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Happy Lockdown Birthday Woodfarm! 11th Birthday Competition

Lockdown Birthday

The Woodfarm brand is 11 years, and to celebrate, even though we are in Lockdown right now, we are going to do what we like to do and give away a FREE BREAK in one of our Barns, to one Lucky Winner, for when it’s all over!

As I write this on the 9th May 2020, my business is officially 11 old years today. Ironic that whilst it was a rip-roaring success for almost 11 years, growing year on year, on year, the last 47 days have been the worst in Woodfarm history. On account of we are shut! But we won’t let an irksome global pandemic get us down. Nah, we’re stronger than that!

Yep, Day 47 of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, so I’m having a birthday in solitary confinement. If you are reading this on ‘Dave’ in the future, it was the time when we couldn’t have any guests, and the world was struggling to say the least. And whilst we weren’t open for business, we found ourselves far better off than a lot people.

Anyhoo, I’m determined that when we come out of this, we will come back stronger than ever, like a weak thing getting strong. If only there was a phrase for this about mythical Greek birds and embers.

So what does the Number 11 mean? It could be Legs 11 if you’re a Bingo fan, or Oceans 11 if you’re a Brad Clooney fan. Maybe even just ’11’ if you’re a fan of ‘Stranger things’, like me. Or it could just mean your corner shop, currently selling pints of milk for £400 if you have a 7-11 near you (are they still going?)

Lockdown Birthday for Woodfarm - pic by Kentaro Toma
Lockdown Birthday for Woodfarm – pic by Kentaro Toma

I took to Google in order too see if there was any more significant meaning to the Number 11 and this was the top of my search results;

“Number 11 consists of number 1 that appears twice and it is known that this number is a symbol of new beginnings and opportunities that are going to appear in front of you. This number is considered to be a symbol of high energy, intuition, enthusiasm and creative energy”

Ok, I think that’s a load of old Mumbo Jumbo, but I’ll take the bit about “new beginnings and opportunities”, coupled with “high energy, intuition, enthusiasm and creative energy”.

WIN a FREE BREAK - Lockdown 11th Birthday for Woodfarm
WIN a FREE BREAK in The Granary Barn with our Lockdown 11th Birthday

What’s that I hear you say? Oh yeah, you’re only here for the FREE BREAK, I keep forgetting. But in order for you to WIN that, you had to read through all my tripe above. Here’s how you WIN a FREE BREAK in The Granary Barn;

  1. You enter your name and email address below (see boring GDPR guff below below)
  2. You correctly answer our incredibly tricky question
  3. You share our Competition Post that brung you here, with all your mates
  4. You hit the ‘Like’ Button for Woodfarm Barns & Woodfarm Barges

Then you focus your mind on us picking your name out of our virtual when we draw a WINNER on the 1st July 2020. Why that date? Cos it gives plenty of time for everyone to enter and share it, and it’s my Daughter’s Birthday. 

Good luck!

Simples!

Terms & Conditions;

The prize for this Holiday Competition is for a FOUR NIGHT MIDWEEK BREAK in The Granary Barn in Stonham Aspal. You’ll be able to take it, subject to global pandemics and availability, between 1st October 2020 and the 28th February 2021, excluding Christmas, New Year, Valentines, Easter, School and Bank Holidays etc, so you have a full five months to take your FREE BREAK!

It’ll be for two adults and up to three dogs.

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 breaks 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 Free Break 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, 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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How to recreate our breakfast basket with Suffolk produce

If you’ve stayed at Woodfarm Barns or Barges, you’ll have been treated to one of our delicious breakfast hampers, packed with everything you need for a hearty Suffolk breakfast!

But how do you recreate one of these at home? Well, whether you want to give one to a friend to share a touch of the ‘Woodfarm lifestyle’, create a fresh one for your other half for breakfast in bed, or you just want a fancy breakfast for yourself, read on to find out how to make your own Woodfarm hamper!

Ingredients for your hamper

We’ve designed our hampers to reflect the traditional English breakfast style, so we include eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bread and butter for the savoury part of the hamper. We don’t include black pudding, as although many people enjoy eating it, there are also many that don’t – it’s like the Marmite of the meat counter – and we wouldn’t want it going to waste.

Eggs

Whether you like them fried, scrambled or poached, there’s nothing more delicious than free range, high welfare eggs from the heart of Suffolk. An excellent local supplier is Mill Green Farm, whose eggs are laid and packaged onsite and sold at the farm shop, the Hog & Hen.

Bacon

Local craft butchers Palfrey & Hall offer complete traceability on their meat. Their Sufolk black bacon is cured using Sir Roger Porter’s ale from the renowned local brewery at Earl Soham, which they mix with molasses and black treacle. You can find their bacon and more at their shop in Debenham.

Mushrooms and tomatoes

These breakfast veggies are pretty self-explanatory, but if you really want to purchase local mushrooms and tomatoes, you can find them at many farm shops throughout the county. Or you could go one step further and grow them yourself!

Bread

What is a Suffolk breakfast without a delicious, freshly baked loaf of bread? There are dozens of high quality bakeries in Suffolk, including the 150-year-old Palmer’s Bakery; The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, where our Twee Gebroeders barge is moored; and the Suffolk Food Hall in Ipswich. Many farm shops and delis in Suffolk stock bread from local bakeries, so it’s worth checking these out too (we have a list of some of our favourites here!).

Sweet things

Sometimes you just crave a bit of sweetness after your savoury meal. Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. In our breakfast hamper, we include delectable cookies, fresh fruit, and jam and marmalade from fantastic local supplier Betty & Miller who produce the well known brand Fruits of Suffolk. You can find these excellent jams and marmalades at retailers throughout the county (here’s a list of stockists).

Vegan breakfast hamper by Woodfarm Barns

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options

Whenever a guest comes to stay at our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages and Barges, we offer the option for a vegan, vegetarian or gluten free breakfast instead of our omnivore-centric hamper. 

In these cases, we swap out unsuitable items for replacements:

  • A soya or nut milk instead of cow’s milk
  • A butter substitute such as coconut oil or a Vegan spread
  • A ‘meat alternative’ such as Vegan sausages, or tofu
  • Gluten free bread
  • Vegan cookies

In the wonderful 21st century world that we live in, many local retailers stock vegan and gluten free items. 

How to present your breakfast hamper

If you’re gifting your breakfast hamper to a friend or family member, then you might take inspiration from our wicker hampers, which give a bit of a rustic feel to the breakfast experience. 

We try to arrange our hampers in a way that looks ‘pretty’, but most importantly so that nothing is crushed (make sure more delicate items such as eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms aren’t placed underneath heavier items). 

Show us your hamper!

If you try your hand at recreating our breakfast hamper, make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram so that we can like your photo! We’d also love it if you could experience the ‘real’ breakfast hamper at one of our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages or Barges in beautiful Suffolk, so don’t hesitate to stop by our websites when you’re thinking about your next holiday!

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Thank you NHS Heroes

There will never be enough words, or the right words, to convey how we are all indebted to, and in awe of, the utter bravery we have seen from our NHS personnel since the Coronavirus struck us. This is just one way a small Holiday Cottage business in Suffolk is trying to say “Thank you”.

Hi. My name is Carl. On the morning of March 23rd 2020 I closed the doors on my Holiday Cottage and Holiday Barge business for the foreseeable future. I contacted all iminent arrivals to cancel their breaks. I felt I had no choice. Later that evening the PM announced we were going into ‘Lockdown’.

It absolutely crushed me to have to do that to my business that I have worked on for 11 years.

As I had no holiday guests, I extended an offer to the emergency services, and since then we have been accommodating some incredible people from the NHS. We have had Ambulance drivers, Paramedics and a Radiographer, all self-isolating away from vulnerable, or potentially vulnerable family members.

As I write this, we are three weeks into the UK ‘Lockdown’ and what I want to do now is to offer an actual proper holiday to an NHS front line Hero or Heroine, for when this is all over. Completely free.

We don’t yet know when that can be, but once we can move freely again, I want to give away a free break to an NHS front liner and his or her partner. And their Doggos if they have any.

If you are reading this and you do not work for the NHS, can I please ask you send a link to this page to anyone and everyone you know within the NHS, so we can reach as many of these superstars as possible for the chance to take this.

If you work for the NHS on the front line, first of all thank you. Those two inadequate words are all I can say to you right now, but please, if you would like a well-earned break after all this, just let me have your name, number and email address so I can put you in my virtual hat. Once we all start to rebuild our lives I will pick one of you out at random and give you a free break.

Hopefully then I will be rebuilding my business. If you haven’t heard of us before, that’s fine. We were doing very well, with hundreds of Five Star reviews, Gold Awards and all that. That will be important to us again one day, but for now all that matters is getting through this, and supporting you. Just have a look around the websites for our Barges & Barns when you have some down time, as there’s plenty to see.

(GDPR stuff: I will not share your information with anyone, ever. I don’t do that. That is naughty. I will write to you all once we have picked one of you, and if you never want to hear from me again, that’s cool. You’re still amazing!)

This is not a competition. You don’t have to do anything. I just want to offer someone on the front line within the NHS a free break to say thank you.

The ‘offer’ is for a four night midweek break either in The Granary Barn in Stonham Aspal, or aboard our romantic Barge Twee Gebroeders, in Woodbridge. It is for NHS front line staff only and proof will be required. I really hope that nobody outside the NHS tries it on, and please don’t have a pop at me if you think I should extend this to X, Y, or Z professions too. There are so many amazing people, doing so many amazing front-line jobs, but I want to thank the NHS specifically with this, and that is up to me, it’s my business.

As a small business owner I can only afford to give one break away but it’s the least I can do to say thank you. Again, I’m really sorry I can’t extend it to all those considered ‘front-line’. I just own a small business, and am trying to do my little bit to say thank you to our amazing NHS staff. If you want to give something to another group of people, feel free. This is just what I’m doing.

The boring bit;

This offer is for a four night midweek break, either in The Granary Barn in Stonham Aspal, aboard Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge. You’ll be able to take it, subject to availability, freedom of movement and our business being open again. All being well I am hoping to be able to offer this to you between 1st October 2020 and the 31st March 2021, excluding Christmas, New Year, Valentines, School and Bank Holidays etc. Sorry, but I am also going to have to do my best to try and rebuild my business again too, so have to put some restrictions in place. In the event of us still being locked down, or you simply not having free time because you guys are still flat out, we will shift things to ensure you get this break, I promise.

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Lambing weekends at Kentwell Hall

Spring is on the way! That means warmer weather (hopefully!), yummy seasonal food in the local pubs and restaurants and a sudden abundance of daffodils. For us, in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, it also means that we’ll see a big rise in wildlife, and our once lonely winter fields will be teeming with farmyard animals.

March and April are the ideal months for spotting young and newborn lambs, in particular. However, if you don’t want to go on a wild sheep chase in the countryside, then a trip to Kentwell Hall will almost guarantee you a sight of these woolly creatures taking their first steps. 

Where and what is Kentwell Hall?

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

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

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

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

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

Where to find wildlife elsewhere in Suffolk

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

Where to stay if you’re visiting Kentwell Hall

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

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Why choose a Holiday in Suffolk at Woodfarm Barns?

Granary Barn dog friendly holiday let at night

Thank you for considering a Holiday in Suffolk with us…

Thank you for taking the time to look at Woodfarm and considering us for your next Short Break or Holiday in Suffolk, it’s much appreciated. Please let me know if you have any queries by calling me directly on 01449 710032, or emailing carl@woodfarmbarns.com. You can even Whatsapp me by clicking below…

This page gives you a little overview of what we’re about. We have lots of pages on our website, where we have carefully placed nice pictures etc but this is all just about info; reasons you might want to come and stay.

I really hope we’ll be welcoming you, so you can see for yourself what so many people love about our Barns & Barges. There’s loads to tell you, so please take a minute or two, to consider what we’ve got to say, and let me know if you have any other questions that are not answered here.

Five Star Reviews and Gold Awards coming out of our ears
Firstly, don’t listen to why we think you should come, listen to your predecessors! We have around 700 Five Star Reviews at the moment on Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook, as well as thousands from our Guest Books

Visit England Gold Awards for all of our Barns and Barges. We have been awarded these every year since we were first assessed, back in 2014.

We get really full!
Book with us and you’re one step closer to enjoying your own Luxury Cottage, or Barge Holiday in Suffolk. But be quick, we get heavily booked so secure your place now to avoid disappointment. This isn’t a sales technique, we really do get heavily booked and turn bookings away. A lot!

What do we have for you?
In short, we have six Suffolk Barns sleeping two guests (five of which have private Hot Tubs), and a large Farmhouse sleeping seven guests. We also have two really cool Dutch Barges. One sleeps eight and one sleeps four

Look at all our Cottages HERE and our Barges HERE

Holiday in Suffolk at Alde Barn
Alde Barn is one of our six Romantic Barns for couples

Cottage Videos
Here’s a very short video introducing our cottages to you. We also have a video for each cottage too, so please do take a look at those that interest you.

Barge Videos
We have two amazing Barges, loving transformed into dog-friendly holiday cottages, moored on the River Deben and River Alde. Think of them as floating holiday cottages. You don’t take them out. Have a look at them both at woodfarmbarges.com

We have one on the quay at the world-renowned Snape Maltings, which sleeps eight guests, and one on the quay the iconic Tidemill in Woodbridge, sleeping four guests. Click HERE to see ‘Onderneming’ at Snape and HERE to view ‘Twee Gebroeders’ in Woodbridge

Dog-Friendly everything!
This is where we really excel. We’ve built a huge reputation within the Dog-Friendly market. We welcome up to three dogs in all our Barns and Barges and we are happy to discuss an extra one. The Barns all have secure, private gardens and we leave doggy treats for our four legged friends. We also have a fully-enclosed 2 acre meadow for our four legged friends to meet each other. Watch our fab Meadow Video HERE

Click here to find out more about why dogs love Woodfarm Barns.

Hot Tubs
Five of our Romantic Barns have their own Private Hot Tubs! Surely this is the height of relaxation when you Holiday in Suffolk with us?

We’ve got a page all about them HERE

Holiday in Suffolk with your own Private Hot Tub
Holiday in Suffolk with your own Private Hot Tub

Location, Location, Location
Woodfarm Barns is perfectly located in the Heart of Suffolk and Woodfarm Barges are, unsurprisingly, on the Coast. You can access so many amazing places from any of places to stay.

Holiday in Suffolk
Your next Holiday in Suffolk is here somewhere!

Beaches
We are so lucky to be near to to Suffolk Coastal. We have some amazing Dog-friendly Suffolk beaches; some remote, some on the edge of towns. A mix of sand and shingle, all with fabulous views. Read more about them all HERE

Pubs
We are very lucky to have so many great pubs within a short drive of our Barns, as well as one within walking distance. The Barges have plenty more. Two within easy reach of ‘Onderneming’ at Snape Maltings and loads within a ten minute walk of ‘Twee Gebroeders’ in Woodbridge. We have some more info for you HERE

Walks
We have so many fabulous walks within easy reach of the Barns and Barges. There’s a very pleasant one right from your door at the Barns, down our lane, taking in Crowfield Church, to Coddenham.

The Barges have stunning river walks from your gangplank in either direction!

Read more about Walks on your Holiday in Suffolk HERE

Our expansion into picturesque Tuscany!
Our Tuscan holiday cottage is on its way to completion. The renovation is underway and we are hoping to begin taking guests in the Summer. If a tranquil Italian getaway sounds like your idea of fun, visit the Woodfarm Tuscany site to follow our progress.

I do hope all that makes sense but if it doesn’t just shout! Thank you once again for your interest and I’m more than happy to answer any further questions if that helps.

Would you like the chance to WIN a FREE BREAK?

We pick one lucky winner from our ‘VIP Rewards Group’ every year and give them a free break. We’ll also keep you informed of our regular Free Break Competitions, Exclusive VIP Offers, Cancellations, etc. Sign up for free here.

We never share your info. It’s simply to keep you informed of the good stuff so that you may consider us when making your holiday and short break decisions. You can unsubscribe any time you like.

Well that’s about it for now. I hope this page has been informative and put you in a position to consider staying with us, either in a Barn, or a Barge. Please let me know if you have any quesitons.

Many thanks

Carl Scott

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Easter Egg Hunt with our Barges & Barns

Easter Egg Hunt prize from Woodfarm

Our Easter Egg Hunt is on! And YOU could be our lucky WINNER! Up for grabs is a very posh, mouth-watering Chocolate selection from Earsham Street Deli, a tail-wagging range of Dog treats from Doodledales, and a whole bunch of Woodfarm branded merchandise. A prize worth well over a hundred quid!

Ok folks, we posted this prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and as we are currently in ‘Lockdown’ as I write this, things have changed somewhat! This was to be an awesome competition where you win some great prizes. I would still love it if you want to join in and enter if you haven’t done so already but in light of our current situation I’m just changing what happens to some of the prizes.

The Egg Hunt is still live on our virtual tours so keep reading, but instead of sending all the prizes to the winner after Easter, I would like to give the chocolate to one of our NHS residents (we have several staying in the barns now) to take to the children’s ward at the Ipswich Hospital. I would then like to send the Dog Treats to Suffolk Animal Rescue, where they can raise some much needed funds with them.

I am more than happy to buy a really nice Egg and some more dog treats to send the winner, as well as the Woodfarm merch still.

So please read on and please still enter as it’d cheer us up and you can still win some great prizes. Thank you. The rest of this page is all the original competition post.

We all love an Easter Egg Hunt, so go and find all 11 of ours and WIN BIG. Eggs marks the spot folks! Oh, by the way, I apologise and (b)Egg you to forgive me in advance for the totally necessary over-use of Egg puns I am inflicting upon you…

Easter Egg Hunt from Woodfarm
Our Easter Egg Hunt has got these guys Eggscited as you can see!

We’ve taken all our Eggs out of one basket and spread them around the Barges & Barns. There are 11 Eggs in total, randomly hidden in our Barges & Barns Virtual Tours. Each Egg contains a letter.  When you’ve found all the letters, rearrange them to reveal a two word, Woodfarm related phrase. And it could be YOU winning our Eggciting Easter Hamper!

YOU MUST also ‘Like or Follow’ our pages on Social Media, PLUS ‘Share’ or ‘Retweet’ etc, the Competition Post on your own timeline

Your Easter Egg Hunt Prize…

You will be Eggstatic if you win! We love Suffolk, so to celebrate this Easter, we’ll be sending one Eggstremely lucky WINNER all of this;

A mouth-watering Chocolate selection from Earsham Street Deli in Bungay. The Award-Winning guys from our fave Deli have put together this wonderful selection to delight any chocolate lover! You’ll be winning a Monty Bojangles Easter Egg with Truffles, a Handmade Egg from Lick the Spoon, an Easter Egg with Praline Truffles from Holdsworth, as well as some of their Salted Caramel Mini Eggs, a continental selection from Natalie Chocolates, a box of Mini Eggs from Prestat of London, and an Easter Colomba Cake from Loison.

A tail-wagging range of Dog treats from Doodledales. There’s no chocolate here as our local pet place specialises in healthy Dog treats and food. Your Dog(s) will be sooo grateful when they get given this lot! If you don’t have a Dog, I bet you have a friend who’s Doggo will be grateful! They will be getting Apple & Kale treats from Fresco, Liver Treats from The Dog Treat Company, Oregano Snacks from Carnilove, Bed Time Bits and Skin & Coat Cones from Bark Bites, Salmon Cookies from Fish4Dogs, and Training Treats from Hollings.

And last, but not least, an Eggxtra special bunch of Woodfarm merchandise for you. We’ll send you one of our fab sweatshirts (we’ll ask you which size), which are perfect for a chilly Dog walk. Along with that, we’ll pop in one of our planet-saving Travel Cups that you can keep with you, a Woodfarm mug to leave at home or at work, and one of our Trolley-Coins. We’ll throw in one of our Woodfarm Doggy Poop-Bag holders too!

We’re not yolking! One lucky winner will scoop all this lot in our ‘Eggs marks the spot’ Easter Egg Hunt. Just find all the letters, and enjoy a good look around our Barges & Barns whilst you’re at it

Easter Egg Hunt from Woodfarm
Our Easter Egg Hunt is on!

Easter Egg Hunt; how to find the Eggs…

Just below is our Virtual Tour where you’ll find the 11 Eggs. There are a couple outside the Barns and there’s one in each Barn & Barge. Simples!

Click the ‘Burger’ menu in the top left corner to select the Barge or Barn you want to look around for an Egg.

Just use your mouse (or finger on your mobile) on the arrows, to navigate around the Barges & Barns to find all the Eggs. When you find one, click on it to reveal a letter and the order in which it goes into the phrase. Make a note and put ‘em all together to find the two word phrase that pays!

Then fill in the form below with your answer and it could be YOU winning all those lovely goodies worth well in excess of £100!

And don’t forget… YOU MUST ‘Like or Follow’ our pages on Social Media, PLUS ‘Share’ or ‘Retweet’ etc, the Competition Post on your own timeline


Terms & Conditions;

See amendment to the prize at the top of the page!

The prize for this Easter Egg Hunt is all of the lovely goodies listed above. We will send it to the lucky WINNER. The draw will take place around Easter (obvs!).

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.


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What’s on in Suffolk in 2020?

What’s on in Suffolk during 2020? Funny you should ask. Here’s a whole bunch of things to get you excited this year….

What's on in Suffolk with your Dogs
What’s on in Suffolk with your Dogs this year?

There’s so much to do in Suffolk at any time, but here’s a guide for you of lots of events throughout the year. So have a little read, get your diaries out and start planning. Most of these events are Dog-Friendly but do double-check first.

What’s on in Suffolk during 2020

March
21st Flatford Ramble – Constable’s Footsteps

April
4th Framlingham Country Show & Festival of Dogs

19th Suffolk Young Farmers Country Fair at Stonham Barns

25th April Flatford Ramble – Spring Bluebell Walk

What's on in Suffolk 2020
What’s on in Suffolk 2020

May
3rd May Morris Sunday

9th & 10th VE Celebrations at East Anglia Transport Museum

9th & 10th VE Celebrations at Languard Fort

9th – 31st Suffolk Walking festival

10th South Suffolk Show

16th & 17th Knights Tournament at Fram Castle

16th & 17th Steam and Vintage Show – Stonham Barns

27th & 28th Suffolk Show

June
12th – 28th Aldeburgh Festival

13th & 14th Summer Craft Fair – Stonham Barns

21st & 22nd First Light Festival – Lowestoft

26th – 28th Felixstowe Book Festival

27th Bury Folk Festival

July
3rd – 5th Maverick Music Festival

26th Suffolk Dog Day at Helmingham Hall

What's on in Suffolk 2020 - The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings
What’s on in Suffolk 2020 – The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings


August
15th – 17th Aldeburgh Carnival

16th Classic Car Show – Stonham Barns

21st – 23rd Folkeast Festival – Glemham Hall

23rd Vintage and Classic Commercial Show – Stonham Barns

23rd Antiques, Vintage, Retro and Collectors Fair – Stonham Barns

September
6th RSPCA Open Day and Dog Show – Martlesham

6th Art on the Prom – Felixstowe

13th Stonham Countryside Show

26th & 27th Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

26th & 27th All About Dogs – Ipswich

October
11th Framlingham Sausage Festival

17th Saxon and Viking Festival – Stonham Barns

What's on in Suffolk 2020  with your Dogs
What’s on in Suffolk 2020 with your Dogs

November
28th & 29th Christmas Craft Fair – Stonham Barns

Decided what you fancy? Then take a look at our availability calendars for the Barns, or the Barges and plan your next break in Suffolk

What's on in Suffolk - Check availability for our Barges here
What’s on in Suffolk – Check availability for our Barges here
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Crash on Planet Trash

Jason and James - Crash on Planet Trash

What is Crash on Planet Trash and what does it have to do with Holiday Cottages? Well, kind of nothing, except that it is an amazing Suffolk based educational project that my friend James is a key part of. So we are trying to help raise some funds. Pleeeeease read on….

Ok, the really quick answer is that a friend of mine is an amazing illustrator and he uses his iPad to draw. He has suffered from depression in the past and his drawings really helped him through some dark times. He’s used them to raise money for MIND, and has now joined forces with Jason, the writer of a children’s book, who asked James to illustrate it. The goal is to get this book into schools across Suffolk, and beyond, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our planet. It’s a fun book, designed to inspire kids not to litter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to support ‘Crash on Planet Trash’…

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How we keep our Barns clean for our guests

Bedroom Deben Barn

When looking at hotel reviews, ‘cleanliness’ is a topic that always pops up. It’s obviously a huge indicator of quality for many travellers; after all, none of us enjoy seeing traces of previous guests during a holiday! This is why we take cleanliness at Woodfarm Barns and Barges very seriously.

Our fantastic team dedicates hours to cleaning our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Suffolk Holiday Cottages and Historic Dutch Holiday Barges after each stay. They ensure that the cottages are not just tidy, but free of dirt and germs too. You can see from our outstanding reviews that we succeed in our efforts! 

If you’re curious about just how we keep our Barns so spic-and-span, here’s a run down of our cleaning regime, room by room:

Kitchens

Our cottage kitchens are fitted with everything you might need during your stay, including ample work surfaces, a range cooker and a luxury coffee machine. And with the ability to cook delicious dishes comes the need for a tidy and hygienic environment.

With this in mind, we use anti-bacterial sprays and wipes to clean all surfaces and appliances; pay special attention to cleaning the oven, fridge and freezer, and sink; and hoover and mop the floor space (we use Harry Hoovers, which are pet-specific, ensuring any lingering dog hair from previous guests is removed).

We provide cutlery and other utensils, which are always checked for cleanliness and streaks – this includes glasses and crockery (and our very special Woodfarm mugs, which can actually be taken home!). We then clean out and wipe down cupboards, shelves and drawers, clearing up any crumbs along the way.

Finally, we replenish all those helpful extras that complement your Woodfarm stay, including tea, coffee, sugar and condiments.

Bathrooms

Alde Barn bathroom sink

We like to keep our bathrooms looking good as new, without a trace of any prior guests. This means that we pay close attention to vital areas such as the toilet bowl, shower and sink, as well as a thorough clean of smaller (but still important) details such as the extractor fan.

It’s essential that our guests are never without necessities, so we keep toilet paper fully stocked, as well as beautifully scented hand soap and shower gel, and bleach.

Each of our six cottages has one bathroom, while our historic farmhouse has three – so you can imagine that our excellent team spends a lot of time making these facilities perfect for you!

Bedrooms and living areas

The Granary Barn bedroom
The bedroom inside Granary Barn

Not only are our beds luxuriously comfy, they’re also splendidly clean! Obviously, each guest receives fresh bedding and towels, laundered to a very high standard and well presented when you arrive for your holiday.

Meanwhile, all surfaces and storage areas are cleaned, floors are vacuumed, and windows are left spotless for you to enjoy the view of our central communal garden.

Outdoor areas

Alde Barn hot tub
The hot tub at Alde Barn

Our brilliant staff also take care of each cottage’s enclosed garden as well as our manicured communal garden. Each patio is swept to be free of leaves and mud, and the grass is mown to create a neat and tidy appearance. We know that many of our guests spend much of their ‘down-time’ on the patio enjoying a beverage and a meal, and a nice-looking garden makes this experience even more enjoyable!

Following that, outdoor furniture and BBQs are cleaned before our team moves onto the hot tubs. Five of our Barns boast spacious, luxury hot tubs that are stringently cleaned in line with hospitality standards. Although we ensure that our team pays special attention to our hot tubs, we also ask that our guests play a part in keeping our hot tubs clean and well-maintained – this means avoiding wearing fake tan, makeup and body creams, and not eating food while using the hot tub.

Our Barges

Our beautiful, Historic Dutch Barges, moored on the River Alde and River Deben, are maintained just as strictly as our Barns. As our Barges are also dog-friendly, we clean each room meticulously after each guest’s stay – just like our Barns. Each barge features a kitchen (two on board Onderneming), bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas, and all rooms are subject to the same attention that we give to our holiday cottages on dry land. If you would like to find out more about our Barges, just click here!

Stay at Woodfarm Barns

We’re sure our cleaning regime is up to standard – so if you’re wondering how you can book a stay with us, all you need to do is click here

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Days Out in Suffolk to put in the Diary for 2020

Abbey Gardens ruins

Whether you live in Suffolk and are looking for a special day out, or you’re planning a staycation in one of the UK’s most beautiful counties, there is plenty to do in Suffolk. Lying in the east of England, the historic county of Suffolk is bordered by Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and the North Sea to the east, and boasts glorious rolling hills in the west and the famous broads in the east.

If you are looking for days out in Suffolk, there is an abundance of things to do, and here are some of the best:

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

1. A Sumptuous Spa Day

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

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

Suffolk sunset
Ness Point is perfect for catching the sunrise

2. See the Sunrise

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

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

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

3. A Visit to Sutton Hoo

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

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

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

4. Amble in Abbey Gardens

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

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

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

5. Fun at Stonham Barns

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

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

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

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

6. Enjoy Jimmy’s Farm

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

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

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

7. The Land of Constable

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

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