It’s easy to fall in love with Suffolk; wonderful walks by the water, cute cottages and friendly faces – the list goes on, but last month myself (and Fletcher) fell so deeply in love that I’ve spent the last few weeks searching Right Move for houses.
Our new found crush is all thanks to Suffolk Holiday Cottage’s newest holiday home, The Old Warehouse; a stunning three bed holiday let in the delightful town of Woodbridge. When a holiday home ticks all the boxes and oozes style, describing it as a ‘home away from home’ seems the obvious choice, but this is not the case. The Old Warehouse goes beyond that, as quite frankly, it is so much better than my own home in every aspect.
Putting a traditional stamp on a contemporary mezzanine design, interiors resemble a New York loft – who would have thought a property this quirky could be hiding down a small back street in Woodbridge? The home is fully equipped, full of high tec features and offers everything you need for a dog friendly or family break, and I mean everything – we were tempted to use the picnic basket but I knew a muddy Fletcher would ruin the autumnal scene I was imagining.
The property welcomes two dogs to stay, a plus for us as our friends and their dog Juno were joining my husband and I. A welcome pack was laid out for us on arrival which included a guide to the area, the usual essentials and eggs from the owner’s rescue hens! However, it was the informative guide for canine visitors that offered something extra. As well as doggy treats, which instantly got the approval from Fletcher, there was a whole folder dedicated to local dog walks and recommendations for dog friendly dining – this became our bible for the weekend.
Friday was spent enjoying a lovely walk along the River Deben in the glorious late afternoon sunshine, and Fletcher and Juno wasted no time heading straight for the silky mud and splashing in the low tide. Both sporting mud socks, they ran up and down the banks until we were sure they were worn out. Not wanting to cover the house in stinky silt, we found a tap near the boatyard to wash them down, however I later discovered The Old Warehouse has a handy outdoor tap for muddy paws. Fletcher naughtily finished the walk with a leap and splash into the model boating pond at The Tea Hut.
That evening we visited the King’s Head on the Market Hill for dinner, browsing the windows of the independent boutiques on the short five minute walk from the property.
Both dogs were welcomed with a treat on arrival, given fresh water, and while we ate dinner they dined on pigs ears from the pubs ‘Mutts Menu’. There’s even a wall of photos dedicated to doggy visitors.
The next morning I carefully chose a dog walk from the guide. I picked a walk which had minimal water as Juno isn’t very good at swimming, no cars as Fletcher has no road sense and a limited amount of foot traffic as nobody wants a two hyper dogs bounding up to them. I thought I had found the perfect one hour walk; timed well for lunch and to avoid the rainy forecast. Starting and ending at The Ramsholt Arms it was a great walk to explore this area’s countryside and finish with a pub lunch, however I forgot one minor detail…it’s gaming season!
Five minutes in and pheasants were flying and squawking in every direction, chased by a determined Fletcher and his spaniel instincts, followed by a confused Juno who didn’t really know what was going on but wasn’t going to miss out on the fun. The corn wavered around, the birds took flight, Fletcher popped up here and there, but refused to come back. It was carnage!
After a hair raising 10 minutes, we managed to get both panting dogs back on the lead, and no pheasants were harmed. It amazes me that despite not being a working spaniel or having any gun training, those breed traits are strong, and Fletcher just can’t help himself around a pheasant or deer. Thankfully he has no killer instinct and just enjoys the chase. So be warned, this walk is great but not one for gun dogs. Correction…not one for badly behaved spaniels.
I’d like to say we learnt our lesson but unfortunately not. This happened twice. I have Juno to thank for coming back pretty quickly the second time around as Fletcher followed. She doesn’t like being out of sight of her owners unlike Fletcher who goes voluntarily deaf and is quite happy to have his own adventure.
When the rain fell later that day, we spent the afternoon warming up in front of the fire at The Old Warehouse, playing board games and enjoying a home cooked meal. The bad weather didn’t faze us as it meant we got to make the most of this fabulous rental.
When the sun returned the next day, we visited Orford, where I lost my heart to this part of Suffolk. Watching Fletcher run up and down the banks, splashing in the water and leaping with pure joy through the air, was wonderful.
Add to that a stroll admiring the pretty cottages covered in autumn leaves, a wander around the castle, oysters at The Butley Orford Oysterage and sweet treats from the Pump Street Bakery, and I can honestly say a stay at The Old Warehouse is a wonderful slice of Suffolk!
With attractions such as the Suffolk Punch Trust, Rendlesham Forest and Sutton Heath, all of which are dog friendly, and gastro pubs such as The Crown, The Oyster Inn and the Unruly Pig close by, it’s the perfect location to enjoy a weekend break at any time of the year!
How to book a stay at The Warehouse in Woodbridge
The Old Warehouse, sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 dogs allowed
Price from £544 for a 3-night short break or £725 per week (low season) to £908 for a 3-night short break to £1,210 high season.
Suffolk Cottage Holidays, T. 01394 389 189 www.suffolkcottageholidays.com