Kenneth Grahame, celebrated author of The Wind in The Willows, once famously declared that “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats”. Whilst the Barges available to rent Woodfarm Barges are moored, we’re still confident that our guests are able to discover the truth of this wisdom when enjoying a holiday on board either Onderneming or Twee Gebroeders.
Dating back to the 1800s, our converted Dutch Sailing Barges are comfortably furnished and equipped with everything guests would expect from modern holiday accommodation. From cozy cabins to comfortable saloons and all the necessary amenities, they are effectively floating cottages which can be used as the perfect base from which to enjoy everything that Suffolk has to offer.
At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, we’re committed to providing the best possible experience for couples looking to get away for a holiday in Suffolk. Situated amidst beautiful countryside surroundings and equipped with hot tubs and cosy bedrooms, we’re fairly sure that our accommodation has everything you could possibly require for a memorable romantic break.
We’re confident, too, that the location of our Cottages, Barns and Barges make it easy for guests to do all of the things they could possibly want to do when taking a break, whether they’re celebrating a special anniversary or simply enjoying a summer holiday.
Every county in the world has its hidden gems and Suffolk is no exception. Behind every one of its standout attractions, there are various exciting destinations tucked away just waiting to be discovered by the more informed traveler.
From a forest and walking trail rumoured to be visited by UFOs, to a farm full of rare breeds, there’s a lot more to our floral and historic county than meets the eyes.
We’re pretty confident that Suffolk rivals the big boys when it comes to romantic holiday destinations. We’re so confident, in fact, that we previously mentioned it in the same breath as Paris and Venice when describing the best place to take a couples holiday.
Doubling down on this suggestion, we’re back to provide you with a detailed plan for the perfect romantic staycation in Suffolk. From fine dining to long walks on the beach and even horse riding, we’ve got everything you could possibly desire from a couples holiday right here in our beautiful county.
Whether you’re marking a special anniversary or simply fancy a memorable summer holiday with your better half, here are five exciting activities to consider when planning a romantic break in Suffolk:
At Woodfarm Barns and Barges, it will come as no surprise to learn that we believe renting a Cottage or Barn for a holiday in Suffolk is the best thing you can do in summer. Providing you with everything you need to relax in comfort and style, our Cottages and Barns allow you to experience everything that our fantastic county has to offer from a comfortable and superbly equipped base.
“The Dig”, a brand new film from Netflix has turned the spotlight on to Sutton Hoo, a location directly opposite our barge Twee Gebroeders at Woodbridge. The featured image is me at Sutton Hoo years ago. Can’t imagine why they didn’t ask me to star in the film!
Starring the multi award-winning Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, the film tells the story of how Edith Pretty, a landowner in 1939, requested a local archaeologist to look into some unexplained mounds on her estate.
After plenty of digging, it transpired that beneath these mounds was a royal burial chamber complete with all the trimmings – unearthed in the excavation was a warrior’s helmet as well as a sword and shield believed to have once belonged to King Raedwald.
Described by experts as “one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time”, the film does a fantastic job of revealing all of the drama, excitement and repercussions that came with the work carried out by Basil Brown, the determined local archeologist employed by Edith Pretty.
As you might expect, “The Dig” features plenty of footage from around Suffolk, and the production team headed out to Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh to get what we believe are some of the best shots in the film. Whilst we might be a little biased, we think that the scenes featuring Fiennes biking through some recognisable Suffolk scenes do a great amount of service to the rural landscape of the county.
Interestingly, A barge that can be seen sailing near Snape in the film is moored next to our very own Onderneming at Snape Maltings! I know the guy who looks after that barge and it may be him sailing her in the film, though I honestly couldn’t quite tell. Here she is in a screenshot from the film. From here, guests on board our barge are able to easily visit the central destination featured in “The Dig” to immerse themselves in this exciting chapter of modern history. It’s just a short walk from Onderneming to where Ralph Fiennes was sitting in this scene.
Expertly cared for by the National Trust, the Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo welcomes visitors to walk the various mounds that make up the landscape and to see for themselves the task that Basil Brown undertook back in the late thirties.
Whilst history buffs will no doubt be excited to get up close and personal with the Royal Burial Ground, there’s plenty more to Sutton Hoo and the surrounding areas for holidaymakers to take advantage of. Aldebrugh beach, for example, is only a short distance away from our barge Twee Gebroeders. Similarly, the restaurants and attractions in and around Ipswich are easily reached by car.
Sure to inspire more than a few holidaymakers to visit Suffolk this year, we’re pleased to offer families and couples the opportunity to discover the magic of this destination for themselves when renting one of our barges.
To find out more about the times Suffolk made its way onto the silver and small screen, be sure to take a look at our article 5 film and TV locations you can visit when taking a holiday in Suffolk. I also wrote a blog post about my own visit to Sutton Hoo many years, which you can see here on on the Woodfarm Barns website.
If the film has got you excited about a Suffolk getaway, be sure to get in touch to start planning your stay on board one of our barges today.
Here’s some extra information such as how to get to us, links to things to do, arrival & departure info, deposit and balance info etc. You might want to save it to you your phone.
Payments We take a deposit of £100 per Barge at the time of booking, with the balance being payable one month before arrival (extended to two months for Christmas and New year bookings). If your stay is within a month of booking (or within 2 months if for Christmas or New Year) then the total amount is due now.
Directions for our two barges;
For Onderneming Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, IP17 1SP From the A12 take the A1094 signposted towards Snape Maltings. At Snape Church turn on to the B1069 into the village of Snape itself before turning left into Snape Maltings. Onderneming is on the quay as you drive in. You can’t miss her!
We have reserved parking just before the slipway nearby so you can unload and park near the Barge. For Twee Gebroeders Bass Dock, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1BW. Use the Post Code IP12 1BP for parking (see below) From the A12 in either direction turn off for Woodbridge and simply follow the road through the town to the riverside, keeping a lookout for signs to ‘The Tidemill’. It is so iconic, there are signs everywhere.
The Barge is moored on a public quay so we don’t have parking. You can park just a few minutes walk to the Train Station car park next door to the quay. It’s £4 per day via the RingGo app. The postcode is IP12 4AU and the RingGo location is 4415
Just walk through to the river and follow the quay around towards the Tidemill. Twee Gebroeders is the barge nearest the Tidemill itself. If you have a lot of luggage, you can drive to The Tidemill directly to drop off close to the Barge.
Arrival & Departure – we’ll be in touch a couple of days before arrival to arrange a time Arrival whilst we are ‘under the COVID cloud’ is 4pm as we have a lot of extra housekeeping and we like to make sure your barge is ready. We do like to welcome you but we have key safes if you are likely to arriving when we’re not around. If this is the case we’ll let you have the current code for your barge. Departures are by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure so we can prepare it for the next guests. Please don’t make us send in the heavies to drag you out kicking and screaming.
Planning your stay We have loads of ideas on our Blog Pages, plus on the Blog Pages of woodfarmbarns.com. We also have a website that we’ve developed just for you to start getting excited about your stay. ‘Where Do We?…‘ is your online guide to lots of things in Suffolk so hopefully it’ll help.
Days Out We also have a blog series especially for our guests that pulls together some great Days Out – so you can find out how to spend a full day out in specific parts of the local area. Visit our blog here…
The red deer rut is a one-of-a-kind spectacle of nature and marks the height of autumn in the county of Suffolk! For everything you need to know about how to see the red deer rut in Suffolk, read on…
What is the red deer rut?
Taking place in autumn, specifically the month of October, the red deer rut is a part of the mating process for red deer.
Mating begins with the females of the species gathering in a large herd. This herd is then joined by large, fierce stags, who are ready to intimidate each other in front of their potential mates. The stags tip their heads back and roar into the air; the one with the loudest roar becomes the dominant male, and essentially wins his harem of females.
However – and this is where it gets really interesting – if there is another stag with a similarly loud roar and a taste for dominance, the two will battle it out using their antlers. They’ll clash together and lock antlers until one becomes injured or backs down, and the winner will take his position as the dominant male of the harem. The fight usually doesn’t last long, but it is a very exciting part of nature in the Suffolk countryside!
Incredible facts about red deer
Did you know that red deer are the largest land mammals in the UK? These majestic animals can grow to around four feet tall, minus their antlers! Although their size is rather intimidating, most red deer (even park deer) will try to escape if a human or other large animal gets too close. However, it’s important not to approach male deer, especially during mating season, as they will display aggressive behaviour.
Formerly extinct across much of the UK in the 1700s, conservationists have worked extremely hard to bring populations back to life. The national population has now reached 360,000, with a large percentage based in Scotland. Here in Suffolk, we’re very lucky to have one of the largest populations of red deer outside of Scottish borders!
Where to see the red deer rut in Suffolk
RSPB Minsmere is, without a doubt, the best place to see the red deer rut in Suffolk. Following a brief closure during the COVID-19 lockdown, all trails and most hides are now open, allowing you to see the deer, as well as a huge range of autumn migrating birds and wonderful flora across the reserve. Most paths on the trails are wide enough to allow for social distancing, ensuring a safe and positive environment for visitors of all ages.
RSPB Minsmere is open from dawn until dusk, with the visitor centre open between 9am-5pm from 1st February to 31st October, and 9am-4pm from 1st November to 31st January.
Tickets are £9 per adult and £5 for children under 19 (first child gets free entrance, and children under 5 go free). Student tickets are £6 each.
Can I bring my dog?
At RSPB Minsmere, dogs are not allowed on trails or in the hides. However, maps are available for walking dogs locally in the area. We also have a selection of blog posts about where you can take your dog, on our ‘Where Do We?’ website.
Where to stay in Suffolk during the red deer rut
We welcome you to stay on board our unique, historic Suffolk Holiday Barges. These stunning static Barges are available for couples, families and groups of friends looking for a relaxing stay in wonderful Suffolk. Our Onderneming Barge is based in the charming village of Snape Maltings and sleep 6, while Twee Gebroeders is based in the market town of Woodbridge and sleeps 4. Both have been refurbished to a high standard, and feature their own kitchen and dining facilities, bathrooms, comfortable bedrooms, cosy living areas and central heating.
Onderneming is a half-hour drive from RSPB Minsmere, while Twee Gebroeders is 45 minutes away. It’s the perfect location for an autumn day out! Want to dive into a snug Suffolk pub for a drink and a hearty meal after walking around the reserve? Click here to view our favourite Suffolk pubs located near our Barges!
The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is a much-loved event in the Suffolk event calendar – however, this year’s event will be a little bit different. Read on for the lowdown of what’s happening during the 2020 festival.
What is the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
Widely regarded as one of the best annual food festivals in the country, this event brings together dozens of local producers of fresh food, drink, confectionery and more. It’s the place to be if you want to fill your fridge and pantry with mouth watering produce – and indulge in a cheeky, freshly-made meal while you’re browsing.
Not only that, but you can meet the producers themselves, and grill them about food miles, sustainable practices, and more. It’s a great way to learn about the thriving food industry in Suffolk.
The event takes place at the stunning riverside village of Snape, which is also where one of our beautiful, Historic Suffolk Holiday Barges is based! The Barge, Onderneming, sleeps six guests and up to three dogs, and features three bathrooms, two large lounge and dining areas, two kitchens and stunning river views. We clean both of our Barges thoroughly following each visit, ensuring that our guests are safe and happy during their stay.
What’s changing for 2020?
As a precautionary measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is undergoing a few temporary changes this year. On 26th to 27th September, a ‘Market Weekend’ will replace the festival. Don’t worry – it’ll still take place at Snape Maltings, and there will be over 50 local producers spread across the grounds of the outdoor event area, plus entertainment and street food kiosks.
Unfortunately, this year’s event will lack the live chef demonstrations and masterclasses of previous years, but the market itself will be a wonderful experience!
Where to get tickets for the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 2020
Tickets are FREE this year! However, to enable the festival to keep going for future years and to keep bringing local producers together for the event, the arrangers are asking for optional donations with bookings. You can book your tickets via the festival website here. Be aware that festival visitor numbers will be limited to allow for social distancing measures, so make sure to book well in advance.
As our Holiday Barges and Cottages are so popular, we recommend booking well in advance – especially for popular Suffolk events! We do have some space available for later in the autumn and winter. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Suffolk, so book now to enjoy the beauty that our county has to offer!
Thank you for taking the time to consider staying at one of our Suffolk Holiday Barges. Still mulling over your booking? Below are some reasons that might help you make a decision!
Please let me know if you have any queries by calling me directly on 01449 710032, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even WhatsApp me by clicking below…
We say this on nearly every page of our website – but we still get questions about our dog-friendly status! Yes, we welcome up to three dogs on each of our Barges. Included in your holiday will be necessities to keep your dog happy, including dog treats in your welcome basket, dog poop bags, towels, and more. There are plenty of walks and activities for you and your dog to enjoy in Suffolk, and you don’t even have to venture far from your Barge!
Fantastic reviews and awards
Our guests love staying at Woodfarm Barges, and we have many who return year after year! Guests have described our Barges as ‘authentic’, ‘unique’ and ‘exceeding all expectations’. But don’t just take our word for it! We have an entire page of reviews that you can read through at your leisure here.
We’re also the proud recipients of the Visit England Gold Awards for both our Barges and Barns, which we’ve been awarded every year since we first launched, back in 2014.
We’re constantly full!
The fact that we’re constantly taking back-to-back bookings is a testament to how popular our Barges really are! And no, this isn’t just us bragging, nor is it a sales technique – we would love to be able to fit everyone in who wants a booking, and we don’t like having to turn people away. We want you to be able to enjoy our Barges just as every guest has before you, so it’s important to book right away if you see a space in the calendar that fits your holiday dates.
Our Historic, Dutch Holiday Barges are located in blissful Suffolk, in the midst of nature but conveniently located near fabulous amenities such as riverside restaurants and independent shops. Onderneming is moored on the River Alde in the one-of-a-kind village of Snape Maltings, while Twee Gebroeders is moored on the River Deben at the Tidemill in Woodbridge.
View before you stay
We know it can be difficult to make your mind up about where to go on holiday, as there’s so much choice out there. That’s why we’ve got plenty of info, images and videos to show you just why you should stay with us. We’ve just about covered everything you need to know about our Barges on this website, but if you have any more questions, feel free to message us at any time and someone will get back to you. Watch our videos here to find out more about our Barges.
We’re expanding to Tuscany
It won’t be long now before we can welcome guests at our breathtakingly beautiful Holiday Cottage in the heart of the Tuscan countryside in Italy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing countryside break with warmer weather, a Mediterranean culinary exploration, picturesque views that would make any avid photographer swoon – or all of the above! – then visit our Woodfarm Tuscany website to know more and follow our progress.
We love to give away free breaks to our Woodfarm VIP Rewards Group. You don’t have to have stayed with us to become a member, and it doesn’t cost anything. All you need to do is sign up to our email list here and you could be selected to win.
We never share your info. It’s simply to keep you informed of the good stuff so that you may consider us when making your holiday and short break decisions. You can unsubscribe any time you like.
We hope that this page has provided you with all the information you need about our Suffolk Holiday Barges, but please let me know if you have any more queries by calling me directly on 01449 710032, or emailing email@example.com. You can also click here to book your holiday.
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Short and Long Break options…..
We offer 2 or 3 night weekends from Fridays, 4 night midweek breaks from Mondays, and 5 night midweek breaks from Sundays. We also do full weeks and longer, from any of those days. Contact us if you would like anything different
We welcome up to 3 dogs and charge £15 each per stay
We make this small charge to cover our strict maintenance and cleaning regime and keep the barns spotless! This will be added during the booking process.