Thank you 2014

Having renovated period properties around Suffolk for a number of years before I let one of them as a luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottage, I had been looking for somewhere to replicate that. But bigger! In 2008 I found a dilapidated farmhouse in the heart of rural Suffolk, with a couple of barns falling into the ground, adjoining a wooded meadow with bags of potential

I could immediately see in my mind what now actually exists in reality but that was just the start of a huge process of raising finance, getting planning permission and a few years of sheer hard work, involving lots of sweat, much blood (really!) and even a few tears!

Woodfarm Barns Panoramic view - our Romantic, Luxurious Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside  Woodfarm House - Just one of our Romantic, Luxurious self-catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of Rural Suffolk

I shan’t bore you with all of that as that is another story and the point of this blog is to say thank you to all of my wonderful guests and in particular to the many who keep coming back for more and supporting me!

The footings for Woodfarm Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside  Granary Barn almost finished! - at Woodfarm House & Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside

I bought the property in May 2009 and set about renovating Woodfarm House, whilst living in it, before opening the doors to our first guests over Easter 2010. This was with some trepidation but it’s been so popular since and has seen countless guests since (I should try and work out how many!) Work then began on the Granary Barn, which opened Easter 2011, following the same success of Woodfarm House. Then we opened Alde, Deben and Gipping Barns in June 2012, with Gipping and Orwell following in October. Whilst we have had a consitent stream of guests ever since day one, it’s been a hard slog to get this far as many of you know, but well worth it!

Some days were sunny………..

Work well under way at Woodfarm House & Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside   Granary Barn stripped day one - at Woodfarm House & Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside

And some days were dirtier and wetter than others……

Dirty days at Woodfarm Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside

I have a great team around me working on keeping the place looking great as I can’t do it on my own

2014 though has really been the year for Woodfarm House & Barns. It was imperative to me that the renovation and build quality were the very best I could achieve, which is why I worked on the build every day myself, getting dirty, stressed, tired and experiencing the occasional minor loss of blood. Once the seven cottages became fully operational in October 2012, my focus then switched to marketing the business in earnest

I work very closely with an independent web developer, who understands my business model inside out and we have now developed a really strong online presence, as well as a friendship. We have had our best year ever but are still working diligently to make the marketing exciting as well as effective, focussing on giving our guests the very best experience from the moment they first see our website. 2014 saw us get these for doing just that;

Visit England Gold Award for Woodfarm House & Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside   Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence awarded to Woodfarm House & Barns - Luxurious and Romantic, Self-Catering, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages in the Heart of the Rural Suffolk Countryside

 

2014 also saw us launch our online tourist guide to everything Suffolk ‘Where Do We?…’, which has been really well received by our guests and visitors to Suffolk, whether they are holidaying here or not

The biggest reward for me though is meeting so many amazing people and just having a laugh with them, backed up by the phenomenal testimonials we get week in, week out from our guests, the amount of recommendations to their friends and family and the unbelieveable number of guests returning again and again. My guests are the lifeblood of my business and without them I have nothing! I’d like to think so many of them I can now consider friends, as well as guests. I shan’t use surnames, out of respect for their privacy but as our most successful year draws to a close I would just like to extend my genuine thanks to everyone who has ever stayed here and especially to a small number of my guests for their continued support. Apologies if I’ve missed you out but in no particular order;

Tracey & Jim

Jenny & Derek

Frances & Graham

Sarah & Neil

Dawn & Paul

Gary & Jenny

Larson & Denise

Brian & Gay

Justin J

Fran & Mark

Sue & Richard

Joanne & Lindsey

Tom & Katie

Sue & Sean

Judith & David

Dan & Sophie

Claire W-S

Jo & Martin

Richard & Sandie

Colin & Sheila

Kirsty & Josh

Ruth & Jim

Alex & Katie

Lyn & Mike

Leo & Jo

Andrew & Val

Jim & Gill

Mark P

Sharon & Steve

Barry & Hilary

Sharon & Colin

Julz

Trudi & Jamie

Keith & Jeanette

Craig & Jackie

Guy & Heather

Peter & Jane

Kate & Kevin

Nigel G

Alex & Graham

Mel & Andreas

Graeme & Elaine

Di and Liam

Lauren & James

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