Set in two-and-a-half acres of gardens and grounds in the village of Hitcham, bang in the middle of the bucolic Suffolk countryside, Crossways Farm is a Grade II-listed, 14th-century farmhouse that would be an enticing place to stay whoever was running it. But, as luck would have it, it's the home of Yalda Davis, who has turned part of this beautiful, old beamed building into as comfortable and welcoming a B&B as you could wish for, with two guest rooms in the far end of the west wing which she rents out on an exclusive-use basis.
There is a separate private entrance and staircase, a spacious bathroom and a private breakfast and sitting room with a wood-burning stove. The two bedrooms (one double, one twin/triple) are furnished with luxury mattresses, hypoallergenic pillows and duvets, Egyptian cotton bed linen, Freeview TVs and DVD players and and tea and coffee-making facilities – and whether you book one or both, the accommodation is reserved exclusively for you. Breakfast is delicious and locally-sourced, including eggs from Yalda's own chickens, and Yalda also serves you tea, coffee, homemade elderflower cordial and cake or biscuits on arrival. You can also purchase her delicious homemade cakes, biscuits, ice cream and other produce to take home, and environmentalists will be pleased to know that the property's power is in part provided by the solar panels that Yalda has recently installed at the back of the garden, hidden by trees.
Above all Crossways Farm is a great place to come with your family. In summer you can enjoy your own private area of the beautiful garden, complete with hammocks, table and chairs – and there's a swing and a den which children will love. There is a paddling pool for hot days, and a rowing boat for exploring the small lake in grounds (life jackets are available for little people), plus a slightly bumpy but full-size tennis court for matches between non-serious players (Yalda can provide racquets and balls). Yalda is also always happy to introduce the various animals who share the grounds with you – and to provide carrots to feed the goats and grain to feed the chickens and ducks. The kids can also join her in collecting the chickens’ eggs that you will have for your breakfast.
As for things to do, the medieval town of Lavenham is just a few miles away, and well worth a visit, although the area immediately around Crossways Farm is itself perfect for walking, with various circular walks accessible on foot from the house. The quiet country lanes of this part of Suffolk also provide plenty of opportunity for easy-going cycling, and Yalda has maps to help you explore, as well as child bikes, seats and helmets of various sizes to borrow. There are lots of pubs within easy cycling distance – not least the renowned if rather posh Bildeston Crown and the more accessible Swan Inn in Monks Eleigh. And if the weather doesn't cooperate, there are games to play and books to read and a microwave and cooking equipment for a stay-at-home dinner.
As Yalda says, Crossways Farm is more than a place to stay, it is a restorative place for all ages to relax in peaceful surroundings while enjoying the countryside and its wildlife. We're lucky she has decided it share it with us.
The Owner Says
Crossways Farm is one of the oldest farmhouses in Hitcham, originally a medieval hall house dating from the late 1300s or early 1400s. Boasting a beautiful 2.5 acre garden with free-range chickens and friendly goats as well as a large quantity of visiting wildlife, it is a peaceful and inspiring place to take a break from the stresses of modern life. Whether you are looking for a base to explore the Suffolk countryside, a romantic getaway, or somewhere to indulge undisturbed in creative activities such as sketching, writing or making music, Crossways Farm is a luxurious retreat reserved exclusively for you. It is also an ideal place to take children on holiday: you don't have to worry about disturbing other guests and there is a wealth of space, facilities and activities to keep them entertained at any time of the year.
Our favourite room
This is a tricky one as I love most rooms and spots in the garden! But a favourite place to sit in the garden is a little bench near the pond that catches the morning sun, and I am usually joined by the goats and chickens who come to sunbathe next to me or scratch around under the bench.
The local area
I love the sense of history – of landscape, architecture and people – that is to be found everywhere in Suffolk, and my area is no exception. Around Hitcham, the landscape is a mixture of rolling hills and flat 'highlands' so that there are always views to find when out on walks and bike rides – but it is rarely hard uphill work for too long, and you still get the downhill thrill! So many exciting places are easily within a day trip – historic buildings, villages and towns, woods, wetlands, rivers and estuaries, heathlands, the coast...
Best local places to eat and drink
The Veggie Red Lion in Great Bricett (15 mins drive) is lovely – cosy and with such a varied menu it challenges even the most voracious meat eater to admit that vegetarian food doesn't have to be boring! People come from far and wide just to eat at this pub – the only vegetarian dining pub in East Anglia. I also particularly love the intimate atmosphere and beamed walls/ceilings at the Buxhall Crown (8 mins drive), and the good food and 'local, ethical and British' philosophy of the Swan Inn, Monks Eleigh (10 mins drive).
Why stay with us?
Crossways Farm is a very special place and you will get very special treatment!
Two guest rooms with their own breakfast/sitting room and bathroom.
One bedroom from £150 for 2 people, £190 for 3 people; two bedrooms from £160 for 2 people, £200 for 3 people; each additional person (up to 5) £35 a night. Stays of 5 nights or more get a 10% discount on the total. Full rates – including family discounts – here.
Open all year.
Approaching on the B1115 from the north, pass the Hitcham sign and keep going for approximately 1 mile until you reach a right turn, signposted to Brettenham – Crossways is about 300m down on the left.
Approaching from the south, drive through Hitcham and after half-a-mile turn left onto Brettenham Rd; the farm is 300m down on the left.
From the west, follow Brettenham Rd from the Cook’s Green crossroads, signposted Stowmarket, past a 'Free Range Eggs' sign on the left; Crossways Farm is on the right.
Stowmarket is the nearest train station, 15 minutes away by car, and Yalda will pick you up if you ask in advance.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 4 reviews
Beautiful place except for pig
First trip away with our baby
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