Ivy Grange Farm Glamping
London media world refugees Kim and Nick Hoare have created a real slice of rural bliss a few miles inland from Southwold, just outside the small Suffolk town of Halesworth – a gorgeous spot where four yurts and a romantic shepherd's hut form the nucleus of their thoughtfully planned glamping site. It's a place where attention has been given to every sort of detail, and the enthusiasm and passion of the owners shines through at every turn.
The yurts are beautifully furnished, with their own wood burners, big comfy double beds and pull-out futons, and outside decking with gas hob and open fire pit – great for taking in the big skies and glorious sunsets with a glass of wine each evening. There are cauldrons and cooking pots in the shed, and a wonderfully well-appointed open kitchen for more ambitious (and more sociable) dining. In addition to the three-acre field, there's a restored barn with tables and chairs, a lovely woodland (ie outdoor) shower, supplied by solar-heated hot water, and you can pick the produce you need from their well-tended vegetable patch – a blackboard in the barn lists what's ready for harvest that day. It's all brilliantly done, and perfect for family groups or indeed groups of families.
As for the location, it's very rural, and right on National Cycling Route 1, so great to explore the flat and intensely quiet roads nearby (they have a selection of bikes to borrow). Or you can cycle to the Big Dog ferry nearby, a service which takes you to the marvellous Locks Inn pub just outside Geldeston. If on the other hand you just want to stay put and drink in the peace of the camp, you could join one of the birdwatching courses or wildlife night walks they run from time to time. The site is a haven for wildlife, whether you just want to sit on your decking and check-out the yellowhammers, buzzards and bullfinches, or head off to RSPB Minsmere where at the right time of year you can hear the bitterns booming. The meadow also has butterflies, hedgehogs, dragonflies and even hares throughout the year. There's nothing better than sitting round your campfire as the sun sets, enjoying an al fresco meal as you watch the swallows, and then as dusk settles the bats and finally the owls hooting in the trees around. Pure bliss.
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The Owner Says
If you want to recharge your batteries, explore the glorious Suffolk coastline and quiet country lanes by bike or on foot, or enjoy some of the amazing local gastro-pubs and restaurants, then we're the place to come. We want to make your stay as fun and relaxing as possible, with bikes to borrow, campfire cooking as well as our new cob pizza oven, an ace barn with table tennis as well as fridge/freezers and sensible things like lovely hot showers and flushing loos!
We have 4 amazing yurts and a shepherd's hut, each with its own camping gaz stove with cook pots, campfire pit and BBQ. Once inside, there's a cosy wood-burner and thick duvets to ensure a really good night's sleep. In the morning, take a luxurious woodland shower – with hot water from the mains this is a delight at any time of the day as the sun beams in from dawn to dusk – and you can hear the bullfinches whistling and occasionally see a rabbit hopping through. Some of our guests tell us they even enjoy a romantic moonlit shower with the Milky Way arcing overhead....
Our favourite spotGlampers, families, groups – yes.
The local area
Southwold and Walberswick, just ten miles down quiet country lanes, are both great places for days out ,with good swimming, wonderful fresh fish bought straight off the boats, beachside pubs, sandcastles and, of course, crabbing! The nearby market towns of Bungay and Beccles are lovely places from which to explore the Broads. You can hire a Canadian canoe from nearby Geldeston and take off for the day along quiet stretches of river, or from Beccles you can hire a day boat; or on foot just set off along the network of footpaths alongside Waveney River. If you're a fan of Roger Deakin's Waterlog, you can explore some of his favourite local wild swimming spots (we're also happy to share our favourites with guests) or, more mysteriously, discover some of the places that W G Sebald explores in his Rings of Saturn novel, all very close to us here at Ivy Grange Farm. Why not join us for one of our regular full moon walks, setting off at dusk for a real adventure! Just check our website or Facebook page for details.
Best local places to eat and drink
Step out of the five-bar gate and you are on the National Cycle Route 1 and the world is your oyster! There's masses to do in the area, whether you like canoeing, biking or hiking or prefer to explore some of the lovely places to eat and drink – Suffolk is fast becoming a beacon for great local foods and drink. We're a stone's throw from St Peter's Brewery, a lovely 15th-century abbey with a great pub and restaurant set in the middle of idyllic rolling countryside, and there's even a cycling Brewery Tour you can follow! Try the new Boarding House restaurant in nearby Halesworth, which is fast becoming our favourite.
Why stay with us?
Whether you are with friends wanting to explore the local countryside, a couple aiming to recharge the romantic batteries or a family just looking for a relaxing time away from it all, we would love to welcome you to Ivy Grange Farm.
Four yurts that comfortably sleep 3–5 people, and a shepherd's hut that sleeps 2–3.
Kestrel Shepherd's Hut
Prices from £190 for a yurt for 2 nights, with discounts and special offers available for longer stays and mid-week bookings outside of school holidays. Minimum booking is for 2 nights. Full prices (and special offers) are on the website.
Opening TimesOpen mid-March–October.
By car, it's 2 hours from London, less from Cambridge and Norwich, and easy to reach from the A12 and the M11. Head for the A144 Bungay/Halesworth Road. From Bungay, turn left at Ilketshall St Lawrence school (Hog Road) and then first right (Butts Road), and it's the first farmhouse, half a mile on the left. From Halesworth towards Bungay take the first right at the Spexhall crossroads along Nollers Lane. Take the first left (Butts Road), follow the road for 1.3 miles, ignoring the righthand turn to Westhall village, and it's the next farmhouse on the right.
By train (the London/Lowestoft line, hourly service), you can be collected from Brampton or Halesworth stations (Halesworth is best for food shopping on the way up) and there's an 'own steam' discount for those arriving by train, bike or foot. Pick up the connecting train at Ipswich if coming from other destinations.
There are bikes to borrow at the site, as well as undercover storage for your own bikes.
Hourly trains run to Brampton and Halesworth on the London to Lowestoft line via Ipswich, and Nick and Kim are happy to collect from either station – indeed the site offers an "own steam" discount for those arriving by train, bike or foot.
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