Your dog needs a holiday too! Dogs account for a massive proportion of our guests to sunny Suffolk and we even allow some of them to bring their well-behaved owners!
We combine a dog-friendly ethos with the luxury that many don't expect to find in holiday cottages accepting dogs. We don't simply 'tolerate' guests with dogs, we welcome them.
We welcome dogs in all seven of our Suffolk holiday cottages both our barges as this is a huge part of the ‘stay at home’ holiday cottage market. We normally say a maximum of two dogs but we are happy to discuss other requirements. We are also happy to discuss other pets with you on an individual basis. We've had house cats and rabbits before but it's mostly dogs!
We are also delighted to have been awarded the Pets Welcome accreditation by the English governing body 'Quality in Tourism' backing up our approach.
Our library of canine guests is growing! Check out loads of photo's of our four-legged guests here.
Taking pets away when enjoying a holiday or break in England is an increasing trend and one of the mainstays of our business. Nearly two million dog owners and around one million cat owners take their pets away when enjoying a break away from home.
In response to customers who do not wish to be parted from their pets, the Welcome Pets! scheme gives dog, cat or bird owners the confidence that they are booking quality accommodation that meets their needs and the needs of their pet(s).
The criteria that we have in place to adhere to the guidelines includes:
- Water bowls and food bowls available
- Torch and nightlights to be available
- Refrigeration facilities
- Chews or treats, which can be chargeable (we provide a treat every time with no extra charge)
- Suitable pet waste disposal facilities
- Poop bags (look out for our special Woodfarm Barns poop bag dispensers to take home!)
- Pet washing facilities and towels available
- Following each departure, all areas used by pets to be cleaned thoroughly to remove any evidence of them, including odours (we have a stringent cleaning regime anyway, with extra precautions and processes when we have had pets staying with us)
- Where dogs have free access to garden areas, suitable fencing should be provided (all our cottages feature secure, enclosed gardens)
We are also duty bound to display the following information at a central, easily accessible information point:
- Information for pet owners on local vets doctors, dentist, hospital and all night chemists
- Maps and books suitable for reference on walking dogs in the area. We have lots of info in the cottages, but also have a central info point and bike shed with far more info than you could get through in a month!
We have a special page on our other website wheredowe.co.uk giving you lots of ideas of places to enjoy dog friendly places and walks in Suffolk.
In addition, we have information for our guests on the location and opening times of the nearest shops, nearest bank/cash machine, public telephone, post office, and more.
There are info folders in all our cottages with lots of details of local dog-friendly restaurants and pubs – again, in addition to all the info we hold here, we have loads of ideas on wheredowe.co.uk
In 2012 we had a fabulous review by October Ward for 'Out & About' dog-friendly magazine, which really speaks for itself. October's dog Roxy is the Dalmatian featured in the below photo, standing on the land outside Woodfarm Barns. This is the lane that leads down to the church next door and it's perfect for stretching your dog's legs first thing in the morning. Get a long enough lead and you won't need to stretch yours!
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There is a great little dog walk straight from our door, popular with all our dog owning guests. Crowfield Church is next door but one to our holiday cottages and marks the start of an easy 20 minute loop with the dog.
It is one of the last remaining timber-framed churches in Suffolk and is well worth a look. Two choices of public footpaths go from the church across the fields beyond. Instead of turning in by the church you can walk straight on for miles and there are various public footpaths across the fields - so there’s plenty of exploring to do and loads for the dog to sniff out.
This is a great area for dog walking, as is Suffolk in general. There are books in all the cottages on Suffolk walks, with or without dogs, and they are there for you to peruse whilst you are here.
The nearest dog walk in most of the books encompasses Barham, Baylham and Coddenham for a total length of 8 miles. You could cheat a little and start it in Coddenham, which is only a couple of miles down the road. The walk incorporates the Baylham Rare Breeds Centre as well as taking you right past the Sorrel Horse Pub, which is very dog-friendly.
The next nearest one is a five-miler, taking in Cretingham and Brandeston, and past The Queens Head – an excellent pub/restaurant (you can see a theme here!).
There are also lovely lake walks at Needham and Hoppit Wood, both just four miles from Woodfarm Barns, featured our page on 'Walking in Suffolk' here.
Whether you’re visiting Suffolk for the first time, or are a frequent visitor or resident, it’s useful to know where you can eat with your dogs. Suffolk has a wide range of dog-friendly pubs. While some request that you keep your dog in the garden or terrace area, many allow dogs inside the pub as well. Here is a selection of pubs across Suffolk which allows pets either in the pub or garden:
The Star Inn is a cosy and friendly pub in Wenhaston that welcomes well-behaved dogs. It has a large garden and a high quality menu.
The Tollgate Inn is a lovely restaurant and bar in Bury St Edmunds and has a large garden and seating area where dogs are welcome.
The Queen’s Head, Bramfield is an award-winning pub and dogs are welcome in both the pub and the garden.
The Bildeston Crown allows well behaved dogs in the pub and they have a lovely, dog-friendly, outdoor seating area.
The George and Dragon in Long Melford allows dogs, except when food is being served.
The Crown Hotel in Southwold allows dogs in the bar areas, but not in the rooms or dining areas.
Please do check with any of these pubs before you visit with your dog as their pet policies may change at any time.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in Suffolk
With miles of beautiful beaches open to the public year round, Suffolk is a great place to bring your dog on holiday.
The good news is that from October through April there are no dog restrictions in force in on Suffolk's beaches so your pet can enjoy the benefits of any stretch of beach you like! In the summer however, there are dog restrictions on some beaches, so here's a list of some restrictions from 1st May through to 30th September:
Aldeburgh - Although the main beach has restrictions during the summer months, there is a mile of wonderful dog-friendly beach just to the North of Aldeburgh which is well signposted, and stretches from the Wentworth Hotel to Thorpeness.
Felixstowe - While the main beach has dog restrictions in place from May through September, there are dog-friendly beaches on either side of the restricted area, stretching from Spa Pavilion to Wheeler Road. These areas are well signposted and easy to spot. However dogs have to be kept on leads even on these stretches.
Dunwich - With the beautiful National Trust site of Dunwich Heath and a beach that's dog-friendly all year round, Dunwich makes a fantastic dog friendly location with plenty of long walks and refreshing water on offer. Bear in mind however, that Dunwich is the home to RSPB Minsmere ,so there are occasional restrictions on dogs on the Heath (not beach) during the nesting season. If you're not sure that your dog will stay on the beach then it's best to check with nearby Aldeburgh Tourist Information before you make your trip to ensure these nesting restrictions aren't in place.
Southwold - One of Suffolk's most famous beaches, it offers a fantastic holiday resort for the family. Although the main beaches of Southwold have dog restrictions in place during the summer months, Southwold Benes, just north of the main beach, is dog-friendly throughout.
Testimonials from a handful of our dog-loving guests
Deb, August 2019
Our fourth year at Woodfarm Barns. The dogs walked in and were straight at home, as were we. The purpose of our visit is a week long agility competition so we are out all day from 07.00 but it’s perfect being able to come back to the hot tub after walking 20,000 steps, let the dogs mooch around the garden and light the BBQ.
I’m not sure what more Carl and his team could do to make the cottages any more perfect, the welcome basket means there’s everything for a cuppa when you arrive and a bacon sandwich for breakfast plus loads of information about the area. We had one wet afternoon and the store if DVDs kept us entertained.
Next year is already booked.
Dawn, August 2019
Stayed for 2 nights with our little dog. Fantastic location and accommodation. It has everything you need for all seasons. Hot tub was lovely after a long day out on our bikes exploring the countryside nearby. Dog loved having the garden to wander round whilst we had a drink and dinner in the garden. Carl was very helpful explained where everything was when we arrived. You can’t hear any neighbours other than them walking over the stones.
To get to the meadow on the other side of the lane which caters for all dogs nervous or confident. Our dog didn’t want to come home. Thanks for a great time; see you again soon.
Roger, July 2019
We were delighted with our stay in Deben Barn with our two golden retrievers. Carl was very helpful from the first minute of our stay and the welcome basket was a great touch. Dog exercise field was very handy. The barn was very well equipped, clean and tidy. Excellent hot tub. The location is perfect for exploring Suffolk. Would thoroughly recommend Woodfarm Barns.