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Explore Suffolk in a canoe

Iken Cliff

Our dog-friendly, Suffolk-based, 19th century Dutch sailing barges may be static on their respective rivers, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take to the water to see Suffolk!

The River Alde
Sunrise on the beautiful River Alde

The River Alde – © Copyright Roger Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

When you’re staying with Woodfarm Barges, think of your accommodation as a static luxury holiday cottage on a stunning waterway. You get all the benefits of a relaxing river stay, without requiring any experience in sailing – simply hop aboard via the gangplank and you’re set!

If, however, you would like to try your hand at navigating a Suffolk river, head to the nearby Iken Canoe hire for canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Just a four-minute drive away from our Onderneming barge and 20 minutes away from Twee Gebroeders, Iken Canoe is situated at Iken Cliff, a stunning location in the Alde Estuary.

Iken Cliff
Iken Cliff was once a bustling trade passage

View from Iken Cliff – © Copyright Dave Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Iken Cliff used to see a host of activity in the form of trade barges transporting corn into London. Now, however, things are much quieter, making it the perfect place to set off on a journey to explore the river in all its natural beauty.

Canoe hire in Suffolk

Are you an avid watersports participant? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a relaxing glide down the river. Either way, Iken Canoe can kit you out with everything you need to enjoy this unique method of discovering Suffolk.

As their name suggests, Iken Canoe offer easy-to-paddle Canadian canoes, which are suitable for most abilities. They also offer kayaks for the more adventurous of visitors, stand-up paddleboards for the well-balanced, and katakunas, which are catamaran-canoe hybrids that can take up to six people. So whether you’re travelling with family or friends, or you just want to head out for a quiet sail with your partner, Iken Canoe is the place to go.

With your canoe hire, you’ll also be given a buoyancy aid, paddles and a dry bag for expensive gear like phones and cameras – after all that last thing you’d want is for that pretty river sunset selfie to end up at the bottom of the Alde! Iken Canoe will brief you on safety precautions before your journey, and they can also give you plenty of advice on the best spots along the river.

Canoeing in Suffolk on the River Alde

The River Alde stretches from a tiny stream in the ancient village of Laxfield, past Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh, and eventually turns into the River Ore as it reaches Orford and flows out to the North Sea. Although it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll sail the whole thing in a canoe, there is plenty to see in the parts of the river which are more accessible.

This part of Suffolk is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Along your journey, you’ll see many different types of wildlife that rarely pop up in other parts of the county. For example, did you know that you can see seals along the River Alde? The common seal can sometimes be found lazing on the mud flats in this area – and they’re not hard to spot! Being at the top of the food chain in Suffolk rivers, seals have little to fear and have been known to indulge their curiosities upon seeing boats and canoes by swimming right up to the vessels. There was even an instance on the River Deben where a seal decided to hop onto a rowing boat for a leisurely trip upstream.

Common Seal
You might see one of these along your journey!

Common seal – © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Birds are by far one of the most common types of animals you’ll see on your canoe trip. However, these aren’t any old birds; keep an eye out for avocets (black and white with long legs and bills), marsh harriers (medium-sized, brown birds of prey), curlews (brown with long, down-curved bills) and more.

If you have great eyesight or even hearing, you may be able to spot an otter nearby. Listen out for a subtle splash as otters slip into the water from the riverbanks, or look out for their footprints in the mud to get an idea of where these happy semi-aquatic mammals might appear. Unlike seals, otters don’t really like to be seen and take advantage of their ability for stealth, so you have to be on high alert if you want to spot one!

Stay with Woodfarm Barges while you explore Suffolk

Woodfarm Barges is the perfect location for your Suffolk holiday. Whether you adore active holidays and want to get out on the river with Iken Canoe right away, or you just like sitting back and admiring the scenery, book one of our luxury, dog-friendly barges and stay in the best location for access to rural Suffolk activities.

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Woodfarm Barges’ favourite Woodbridge restaurants

The Galley, Woodbridge, Suffolk

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as stimulating your tastebuds with some delicious local cuisine while on holiday – and Woodbridge in Suffolk has some great options.

Visit this small, quintessentially English town, which is situated on the doorstep of our Twee Gebroeders barge, or just a 20 minute drive away from our Onderneming barge at Snape Maltings. Here, you’ll not only find traditional shops and picturesque walks along the river, but also a number of excellent restaurants.

Some might find it surprising that such a small town in rural Suffolk has so much to offer in terms of eating out, but the truth is that Woodbridge has access to some of the best local producers that the county has to offer, as well as top chefs who know just what to do with the produce itself!

Here is a selection of Woodbridge restaurants that receive the Woodfarm seal of approval:

The Galley, Woodbridge, Suffolk
The Galley in Woodbridge is known for its excellent service, artistic decor and local food

@thegalleywoodbridge

The Galley

For fine dining, The Galley comes highly recommended. Once a brewhouse during the time of the Napoleonic War, the historic charm of the building is evident throughout the restaurant. There’s even a nod to Woodbridge’s naval heritage in the form of an exposed beam of wood from a ship.

Owner Ugur Vata’s love of art brings a tasteful hint of eclecticism to the scene. Look out for a Picasso lithograph and Salvador Dalí plates on display, plus a collection of work by local artists. Even the menu cover was commissioned.

When it comes to food, The Galley’s ever-changing menu means you’ll be able to try a unique dish each time you visit. However, one thing you can be sure of is that the restaurant makes good use of local produce, including locally caught fish.

For special occasions and large groups, we recommend booking one of the private dining rooms for a more exclusive experience. The private dining room upstairs is bright and airy and seats up to 14 people, while the wine cellar downstairs seats up to 30.

Visit the website here.

The Table, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Spend a summer’s afternoon in the courtyard at The Table – you won’t regret it!

@the_table_

The Table

Traditional brasserie restaurant The Table has served Woodbridge for over 50 years. Housed in a charming 16th century building, this restaurant encourages a relaxed dining experience with non-pretentious, high quality food.

In the summer, try and get a seat in the courtyard, with its pretty floral displays and English cottage aesthetic. You’ll want to spend all afternoon there!

The Table prides itself on its close relationships with local producers. You’ll find a menu full of fresh, local ingredients, which heavily influence the daily menu changes.

Try a curry at The Table; the team are working with local growers to source unusual Far Eastern vegetables to enhance the flavours of their curries. They’ve even developed their own range of award-winning curry pastes for you to use at home.

Visit the website here.

The Riverside, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Take a trip to this Michelin listed restaurant, and see a film in the same building!

@theriversidewoodbridge

The Riverside

The Riverside isn’t just a cinema; its in-house restaurant is surprisingly brilliant (Surprising in that it’s part of a cinema!). It appears in Which’s Good Food Guide and is Michelin listed, while also being recommended by The Financial Times.

Inside you’ll find stylish decor and dimmed lighting, perfect for a romantic evening out. Without being too expensive, the daily written menus offer a plethora of incredible dishes, from lunch through to supper.

Enjoy local favourites such as Dingley Dell pork and Deben seabass alongside mouth watering foods from further afield like Devon crab. And after all that, why not watch a film?

Visit the website here.

The Turks Head, Hasketon, Suffolk
The Turks Head: A ‘proper country pub’

@theturkshead

The Turks Head

Located just outside Woodbridge in the small rural village of Hasketon, this self-dubbed ‘proper country pub’ is an easy drive or just under an hour’s walk away from the gangplank of Twee Gebroeders or a 25 minute drive from Onderneming.

Dogs are welcome in the bar and snug at The Turks Head, so if you’re popping in for a pint with your pup, this is the perfect pitstop! The pub is known for local ales and an extensive gin and wine list, so you’re in good hands.

The menu consists of hearty and high quality dishes which, like other establishments on this list, includes a local touch. However, you’ll see that these ingredients aren’t just served as you’d expect them. For example, the Tandoori Sutton Hoo chicken mixes one of the county’s most delicious free range chicken products with a taste of India. Exciting stuff!

Visit the website here.

The Grundisburgh Dog, Suffolk
The Grundisburgh Dog has just won Pub of the Year!

@grundisburghdog

The Grundisburgh Dog

As its name suggests, The Grundisburgh Dog is a dog-friendly pub, and your furry friend is welcome in the pub, restaurant and gardens. They’ve even won the award of UK Dog-Frendly Pub of the Year!

Located in the village of Grundisburgh, this splendid pub and restaurant is 12 minutes by car from Twee Gebroeders and a half hour’s drive from Onderneming.

The pub offers a vast range of craft and cask beers and ales, as well as a bespoke gin and tonic menu. If that wasn’t enough, the restaurant menu will have you salivating. Think slow cooked pork belly, pan-fried gurnard and more; plus, they proudly cater for intolerances and special diets.

The Grundisburgh Dog have just won Pub of the Year in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, so make this a ‘must-do’ on your list!

Visit the website here.

Stay with Woodfarm Barges and experience the taste of Suffolk

We hope that you’ll choose to stay with us when you embark on your Suffolk food journey, as the location of our barges makes it very easy to access many of the best restaurants in the county’s portfolio. Take a look at our dog-friendly Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders barges now and don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to arrange a stay.

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Eating at the Deben Inns during your Woodfarm Barges stay

The Newbourne Fox

There are many highly regarded places to eat in Suffolk, and it’s probably because of the county’s exceptional local produce, which can only be a good thing! You only have to look at a pub menu and it’ll be inundated with the word ‘local’ next to everything from fish to ice cream.

It’s this utilisation of our resources which makes our restaurants, pubs and cafes so great. You can bet your bottom dollar that something fresh and exciting will appear on the menu throughout the four seasons, because there’s just so much for chefs to experiment with.

One Suffolk-based chain of restaurants that does seasonal food particularly well is the Deben Inns. Comprised of six eateries dotted across Suffolk, the Deben Inns offers great local food and drink, and an atmosphere that suits all types of Woodfarm guests – even those with tails!

But with six restaurants to choose from, which one do you visit? Well, if you’re staying on one of our 19th century Dutch sailing barges for a while, you could always knock each one off your list as you go! But if not, we’ve collected a little bit of info on these excellent places to eat in Suffolk to help you make a decision.

The Butt & Oyster
This pub dates back to 1456!

© Copyright Mark Percy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Butt & Oyster

This waterside pub sits on the edge of the River Orwell in the hamlet of Pin Mill, and is as much an attraction for those on foot as it is for passing sailors. With a long history spanning back to 1456 when the building was used for court hearings, the Butt & Oyster has catered to both tourists and Pin Mill hamleteers for years, retaining its heritage much like the rest of this beautifully preserved area of Suffolk.

In winter, cosy up in the charming restaurant and admire its uncontrived nautical decor while you enjoy a warming seasonal meal. In summer, arrive early to bag yourself a seat on one of the picnic tables outside, or be prepared to wait!

The Butt & Oyster declare on their website that they adore dogs and even offer treats. There are some fantastic walks around Pin Mill, with the pub well situated as a food and drink break so this is an excellent option for dog owners. Just be aware that dogs aren’t allowed in the main restaurant – just the pub and outside.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 28 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 15 miles

The Maybush, Waldringfield
This pub was a finalist in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Family Dining Category

The Maybush, Waldringfield cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Tim Marchantgeograph.org.uk/p/1430576

The Maybush

Another riverside pub, The Maybush is situated on the River Deben in the chocolate-box village of Waldringfield. The cosy interior is perfect for autumn and winter days, but in warmer weather the large outdoor area buzzes with patrons wanting a view of the waterway to complement their meal. Once you’ve visited this very pretty pub, you’ll want to visit again and again!

Popular throughout the year, this branch of the Deben Inns was a finalist in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Family Dining Category. We recommend checking the specials menu on the blackboards opposite the bar to discover local and seasonal dishes.

You can access The Maybush via car and park in the adjacent car park, or take one of the many scenic country walks that lead to the pub, which is a great option for dog owners. You’ll also be delighted to know that dogs are welcome at The Maybush. For an excellent article on walks in this area, click here.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 17 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 5 miles

The Newbourne Fox
The Fox hosts an annual ‘Fox Fest’ which offers music, food and family fun

cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Andrew Hillgeograph.org.uk/p/894547

The Fox Inn

Friendly and dynamic, The Fox Inn is at the heart of village life in Newbourne. The pub sits within a picture-perfect 16th century building adorned with dozens of floral hanging baskets – a real treat for the eye.

Despite the pub being located in a quiet, rural area of Suffolk, it receives many visitors from all around, especially during its free events such as the annual ‘Fox Fest’ which offers music, food and family fun.

Dogs are welcome at The Fox Inn, with a treat waiting for them when they walk through the door. This pub is just a 45-minute walk away from The Maybush, so if you wanted to tick two of the inns off your list, I’m sure your dog would love the fresh air!

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 17 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 10 miles

The Coach and Horses, Suffolk
Try this pub’s unique ‘coach’ burger!

Instagram @coachandhorsesmelton

The Coach & Horses

The historic Coach & Horses pub is located in a 17th century building in Melton, which was once a coach house. Today, you can still feel the pub’s rich history in the low ceilings and open fireplace; however, the more contemporary decor additions create a pleasant environment for lunch or dinner.

Here, you can enjoy a vast range of pub favourites like slow cooked lamb and traditional fish and chips; but a must-try is the pub’s unique ‘coach’ burger with thick chips and salad, followed by their mouth-watering sticky toffee pudding.

Bring your canine friend along with you, as dogs are welcome here and will undoubtedly enjoy the warm interior and spacious outdoor dining terrace.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 9 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 1.5 miles

The Swan at Westerfield
This pub has a reputation for imaginative food

© Copyright Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Swan

This charming inn is situated in a peaceful village just outside the busy town of Ipswich. Characterised by its bright and airy interior, The Swan makes a pleasant stop for lunch as well as a comfortable location to wind down for dinner and drinks.

The pub has a reputation for imaginative food, offering dishes such as tiger prawn, chorizo and basil pappardelle pasta, and herb crust hake fillet. Those with allergies or special dietary requirements will be thrilled to hear that The Swan offers gluten free, dairy free and vegan menus.

Dogs are invited in on the action too! There’s an excellent one-hour walk starting at the pub, which is detailed here.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 18 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 7.5 miles

The Wilford Bridge
The Wilford Bridge is right near the archaeological site of Sutton Hoo

© Copyright Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Wilford Bridge

The logo of The Wilford Bridge is an Anglo-Saxon helmet, due to the fact that it’s so near the archaeological site of Sutton Hoo, where two 6th and 7th century cemeteries were discovered. The pub benefits from the picturesque location of the nearby River Deben, and the surrounding wealth of countryside with a unique history.

There’s something for everyone on the menu here, from tasty seafood to a range of grill options and surprising vegetarian dishes. There are also specials blackboards which display enticing seasonal offerings.

The staff here are animal lovers, and dogs are welcomed with treats and a cold water tap outside for drinks. They’ve even hosted competitions for dog owners in the past. Bring along your pooch and enjoy the atmosphere!

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 8 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 2 miles

 

As you can see, there are many reasons to choose a Deben Inn for a meal out in our county, including their dog-friendly factors. However, as we mentioned, there are many delightful places to eat in Suffolk. So wherever you decide to get your grub, we hope you have a pleasant experience and that you get a chance to sample Suffolk’s delicious local produce.

We welcome you to consider our beautiful, spacious, dog-friendly barges for your stay. If you would like to find out more, just click here.

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How to reduce plastic waste on your Suffolk holiday

Felixstowe beach

I can sense that we’re getting closer, albeit very, very slowly, to a plastic-free future. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if we watched the news and instead of shorelines littered with tonnes of plastic bottles and crisp packets, we saw crystal clear waters, golden sands and abundant wildlife?

Well, until the powers that be make some pretty hefty decisions about the rate at which they produce and dispose of un-recyclable waste, it’s up to smaller businesses like us and people such as you to make small changes to help the greater good.

It’s easy to reduce your plastic waste at home; however, have you thought about becoming more eco-friendly on your holidays?

Being based in Suffolk, we would like to preserve the beauty of our county, which is why we’ve come up with four easy ways to reduce plastic waste over on our Woodfarm Barns blog. With just a few positive decisions, you can play a part in maintaining and even improving our region’s environment, without making any big sacrifices to how you enjoy your holiday.

Head to the blog now for our tips! And make sure you take a look at our luxury, dog-friendly barges and holiday cottages if Suffolk sounds like the perfect getaway location to you.

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Here’s why you should consider a holiday in Suffolk

Willy Lott's Cottage, Flatford, Suffolk cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Robert Edwards - geograph.org.uk/p/116612

Have you ever thought about taking a holiday in Suffolk? We think you should! Although we’re a little biased, there are many reasons why Suffolk ought to be next on your holiday agenda.

To help convince you, we’ve created a short blog post over on our helpful online guide to Suffolk, Where Do We.

Suffolk’s scrumptious local food and fantastic restaurant options have got to be right up there with the best in the UK. Plus, the rural and coastal walks suit all ages and abilities, and will have you reaching for your camera time and time again!

Suffolk is full of things to see and do; however, if a relaxing holiday is more your cup of tea, you’ll also find that this county can be incredibly tranquil, too. Put your feet up in one of our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages or historic Dutch barges and see for yourself!

Head over to our Where Do We website now to read about what else Suffolk has to offer. 

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Doing our bit for Blue Cross Suffolk

Blue Cross Charity Box

Blue Cross Suffolk is all about animals and you probably know by now (and if you still don’t know, where have you been?!) that our luxury, historic Dutch barges are dog-friendly. That’s right, your canine friends don’t have to stay at home! We’re more than happy for them to enjoy your holiday with you.

It’s this dog-friendly approach that has led us to help Blue Cross Suffolk with their fundraising efforts. Originally based in Felixstowe, the Blue Cross’ Suffolk rehoming centre moved to larger facilities in Ipswich in order to increase their capacity. Here they look after dogs, cats and smaller animals such as rabbits who are looking for homes. We were ‘found’ by the Blue Cross as one of their team has stayed with us!

Blue Cross animal charity
We’re more than happy for your dogs to enjoy your holiday with you! [pic: @the_blue_cross]
Some of these animals come to the Blue Cross with injuries or health issues, and some have even been known to give birth while at their facilities! With all of this going on, the Blue Cross needs donations in order to keep giving these animals medical care, food, behavioural training and, above all, help them find a ‘forever home’.

One of the ways that we can help with raising donations is to provide collection boxes on our barges – so that’s just what we’re doing! We’re going to place a collection box on each of our barges, as well as one in the bike shed at our Woodfarm Barns luxury holiday cottage destination. If you have any loose change, feel free to pop it in the collection box and your donation will go towards helping animals in need.

As Tesco says, ‘every little helps’. Although we’re not a big, greedy corporation, we’re believers in this statement and we hope that this effort on our part and that of our guests will help make a difference.

Our dog-friendly barges

Did we mention that we’re dog-friendly? Sometimes we feel as if we harp on about it a lot, but there are still lots of lovely new visitors to our site that don’t know this fact!

We happily welcome up to three well-behaved dogs on each of our barges, and we’re sure that they’ll love their stay as much as you do. In fact, we’re proud to say that we’ve got a bit of a reputation for great dog-friendly holidays, as we’ve been awarded the ‘Quality in Tourism’ Pets Welcome accreditation by VisitEngland! This means that we meet all the right criteria for our floating holiday cottages to be fun and safe for dogs. That includes providing water and food bowls, refrigeration facilities and other dog-centric items, as well as displaying useful information such as the location of local vets and all night chemists. You can find out more about the criteria for this accreditation on our Woodfarm Barns website here.

Blue Cross Suffolk dog
We’ve been awarded the ‘Quality in Tourism’ Pets Welcome accreditation by VisitEngland [pic: @the_blue_cross]
Both our barges are rigorously cleaned before each new set of guests arrived, so that you and your furry friends can enjoy your stay without any lingering canine smells or dirty paw prints. We know that aside from wishing to ensure our Barges and Cottages are spot on for humans, dogs, especially those on the nervous side, might get confused or agitated if there are obvious signs that another dog has been in its territory. This is why we try to make our barges look good as new for each guest. Plus, all our cleaning equipment and chemicals are pet-friendly.

While you’re staying with us, you’ll find plenty of great walks for you and your dog straight from your gangplank. Our Onderneming barge is based in Snape Maltings and our Twee Gebroeders barge is based in Woodbridge – both are beautiful rural locations with great scenery, fresh air and close proximity to walks of a variety of lengths. We even have a great selection of beaches for dogs to enjoy – some year round and some outside of summer months.

Blue Cross Suffolk
You’ll find plenty of great walks for you and your dog straight from your gangplank [pic: @the_blue_cross]
The towns and surrounding villages are also perfect for dog owners looking to go for a bite to eat with their pups. Whether you’re after a cosy pub atmosphere or a friendly cafe, many establishments around Suffolk allow dogs on the premises. And if you can’t find any that you like, simply pack up a picnic and take your dog to a local park for a bite to eat, al fresco.

If you would like to find out more about our dog-friendly features, visit this page to continue reading. We hope that you will consider staying with us, and if you do, please feel free to donate whatever change you can through our Blue Cross collection boxes to help animals all over Suffolk find better homes.

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What’s on in Suffolk in spring 2019?

Sparrow on a branch

Spring is an exciting time in Suffolk. A simple drive through the countryside will reveal a landscape bursting with nature and wildlife. From blossoming flora to newborn animals, there’s an air of vitality in every forest, field or farm.

However, it’s not just the rural areas that are having all the fun. Suffolk towns are full of life as the days become warmer and us locals migrate to our favourite hotspots for delicious seasonal grub and fun activities.

With plenty to see during this time of year, there’s no better place to rest your head than Woodfarm Barges. Our historic Dutch barges are located in Woodbridge and Snape Maltings – ideally situated for your Suffolk holiday. Both barges are within easy reach of popular landmarks, and can easily accommodate a family and up to three dogs.

What’s on in Suffolk in March 2019?

Helmet Of Raedwald, High King Of Britain
Helmet Of Raedwald, High King Of Britain cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Tim Marchant – geograph.org.uk/p/1484425

Saturday 9th March – Sutton Hoo Roadshow

Where: Aldeburgh Library

While Suffolk’s famous ancient burial ground is closed for major transformation works, the National Trust is taking its Anglo Saxon artefacts on the road for a county-wide tour. Catch the show at Aldeburgh Library, where you’ll be able to learn about this early civilisation and take part in child-friendly activities such as making your own shield.

For more info visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo/features/sutton-hoo-goes-on-tour

Saturday 16th March – Suffolk Farmers Market

Where: The Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park

Join the Suffolk Agricultural Association for a day spent sampling and buying fresh local produce from some of the best suppliers Suffolk has to offer. From local meats, to wines, to vegan foods, there is something for everyone here.

For more info visit http://www.suffolkfarmersmarket.co.uk/

Sunday 31st March – Steam Up 2019

Where: The Long Shop Museum, Leiston

Discover the power of steam with The Long Shop Museum’s magnificent range of steam engines. Take a ride in a steam tractor, engage in hands-on children’s activities and enjoy tea, coffee and homemade cakes from the tea room.

For more info visit http://www.longshopmuseum.co.uk/steam-up-2019/

What’s on in Suffolk in April 2019?

Latte and a laptop at Jimmy's Farm
We like the countryside atmosphere over at Jimmy’s Farm!

Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April – Jimmy’s Spring Fayre

Where: Jimmy’s Farm, Ipswich

Bring the family to Jimmy’s Farm, where you and the kids can enjoy an Easter egg hunt, carousel rides, local food and more. In addition, the Farm & Wildlife Park will be open throughout the day, with a team on hand to provide animal encounters.

For more info visit https://jimmysfarm.com/event/jimmys-spring-fayre/

Friday 18th & Saturday 20th April – Easter Weekend

Where: Snape Maltings

Enjoy a feast for your ears as Snape Maltings presents a collection of sacred music spanning Bach to Fauré. Plus, find many family-friendly activities throughout the weekend, including an Easter egg hunt and farmers’ market.

For more info visit https://snapemaltings.co.uk/season/easter-weekend/

Saturday 27th April to Sunday 26th May – Alde Valley Spring Festival

Where: White House Farm, Great Glemham

This annual festival celebrates the arts, food, landscape and agriculture throughout Suffolk. During this year’s month long celebration, a theme of plants and gardening will tie each facet of Suffolk’s creative community together, influencing artists, musicians, chefs and many more.

For more info visit http://www.aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk/

What’s on in Suffolk in May 2019?

Sparrow on a branch
Photo by Pritiranjan Maharana on Unsplash

Wednesday 1st May – Early Morning Birdsong Walk

Where: National Trust Dunwich Heath

Tour Dunwich Heath on foot with a guide and discover the beautiful chirps and songs of the early morning birds. Known for its wealth of wildlife, this is the perfect place to spot local birds, as well as some species native to heath land habitats. Follow up the walk with a hearty breakfast at the Coastguard Cottages tea room.

For more info visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunwich-heath-and-beach

Thursday 8th to Wednesday 15th May – Exhibition: Suffolk and Beyond

Where: Snape Maltings

Discover the art of Ian Last and Clare Rizzo, who bring Suffolk to life with their individual takes on the landscape and nature. Based in the Quay Gallery at Snape Maltings, this exhibition is free to enter.

For more info visit https://snapemaltings.co.uk/whats-on/exhibition-suffolk-and-beyond/

Saturday 25th May – Beccles Food and Drink Festival 2019

Where: Beccles town centre

Wander the many stalls at this bountiful food and drink festival, and try scrumptious food and drink from local producers. You’ll also find cookery demonstrations, talks, live music and children’s activities.

For more info visit http://becclesfoodfestival.co.uk/

Whatever you decide to do in Suffolk, we hope you have a lovely time. Consider staying with us at Woodfarm Barges for a truly unique trip and create some unforgettable memories from the comfort of our luxury barges.

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What to pack for a holiday on a houseboat

Houseboat holiday in Suffolk - Onderneming Barge

If you’re tired of boring hotel rooms in uninteresting locations, we recommend trying a houseboat holiday. More specifically, a stay on one of our luxury, dog-friendly barges based on Suffolk’s breathtaking waterways.

This unique experience will leave you with unforgettable memories – and most likely a hunger for more holidays just like it! However, with a houseboat holiday being such a one-of-a-kind style of trip, it can be difficult to know what to pack in your luggage. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide of essentials to bring with you.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll consider booking a stay on one of our beautiful barges. Click here to find out more.

The Woodfarm Barges houseboat holiday packing guide

A landscape view of Onderneming Barge on the River Alde
Our Onderneming Dutch Barge is moored at Snape Maltings on the River Alde in Suffolk
  1. The obvious: clothes!

Although it’s important to feel at home in your floating holiday cottage, you don’t want to scare the local population.

We advise dressing for the season. Summer in Suffolk is divine, and you’ll just need a light jacket to keep you warm if you’re spending the evenings on deck. If a winter houseboat holiday is on the cards, then wrap up warm for winter walks as you never know how chilly it can get!

Don’t worry about the houseboat being too cold in winter, as whomever you’re holidaying with will most likely have a heater inside – if they’re humane! Both of our barges are fully insulated and feature proper central heating systems, so you won’t have to worry about layering up when you’re on board.

Flat shoes are a must when you’re getting on and off the barge, and we advise bringing a good pair of walking boots or shoes whilst you’re out and about. A sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are also recommended in summer.

A breakfast basket
We provide a breakfast basket filled with local foods
  1. Food and drink

If you’re holidaying in the UK, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to bring bottles of water; refurbished or modern houseboats will have clean, running water as standard.

At Woodfarm Barges, we offer a breakfast basket for you to enjoy, filled with tasty local goodies. We also provide tea, coffee and sugar – because we all like to have our little comforts when we’re away from home!

When travelling to our barges, don’t haul loads of food with you. There is a variety of shops nearby, which will provide you with all the groceries you need during your stay. If you’re partial to eating out, you’ll find a great selection of high quality pubs and restaurants within easy walking distance of either barge. Suffolk is a foodie county, so there’s plenty to enjoy!

Flat screen tv in houseboat bedroom
There’s plenty of entertainment on board for a rainy day
  1. Entertainment

There’s so much to do on a houseboat holiday that you’ll never need to bring much in the way of extra entertainment. Most houseboats these days are equipped with electronics, board games or books, and if none of those take your fancy then there is always the opportunity to explore the local area.

Our Onderneming barge features a flat screen TV with DVD player, and a DAB radio, whilst our Twee Gebroeders barge offers all the above, plus two more TVs and a Playstation. We also love when our guests get out into the Suffolk countryside, so we offer free bike use with both of our barges.

Sink area for toiletries on houseboat
There’s plenty of space for your toiletries on our barges
  1. Toiletries

Just like staying at a hotel, it’s common to bring your own toiletries if you have a preference of skincare or haircare products. Some essentials to bring in your washbag are shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.

At Woodfarm Barges, we offer luxury hand soaps in both our barges, which smell delightful, as well as shampoo and shower gel. Any extras are up to you – so whether you’re a one-product-fits-all person, or you need all the products on your bathroom shelf, feel free to bring whatever makes you feel at home.

  1. Bed linen and towels
Towels on bed in houseboat bedroom
We provide towels and bed linen as standard

Houseboat holidays tend to be more of a luxury experience, so expect your bed linen (at the very least) to be included. Towels are often included, but it would be worth checking ahead to see if this is the case.

Our barges are complete with comfortable beds, pillows, duvets and bed linen included. We also provide towels for all guests, including hand and bath towels in our fabulous bathrooms.

We hope we’ve helped you in packing for your houseboat holiday. Wherever you’re headed, we know you’ll have a unique experience, and we hope you’ll consider us for your next houseboat holiday. To find out more about our historic Dutch holiday barges, click here.

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Holiday Postcards from Suffolk – with stamps!

Holiday Postcards from Suffolk

Holiday Postcards are as quintessentially English as it gets, and we’ve been giving them away to Woodfarm guests for years. But now we’ve got some new ones and we’ve decided to go the extra mile and even put stamps on for you!

Holiday Postcards from Suffolk with stamps onEven with the advent of social media, we all know that holiday postcards are still very much part of our break. Maybe they won’t be one day but let’s live for today!

We designed our own postcards years ago and our guests at Woodfarm Barns have been sending them to their friends and family for yonks.

We’ve just updated them and added the barges into the mix and have decided to even give you a few with First Class stamps on!

Who gives you extra? 

We do! We’ve built a reputation over the years, firstly with Woodfarm Barns, and then with Woodfarm Barges since 2017, for going the extra mile. We try to think of all the little touches to make your holiday or short break special. We provide 100% cotton bedding, all your towels & tea towels. You have luxury hand soap and washing up liquid, shower gel and shampoo. We leave tea, coffee (fresh & instant) and sugar. On top of all that we give all out guests a scrummy Suffolk breakfast basket too!

 Send our Holiday Postcards from Suffolk

And now with our new holiday postcards we are putting stamps on a few for you so you can send them to your loved ones and tell them what a great time you’re having.

Yes of course you can post your photos on Facebook and Twitter, or share them with friends on Whatsapp. But there’s no substitute for sending someone a postcard and saying “Wish you were here”.

So please take five minutes out to write, with an actual pen (yes, we provide those too) and drop a quick line to your friends and family, just to say hi. I used to send my Mum and Dad postcards and just write “Weather is here, wish you were lovely”. That joke never got less funny. In my head anyway!

Holiday Postcard PostboxAnd on top of this, at Woodfarm Barns we even have a postbox on the bike shed now, especially for your postcards!

Simply write your postcards out and we’ll take them to Postman Pat for you! Yep, we’ve really given you extra! You might have to write them though. Or for 50p a card you can dictate them to me and I’ll write them (I made that bit up, I think we’ve already proven that we go the extra mile!)

Anyway, by all means post your holiday pics on Facechat, Instabook and Snapper. It really does help us, particularly if you tag Woodfarm Barns or Woodfarm Barges. But grab a postcard or three and make someone smile when one lands on their doormat.

Right, now what can we think of to make your stay even better…..

 

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DOG-FRIENDLY REVIEW FROM A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

DOG-FRIENDLY REVIEW FROM A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

This Dog-Friendly review from a unique perspective took us by surprise when it came in the other day. We like to think that Woodfarm Barns & Barges are universally appealing, and it’s this reason that we get all types of guests staying here. Read on and you’ll see why we were taken aback with this review!

This Blog Post is over on our other site Woodfarm Barns so just CLICK HERE to have a read of it, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a review of a stay in one of our Barns but the ethos and quality is the same with our Barges.