Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring Manor House Barn – an award-winning, pet-friendly, barn conversion in peaceful Suffolk countryside.
What an incredible break we’ve had at Manor House Barn! A fabulous barn conversion where you will find quality throughout. The stylish, spacious property has such a luxury finish, and is so well-equipped. A real rural gem, surrounded by peaceful countryside and walks, the fully enclosed back garden is ideal for four-legged friends.
An absolutely perfect place for families, couples or friends to ‘get away from it all’ in quality, comfortable surroundings. Even better, the owners are environmentally conscious and have installed an electric car charging point as well as other eco-initiatives, meaning you can relax and enjoy the luxury guilt-free!
So much of Suffolk is right on your doorstep, ready to be explored. Adventures await in the medieval market town of Framlingham, which is only a 10-minute drive away. The Suffolk heritage coast can be reached easily by car, and there are plenty of footpaths right from your front door. Wildlife a-plenty, be sure to take your binoculars and book of birds!
There’s nothing we love more, here at Best of Suffolk, than getting out and exploring our glorious county. As truly local Suffolk ambassadors, we know our county inside out. It’s our superpower, what makes us different, and sets us apart from other holiday letting agencies. It’s also why our Tried and Tested blog series is now long-running and has such a wide readership. We love sharing our top tips, recommendations, and local knowledge, and you love hearing them!
As you’ll know, the Tried and Tested blog series sees the team ‘try and test’ our properties with their family and friends. Each blog provides first-hand experience of our stays and combines this with recommendations of things to do nearby. From the property itself to knowledge of where’s good for food – we ‘try and test’ it all.
In this edition, Abi (our Marketing Manager), her son Monty, and her parents enjoyed a wonderful stay at Manor House Barn. Here’s how they got on;
Manor House Barn, Peasenhall
This award-winning barn conversion has been superbly converted to create an impressive lofty living space that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment you step foot inside it. The modern kitchen along one wall next to the dining area is particularly well-equipped and ideal for whipping up anything from a light bite to a full-blown three-course meal!
The living space is ideal at any time of the year, thanks to the chic wood burner for cosy evenings and door to the patio for summer living. A lovely extra touch are the fairy lights above the patio area, meaning you can enjoy the outdoor space after sunset!
With a fully enclosed garden and surrounded by footpaths, the spacious property is ideal for those looking for a pet-friendly holiday cottage in Suffolk.
A wonderful galleried bedroom with king-size bed is perched above the second bedroom and beautiful modern bathroom at one end of Manor House Barn.
If peace and quiet are what you seek then this is the holiday home for you; sitting in a rural spot with large enclosed garden and patio, yet within easy reach of the fashionable Suffolk coast.
New for 2021, an EV charging point has been installed at this environmentally-conscious property, free of charge for guests’ overnight use.
Location, Location, Location!
Manor House Barn sits in a tranquil rural spot within easy reach of the Suffolk Coast designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The sleepy coastal village of Dunwich and Minsmere Nature Reserve are just 10 miles away and picturesque towns of Aldeburgh, Southwold and Walberswick approx 15 miles.
There are also many historic market towns in the surrounding countryside to explore, including Framingham with its majestic castle just four miles away. Closer to the property, villages of Peasenhall, Sibton, Badingham, and Dennington are where you’ll find traditional gastro country pubs serving real ales and excellent local food. The Badingham White Horse is particularly picturesque and dog friendly, as is The Dennington Queen. The Sibton White Horse is an award-winning pub and restaurant that does popular BBQs in the summer. Their food is fresh, home-cooked, tasty and very satisfying! Booking essential. Peasonhall boasts a traditional village store popular deli called Emmetts, and Weavers, a quaint tea room. Those looking to hold their own BBQ should pop into local butchers Salter and King, also found in Peasenhall.
The area’s also full of wonderful walks and cycle paths for those who enjoy the country air.
Manor House Barn: First Impressions
Located just around the corner from the Best of Suffolk office, I was already familiar with the charming village of Peasenhall. Finding Manor House Barn was easy thanks to the trusty Best of Suffolk arrival details. Nicely tucked away, we pulled onto the drive and opened the double gates. Parking was easy, with plenty of room right outside the barn. We couldn’t wait to take a look inside.
We were greeted by a particularly impressive open-plan living space, in warm and cosy surroundings. In addition to the usual bottle of wine and biscuits, the welcome pack at Manor House Barn has the wonderful addition of fresh milk, local coffee, and fresh local apple juice. What a treat to come into! The Best of Suffolk Welcome File told me everything I needed to know, including the Wi-Fi password and heating information. We were made to feel very welcome as we explored with excitement our gorgeous holiday home for the next few days.
We decided to spend our first day in this part of Suffolk out-and-about exploring the county. Having heard a lot of good things about the National Trust site of Sutton Hoo, we set off for our adventure!
Made even more famous thanks to the Netflix film The Dig, Sutton Hoo is a site of historical significance. It combines Anglo-Saxon history with beautiful views and walks.
This hauntingly beautiful awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site sits on a 255-acre estate. With far-reaching views over the River Deben, as you’ll discover when you visit, it is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.
We walked around the Royal Burial Ground to discover the incredible story of the ship burial of an Anglo-Saxon king and his treasured possessions. There are downloadable information packs for children to help make history more interactive, ideal for those aged 6 or older. Monty and I particularly enjoyed the viewing tower, which recently opened in September 2021.
After stomping around and following the trails, we had worked up quite an appetite! Despite it being autumn, it was still warm enough for a picnic!
A family-friendly attraction, Sutton Hoo also has a small adventure play area with a zip wire. It was a fantastic way for Monty to let off some steam!
Coffee Al Fresco
We headed back to Manor House Barn after a fun-filled day out and decided to pop the kettle on and relax with a coffee on the patio. Talk soon turned to how to spend our next few days.
Wildlife on Your Doorstep!
Monty decided to put his binoculars to good use and spot wildlife. What a wonderful thing to be able to do, direct from your holiday cottage!
According to the guest book, deer, pheasants, owls, and other native wildlife can be seen at dawn and dusk in the surrounding fields. We definitely spotted the Guinea Fowl that liked to stay close by!
Ideal Family Space
The open-plan living space at Manor House Barn is ideal for families or sets of couples or friends to spend time being sociable. We spent some time playing board games and thoroughly relaxing in the cosy surroundings. It was such a mild time of year, we didn’t light the wood burner, but it would have been easy to have done so.
The Dennington Queen
We opted to spend our first evening in a family-friendly local pub, The Dennington Queen. Only a short drive from Manor House Barn, and serving a delicious selection of food. Children are well catered for with a tasty menu and a large play area at the back, and dogs have their very own drinking fountain!
We very much appreciated the attentive service we received from the moment we arrived, and little touches like suggesting Monty’s food comes out with the adult starters shows they really understand families, children, and put customer satisfaction at the heart of what they do.
Gorgeous Master Bedroom
After all that yummy food, we headed back and turned in for the night. The glorious master bedroom at Manor House Barn sits on a mezzanine above the living area. Adorned with beams, lofty ceilings, a wooden floor and glass balustrade, the king-size bedroom feels particularly luxurious, as you can see!
Flexible Second Bedroom
The wonderful thing about Manor House Barn is the flexibility it offers. The second bedroom is downstairs, on the ground floor, next to the bathroom. It has a zip and link bed, which can either be made into a super-king, or a twin. So whether you’re a family looking to get away with the children, sets of friends or couples, the flexibility is there to accommodate your needs.
Those who would prefer a ground floor bedroom will enjoy a restful stay as the bathroom is also on the ground floor, as is the open plan living area. There is a step up into the property but everything else is within easy access.
Monty and I found our twin room to be very comfortable. The beds were so comfy, with crisp, white hotel-quality linens it meant we were in for a good night’s sleep!
Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottage
Manor House Barn could not be more dog-friendly if it tried! The visitor book is full of comments from previous guests who have brought dogs away with them on holiday and had a thoroughly good time. Up to three dogs are welcome at Manor House Barn, and the fully enclosed garden means you can let them sniff the Suffolk air in peace whilst you relax!
With so many places to choose from for walks, either on foot straight from your door or after a short trip in the car, you’ll need to come back every year to tick each one off the list! The open-plan living space means you can put your dog beds by the fire on cooler nights too.
We woke up the next morning so well rested after a fabulous night’s sleep. We decided to take a look through the leaflets and guides provided at Manor House Barn. We found a Framlingham town guide, and decided to head off in search of adventure. That day was market day, and as a traditional market town we thought it would be a great idea to see it in action.
After a very short, but picturesque, trip in the car, we arrived at Framlingham and headed to the marketplace.
This quaint and picturesque Suffolk market town offers so much charm. The stalls were of local produce, including freshly baked goods and fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Just around the corner from the market is Framlingham Castle. Made famous by local boy Ed Sheeran as ‘the Castle on the Hill’, the Norman castle is surrounded by parkland and a picturesque lake and is operated by English Heritage. Framlingham Castle was once at the centre of a vast network of power and influence and evidence of that remains today. You can walk the spectacular wall walk and explore the towering walls behind which Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. From the remarkable 10.5 metres high curtain wall, there are breath-taking views of the Suffolk landscape.
Framlingham Castle often holds special events too, especially around children’s holidays. We decided to opt for a walk around the moat and grounds on this occasion and work up an appetitie.
The Dancing Goat Café
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. We decided to have a light bite at The Dancing Goat Café, right on the marketplace in Framlingham. A charming café, with a wonderful and varied menu. Really attentive staff who looked after us very well. Incredibly popular, this cosy café has a handful of tables inside, and a few more outside on warmer days. Seemingly a central hub for locals, there were a steady stream of people coming in for coffee or lunch.
The perfect place to sit back and watch the world go by with the market right outside. I opted for one of their special ‘super green soups’ that was plentiful and delicious!
Framlingham Play Park
After lunch, we decided to head off for a walk around Framlingham and to find both the toy shop and the play park. The play park is located just around the corner from the castle. With a wide variety of equipment its suitable for all ages. Once again, Monty found his favorite, the zip-wire!
In addition to the twice-weekly market, Framlingham also boasts a fabulous number of independent shops. Ideal for taking a mooch around whilst you’re on holiday. We opted to take a look around Bulstrodes, an established independent retailer in the heart of Framlingham that has a wonderful toy store.
Now, we cannot talk about Framlingham without talking about Ed Sheeran! Whilst in the toy store, who else should I bump into, than the man himself?!
Joking, of course! But you can buy yourself a cardboard cut out should you wish to.
We carried on our walk to the bakery on Bridge Street and passed a particularly eye-catching, bright and colourful mural on the wall.
Well Equipped Kitchen
After all that fun, we decided to head back to Manor House Barn and whip up a delicious family meal. We really put the kitchen to the test, as we cooked a full roast chicken dinner. The oven managed it with ease, and the induction hob handles the vegetables and gravy without any to-do. Plenty of pots and pans, plus suitable crockery and cutlery combined to create a perfectly equipped holiday cottage kitchen.
Sociable Dining Area
The thing we love about Manor House Barn is the sociable living area. We all enjoyed our delicious meal together on the dining table, which is ideally located near the kitchen, and not too far from the fire for cosy winter evenings.
That evening I decided to treat myself to a luxurious bubble bath. The bathroom at Manor House Barn has both a large shower as well as a deep-filled, roll-top bath. We were each left some toiletries to use during our stay, including shampoo and bubble bath. A lovely, luxury touch.
It’s the ideal place to enjoy a glass of wine and read your book whilst on holiday!
The next morning, I decided to get up and out early and head out for a walk. With so many footpaths within easy reach of Manor House Barn, you’re ideally located for dog walks or exploring the Suffolk countryside without needing to get in the car.
After breakfast, we decided to head to Snape Maltings. With plenty to offer all ages, it seemed a perfect way to spend our morning. With trails to follow, fabulous independent shops, a café, a restaurant as well as an antique centre and concert hall, there’s plenty to do.
Our break at Manor House Barn was in October, and the Home and Garden at Snape Maltings shop had started setting out its wonderful collection of Christmas decorations. Every year, we pick up a new decoration for our tree. When it comes to putting the decorations up, we remember each time we bought a new decoration and enjoy the memories. We were spoiled for choice, but opted for a small wooden Robin,
Soon it was time to pack up and leave Manor House Barn, which had been our wonderful holiday home for the previous few days. Before we did so, we got the opportunity to see the Electric Vehicle Charging Point being used.
Tucked away, right beside the guest parking spaces, the electric vehicle charge port has been installed solely for guests’ use, free of charge overnight.
In addition, the barn is heated by a heat pump which extracts heat from water pumped up from 70m underground. All of the electricity is from renewable sources, partly from solar panels and partly from the grid. Excess electricity generated from the panels is put back into the grid.
Even better, the logs for the fire are sourced locally from tree surgeons who are involved in the maintenance of mature trees and the establishment of new woodlands.
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Go on a Shawsgate Vineyard Tour.
Shawsgate Vineyard is just a short drive away from Manor House Barn, and offers a number of different tours and tastings around their award-winning vineyard. Experience days, tours and tastings, or cheese and wine events, they have a full selection!
….Visit Easton Farm Park.
The family-friendly attraction can be reached easily by car from Manor House Barn and provides a full day of farm animal fun. At Easton Farm Park you can meet the animals, and there are often special events over Halloween or Easter. Ideal entertainment no matter your age!
…Visit Yoxford Antiques Centre
Yoxford Antiques Centre is only a short car ride away from Manor House Barn and offers over 70 independent antique and collectible retailers in one place. The colourful Beach Huts in the garden offer a range of gardening tools, plants, vintage and retro items. The Flying Goose Cafe is open for drinks, cakes and light meals, perfect for a good day out.
What Do Other Guests Think?
I think the most recent entry in the guest book for Manor House Barn really sums it up well! ‘Thank you for letting us stay in your amazing barn’ – you come away feeling lucky to have been able to have called Manor House Barn home for a few days.
The Verdict: Manor House Barn
Prepare to feel truly relaxed, pampered, and rested during your stay at Manor House Barn. From the incredibly comfortable beds, to the luxury bathroom, to the cosy wood burner, to the well-equipped kitchen, every element has quality at the forefront of its purpose.
Completely rural, you can get away from it all with ease. Fabulous walks from your doorstep, and with the whole of Suffolk to explore by car or bike. The environmentally sensitive measures only add to the experience.
Ideal for families, those looking for a dog-friendly holiday cottage, or those who would prefer ground floor accommodation, Manor House Barn ticks an awful lot of boxes on the holiday home wish list!
Why not take a look at availability, and secure your break to Manor House Barn today?