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Holiday Barge adventure: a voyage aboard Onderneming from Snape Maltings to Lowestoft.

Perfect weather and a perfect trip for a Holiday Barge. Almost…

Our magnificent Dutch Holiday Barge Onderneming went into dry dock in Lowestoft in March 2022, to have some minor work done to the hull, seals etc. 

We put together a Youtube video to share with you our epic journey (well it was epic for us anyway!) up the Heritage Coast of Suffolk. There will be more to follow as what goes up, must come down…

As you can see, we had amazing (though extremely cold!) weather, scenery, and the most incredible sunset and sunrise! 

It was a 24 hour journey over two days, as we had to leave Snape Maltings on the rising tide, and then wait out at Havergate Island near Orford overnight, for the rising tide the next afternoon to head up the coast. We arrived (sorry, I just spoiled the ending) in Lowestoft at dusk, and we had the best fun!

As the owner, it’s always a nerve-wracking trip though, as anything can happen. Like hitting a sandbank as you head out to sea. We were expecting it though as we were going out on a rising tide, so we didn’t have to wait long before she floated again thankfully!

Our Holiday Barge Onderneming had a hull survey carried out five years ago when we bought her, and it stipulated that in five years we would have to have another one as some parts of the hull were thinner than others. Other than the insurance company insisting on it, we wanted to do it of course, in order to keep her in the best condition, and avoid mishaps. 

The plan was for her to be in dry dock for a couple of weeks, and as I type this, she has had the survey done and all is well. There will be updates soon with some more footage, but at the moment she’s having some welding done to ensure her longevity for many more years to come. She’s also having some external seals replaced as expected, as well as new sacrificial anodes fitted to combat corrosion. After that she will be treated to new primer coats and anti-foul paint, again to protect her from the elements. 

All being well we will be back underway early April, albeit with a much lighter wallet. Let’s just say we’d have been able to buy a couple of brand new cars instead, but this has to be done!

We had some fabulous aerial shots from our intrepid photographer Carl Lamb of ambientLight, as well as the shots we took en route. So why not put the kettle on, make your favourite cuppa, and relax with our little movie, full of video clips and photos from our voyage up the wonderful Heritage Coast of Suffolk. 

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WIN an amazing ‘All About Suffolk’ Deli Hamper!

Our favourite foodie emporium, Earsham Street Deli in Bungay has just announced that they are opening at Snape Maltings, right next to Onderneming in 2022! So we’ve teamed up with them once more to give you the chance to WIN a wonderful hamper from Suffolk!

The new Deli will be amazing for our guests, not only staying aboard Onderneming, but it’s also only 20 minutes from Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge. It’s also going to be a great place to pick up some delicious treats for our Barn guests when visiting Snape and Aldeburgh on a day out. It’s only 35 mins from Woodfarm HQ.

To celebrate, we have teamed up with Michelle and the gang at Earsham Street Deli once again to bring one lucky winner a fabulous ‘All about Suffolk’ Hamper. They are going to put together a scrummy bunch of goodies from our wonderful county, just for you (if you’re our winner of course!)

There’s nothing they don’t know about the world of awesome Deli food and drink, and we are so lucky to have such an array of producers right here in Suffolk, making everything from award-winning chocolate, cheeses, crackers, pastries and much more besides.

We’ll be running this FREE COMPETITION into the New Year, then we’ll pick a WINNER using an online random number generator. That person will be the lucky recipient of a yummy Suffolk hamper of Deli goodness, put together by the Deli gang, selecting the very best produce from around the county.

They’ve been feeding the people of Bungay for longer than we’ve been doing what we do, and we are over the moon that they are now opening in one of our Barge locations at Snape Maltings! Hopefully, it’ll be around Spring when our guests will be able to add a real treat to their Woodfarm stay, with the very best gastronomical delights from Suffolk, as well as other fantastic suppliers around the UK, and the world. You’ll receive your hamper well before they open.

So how do you WIN this wonderful Deli Hamper?

Three really easy steps….

1 – SIMPLY SHARE THE COMPETITION POST ON FACEBOOK HERE

2 – ‘LIKE’ OUR PAGE HERE, AS WELL AS THE DELI’S PAGE HERE IF YOU DON’T ALREADY

3 – FILL THE FORM BELOW AND ANSWER A VERY SIMPLE QUESTION! 

(We can’t stress enough, you will need to give us permission to contact you if you win! Don’t tick ‘No’ as you simply cannot win if we can’t contact you. That’s fairly logical right?)

REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE IF YOU’VE READ ALL THIS AND WANT TO WIN
If you do NOT consent to being contacted by Woodfarm Barns and Barges we will be unable to enter you into this competition, as we would be unable to contact you if you were to win. Your name and email address is stored securely. We will NEVER share your name and email address with any third parties. You are welcome to unsubscribe at any time by either clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link on the emails or by contacting us directly.

Even though we’ve said this, around 5% of you will still tick ‘No’ to being contacted as we have become a suspicious society assuming everyone is out to get us. We’re not, we just want to give you some food, which you will never, ever, ever get if you tick NO. And STILL loads of you will tick no. I just palmed my face in desperation for the future of the human race. Seriously I did!

Terms & Conditions
The prize for this Competition is a fabulous Deli Hamper as alluded to above. We will need to be able to send your prize to an address where it can be signed for, as some of it will be perishable. It may get very stinky if it’s left on your front doorstep all day.

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 24 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, it’ll just be your name. We’d obviously really appreciate it if you could then shout it from the rooftops though!

We will run this competition for a month or so and pick the winner using a random number generator on Google. This will be around the end of Jan or the beginning of Feb 2022. We’ll email every entrant at that time, win or lose to let you know who won. 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. Do feel free to write and tell us all about how you know that nobody ever wins these things, as it makes us giggle.

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 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 this good stuff so that you may consider us when making your holiday and short break decisions. It’s very simple really, we didn’t invent it.

If you do not wish to hear about the things mentioned you can opt out now by not entering and making a cup of tea instead, or at any time simply by unsubscribing. 

We do not bombard you. This is just a small, independent business, having fun and 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 we 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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“The Dig” Brings Suffolk to the Small Screen

“The Dig”, a brand new film from Netflix has turned the spotlight on to Sutton Hoo, a location directly opposite our barge Twee Gebroeders at Woodbridge. The featured image is me at Sutton Hoo years ago. Can’t imagine why they didn’t ask me to star in the film!

Starring the multi award-winning Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, the film tells the story of how Edith Pretty, a landowner in 1939, requested a local archaeologist to look into some unexplained mounds on her estate. 

After plenty of digging, it transpired that beneath these mounds was a royal burial chamber complete with all the trimmings – unearthed in the excavation was a warrior’s helmet as well as a sword and shield believed to have once belonged to King Raedwald.

viking ship
‘The dig” unveils the story behind one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time

Described by experts as “one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time”, the film does a fantastic job of revealing all of the drama, excitement and repercussions that came with the work carried out by Basil Brown, the determined local archeologist employed by Edith Pretty.

As you might expect, “The Dig” features plenty of footage from around Suffolk, and the production team headed out to Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh to get what we believe are some of the best shots in the film. Whilst we might be a little biased, we think that the scenes featuring Fiennes biking through some recognisable Suffolk scenes do a great amount of service to the rural landscape of the county. 

Onderneming moored alongside Cygnet, featured in ‘The dig’

Interestingly, A barge that can be seen sailing near Snape in the film is moored next to our very own Onderneming at Snape Maltings! I know the guy who looks after that barge and it may be him sailing her in the film, though I honestly couldn’t quite tell. Here she is in a screenshot from the film. From here, guests on board our barge are able to easily visit the central destination featured in “The Dig” to immerse themselves in this exciting chapter of modern history. It’s just a short walk from Onderneming to where Ralph Fiennes was sitting in this scene.

The Dig Netflix film
This screenshot from ‘The dig’ shows Ralph Fiennes on the bank of the River Alde, near Snape Maltings and Onderneming

Expertly cared for by the National Trust, the Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo welcomes visitors to walk the various mounds that make up the landscape and to see for themselves the task that Basil Brown undertook back in the late thirties.

Whilst history buffs will no doubt be excited to get up close and personal with the Royal Burial Ground, there’s plenty more to Sutton Hoo and the surrounding areas for holidaymakers to take advantage of. Aldebrugh beach, for example, is only a short distance away from our barge Twee Gebroeders. Similarly, the restaurants and attractions in and around Ipswich are easily reached by car.   

Sure to inspire more than a few holidaymakers to visit Suffolk this year, we’re pleased to offer families and couples the opportunity to discover the magic of this destination for themselves when renting one of our barges. 

To find out more about the times Suffolk made its way onto the silver and small screen, be sure to take a look at our article  5 film and TV locations you can visit when taking a holiday in Suffolk. I also wrote a blog post about my own visit to Sutton Hoo many years, which you can see here on on the Woodfarm Barns website.

If the film has got you excited about a Suffolk getaway, be sure to get in touch to start planning your stay on board one of our barges today.

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See the lights at Helmingham Hall’s Illuminated Garden Trail

Helmingham Hall Illuminated Garden Trail

Thinking about something different to do for Christmas this year? Helmingham Hall’s Illuminated Garden Trail is a festive extravaganza, set to light up the 510-year-old private estate – it’s really a sight to see!

Taking place from 2nd to 13th December, the Illuminated Garden Trail at Helmingham Hall is perfect for a romantic evening out while you’re staying in Suffolk at our Barges or Barns.

Not only will you be able to experience the grounds of this amazing private estate all lit up for Christmas, there will also be some delicious food available, as well as independent shops and kiosks for you to purchase some unique Christmas gifts – or just get some inspiration!

It’s also a dog-friendly event! So feel free to take along your well-behaved dog, and bring your lead.

To find out more about Helmingham Hall and this very special event, click here.

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Directions and some extra info for your Woodfarm Barges break

Here’s some extra information such as how to get to us, links to things to do, arrival & departure info, deposit and balance info etc. You might want to save it to you your phone.

Payments
We take a deposit of £100 per Barge at the time of booking, with the balance being payable one month before arrival (extended to two months for Christmas and New year bookings). If your stay is within a month of booking (or within 2 months if for Christmas or New Year) then the total amount is due now.

Directions for our two barges;

For Onderneming
Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, IP17 1SP
From the A12 take the A1094 signposted towards Snape Maltings. At Snape Church turn on to the B1069 into the village of Snape itself before turning left into Snape Maltings. Onderneming is on the quay as you drive in. You can’t miss her!

We have reserved parking just before the slipway nearby so you can unload and park near the Barge.
For Twee Gebroeders
Bass Dock, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1BW. Use the Post Code IP12 1BP for parking (see below)
From the A12 in either direction turn off for Woodbridge and simply follow the road through the town to the riverside, keeping a lookout for signs to ‘The Tidemill’. It is so iconic, there are signs everywhere.

The Barge is moored on a public quay so we don’t have parking. You can park just a few minutes walk to the Train Station car park next door to the quay. It’s £4 per day via the RingGo app. The postcode is IP12 4AU and the RingGo location is 4415

Just walk through to the river and follow the quay around towards the Tidemill. Twee Gebroeders is the barge nearest the Tidemill itself. If you have a lot of luggage, you can drive to The Tidemill directly to drop off close to the Barge.


Arrival & Departure – we’ll be in touch a couple of days before arrival to arrange a time
Arrival whilst we are ‘under the COVID cloud’ is 4pm as we have a lot of extra housekeeping and we like to make sure your barge is ready. We do like to welcome you but we have key safes if you are likely to arriving when we’re not around. If this is the case we’ll let you have the current code for your barge. Departures are by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure so we can prepare it for the next guests. Please don’t make us send in the heavies to drag you out kicking and screaming.

Planning your stay
We have loads of ideas on our Blog Pages, plus on the Blog Pages of woodfarmbarns.com. We also have a website that we’ve developed just for you to start getting excited about your stay. ‘Where Do We?…‘ is your online guide to lots of things in  Suffolk so hopefully it’ll help.

Days Out
We also have a blog series especially for our guests that pulls together some great Days Out – so you can find out how to spend a full day out in specific parts of the local area. Visit our blog here…

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See the autumn red deer rut in Suffolk

Red deer rut

The red deer rut is a one-of-a-kind spectacle of nature and marks the height of autumn in the county of Suffolk! For everything you need to know about how to see the red deer rut in Suffolk, read on…

What is the red deer rut?

Taking place in autumn, specifically the month of October, the red deer rut is a part of the mating process for red deer.

Mating begins with the females of the species gathering in a large herd. This herd is then joined by large, fierce stags, who are ready to intimidate each other in front of their potential mates. The stags tip their heads back and roar into the air; the one with the loudest roar becomes the dominant male, and essentially wins his harem of females.

Deer in misty park
Red deer are the largest land mammals in the UK!

However – and this is where it gets really interesting – if there is another stag with a similarly loud roar and a taste for dominance, the two will battle it out using their antlers. They’ll clash together and lock antlers until one becomes injured or backs down, and the winner will take his position as the dominant male of the harem. The fight usually doesn’t last long, but it is a very exciting part of nature in the Suffolk countryside!

Incredible facts about red deer

Did you know that red deer are the largest land mammals in the UK? These majestic animals can grow to around four feet tall, minus their antlers! Although their size is rather intimidating, most red deer (even park deer) will try to escape if a human or other large animal gets too close. However, it’s important not to approach male deer, especially during mating season, as they will display aggressive behaviour. 

Deer bathing in water
Suffolk has one of the largest populations of red deer outside Scotland

Formerly extinct across much of the UK in the 1700s, conservationists have worked extremely hard to bring populations back to life. The national population has now reached 360,000, with a large percentage based in Scotland. Here in Suffolk, we’re very lucky to have one of the largest populations of red deer outside of Scottish borders!

Where to see the red deer rut in Suffolk

RSPB Minsmere is, without a doubt, the best place to see the red deer rut in Suffolk. Following a brief closure during the COVID-19 lockdown, all trails and most hides are now open, allowing you to see the deer, as well as a huge range of autumn migrating birds and wonderful flora across the reserve. Most paths on the trails are wide enough to allow for social distancing, ensuring a safe and positive environment for visitors of all ages.

RSPB sign and robin
RSPB Minsmere: the ideal location to spot the red deer rut

RSPB Minsmere is open from dawn until dusk, with the visitor centre open between 9am-5pm from 1st February to 31st October, and 9am-4pm from 1st November to 31st January. 

Tickets are £9 per adult and £5 for children under 19 (first child gets free entrance, and children under 5 go free). Student tickets are £6 each.

Can I bring my dog?

At RSPB Minsmere, dogs are not allowed on trails or in the hides. However, maps are available for walking dogs locally in the area. We also have a selection of blog posts about where you can take your dog, on our ‘Where Do We?’ website.

Dunwich heath
RSPB Minsmere is right next to the stunning Dunwich Beach & Heath
Where to stay in Suffolk during the red deer rut

We welcome you to stay on board our unique, historic Suffolk Holiday Barges. These stunning static Barges are available for couples, families and groups of friends looking for a relaxing stay in wonderful Suffolk. Our Onderneming Barge is based in the charming village of Snape Maltings and sleep 6, while Twee Gebroeders is based in the market town of Woodbridge and sleeps 4. Both have been refurbished to a high standard, and feature their own kitchen and dining facilities, bathrooms, comfortable bedrooms, cosy living areas and central heating. 

Houseboat holiday in Suffolk - Onderneming Barge
Our Onderneming Dutch Barge is moored at Snape Malting on the River Alde in Suffolk

Onderneming is a half-hour drive from RSPB Minsmere, while Twee Gebroeders is 45 minutes away. It’s the perfect location for an autumn day out! Want to dive into a snug Suffolk pub for a drink and a hearty meal after walking around the reserve? Click here to view our favourite Suffolk pubs located near our Barges!

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The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 2020 – what’s happening?

Local Suffolk produce

The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is a much-loved event in the Suffolk event calendar – however, this year’s event will be a little bit different. Read on for the lowdown of what’s happening during the 2020 festival.

What is the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

Widely regarded as one of the best annual food festivals in the country, this event brings together dozens of local producers of fresh food, drink, confectionery and more. It’s the place to be if you want to fill your fridge and pantry with mouth watering produce – and indulge in a cheeky, freshly-made meal while you’re browsing. 

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

Not only that, but you can meet the producers themselves, and grill them about food miles, sustainable practices, and more. It’s a great way to learn about the thriving food industry in Suffolk.

The event takes place at the stunning riverside village of Snape, which is also where one of our beautiful, Historic Suffolk Holiday Barges is based! The Barge, Onderneming, sleeps six guests and up to three dogs, and features three bathrooms, two large lounge and dining areas, two kitchens and stunning river views. We clean both of our Barges thoroughly following each visit, ensuring that our guests are safe and happy during their stay.

What’s changing for 2020?

As a precautionary measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is undergoing a few temporary changes this year. On 26th to 27th September, a ‘Market Weekend’ will replace the festival. Don’t worry – it’ll still take place at Snape Maltings, and there will be over 50 local producers spread across the grounds of the outdoor event area, plus entertainment and street food kiosks.

Tim Anderson and Kwoklyn Wan at the 2019 Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
Tim Anderson (left) and Kwoklyn Wan on the Tiptree Stage at last year’s event

Unfortunately, this year’s event will lack the live chef demonstrations and masterclasses of previous years, but the market itself will be a wonderful experience! 

Where to get tickets for the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 2020

Tickets are FREE this year! However, to enable the festival to keep going for future years and to keep bringing local producers together for the event, the arrangers are asking for optional donations with bookings. You can book your tickets via the festival website here. Be aware that festival visitor numbers will be limited to allow for social distancing measures, so make sure to book well in advance. 

Wild Suffolk at the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
Wild Suffolk at the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
Where to stay

Our Onderneming Barge is moored on the river at Snape Maltings, meaning that the festival is right on your doorstep. However, the Barge is fully booked for the 2020 event, as is our Twee Gebroeders Barge at Woodbridge and our Luxury, Dog-Friendly Cottages in Stonham Aspal.

As our Holiday Barges and Cottages are so popular, we recommend booking well in advance – especially for popular Suffolk events! We do have some space available for later in the autumn and winter. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Suffolk, so book now to enjoy the beauty that our county has to offer!

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Why take a unique Barge holiday?

Onderneming at Snape Maltings

Thank you for taking the time to consider staying at one of our Suffolk Holiday Barges. Still mulling over your booking? Below are some reasons that might help you make a decision!

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…

We’re dog-friendly

We say this on nearly every page of our website – but we still get questions about our dog-friendly status! Yes, we welcome up to three dogs on each of our Barges. Included in your holiday will be necessities to keep your dog happy, including dog treats in your welcome basket, dog poop bags, towels, and more. There are plenty of walks and activities for you and your dog to enjoy in Suffolk, and you don’t even have to venture far from your Barge!

Twee Gebroeders Barge

Fantastic reviews and awards

Our guests love staying at Woodfarm Barges, and we have many who return year after year! Guests have described our Barges as ‘authentic’, ‘unique’ and ‘exceeding all expectations’. But don’t just take our word for it! We have an entire page of reviews that you can read through at your leisure here.

We’re also the proud recipients of the Visit England Gold Awards for both our Barges and Barns, which we’ve been awarded every year since we first launched, back in 2014.

The main bedroom of our Holiday Cottage Barge

We’re constantly full!

The fact that we’re constantly taking back-to-back bookings is a testament to how popular our Barges really are! And no, this isn’t just us bragging, nor is it a sales technique – we would love to be able to fit everyone in who wants a booking, and we don’t like having to turn people away. We want you to be able to enjoy our Barges just as every guest has before you, so it’s important to book right away if you see a space in the calendar that fits your holiday dates.

Onderneming at Snape Maltings

Excellent location

Our Historic, Dutch Holiday Barges are located in blissful Suffolk, in the midst of nature but conveniently located near fabulous amenities such as riverside restaurants and independent shops. Onderneming is moored on the River Alde in the one-of-a-kind village of Snape Maltings, while Twee Gebroeders is moored on the River Deben at the Tidemill in Woodbridge.

Onderneming Barge at Snape Maltings

View before you stay

We know it can be difficult to make your mind up about where to go on holiday, as there’s so much choice out there. That’s why we’ve got plenty of info, images and videos to show you just why you should stay with us. We’ve just about covered everything you need to know about our Barges on this website, but if you have any more questions, feel free to message us at any time and someone will get back to you. Watch our videos here to find out more about our Barges.

We’re expanding to Tuscany

It won’t be long now before we can welcome guests at our breathtakingly beautiful Holiday Cottage in the heart of the Tuscan countryside in Italy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing countryside break with warmer weather, a Mediterranean culinary exploration, picturesque views that would make any avid photographer swoon – or all of the above! – then visit our Woodfarm Tuscany website to know more and follow our progress.

FREE breaks!

We love to give away free breaks to our Woodfarm VIP Rewards Group. You don’t have to have stayed with us to become a member, and it doesn’t cost anything. All you need to do is sign up to our email list here and you could be selected to win.

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.

We hope that this page has provided you with all the information you need about our Suffolk Holiday Barges, but please let me know if you have any more queries by calling me directly on 01449 710032, or emailing carl@woodfarmbarns.com. You can also click here to book your holiday.

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What to bring for a beach day with your dog

What to bring to a beach day with your dog

As spring and summer approach, what could complement the warmer weather more than a trip to the beach with your dog? Just like humans, many dogs will adore the fresh air and the chance to run around – and if your dog is a strong swimmer and the current isn’t strong, maybe even a dip in the sea!

However, it’s important to be prepared when going to the beach. Just as you wouldn’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen, you should also bring a few items for your dog’s wellbeing. Read on to find out what to bring (aside from the standard collar, leash, poop bags, etc.)!

But first, a brief note about Suffolk’s beaches

We know many people love going abroad for their holidays, especially to beachfront locations where the weather is much hotter and ‘all-inclusive’ is the name of the game. However, there are many reasons to take a holiday in the UK: it can be far more cost effective, it’s better for the environment and it’s a great way to visit areas that you might not have thought about before.

What to bring to a beach day with your dog
A local holiday with your pup is easier on the pocket and the environment!

If you’d love to go on a local holiday, but you still like the idea of being at the beach, then Suffolk is the place to go. Our beaches are very clean and, if you have a dog, many are dog-friendly at certain times of the year. Suffolk Coasts and Heaths is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which lines our county; this means that our beaches are untouched by development and maintain a healthy flora and fauna population. There’s so much to see here – and all just a stone’s throw away from our Dog-Friendly Dutch Barges!

5 things to bring to the beach with your dog

Plenty of water

Even though you’re by the sea, it’s essential to bring clean water for your dog to drink during your beach trip. A few gulps of sea water can cause diarrhoea, and any more than that could cause vomiting and dehydration, which is dangerous for dogs. If your dog is running around in hot weather, they will need plenty of hydration. Bring a bottle or two with you; some popular beaches offer communal taps for refilling bottles.

Towel

Whether or not your dog is going in the sea, beaches can be messy places, with sand, seaweed and other substances sticking to your dog’s fur. An old towel is a simple but very handy item to help you keep your dog clean.

Beach umbrella

Did you know that dogs can get sunburnt, too? Their noses and ears are the most sensitive areas, and it can be quite painful for them to get burnt there. Dogs can also get heat stroke from being in the sun for too long, and this can be very dangerous. A beach umbrella will provide some sun relief for both you and your pup – so take one during your next visit!

Floating toy

Bringing your dog’s favourite toy to the beach is nice – but what if it disappears under water?! Balls, ropes and other toys can quickly disappear if dropped in the sea, and this can result in a distraught doggy! Floating toys stay on the surface, allowing your dog to easily locate their toy. Take one along to the beach for a game of fetch.

Small first aid kit

Accidents do happen, whether your dog has stood on a piece of broken shell and cut themselves, or they’ve been stung by a wasp. A small first aid kit filled with essential items will help you keep your dog safe until you can get them home and make them comfortable again. A couple of bandages, dog-safe antiseptic towelettes and scissors can come in handy (always read the labels before using any products on your dog’s skin).

What to bring to a beach day with your dog
Stay with up to three dogs on our holiday barges, which are close to Suffolk’s beautiful beaches

Dog-Friendly Suffolk Holidays with Woodfarm Barges

We hope that you and your dog have a waggly tail of a time at the beach! If you are thinking about coming to Suffolk for a holiday, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our two historic, Dog-Friendly Dutch Barges are situated at Woodbridge and Snape Maltings, and both can accommodate up to three dogs each. We also have a set of Luxury, Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottages further into the Suffolk countryside, but also not far from the beach.

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Get your fill of classical music at Snape Maltings

Violins in an orchestra

Love classical music? Or just want to try something different? Not only is the Suffolk music scene bursting with life in the genres of pop, rock, jazz and more, it’s also a hub for classical music – and arts complex Snape Maltings is the number one place in the county to get your fill.

The history of Snape Maltings

Built in the 19th century by entrepreneur Newson Garrett, the maltings were originally intended for converting barley into malt for beer production. Snape, the village in which the maltings are situated, although small, had a bustling inland port in the 1800s. Through this port, malted barley, fertiliser and sugar beet were exported to London and the rest of the UK. However, as production in other towns grew, output in Snape declined and the maltings closed in 1960 as a result.

Luckily, for us and many other music and art lovers out there, legendary British composer Benjamin Britten was on the lookout for the perfect location for a concert hall. Britten had already established the Aldeburgh Music Festival in 1948 in collaboration with singer Peter Pears and writer Eric Crozier; however, its new 832-seat home in the largest malthouse at Snape Maltings was far more suitable than the various churches and town halls in which it was previously hosted.

The concert hall was officially opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1967. Its popularity with both the public and renowned and aspiring musicians prompted Britten and Pears to convert further disused buildings on the site into rehearsal spaces and teaching rooms, cementing Snape Maltings as a centre for music on the Suffolk coast.

The next big revamp came in 2006, when Aldeburgh Music purchased a 999 year lease on the Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The organisation invested around £14m into the venue, which, three years later, became the ‘Creative Campus’ with four performance venues and many rehearsal and public spaces.

Snape Maltings
Snape maltings hosts the annual Aldeburgh Festival, launched by legendary composer Benjamin Britten

The Aldeburgh Music Festival

Despite its name, Aldeburgh Music Festival’s permanent location is Snape Maltings, which is a 5-mile drive from Aldeburgh town centre. The festival takes place over two weeks in June each year, and hosts dozens of classical musical acts from around the world. 

During this time, there are also various art exhibitions taking place in the galleries around the maltings. These exhibitions showcase a range of artists working in an assortment of mediums, from photography to moving images, to paintings and sculpture.

Snape Proms

Snape Proms takes place each August and welcomes musicians from around the world, from solo artists to orchestras. Make sure you get tickets early to this intimate event, which offers floor seating (bring a comfy pillow!) to provide a close-up view of the action.

Britten Weekend

Don’t think that all the classical music fun takes place in summer! Britten Weekend happens over a weekend in autumn, and celebrates Snape Maltings’ founder and his impact on the world of music.

Visit Snape Maltings’ website to find out more about these events, including dates, dress code, ticket prices and more.

Houseboat holiday in Suffolk - Onderneming Barge
Our Onderneming Dutch Barge is moored at Snape Malting on the River Alde in Suffolk

Staying in Snape

Snape is such a unique and inspiring part of the country (which is one of the reasons why Britten wanted to move the Aldeburgh Festival here!), so why not stay inspired by booking accommodation right outside Snape Maltings on a historic Dutch barge? Our spacious Onderneming barge is no more than a two minute’s walk from the concert halls, and we provide all the luxuries that you might need to enjoy a culturally fulfilling stay in Suffolk. Find more about Onderneming here.