A cottage break in the countryside; rules of engagement to enhance your Suffolk cottage holiday enjoyment.
I have put this little guide together after letting holiday cottages in Suffolk for many years now. I wanted to make it easier for visitors to my cottages to know what to expect out here in the rural heart of this beautiful county. I hope you find it informative.
First thing to remember; It’s the countryside. It’s different to the town.
Going to the pub on your Suffolk cottage holiday
We don’t have six pubs within a thirty second walk. It’s the countryside. We are in the heart or rural Suffolk as we advertise. If you’d like to get to a pub within thirty seconds, don’t book as we don’t have one. You will want what we call London. Do feel free to book if you’d like unspoilt countryside, fresh air, wildlife, a natural environment, clear skies and no light pollution, with some great pubs and restaurants a short drive away.
Are mostly very friendly but I cannot guarantee this. I have met some miserable people in shops and businesses around here. But I have met far worse elsewhere, such as …. Better not! On the whole you’ll find very friendly, helpful and cheery people in Suffolk and I can absolutely guarantee that you will find very cheery people working at Woodfarm. This is because we work in a tranquil haven, detached from the real world outside.
Dogs welcome on your Suffolk cottage holiday
We have a fabulous reputation in the high quality, yet dog-friendly holiday cottage market. Please don’t ruin it by letting your dog jump all over the sofas and beds, or bark their heads off in the garden. We don’t like to hear dogs crying because they’ve been left in a cottage on their own, whilst their owners go out. It’s not nice. We love having dogs here. With responsible owners. I think that’s fair and I know that the guests we love having here will agree. It’s also how we keep that reputation.
Spiders in your cottage
We are in the countryside. So are spiders. They will not hurt you (unless we suddenly get the hurty sort, in which case terms and conditions apply) They may however, spin webs after our cleaners have been in. We have seen it happen so it is a distinct possibility. We do our level best to keep your cottage spotless but we do tend to adopt a policy of ‘live and let live’ outside, so if you see webs outside your cottage, it’s because it’s home to an important part of our eco-system. And they eat flies! We don’t like flies. See section on flies.
Flies in the Suffolk countryside
We are in the countryside. So are flies. Especially when the farmers (see section on farming) spread poo all over the fields. We don’t like poo, but crops do and so do flies. Poo is important to grow lovely food for you to eat. Flies are not. Death to flies.
Taxi’s in rural Suffolk
We provide a comprehensive list of the local cab firms. I always advise people to book taxi’s in advance, both for arrivals and departures. Please note if you are coming from London or America (the two groups who normally struggle with this concept) when I say to book in advance, what I mean is to book advance. This means before you need it, not the nano-second that you do. This is because most people in the country need a car to get around so cabs are not the norm. I have had people waiting on the lane we are on to flag down a cab. It won’t happen. Ever
Buses in rural Suffolk
Hay fever and the countryside
If you suffer from hay fever, please note we sometimes have hay around us. It’s the countryside. Please bring hay fever tablets with you if you need them. We don’t stock them as we try to avoid multi-million pound law suits because you died when we gave you a tablet.
Please see references to light pollution. And my latest electricity bill! Please turn lights off when you’re not using them. It’s good for the planet and also, did you see my reference to my electicity bill in the last sentence? Please use the lights in the rooms you are in, with my blessing, but not when you’re not in them. Spiders can see in the dark so you don’t need to leave them on for these guys.
Farming in Suffolk
We are in the country. This means we have fields all over the place. Farmers fields. Farmers like to harvest and stuff like that. This sometimes means you’ll hear farm machinery. This is to grow things so you can eat. It’s a good thing. For the same reason, the area may smell of poo at certain times of the year. Check out the sort of farming activity that goes on around here <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/x4C38Qj2BQ0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Bird scarers for the farmers
Sometimes when the aforementioned farmers have what we call ‘crops’ growing in their fields you will hear loud bangs. These are not drive-by shootings (usually) These are bird-scarers. They are loud so the birds get scared. They then don’t eat these crops and this means that you can. Again, it’s a good thing.
Muddy fields on your Suffolk cottage holiday
I’m not sure where the nearest path is, I think it’s in Stonham Aspal. Mostly what you’ll find around us is our lane and fields. In the wet weather they get muddy. You may need alternative footwear, perhaps some boots based upon the leather Hessian boots, worn and popularised by Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. This novel “Wellington” boot became a staple of hunting and outdoor wear for the British aristocracy in the early 19th century and is now available to all of us, whether or not you are an aristocrat.
Coats on your holiday
You may need a coat too. Suffolk is one of the driest counties in the UK. But sometimes it rains. A lot. I have genuinely had guests tell me that they had a bad time one day because they went out and it rained. They had forgotten their coats and it ruined their day. Not quite sure what that had to do with me?
Wifi in your holiday cottage
This is not the centre of London. We have done everything we can to get you the very best standard of Wifi. For free. I have had wireless access points and fibre-optic cabling installed underneath the cottages but I can only give you the level of broadband that we are given. I’ve just double-checked and the centre of London gets a faster service. But we have more fields and fresh air and some broadbandness! It’s a little bit like asking me to improve the level of wine in the tap water. I can only give you what I’m given.
Bikes to explore the lanes
We have a modest collection of bikes of varying sizes that most people are content to potter around the lanes around us on. We may not have exactly what you are looking for but the bike shop will. We do not have any of Bradley Wiggins’s old bikes knocking about so if you are a cycling nut, bring yours, it may be better than ours.
Mobile phones in our cottages
See section on Wifi. We have only just stopped administering leeches for every ailment so it’ll take a while for Messrs Vodafone & Orange to reach the parts that we want them to reach. However, we do have a pretty good service on the window cills. We have insulated the cottages to make them warm but it can affect phone signal.
We have hotel quality medium-firm mattresses in all our cottages. Please be aware that some of you will say they are too firm and some will say they are too soft. This is because by default, all of those reading this are human and as such, are all different. Do feel free to bring your own mattress, or a different body.
Street lights in the countryside
Arrival & departure
As per our terms and conditions these are from 3pm and prior to 10.30am. We often have guests wanting to arrive early and if we’ve spoken about it and your cottage is ready then we would be delighted for you to get a little extra holiday in.
We have this 4.5 hour ‘window’ so that we can get every cottage (it’s sometimes all seven in a day) cleaned, laundered and set up ready for the next guests, along with your delicious breakfast basket.
So when it comes to departure, please let us have the cottage back for 10.30 as we state everywhere, so that the next guests might have the opportunity to start a little early or at least on time. Very occasionally we have to send in our SWAT team (Suffolk With Ak47’s & Tasers) to remove people forcibly. Please don’t be the next victim otherwise you will be named and shamed on national television. Ok, I might have made all that bit up but you get the point.
Well, if you’re still reading then you must have a sense of humour and if that’s the case we shall allow you to stay here. You’ll then enjoy the open countryside, the fresh air, the sound of the birds, the views across the farmland, waking up and pondering the difficult decisions such as whether to have coffee or tea. Whichever you choose, we’ve provided it but you will have to make it yourself. I’m nice, but I’m not that nice!
Only then will you see why we have over 100 Five Star Tripadvisor reviews. And you’ll also see why so many people recommend us to their family and friends and keep coming back for more. And, if you ask nicely, we might let you come back