publishes a list of the most frequently asked questions on their platform, making it easier than ever to read the minds of internet users around the world.   

In 2020, the search giant revealed that the five most popular questions asked by Brits were:

1. Who won the election?

2. Where does vanilla flavouring come from?

3. How many cases of coronavirus in the UK?

4. What is VE Day?

5. How did coronavirus start?

Besides the origins of vanilla, these all seem like fairly understandable queries given the year we’ve all had. 

But what of Suffolk? What are the burning questions that users have been asking about our historic county this year?

Diving deeper into the data provided by Google, it’s possible to identify five of the most popular questions about Suffolk and apply our local expertise to try and provide the best answer. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin answering some of the most frequently asked questions about Suffolk.

1: Is Suffolk posh?

With its share of country fairs and littered with historic houses, it’s not hard to see why Suffolk has earned a reputation for being a little bit posh. The fact that the royals have also been known to holiday here probably doesn’t do much to disguise the fact it’s a rather regal county, either.

Don’t let any of this fool you, though, because you won’t find a standoffish attitude when exploring Suffolk. Instead, you’ll find a warm welcome waiting for you in any of the restaurants, pubs and attractions you decide to visit.

2: What do you call a person from Suffolk?

Olivia or George, probably. At least, these were the most popular baby names for boys and girls born in Suffolk as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last year.

What you call a person from Suffolk will very much depend on which part of Suffolk they’re from, and which football team they support.

For instance, if you see a football fan decked out in the club’s distinctive blue walking around Ipswich, you can safely assume that’s a Tractor Boy.

Elsewhere, you might get away with calling people Suffolkers – an affectionate term dubbed by famed Ipswich cartoonist Carl Giles. 

Ultimately, though, you’re probably best calling a person from Suffolk by the name they give you to avoid any kind of confusion.

3: What is the prettiest village in Suffolk?

The answer you get to this question will totally depend on who you ask. Ask someone who loves to be surrounded by Tudor houses and quirky medieval cottages and you’ll be told that Lavenham is the prettiest village in Suffolk. Ask someone fond of 14th century churches and you’ll be told that Kersey is the prettiest village in Suffolk.

Whilst we might be a little biased, we’re confident that Shottisham and Bawdsey are strong contenders for the title of prettiest village in Suffolk.

Both easily accessible to those renting one of our beautiful barges in Suffolk, these quaint villages are well worth a visit when exploring the county. In Shottisham you’ll find a quintessentially British pub dating back to the 15th century and in Bawdsey you’ll find a lively community who regularly put on summertime events. 

Both fantastically pretty, you’ll get to experience the distinctive Suffolk charm when stopping by for a visit.

4: What is the biggest town in Suffolk?

At almost 40 square km, Ipswich is the biggest town in Suffolk. With a population of 130k, the town is home to a range of fantastic bars and restaurants as well as plenty of things to see and do.

Whether it’s pouring over portraits and antiques in Christchurch Mansion, enjoying a show at the New Wolsey Theatre, or simply grabbing a bite to eat along the modern waterfront, a day spent in Ipswich is a day well spent.  

Anyone renting one of our luxury Barns in Suffolk will have no difficulty getting in and out of Ipswich to enjoy all that it has to offer. Only a short drive from Woodfarm Barns, exploring the town couldn’t be simpler.

5: What is Suffolk famous for?

Suffolk is famous for a whole lot of things. From the arts to sport, and from history to beer, Suffolk has plenty that makes it stand out as one of the finest counties in England.

Once home to the celebrated 18th century painter Thomas Gainsbourgh and 20th century composer Benjamin Britten, Suffolk is certainly famous for its contribution to the humanities.

Our exports are fairly famous, too. Indeed, the sugar and Greene King ales of Bury St Edmunds have helped to place Suffolk firmly on the map when it comes to food and drink.

In more recent times, Ed Sheeran has certainly helped to elevate the profile of Suffolk. Penning tracks like Castle on the Hill that make a direct reference to the county, there’s no doubt that he’s keeping up the tradition of keeping the place newsworthy. 

Any further questions?

If you’ve still got any burning questions about Suffolk, get in touch today to get all the answers you need before booking one of our barns or barges for an unforgettable time away.

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Suffolk Goes to Hollywood: 5 Film and TV Locations You Can Visit During A Holiday in Suffolk

Thanks to its historic cathedrals, unusual architecture, and bountiful countryside, Suffolk has provided filmmakers with a rich variety of backdrops over the years.

From period dramas to sagas about boy wizards, sites around Suffolk feature in more blockbusters than you might expect.

Largely open to the public, many of these film locations can be visited during a holiday and make for a truly unique day out. 

To spark a little inspiration, we’ve gathered up five of our favourite spots to visit when holidaying at one of our barns or barges for rent.

The TV Show: The Crown

The Location: Newmarket Racecourse

A Netflix original series that has taken the world by storm, the producers of The Crown have turned to Suffolk on more than a few occasions. 

Indeed, eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that it was actually Somerleyton Hall used to recreate the Queen’s Sandringham retreat rather than the estate itself. Interestingly, set designers also dressed up the stately Elveden Hall to look like a Ghanian palace back in the first season. 

It is, however, the scenes filmed at the Rowley Mile racecourse in Newmarket which are perhaps the most inspiring. Capturing all the drama and glamour of the occasion, these scenes will no doubt have roused more than a few fans of the show to head off for a day at the races.

A forty five minute drive from our barns for rent, you’ll have no difficulty in getting dressed up to enjoy something special when staying with us.

What’s more, if you visit on a Friday during the height of summer, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the “Newmarket Nights” which feature live performances from arena-filling music acts like the Beach Boys, Tom Jones and the Script.  

All in all, a day at the races in Suffolk is more than a little remarkable.

The Film: The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Location: Bury St Edmunds

Starring multi-award winning actor Dev Patel as the titular character, The Personal History of David Copperfield chronicles the life and times of a fictional gentleman author. Based on a loosely autobiographical novel by Charles Dickens, the producers turned to Bury St Edmunds when telling this compelling story.   

From shots of the historic Theatre Royal and Chequers Square to an imposing backdrop of the Angel Hotel, there’s more than a few scenes which feature the town described as “a jewel in the crown of Suffolk”.  

It’s also no mere coincidence that a venue in the town was selected for a scene where Copperfield reads to a captive crowd. A place Dickens held close to his heart, he once described in a letter to a friend how he himself read extracts of David Copperfield to what he described as a “very fine audience” in the Bury St Edmunds Athenaeum.

Only a half hour drive from our barns, you’ll find it easy to visit the town to enjoy all of these settings as well as its various bars and restaurants.

The Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Location: Lavenham

The beginning of the end for the world’s most famous wizard, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One sees the iconic trio set out to destroy the dark wizard Voldermort once and for all.   

In their quest to rid the world of evil, Harry and the gang find themselves in Suffolk. Specifically, they find themselves walking the cobbled streets of Lavenham to visit Harry’s childhood home.
Though a fair amount of CGI wizardry went into making the place look suitably magical, the house and streets of Lavenham don’t require any special effects to look beautifully quaint.

From our barns, you’ll be able to get to Lavenham inside of thirty minutes to enjoy a walk around the village and a suitably filling pub lunch.

The Film: Dad’s Army

The Location: Thetford Forest

Running for nine seasons and clocking in at an impressive eighty episodes, there’s no question that Dad’s Army is one of the most successful – not to mention most quotable-  British comedies of all time.

Following the many foibles of a bungling contingent of the British Home Guard during the second world war, the sitcom is another production that turned to Suffolk for its backdrops. Namely, it’s Thetford Forest which forms the majority of the exterior shots.

For true fans of the show, a Dad’s Army museum in Thetford (technically just inside of Norfolk) offers walking tours of all the locations used for the show. For everyone else, the walking trails and cycle routes around the forest are perfect for an active day out.

The Film:The King’s Speech

The Location: Ely Cathedral

Whilst the final entry on the list is technically in Cambridgeshire, Ely Cathedral is only an hour’s drive from Woodfarm Barns and makes for a superb day out. 

Dressed up in the Oscar Winning King’s Speech to represent Westminster Abbey, the enormous Cathedral dates back to 672 AD and welcomes visitors throughout the year to enjoy walking tours through its pews and towers.

And…Action!

If you’re feeling suitably inspired to immerse yourself in the cinematic delights of Suffolk, get in touch with us today to book a getaway.