Since 2009 I have spent my working day developing Woodfarm Barns as a holiday destination and since all the building work was completed I spend all my time promoting tourism in the Heart of Suffolk.
For the last couple of years I’ve been closely involved with the Council in setting up a Tourism Action Group for Heart of Suffolk. Along with other key tourism related businesses and organisations and the tourism department at Mid Suffolk District Council.The tourism department at Mid Suffolk District Council were very supportive right from the start of my plans for Woodfarm so I’m delighted to be working with them so closely now as a member of the newly formed TAG, or Tourism Action Group.
Essentially the group is headed up by the tourism officers in the council and they are genuinely passionate about promoting the Heart of Suffolk as a key ‘offer’ within tourism in the county. There are 4 businesses including mine represented, as well as Stowmarket Tourist Information Centre, Suffolk County Councils Discover Suffolk team, and the brilliant Museum of East Anglian Life. Together we are now looking at ways to co-ordinate what the Heart of Suffolk has to offer and utilise all of the tools out there.
This has all involved a great deal of work on the part of Mid Suffolk District Council’s Tourism department. They brought in outside consultants a couple of years ago to look at what the Heart of Suffolk has to offer and to see where we might focus our efforts in promoting it.
One of the key things we will be looking at is highlighting the ‘offer’ of the region and suggesting related activities and attractions in order for visitors to get the most out of their time here.
We have been doing this for a number of years now at Woodfarm with our growing series of Grand Days Out. For example, suggesting to our guests that if they would like to visit say Jimmy’s Farm, with its fabulous animals and restaurant etc. Then it is only 10 minutes to The Suffolk Food Hall. Here they can enjoy a panoramic view of the River Orwell and shop in its amazing food hall (does what it says on the tin!) and superb garden centre, where a great deal of the plants and shrubs at Woodfarm have come from. From there it is only another 10 minutes to the stunning Pin Mill right on the River Orwell and the fabulous Butt & Oyster pub.
Now you wouldn’t know all that if you weren’t a local so for us at Woodfarm its been about putting together ideas for really enjoyable days out. And now the Heart of Suffolk TAG is going to be looking at doing this on a much larger scale.
We will also be focussing on themed trails such food & drink etc. I will of course keep you posted on our progress but suffice it to say that with the Council’s support this is a great initiative for our area.