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FREE Holiday Barge or Cottage Break in Suffolk

Free Holiday Barge break

Our Holiday Barge business is newer but we’ve had our Holiday Cottage business for almost a decade as I write this and yet we are still working on new ideas to entice people. We thought giving a FREE BREAK away just for keeping in touch with us was a Win/ Win!

Free Holiday Cottage Break for one winnerWe’ve really made a name for ourselves our the last 9 years with our Holiday Cottage business and since 2017 we’ve had a Holiday Barge business too! We’ve appeared on the BBC and ITV, as well as featuring in The Times and Dog-Friendly Magazine too!

So why are we just giving away a FREE Holiday Barge or Cottage Break for no good reason? Well, one of the ways that we have developed our business is by keeping in touch with our growing VIP Rewards Group, or mailing list as it’s commonly known. We rarely try to ‘sell’ with our newsletters; we use them to let you know about cancellations and exclusive offers, as well as keeping you informed on all things of interest in Suffolk so you can have the very best Holiday Cottage or Holiday Barge break with us.

Free Holiday Cottage or Barge Break for a lucky winnerWe have an incredibly low unsubscribe rate but just to ensure we stay connected with you, we give away a completely FREE BREAK to one lucky Winner every year, just for being part of our ‘gang’. Yes, it really is as simple as that. Just subscribe to our VIP Rewards Group and you’ll be in with a shout.

It’s simply our way of saying ‘Thanks’ for signing up and following us. We have so much repeat business, both on the Holiday Barge and Cottage side, that we are pretty confident that you’ll come back for more. We might make you pay the next time though!

We will pick a winner every year and give them a Four Night midweek break!

Terms & Conditions;
The prize is for a FOUR NIGHT MIDWEEK BREAK either in The Granary Barn, or aboard Twee Gebroeders, between the end of October and the end of March, subject to availability, excluding Christmas, New Year, Valentines, School and Bank Holidays so you have a full five months to take your FREE BREAK!

It’ll be for two adults and up to three dogs.

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 48 hours of notifying you that you have won, we will pick another winner and so on until someone responds. By entering you do consent to us announcing your name (no other details) on Social Media once you have accepted your prize. We’d obviously really appreciate it if you could then shout it from the rooftops!

There is no cash alternative.

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 many breaks over the years to some very happy people, but you’ll never be one of them.

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Snape Maltings and Woodfarm Barges!

Snape Maltings and Onderneming

We are absolutely over the moon to bring you some incredible news about Onderneming. As of 21st July 2018 she will be moored at the iconic Snape Maltings!

Snape Maltings. Home to OndernemingLocation, Location, Location! Pin Mill has been a great location for us in the year since we purchased the barge, but we’ve been looking for somewhere with more to offer our guests. And with Snape Maltings, we’ve come up trumps!

The plan is that in July 2018 we are to be moving Onderneming to Snape Maltings, slightly further up the coast. It will offer much better access to Aldeburgh (6 miles away), Southwold, Orford, Thorpeness etc. This is just the most amazing news for us and we know that that the move is going to make Onderneming one of the best places to stay in Suffolk!

Onderneming in The Times, now at Snape MaltingsIt’s been a phenomenal first year with her featuring in The Times “Best Unusual Holiday Houses in the UK’ list, not to mention our appearance on Anglia TV. The move to Snape Maltings is absolutely the icing on the cake!

We spend all our time finding the very best things for our guests to see and do and Snape Maltings is by far and away, one of the best things that Suffolk has to offer! We are delighted to say that they have also embraced our ‘Preferred Partners Programme’ and our guests will be able to get 10% off may of the things on offer there!

It’s an unparalleled mooring on the quayside with allocated parking and you will have wonderful walks along the river, directly from the quay. It’s such a tranquil location still but with so much more to see and do, as you will see;

Woodfarm Barges at Snape MaltingsThe real winner about Snape Maltings is that it is a very up-market range of retail and leisure facilities, incorporating a fabulous pub called The Plough & Sail, and a superb range of shops all within a five minute walk. These include a food hall, home & garden, books & cards, gifts & crafts etc. You can see them all HERE.

We will be writing about so much of this in the months to come but rest assured the barge remains the perfect luxury getaway that she has always been but the location has had an upgrade!

Onderneming at Snape MaltingsIn summary you will have everything you need right on your doorstep, yet you are still on a beautiful river, with stunning views and the tranquillity of the Suffolk countryside.

The location also has much better access to the very best of our amazing heritage coast should you wish to venture out too, though with everything on offer at Snape Maltings, you’ll barely need to!

Best you hurry and get yourselves booked in!

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ITV & Woodfarm Barges (I’m on the telly!)

Pets Pyjamas Winners also on ITV

So there I was aboard Onderneming last week and ITV turned up! I was happy minding my own business when reporters Kate Prout and Becky Jago turned up and said hi!

ITV reporters Kate Prout and Becky Jago

They were in Suffolk filming a piece on dog walking in Suffolk as part of the ITV series ‘Tales & Trails; Dog Walks in East Anglia’. They’d stumbled across us online as somewhere dog walkers could stay and enjoy some luxury whilst their dogs could enjoy some nice walks so they thought they’d pop along and have a look.
 
I did always dream of being on your screens as a rock star but at the age of 53 that seems to have eluded me! However, I have now appeared on ITV in my other persona as the owner of a luxury Holiday Cottage and Barge business so I’m happy with that!
 

We have had some amazing publicity this year, what with Onderneming featuring in The Times “Most unusual Holiday Houses in Britain”, and Twee Gebroeders featuring in their list of “Love Nests: Great Places for Two”. On top of that we had a fabulous 6 page spread in Dog Friendly Magazine, featuring our Barns and also a stay aboard Onderneming. You can read all about that one HERE

I’m so pleased that our Barges have taken off in the year since I added them to the business but didn’t imagine we’d have this much publicity!

ITV reporter Becky Jago aboard OndernemingBecky was behind the camera this time, just learning how that side of the industry works, as she’s normally presenting on ITV. Kate was doing the grilling in front of the camera with me. I thought they’d just pop on board and ask me a few questions but they had a really good look around, shot lots of footage and stayed for a good natter afterwards. They made it great fun and kept me as calm as I could be! Becky loved it so much she booked a stay!

Maybe I’ll be on the Old Grey Whistle Test or Top of The Pops next week? (showing my age!)
 
Click this link and scroll to the second picture. Click and watch the video. We’re on at 1 minute 35 secs. A sneaky peak around one of our barges on ITV.
 
 
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The Times features Onderneming!

Onderneming in The Times, now at Snape Maltings

Following The Times newspaper featuring our other Dutch Barge Twee Gebroeders in February 2018, we are delighted that Onderneming has now been featured by them too!

Onderneming featured in The TimesWe thought it was pretty cool to have a listing in The Times for Twee Gebroeders in their list of ‘Love Nests: Great Places for Two’. This has given us some great kudos as the travel supplement of The Times is such a well known source for travellers and holidaymakers.

Well imagine our delight at finding out that they have now featured Onderneming too! She has featured in their list of the top 50 ‘Best Unusual Holiday Houses in Britain 2018’.

The Times and OndernemingThe Times has long been one for writing about interesting places and we are just so chuffed that both of our barges have featured in great articles by them within a year of owning them!

I can confirm that she is a unique place to stay as I bought her after staying as a paying customer myself in March 2017. As I was looking around to take the Woodfarm Barns brand onto the water, I fell in love with Onderneming and just 4 months later we launched the Woodfarm Barge brand with Onderneming and Twee Gebroeders. That was a busy 4 months!

Onderneming in The TimesSince then we have had the pleasure of sharing Onderneming with hundreds of guests, who’ve enjoyed the sheer size of her, as well as the unique experience of holidaying on a river. At well over 100 tons you don’t even know you’re afloat but you do have all the advantages of the stunning views, the wildlife around you and the fabulous walk sin either direction.

She retains so many of her original features, which really do enhance your stay. There are portholes throughout, still retaining their red and green surrounds in the lower saloon so you can tell your port from your starboard (that’s left and right to land-lubbers)

So a huge thank you to The Times for including our wonderful Dutch Barge Onderneming in such a great list.

 

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Photography and Suffolk in perfect harmony

Ramsholt in Suffolk. Gill Moon Photography

Great photography requires real skills, and landscape photographer Gill Moon has them in spades!

When I met Gill, it was as the previous owner of one of our beautiful Dutch Barges ‘Twee Gebroeders’. It was only when we’d shaken on a deal that I realised her passion for photography. This image is one of my favourite examples of Gill’s photography. This is Twee Gebroeders, when she was on the River Orwell.

Photography in Suffolk by Gill Moon - Twee GebroedersAnd now, we all have the opportunity to admire her work as she presents a collection of images showcasing the beauty and diversity of the Suffolk Coast. Here’s another of my faves. What a stunning image of Southwold Pier! (I normally show images smaller on my blog posts but I can’t bring myself to reduce these!!!)

Suffolk Photography by Gill Moon‘Suffolk Seen – Images of Suffolk’ is an exhibition of some of Gill’s work and I strongly advise you to take some time out to go and feast your eyes on the very best that Suffolk has to offer, courtesy of Gill’s lens!

The exhibition will draw on her love of the sea and a passion for the natural landscape.

From the buzz of the Port of Felixstowe to the tranquility of the Blyth estuary the exhibition features images from a variety of landscapes within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and tells a story of this ever changing landscape through a series of waterscapes, landscapes and sailing images.

We both share a love of the water so it does feature in Gill’s images. Here’s an amazing view of the River Deben at Ramsholt, where I spend as much of my spare time as I can.

Ramsholt in Suffolk. Photography by Gill MoonGill is a freelance photographer based in Woodbridge. She specialises in landscapes waterscapes, and marine photography and is passionate about promoting a connection with the environment through her work.

The exhibition will run for 1 week at the new ARTSPACE Gallery, 64 Thoroughfare, Woodbridge IP12 1AL,Suffolk

Opening from midday Thursday 26th October to 4pm Wednesday 1st November including Sunday.

And…. You can buy Gill’s work! More information about Gill and her work can be found on her website

Venue details can be found HERE

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Walking along the River Orwell

Great views on the River Orwell

The River Orwell is home to a number of sailing clubs, some stunning scenery and one of our Dutch Sailing Barges, Onderneming (Enterprise in English)

Stunning views along the River OrwellThe Butt & Oyster is one of the best known pubs in Suffolk, well known for its great beer, great food and great views. It’s the hub of the hamlet of Pin Mill on the River Orwell and just a gentle stones throw from Onderneming. The pub gets its name from the oyster fisheries, originally a major export from the river Orwell.

The reason we start by mentioning the pub is that Onderneming is moored right next the pub and there are two great walks in either direction, and just after lunch at the pub would be a good idea! Or, as I have done, one before lunch to work up an appetite and one after to work off lunch!

Shipwrecks along the River OrwellTimeless shores with the most enchanting sounds of nature, you can immerse yourself in an artist’s inspiration and soak up the views of Thames barges, fascinating shipwrecks, swans and all the wonderful array of other wild birds along the River Orwell.

Pin Mill, once a smugglers haven, offers beautiful walks and amazing scenery. You can choose to walk upriver past the boatyards and the Pin mill Sailing Club, or downriver towards the sea, past all the houseboats. Either way you have some amazing views and dogs love it!

Downriver

River walks along the River OrwellIf you head downriver from the pub away from Onderneming, you’ll be heading towards the sea. There’s a well worn path through the edge of the forest. It’ll take you a long time to actually get to the sea so I recommend just walking as far as you fancy, then turning back. This is a short walk really, taking in foreshore, woodland and heath. The terrain is mostly easy, walking on grassy and sandy paths. There are some steps on the route and also a steep dip. At high tide you will need to take a higher route past the pub. Or wear wellies!

Upriver

There’s a longer walk upriver in the other direction, across some farmland, through Woolverstone Marina, and it then doubles back around Woolverstone Hall. The terrain ranges from some metalled tracks to footpaths that are likely be muddy in wet weather.

Your dogs will enjoy either route but should be kept under close control, or on a lead. They MUST be on a lead between 1 March and 31 July, to protect breeding ground-nesting birds.

You can look up more details of these walks on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths website here

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Shotley Peninsula on the doorstep of Onderneming

The Shotely Peninsula; home to Onderneming

Nestled between the rivers Stour and Orwell in Suffolk, the Shotley Peninsula is a beautiful out-spur of villages and farmland that has been designated a Special Protection Area. 

Shotely Marina on the Shotley PeninsulaShotley Peninsula is named after the village of Shotley and the smaller settlement of Shotley Gate; this unique section of Suffolk has plenty to offer a visitor looking to spend some time on dry land when staying on a Woodfarm Barge. ‘Onderneming’ is moored on the peninsula and Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge is less than half an hour away.

The Shotley Marina is one of the highlights of the area and is located at the meeting point of the River Orwell and the River Stour. From here, yachtsmen can explore both of these rivers and the open sea beyond. For more information you can visit East Coast Marinas

There’s also a lovely little pub on the Marina called The Shipwreck, which is well worth a visit. It offers a range of food and drink along with excellent views.  

Butt & Oyster on the Shotley PeninsulaFurther north, towards Ipswich, there’s a hidden little gem of the Shotley Peninsula – the tiny hamlet of Pin Mill. Small but perfectly formed, Pin Mill provided inspiration for famous children’s author Arthur Ransome, who wrote ‘Swallows and Amazons’ among many other works and is where you’ll find our fabulous 100ft Holiday Cottage Barge ‘Onderneming’. 

She is moored nicely next to the fabulous Butt & Oyster pub!

If you’re in the mood for an idyllic walk in some quintessentially English woodland then you can pay a visit to Freston Wood, especially beautiful when the bluebells are flowering during the spring.

On the other hand if you’re in the mood for more of a challenging hike then you could have a go at tackling the 67km Stour and Orwell coastal walk, which loops around the Shotley Peninsula taking in all that both estuaries have to offer in terms of wildlife and natural splendour. 

The Alton Water reservoir on the Shotley Peninsula also has a great deal to offer visitors of all ages. It’s a great spot for all of the family to enjoy. With activities including; birdwatching, walking, cycling. Bike and canoe hire are both available on site. Take a look at the Alton Water Website for more information. 

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Dive into history in the Castles of Suffolk

Bungay; Castles of Suffolk near our holiday cottage barges

With its rich farming lands and its proximity to the continent, our area has needed the Castles of Suffolk to watch over and protect us for any centuries.

Castles of Suffolk near our holiday cottage bargesTherefore the Castles of Suffolk afford us some of the best maintained and most impressive Castles in the UK.

So when you’re enjoying the wonderful rivers of Suffolk, why not make landfall once in a while to visit some of them?

One of these Castles has recently been made world famous by Suffolk’s own superstar Ed Sheeran, whose recent hit song ‘Castle On A Hill’ was written about one of our most impressive Castles, which is to be found in Framingham (Ed’s home town).

Framlingham Castle much deserves its recent elevation in fame. It’s an idyllic structure, majestically dominating the skyline in the lovely town and it’s just a 20 minute drive from Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge.

Superbly maintained by the English Heritage, Framlingham Castle is every bit as imposing and impressive as when it was used by Mary Tudor in 1547 as she awaited news of King Henry VIII’s death. It has since been used as a poorhouse, a prison and a school. Nowadays the Castle pays host to visitors from all over the world.

For more information to help you plan your visit to Framlingham Castle check out the official website here 

Castles of Suffolk near our holiday cottage bargesHowever Framlingham isn’t the only town to play host to one of our wonderful Castles of Suffolk. Orford Castle has a fantastically well maintained and uniquely designed keep. Climb all the way to the top and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views over the village of Orford and Orford Ness, towards the sea. Again, just a short drive from Woodbridge.

The website for Orford Castle can be found here

Less well maintained, but nevertheless fascinating and important, Castles of Suffolk include: Bungay Castle erected in the 12th Centre, the remains of the Norman Fortress know as Clare Castle and the 11th century motte and bailey built upon an intact Saxon mound in Eye. A lovely trip across country from either of our holiday cottage barges and you must visit the Earsham Street Deli whilst you are there for some amazing local produce! Just tell them you are staying in a Woodfarm Barge!

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Win a FREE Break on a Holiday Cottage Barge !!!

Bird Watching from Twee Gebroeders

Here’s your chance to WIN a FREE Break aboard a beautiful Holiday Cottage Barge as we launch our new brand!

The main bedroom of our Holiday Cottage BargeYes, a completely FREE BREAK aboard Twee Gebroeders, a Holiday Cottage Barge, moored in Woodbridge, Suffolk is waiting for you if you’re the lucky winner picked out of our hat in this simple competition!

We are absolutely over the moon to be able to bring you news of the expansion of our Suffolk Holiday Cottage business, with not one Holiday Cottage Barge, but TWO!!!!

We have developed a fabulous reputation over the last 8 years at Woodfarm Barns, for providing luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages in the heart of rural Suffolk. And as our biggest problem is that we often don’t have enough cottages, we have taken the business to the water!

Please have a good look around this website after you’ve entered the competition, share it with your friends and please Like & Share on Facebook 0r Follow and RT on Twitter. You’ll have to do this to enter the competition anyway.

Our Holiday Cottage Barge Onderneming

We have purchased two historic Dutch sailing barges, dating back to 1897 and 1899 respectively. They are both moored so you won’t have to learn to sail! Because of their weight though, you’ll hardly know you’re afloat when the tide come in!

Onderneming, or ‘Enterprise’ in English, is a huge 100ft ‘Klipper’ class, lovingly converted into a holiday cottage barge, which has three double bedrooms, three bathrooms and two kitchen/dining/lounge saloons, one in the large former wheelhouse and one in the cargo hold, with so many original features, as well as a kids den!. She is moored at Pin Mill, a tiny hamlet on the River Orwell and offers the perfect peaceful getaway for families or groups of friends. Sleeps 6-8.

Twee Gebroeders, or ‘Two Brothers’ when translated from Dutch is a ‘Skutjse’ class, and no expense has been spared transforming this 64ft vessel into the most romantic holiday cottage barge.

Our Holiday Cottage Barge Twee GebroedersShe has an open kitchen/dining/lounge saloon area, with a cast iron stove, a double cabin and a twin cabin, as well as a luxurious shower room and the most beautiful chrome portholes throughout. She is moored at the quayside in Woodbridge, a quaint maritime town on the River Deben and she is ideal for a romantic escape for two, or for a small family. Sleeps 2-4.

Please do check them both out on our Gallery tab as the interiors are simply stunning!!!

The Competition

To celebrate the expansion of the Woodfarm brand we are offering a FREE FOUR NIGHT stay aboard Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge, for two adults and up to three dogs.

All you have to do is to follow these 3 very simple steps. YOU MUST FOLLOW ALL THREE TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE. Lots of people are only doing one or two and won’t be winning. It really is very simple;

1) Like our new Woodfarm Barges Facebook Page or Follow us on Twitter – This means the main, not the post.

2) Share the competition Post on Facebook OR Re-tweet it on your timeline. We need the world to see this and you need to do it to enter. You must share the post.

3) Complete the simple form below to tell us in which country our barges were built?

    It’s three very simple steps to be our Holiday Cottage Barge winner so please make sure you follow all three steps. You’d be amazed how some people don’t!

    One winner will be picked from the hat of all our correct entries on September 30th.

    Terms & Conditions;

    Win a free break aboard a Holiday Cottage BargeThe prize is for a FOUR NIGHT MIDWEEK BREAK aboard Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge, between 31st October 2017 and 28th February 2018, subject to availability, excluding Christmas, New Year, Valentines, School and Bank Holidays so you have a full five months to take your FREE BREAK! 

    It’ll be for two adults and up to three dogs.

    Please note that we cannot announce the winner first on Social Media, it has to be by email. River Deben at night from our Holiday Cottage BargeIf we do not hear back from you within 48 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’d obviously really appreciate it if you could then shout it from the rooftops!

    There is no cash alternative.

    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 many breaks over the last 8 years to some very happy people.

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    Wonderful food at the Table Woodbridge

    The Table Woodbridge near our holiday cottage barges

    The Table Woodbridge is a tremendously popular brasserie restaurant located in one of the most beautiful and historic market towns in our area. 

    Wonderful cuisine at The Table WoodbridgeWhilst enjoying the river Deben on Twee Gebroeders, one of our Dutch Sailing Barges you are very likely to find yourself wandering into the town a fair bit as you will be moored on the quayside just a few minutes walk away. It is an excellent hub of local tourist attractions as well as being a stunning example of a charming Suffolk market town itself. We would throughly recommend it and you’ll walk past The Table Woodbridge on your way (it’s well worth a 25 minute drive from Onderneming too!)

    When you’re there we would definitely advise a trip to The Table Woodbridge, where you can relax and unwind with some delicious food and drinks. It’s a favourite of mine and as I write this I am still full from the wonderful jerk chicken burger and cajun fries I had a couple of hours ago there!

    Fabulous food at The Table WoodbridgeThis friendly, family style brasserie restaurant is an ideal spot for a light lunch, a romantic dinner, a family gathering or simply popping in for coffee and cake with an old friend. 

    It’s always a great sign when a restaurant is popular with the locals, it means the service and food are at a constantly good level and that the prices are reasonable.

    One only has to take a quick look at the many glowing reviews for The Table Woodbridge on TripAdvisor to get a flavour of just how popular this place is. It is regularly described as “fabulous” and “Excellent” by reviewers. You can read the feedback here for yourself

    Dinner The Table WoodbridgeTo find out more about this little treasure of a restaurant, you can pop over to their official website here where, among other things, you can see a gallery of photos and peruse their menu at your leisure in preparation for your visit. 

    If you’d like to connect with The Table Woodbridge and keep up to date on all their latest news and events you can do so on their Facebook page.

    Happy dining!