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Deben Leisure Centre for staying active

Deben Leisure Centre

The Deben Leisure Centre is a superb gymming and swimming facility in Woodbridge and available for our guests to use whilst they are staying aboard our barges (or barns)

Deben leisure centre gymThe Deben Leisure Centre is a short walk from Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge and only a 20 minute drive from Onderneming so if you’d like to keep your gym or swim routine up during your stay then this is the place for you as you can ‘pay and play’.

It’s an excellent facility in what was the old local authority swimming pool building. It’s had a £3.5m facelift and the is open for business for day visitors and members alike. It’s now part of the ‘Places Leisure’ group with a presence all over the country but as far as we are concerned, they have an excellent facility here for us to tap into.

Deben leisure centre in WoodbridgeSo many people like to maintain their usual fitness routine whilst away on holiday. We don’t have gyms aboard our barges but we do have the next best thing, The Deben Leisure Centre.

The gym is well equipped with all brand new equipment in June 2018; a great range of cardio, free weights and resistance machines. There’s also the usual TVs with subtitles on the walls, as well as built into the cardio equipment; basically everything you could want.

The pool is usually split into three lanes in the morning when I go; slow, medium and fast lanes so just pick whichever one you’re able to enjoy. After a session in the gym my arms won’t let me get in the fast lane!

The Deben leisure centre is open from 6am until 10pm during the week and from 7am until 8pm at the weekend so there’s really no excuse for the keen staycationer!

Anyone can use the pool for £4.75 per visit and the gym for £10.20 per visit


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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…..

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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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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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River Cruise from our Barges or Barns

Fancy taking a Suffolk River Cruise when you’re staying at our Barges or Barns? Then the Jahan from Deben Cruises is a perfect way to spend a couple of hours

River Cruise aboard MV JahanThis River Cruise operates from the tiny little Suffolk hamlet of Waldringfield where you’ll be welcomed aboard the MV (Motor Vessel) Jahan for a 2 hour journey by boat along the beautiful river Deben.

Your River Cruise will take you around one of the most scenic and stunning spots on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. The Deben Estuary is tidal and is a Special Protection Area within one of our two local AONB’s (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty). This is part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths. Their on board commentary will let you know all about the rich history and wildlife in the area.

This fascinating River Cruise is only 10 minutes away from Twee Gebroeders in Woodbridge, 20 minutes from Onderneming at Pin Mill and just 25 minutes from our cottages on dry land, Woodfarm Barns.

Deben Cruises is a family business and they have trips departing twice a day on most days through the summer (May through to mid October). You can book out the whole boat for an evening trip by arrangement.

River Cruise from Waldringfield BoatyardSuffolk is one of the country’s driest counties but it does rain here! Fear not, The Jahan is an all weather boat. You can book individual seats subject to availability, or book a group on board too.

The MV Jahan is licensed to carry 54 passengers plus a crew of two and measures 38ft in length. She’s been designed and built to provide comfortable and convenient access for the disabled, and has wide hatches, as well as two hydraulic lifting areas of floor to allow up to two disabled persons in small standard wheelchairs. She is also complete with life-saving devices, a toilet and a small galley for snacks.

Toilet facilities are available on board for walking passengers, and for both walking and wheelchair passengers on the quay.

Basic refreshments are available on board. Pre-ordered snacks of tea/coffee, a scone and jam are available at £2.50pp.

You can see the pricing structure for your River Cruise on their website but in 2017 it is around £11 per person, with minimum numbers needed to operate

You are welcome to contact Deben Cruises directly for a quote if you wish to book the boat exclusively. Under fives only on exclusive trips.

This is not a trip for dogs I’m afraid, with the exception of assistance dogs of course.

River Cruise by the MaybushThe icing on the cake is the awesome pub right next to the jetty. The Maybush is a highly popular pub restaurant sitting on the River Deben, serving fabulous food and drink.

Special Occasion Trips

Exclusive booking of the boat please call them on 01473 736260

To book your River Cruise contact Deben Cruises at Waldringfield Boatyard

Telephone 01473 736 260

Waldringfield Boatyard Ltd. The Quay, Waldringfield, Nr. Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4QZ.

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Woodbridge Cinema – a unique experience

Theatre and Cinema at the Riverside

The Woodbridge Cinema, ‘The Riverside’ is a unique combination of movies and food, just a five minute walk from Twee Gebroeders, our romantic Holiday Barge by the Tidemill in Woodbridge, and only a 25 minute drive from Onderneming in Pin Mill.

Woodbridge Cinema, The RiversideAs the name suggests, the Riverside Woodbridge Cinema, sits just a stones throw from the River Deben, right next to Woodbridge Station. This is genuinely a unique offering, with superb food served in their restaurant and bar, as well as a large patio area for Al Fresco dining, then a quaint independent cinema and theatre.

The Woodbridge Cinema, ‘The Riverside’ features in the ‘Which’ Good Food Guide, as well as having a Michelin listing and “highly recommended” by the Financial Times! Their pasta and bread is always freshly made by their chefs and they source as much fresh, local produce as they can. The Riverside Restaurant serves amazing lunches, candlelit dinners and has a range of innovative menus that can be sampled when simply out for a meal, or combined with a trip to the theatre or cinema.

There’s such a range of menu ideas to choose from. They serve;

Woodbridge Cinema and theatre, The RiversideLight lunch – Monday-Saturday available in the daytimes, serving such dishes as goat’s cheese, parma ham and artichoke salad, crispy duck pancakes, hoisin sauce, spring onion and cucumber, and pilsner battered haddock, chips, peas with tartare sauce.

A La Carte – available Monday-Saturday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes (with the addition of two traditional Sunday roast choices.

Tapas and Film – with such dishes as homemade bread and olive oil, greek olives, feta, tapenade, guacamole, hummus, mini fish, chips, and tartare sauce, garlic & herb tiger prawns and much more!


Dinner and Film – a wonderful three course meal and your cinema ticket for £35 (2017)

Fish & Flicks where you’ll have a choice of three fish dishes (always includes their beer battered haddock and chips) also includes a matinee or evening film ticket

Pudding Menu – a mouthwatering range such as sticky toffee pudding, banana ice cream, raspberry creme brulee, coconut biscuit, pistachio & almond cake, poached pear, creme fraiche and dark chocolate and vanilla cheesecake, passionfruit reduction

Woodbridge Cinema and theatre, 'The Riverside'This Woodbridge cinema feels very ‘Victorian’ and is such a wonderful change from the huge multi-plexes that we are used to nowadays. There’s a lovely little box office and the usual popcorn and sweets available. And even the tickets feel so much nicer than the ones we normally get!

You can followThe Woodbridge Cinema, ‘The Riverside’  on Facebook 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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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!