Five Acre Barn
Housed in an award- winning barn conversion, set slightly back from the coast midway between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, Five Acre Barn makes a lovely base for seeing the best of the Suffolk Coast – a boutique B&B par excellence, with jagged roofs, cedar-cladding and soaring ceilings that reflect the county's modern-day role as a destination for tired Londoners looking for both temporary and permanent respite from the cares of the capital.
Peckham refugees David and Bruce are two such people, and this architect-designed extension was designed for them as the ultimate contemporary B&B – and a great-value one at that, with prices that compare extremely well with other options in what can be a pricey area. It has 5 guest rooms, 4 of which are suites really, with separate sitting rooms and mezzanine floors with king-size beds with cotton sheets and duvets (and a choice of feather or hollow-fibre pillows). You can enjoy the soaring ceilings of each room's cool, crisp living area, equipped with Freeview TVs and good wifi, and later on climb the stairs and lie on your bed and gaze at the big Suffolk skies through the large roof lights, drawing the solar-powered blinds once it's time to go to sleep. Bathrooms are small but well-thought-out, two with wet rooms and showers, two with baths, and equipped with Bramley toiletries.
Outside, each room has its own stretch of decking with access to no less than five acres of garden and woodland, where you can spot rabbits, lots of birds and even the odd muntjac deer. The fifth room – the ‘Garden Room’ – fills one storey on its own and is accessible for wheelchair users or people who prefer to do without stairs. As such it's enormous, enjoying the full 6-metre-height of the roof and with sweeping views over the garden. It has a fully accessible shower and a luxurious bathroom, plus an ottoman which expands to a single bed for an additional guest. They can put an ottoman in any of the rooms to accommodate additional guests – indeed you can even rent out the whole place if you have a dozen or so people to fill it. Dogs are welcome in some of the rooms but they don't accept children under 12.
Breakfast is a relaxed and sociable affair, with a choice of Full English, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, waffles, latkes and omelettes made to order in front of guests in the Barn. You could if you wished chill out for the rest of the day in the Barn, and it's tempting – there's a Sonos music system, comfy sofas, games and books and a wood-burner that will make you almost wish for a rainy day.
That said, we love the location of this fabulous – and fabulously friendly – B&B. David and Bruce are big fans of the area and can tell you all about their favourite walks, places to eat and other attractions, of which there are many. Aldeburgh itself barely needs an introduction – it's perhaps Suffolk's premier seaside resort, with loads to see and do, including a lively high street, a busy beachfront with stalls selling the freshest of fish and a handful of great places to eat, including one of East Anglia's best and most popular chippies. The home of the composer Benjamin Britten, The Red House, is virtually within walking distance of Five Acre Barn, and is well worth a visit, and the sea at Thorpeness, just over a mile away, is easily reached on foot through the woods. From there you can follow the wonderful Suffolk Coast Path to nearby Sizewell and even up to Dunwich and Walberswick. You may staying be in one of Suffolk's most state-of-the-art B&Bs, but we're lucky that some things never change.
The Owner Says
Centred around a nineteenth century barn (albeit now brought very much into the 21st Century) our five guest suites are set within a new shingle- clad extension. Each room enjoys a dramatic, light-filled full height space with access into the garden and an individual decking area on which to while away the day.
Stay with us either for ‘bed and breakfast’ or take over the whole place to enjoy with your family and friends (we can comfortably sleep ten to twelve).
Explore five acres of garden and woodland or sit out and relax in your own private seating area. Watch the rabbits and pheasant and if you are lucky enough you might catch sight of Muntjac deer, woodcock or even slow worms.
RoomsFive bright and spacious double rooms.
PriceDouble rooms with breakfast from £110–£130 a night.
Five Acre Barn is located in the village of Aldringham about 2 miles from Aldeburgh on the outskirts of Leiston. Follow the A1094 for Aldeburgh and after about 3 miles take a left towards Knodishall on the B1069. Go through Knodishall, past the Butcher’s Arms on the left and take a right turn at the end of the village to Aldringham. Continue through the village and at the Parrot and Punchbowl pub you reach a junction. Turn right towards Aldeburgh on the B1122 and Five Acre Barn is on the left.
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