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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.


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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Our new dog passport

Woodfarm Dog Passports

At Woodfarm, we’ve always made it clear that we don’t just tolerate dogs – we welcome them! That’s why we’ve designed a dog passport for you and your pup, full of handy info, tips and recommendations, and a very special offer…

The next time you and your dog(s) come to stay with us, we’ll provide you with your own ‘Principality of Woodfarm’ dog passport. We recommend personalising it straight away with your dog’s info on the profile page! Then you can have a flick through and read about all the special dog-centric features at Woodfarm and in the surrounding area.

What’s this offer we’re talking about then? 

After you stay with us and your dog receives their passport, they’re then qualified to stay for free on your next visit! We usually charge £15 per dog with each booking, but you’ll get this charge taken off your booking if you quote the offer found in your passport.

Want to find out more? Head to the post on our Woodfarm Barns site here.


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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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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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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.

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Pets Pyjamas Gold Award for Woodfarm Barges!

Pets Pyjamas Travel Award Winners 2018

Pets Pyjamas are a national site for all things to do with travelling around the UK with your dogs. And we’ve just won one of their annual awards!

Pets Pyjamas Winners as well as VisitEngland GoldThe nice people at Pets Pyjamas contacted me a while back to tell me we’d been nominated in their 2018 awards. That was nice to hear as we had just been awarded Gold for all our Barns and Barges by the other nice people at Visit England. We also have their Pets Welcome Award too!

When they got in touch to tell me that we had won, I was over the moon!

“Best Unique Stay”

We have won their ‘Best Unique Stay’ for 2018 for our gorgeous Dutch Barges. Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders have had an amazing year!

It started with The Times featuring both barges in separate lists;

Onderneming was featured in their list of  the 50 most unusual holiday homes in Britain. Twee Gebroeders was in their list of the 50 most romantic places to stay in the UK! To be featured in that way was a fabulous way to start the year.

On the telly

Pets Pyjamas Winners also on ITVWe then featured in a piece on Dog Friendly Suffolk on ITV. This created an enormous amount of interest and we have had several ITV people come to stay since, which is amazing.

We then had a huge feature on our barns and barges in Dog-Friendly Magazine, with 6 pages talking about how amazing we are!

So to then be awarded this accolade by Pets Pyjamas is such a thrill. I don’t tell you all of this to make my ego any bigger. I’m telling you because in my mind it just says that if all these people say all these things in our first full year of letting our barges, then they must be worth trying for yourselves if you’ve thought about it.

What to expect

They are barges. They are different. It’s not for everyone. They’re quirky. They’re unique. But they are just amazing and the feedback we get from our guests is that it is such an exciting experience. You’ll need to be fairly spritely to get on and off. They have gangplanks with handrails but they do rise and fall with the tides. We can’t really do anything about that, blame the moon.

Location, Location, Location

We are also really lucky that they are both in fantastic locations! Snape Maltings and Woodbridge offer easy access to the incredible Suffolk Heritage Coast, and so many pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, delis and retail therapy. In a time of political nervousness, these are real feel good factors.

So thank you to the team at Pets Pyjamas and whoever nominated us (we have no idea!)

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Pets welcome – Luxury dog friendly Suffolk @ Woof Farm Barges!

Dog friendly holidays in Suffolk

Woof! Are you in need of a dog-friendly Suffolk holiday? Bring your human to Woodfarm Barges, where you and your furry friends make up a massive proportion of our guests. Our Suffolk holiday barges offer plenty of room to stretch your paws out, with large cabins where you can roam about to your heart’s content, and treats galore!


We combine our dog-friendly ethos with the luxury that many don’t expect to find in holiday accommodation accepting dogs. Our beautiful barges are cleaned to a high standard, and offer amazing features such as double cabins, fully fitted kitchens and beautiful views of the River Alde and Deben.


But what about our dog-centric features?

Well, we don’t simply ‘tolerate’ dogs; you’re just as welcome here as your humans! Both of our sunny Suffolk holiday barges accept dogs, creating the perfect environment for your staycation. Feel right at home with your humans, and maybe even make some local friends. We usually advise a three dog maximum, so feel free to bring your brothers, sisters, mum, dad or best friends! If there are more in your canine clan, we can discuss this on an individual basis. We’ve even had house cats and rabbits in the past, but mostly dogs, so you’ll feel right at home.


At Woodfarm Barges, we are delighted to have been awarded the Pets Welcome accreditation by the English governing body ‘Quality in Tourism’. This means that our Suffolk holiday barges meet certain criteria to make a doggy holiday safe and fun for everyone.


In accordance with guidelines set by Pets Welcome, we offer the following in our accommodation:

* Water bowls and food bowls

* Torch and nightlights

* Refrigeration facilities

* Chews or treats (which can be chargeable according to the criteria, but we tend to provide a treat at no extra charge!)

* Suitable pet waste disposal facilities

* Poop bags

* Pet washing facilities and towels

* Stringent cleaning regime following each checkout

Book a dog-friendly break at Woodfarm Barges:




Pets Welcome! Dog friendly Suffolk holidays


Our library of canine guests is growing! Check out loads of photos of other four-legged guests having a waggly-tail of a time here.


However, it’s not just about what’s inside the accommodation that counts. We understand that you want to be as comfortable on holiday as you are at home, which is why we display vital information on local vets doctors, dentists, hospitals and all-night chemists on board.


In addition, we have information for our guests on the location and opening times of the nearest shops, cash machines, public telephones, post offices, and more.

Dog Walking

As we know you and your humans love to go for walks, we have plenty of advice on where to go for the best views, fresh air and exercise. There is a huge variety of walking trails, so whether you want to take it slow and stop along the way at a pub for a treat and a rest, or run wild and free along a beach, there’s a trail in Suffolk for you. Woodfarm Barges provides maps and books suitable for reference on walking in the area which can be found either in our barges.

Dog friendly Suffolk holidays

If you like to plan ahead, visit our sister site, which provides you with lots of ideas of places to visit with your humans.

We’re ideally situated in Suffolk, with great access to plenty of different walks in the area.

Take a trip to the eight-mile trail around Barham, Baylham and Coddenham. 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 walk is a five-miler, taking in Cretingham and Brandeston and past The Queens Head – a great pub/restaurant (you can see a theme here!)

There are also lovely lake walks at Needham and Hoppit Wood, both not far from Woodfarm Barges. We’ve featured the walk our page on ‘Walking in Suffolk’ on our sister site here.

Dog friendly pubs

Dog friendly holidays in Suffolk

Whether you’re visiting Suffolk for the first time, or are a frequent visitor or resident, it’s nice to know where you can go for a walk and a meal. Suffolk has a wide range of dog-friendly pubs dotted all over. While some request that dogs stay 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 in the garden (click here for the full list):

  • The Star Inn is a cosy and friendly pub in Wenhaston that welcomes well-behaved dogs. It has a large garden and serves good food.
  • The Tollgate Inn is a lovely restaurant and bar in Bury St Edmunds. It 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 Sorrell Horse Inn in Woodbridge is very pet-friendly and dogs are allowed in the pub and garden. The same goes for The White Horse at Tattingstone.
  • The Bildeston Crown allows well behaved dogs in the pub and they have a lovely, dog-friendly, outdoor seating area.
  • The Kings Head Inn in Orford allows dogs in both the pub, as well as in their accommodation, and The Cock Inn in Polstead allows dogs in the pub.
  • The Ship Inn in Woodbridge is dog-friendly, and so is The Angel Inn Wangford.

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 human on holiday.

The good news is that from October through April there are no dog restrictions in force in on Suffolk’s beaches so you can enjoy the benefits of any stretch of beach you fancy! In the summer, however, there are dog restrictions on some beaches.

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 which is dog-friendly all year round, Dunwich is a fantastic 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 you 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 just some of our dog-loving guests

Monday 13th July 2015 – Don and Angela with Dodwin and Ollie the dogs;

We had a lovely weekend.  Thank you Carl for your exceptional welcome.

Sunday 28th June 2015 – Paul and Carol with Poppy the dog;

Idyllic setting in wonderful renovated well equipped holiday home.

Friday 12 June 2015 – Julz with Mooi the hamster;

My second visit – wonderful place to stay in a fabulous location.

Friday 5th June 2015 – Julie and Kev with Coco the dog;

Lovely cosy and comfortable.  Thank you for a relaxing break.


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Dog-friendly Pubs & Restaurants in Suffolk

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Star Inn, Wenhaston

If you’re looking for a holiday in Suffolk, you’ll be pleased to know that we have so many superb, dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to choose from!

Many have log fires, traditional decor and great food. Not to mention a range of fabulous local beers, ciders and wines from such brewers and vineyards as Adnams, Greene King, Aspall, The Earl Soham Brewery, St Peters, Hellhound, Calvors and Wyken & Shawsgate Vineyards, to name but a few.

Below, we’ve listed some of our favourite dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Suffolk. Whilst you’re staying in one of our beautiful holiday barges with your canine friend, why not pop along to one of the establishments on this list? Many of these gems can be found along local walks – a great bonus if you want to rest your tired feet and enjoy a delicious meal and tasty beverage.


If you like the look of our suggestions, please check websites or phone ahead to confirm opening times and dog-friendly situations, as sometimes this can change. All of these pubs and restaurants were dog-friendly at the time of writing.

The Crown, Southwold

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Crown, Southwold

The Crown is just a stone’s throw from the sea. They have a snug ‘Back Bar’ where you can try out a range of fabulous Adnams famous beer. This is in addition to a more formal restaurant, so you get the best of both worlds.

The food is great and they have an extensive wine list, not to mention the well-known Adnams beers. 2014 saw them win Suffolk Dining Pub of the Year for the second year in a row by The Good Pub Guide, and a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence (like us then!)

Just 29 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Highwayman, Coddenham Green

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Highwayman, Coddenham

A warm, friendly family pub/restaurant in a timber-framed Suffolk building dating back to the 17th Century.

Right on the A140, the Highwayman is owned and run by David & Olga Parry who have been there for over ten years. They specialise in good, home-cooked food courtesy of chef Olga, and a good selection of well kept real ales courtesy of David.

Dogs are allowed in the beer garden, so sunny weather is needed.

Just 4 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Bell, Cretingham

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Bell, Cretingham

A real country pub serving fresh, home-cooked food.

A traditional Free House with local ales, open fires, and locally sourced, homemade food. What are you waiting for?

Just 6 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Shoulder of Mutton, Assington

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Shoulder of Mutton, Assington

A real old country pub in the Suffolk Countryside. You’ll find fresh seasonal food, much of which is from local suppliers. It’s a free house so they serve a selection of local ales and ciders. Here you’ll find a pleasant restaurant area and an open fire in the bar.

They have delicious pub favourites on the menu, like mixed grill, steaks, cajun chicken, scampi, and fish and chips, all cooked well and served with chips or salad.

Just 26 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

Scutchers Bistro, Long Melford

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - Scutchers Bistro, Long Melford

On the edge of the beautiful green in picturesque Long Melford sits this award-winning restaurant. They have a collection of Good Food Guide Awards as well as the Michelin Bib Gourmand, so it’s worth checking out!

Owned and run by Nick & Di Barratt, they serve a mouth-watering à la carte menu. They are dog owners themselves and will allow small, well-behaved dogs to sit under the table. If you’re ‘borderline’ it’s best to phone, but they are very accommodating.

Just 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Ramsholt Arms, near Woodbridge

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Ramsholt Arms, Woodbridge

A fabulous pub by the river, near Woodbridge on the Bawdsey peninsula. It’s miles from anywhere but worth the trip!

This pub was originally called the Ferry House and is around 350 years old. It has a large walled garden which has great views of the River Deben. It’s very dog-friendly, with a great menu including many fresh fish dishes. As well as offering the obligatory traditional Suffolk Adnams ales, they regularly offer guest ales too.

Just 21 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Regatta, Aldeburgh

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Regatta, Aldeburgh

A superb, well-known restaurant in the heart of beautiful Aldeburgh.

Co-owned for over 20 years by Robert, the head chef who trained at the Connaught Hotel and La Gavroche in London before heading to Suffolk to treat us to locally caught fish and seafood, as well as vegetarian, poultry and meat dishes. A popular destination with our guests.

Just 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds

In the heart of residential Bury St Edmunds sits quirky, award-winning restaurant Pea Porridge.

Privately owned and run by a couple as passionate about food as you would hope! It’s got three rooms, lots of old timber and brickwork and a really imaginative lunch and dinner menu, with influences from all over the world. As well as lunch and dinner, they have a great three course set menu costing about £18.50 at the time of writing.

Just 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Red Lion – Veggie Pub/ Restaurant near Needham Market

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Veggie Red Lion, Needham Market

This is a fabulous pub in the countryside just outside Needham Market. The Red Lion is East Anglia’s first and only exclusively vegetarian pub

The pub offers a great choice of homemade dishes using fresh, locally produced ingredients. Owner Jan Wise wanted to achieve her dream of serving quality, meat-free food in a comfortable and relaxing, 100% dog-friendly environment, and she has succeeded!

Just 11 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Lighthouse, Aldeburgh

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Lighthouse, Aldeburgh

A great restaurant, smack-bang by the beach in historic Aldeburgh.

This restaurant is a real favourite with Suffolk’s visitors for years, including our guests at Woodfarm. They offer freshly cooked, local, seasonal produce with a great atmosphere. I had the excellent meze and a superb duck salad the last time we went, followed by a walk on the beach afterwards.

Just 24 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Crown, Stoke By Nayland

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Crown, Stoke by Nayland

The Crown is an extremely popular pub/restaurant in the heart of Suffolk. They change the menu every month or so and creatively use seasonal produce. They have a bar, restaurant and terrace, all of which are really relaxing. The pub boasts an extensive wine list and great beers, including that traditional Suffolk fave, Adnams.

I’ve experienced superb food here every time I’ve been. It’s well worth a visit. A real favourite with guests at Woodfarm!

Just 24 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill

Perhaps one of the most popular pubs in Suffolk and a real favourite with Woodfarm guests.

This pub is located in the most stunning location, almost in the water on the river Orwell. It’s well known for great Adnams beers and superb home cooked food, all in a rustic, proper pub with bare oak floorboards, pints pulled directly from the keg and wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen.

Just 10 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Anchor in Nayland

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Anchor, Stoke by Nayland

This is a traditional countryside restaurant and inn, nestled in the stunning Stour Valley.

Offering superb food and local beers, The Anchor sits on the river, and I’ve arrived here several times in my Kayak as it’s very easy to pull up on the bank and stroll in for a bite to eat and a beer! Located in the heart of Constable Country, this pub is perfect for a picturesque walk with the dog.

Just 20 miles from Woodfarm – Check out their website here

The Black Lion in Long Melford

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Black Lion, Long Melford

The Black Lion is one of my all-time favourite places to eat, drink and chill out. It’s a wonderful old restaurant right on the village green in the picturesque, historic Suffolk village of Long Melford.

With such lovely decor, you feel like you are in someone’s (very nice) home. It’s an deal location for a long lunch or dinner. There’s also a great bar with comfy sofas and a roaring fire in the winter, with board games.

Just 17 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Angel, Stoke By Nayland

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Angel, Stoke by Nayland

The Angel is housed in a lovely, 16th century timber-framed building which has been selling beer and food since the 17th century!

It’s still very much a traditional coach house in the heart of this gorgeous Suffolk village. It has a superb reputation for its food, as well as its wide range of local beers and extensive wine list.

Just 20 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Four Horseshoes, Thornham

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Four Horseshoes, Thornham

Reputedly the oldest pub in Suffolk, The Four Horseshoes is certainly a firm favourite of mine and many of our guests at Woodfarm.

Here you’ll find rustic oak beams, a thatched roof and a quirky interior, as well as local beers and freshly cooked homemade food from an extensive menu. What more do you need?

Only 9 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Star Inn, Wenhaston

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Star Inn, Wenhaston

The Star Inn is a cosy and friendly pub in Wenhaston that welcomes well-behaved dogs. Owned and managed by Carl and Virginia, it has a large garden and serves good food including pies, fish and vegetarian options.

Only 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Tollgate, Bury St Edmunds

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Tollgate, Bury St Edmunds

The Tollgate is a lovely restaurant and bar in Bury St Edmunds and has a large garden and seating area where dogs are welcome.

A Greene King pub, The Tollgate serves burgers, steaks and other meat dishes, as well as pub classics and sandwiches, and Sunday roasts.

Only 24 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Queen’s Head, Bramfield

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Queen's Head, Bramfield

The Queen’s Head, Bramfield, is an award-winning pub and dogs are welcome in both the pub and the garden.

Enjoy delicious, locally sourced grub here, from roast pork belly, to fish pie, to Italian lamb cassoulet, as well as local beers.

Only 22 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Sorrel Horse Inn, Woodbridge

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Sorrell Horse Inn, Ipswich

The Sorrel Horse Inn in Woodbridge are very pet-friendly and dogs are allowed in the pub and garden. Owned by Bridget, Matthew and Philip, the Sorrel Horse has been family-run for 28 years. Here you’ll find a tradition pub interior with exposed beams and antique decor.

Only 6 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The White Horse, Tattingstone

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The White Horse, Tattingstone

The White Horse is a 17th Century Grade II listed inn serving delicious food and real ales, wines and spirits. Outside the pub, you’ll find a large beer garden and campsite, while inside the pub is a homely interior with exposed beams and brickwork, and a log-burning stove. The whole pub is “dog and muddy-boot-friendly”!

Only 16 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

Bildeston Crown, Bildeston

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Bildeston Crown

The Bildeston Crown allows well behaved dogs in the pub and they have a lovely, dog-friendly, outdoor seating area. Owned by Chris and Hayley, the pub is housed in a 15th century former coaching inn, and features an open fire and a courtyard and terrace.

With quality, locally sourced produce, you’ll find upscale classics here alongside casual dining options.

Only 16 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Kings Head, Orford

The Kings Head, Orford

An Adnams pub, The Kings Head in Orford is a beautiful 13th century pub which allows dogs in both the pub itself, as well as in their accommodation. The bar and dining room feature wood burning stoves, creating a toasty, homely atmosphere. Enjoy Adnams drinks and delicious homemade pub classics, sandwiches and specials.

Only 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here

The Cock Inn, Polstead

Dog friendly pubs Suffolk - The Cock Inn, Polstead

Dog walkers taking a stroll around Dedham Vale will love The Cock Inn in Polstead, with its 17th century restaurant and tea room. Grab a beer in front of the log fire, or on a summer’s day eat a meal al fresco in its large garden. Here you’ll find a cracking fish and chips, as well as various meat and vegetarian dishes.

Only 25 miles from Woodfarm – Have a look at their website here


Some honorable mentions

The George and Dragon, Long Melford allows dogs in the pub, except when food is being served. The George in Cavendish has a terrace/garden area where dogs are welcome, although they are not allowed inside the pub and the same goes for The Brantham Bull in Manningtree. The Ship Inn in Woodbridge is dog-friendly, and so is The Angel Inn Wangford.


Please do check with any of these pubs before you visit with your dog as their pet policies may change at any time.


I hope this blog has been helpful in your search for dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Suffolk. If you think we should add any other places, then please feel free to email with a little bit of a write-up, weblink and a photo if possible to


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Snape Maltings : our epic voyage

Our Dutch Barge Onderneming is now moored as your ‘floating holiday cottage’ at the iconic Snape Maltings. This is the story of our epic voyage round in July 2017

Snape Maltings and Onderneming: Our epic voyageI say epic, but Snape Maltings isn’t exactly in the frozen Tundra so it was all a little bit, errrr, fine actually. And with no frostbite as we did it during beautiful weather in July on the Suffolk Coast. However, as we love a pun and we are now moored on the River Alde, we called our little movie ‘Scott of the Aldetarctic’ (it’s my name, geddit?)

Snape Maltings is the most beautiful setting and the perfect base for your relaxing break with a difference, with family or friends.

Snape Maltings around the cornerWe set off form our old moorings at Pin Mill on the River Orwell, bound for Snape Maltings. And as with all true expeditions, we stopped off for the night in just a few hours. In this case it was in Harwich for an awesome fish n chip supper!

At first light the next day and with the scent of Snape Maltings in our nostrils we headed off up the coast, avoiding lobster pots and an unexploded bomb just before we got to Orford (it’s true!)

Snape Maltings at last. Our arrival aboard OndernemingOnce we’d left the sea and started our winding route in to Snape Maltings along the River Alde we certainly did well not to get stuck for a day or two. At almost 100 feet in length, this beautiful Dutch Barge was a little tricky to navigate around some of the bends, particularly on the last stretch from Iken to our destination. 

We were very fortunate to experience some beautiful scenery and wildlife, including a seal on the last stretch.

But we made it and in good time. 

Please have a look at the full video here and feel free to contact me, Scott of the Aldetarctic with any questions. I’ll answer the first one for you now. Now, we’re not taking you for a spin! She stays put for you to enjoy all that Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh and the surrounding area has to offer.

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Snape Maltings Open Barge Day

Onderneming at Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings is a cultural Mecca in Suffolk and we are holding an  ‘Open Barge’ day on Sunday 19th August aboard our recently relocated Dutch Holiday Barge to give you all the opportunity to come and have a look around before you book. PLUS we will give a discount voucher to everyone who comes and the chance to WIN a FREE BREAK!!

Snape Maltings. Home to OndernemingOpen Barge is like an Open House. But on a Barge. At Snape Maltings; we’re not rocket scientists!

We are so pleased to be working with Snape Maltings and to give our guests the chance to take a well earned family break, or a chilled getaway with friends aboard our fabulous Barge. Having appeared on ITV in June 2018, The Times Travel Section in February 2018, and Dog-Friendly Magazine in June 2018, we are well poised to be offering guests the most unique stay. And Snape Maltings is arguably one of the best places in Suffolk to enjoy the stay.

Not only can you come and have a look around before you book, but we will have a Golden Dog Bowl of Discounts, as well one Golden Ticket for a FREE BREAK aboard our beautiful Dutch Barge. We will have a Discount Voucher for EVERY party so take a lucky dip and see how much you will get off your next Onderneming break! They’ll vary from £25 to £250! Not only that, there will be a Golden Ticket in there for a completely FREE BREAK!!!!

Snape Maltings is an unparalleled visitor destination and one of the world’s leading centres of music. Having started with the Aldeburgh Festival it has grown over the years and we will be writing so much more about this over the coming months.

Onderneming at Snape MaltingsAs far as our guests are concerned on an every day basis, Snape Maltings offers a wonderful range of independent shops, cafe’s and galleries, as well as a great Suffolk pub and amazing walks.

There’s so much available online for you to see what the area has to offer but we wanted to mark the move to Snape Maltings with a unique opportunity to have a look around inside ‘Onderneming’ too! You’ll be able to come aboard and have a look around the social areas, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms too.

On top of that we’ll feed and water you too!

Please drop me a line to let me know you’re coming, so we can have an idea of visitors. Email me (carl) on…..