We took a Silver Wedding Anniversary party of 19 adults and kids (and 7 dogs) to Iken on recommendation from some Viszla owner friends. We were not disappointed.
Being avid dog walkers, we find it hard to find good accommodation that is quality and truly dog-friendly. And of course then there is the issue of cost? Well fear not - Iken Barns is just that and more.
We had a wonderful time visiting each of the barns accommodated by our group – each one with a slightly different feel. All very well furnished and Long Reach being a real find. Not fans of open-plan living, we were quickly converted by the sociability of all being in one living space and a great time was had by all. Indeed can one give a better accolade than the sigh we gave on leaving, “We could live here!”
The barns are airy, light and furnished and equipped to a high standard with under-floor heating in most if not all. The decor is modern and contemporary – very a la the nearby chic of Snape Maltings but still very homely and cosy. 'Home from Home' leather sofas. Agas in two or three barns but they are something I need to get used to! (I can also imagine a cold winters evening with a roaring open fire – I must go back!). And one of our guests was keen to ‘appropriate’ the carved wooden seat in Bay View – if his car had been big enough!
We had a fantastic self catered Wedding Anniversary dinner for 19 in their Hardys Barn and found this to be an excellent location for a function. Seating wise, to cater for more than 20, you may need to make enquiries. Simple but very warm, contemporary and very well decorated. My crowd loved it.
Our guests left us on the Monday, and we then moved from the luxury of Long Reach to the economy of the smaller Farriers Cottage for the rest of the week but the comfort and enjoyment level did not dip. Best ‘small’ accommodation we have stayed in. The notable features are cleanliness, attention to detail (torches, Binoculars) and above all, excellent available light in all the barns.
The location is fantastic – a great base for some entertainment and activity of all kinds – something other parts of the East Coast can lack (Southwold, Woodbridge, Aldeburgh, Orford, and if all esle fails Ipswich for retail therapy). To balance it, there were some flying pests - but these have been catered for with electric and hand swats in each room - still take some spray for insurance. Not a criticism - only to be expected for such a waterside location and it is after all, a working horse stables and farmyard.
The views from the site are to die for - a stunning spot on a very picturesque part of the Suffolk coast – the peace and quiet of the Alde Estuary is breathtaking and, weather permitting, the local walks are numerous and fantastic. And even when the weather let itself down, we found a wild walk along the nearby beaches a thrill. The Vizzies loved it.
Emma and Richard were genial hosts – so friendly and helpful - and small touches like fresh flowers in each barn make a difference. Their Reception Office also provides a good centre for enquiries if needed. Nothing was too much and their hospitality was a key feature.
We will be back!..........that’s not a threat but a promise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Iken Barns is a family run business (Richard and his daughter Emma). We have eight luxury self-catering converted barn in the heart of the Suffolk Heritage Coastline near Snape Maltings. Our three larger properties (Long Reach, Bay View and Estuary) all enjoy stunning estuary views. All our properties have been designed to make you feel at home. During your stay we are able to offer Riding, cycling, kayaking and tours of the river on Dinah the stunning barge which sits in the Iken Bay. Iken Barns has a beautiful function room on site and is popular for groups of family and friends wishing to get together for celebrations and reunions. All properties enjoy underfloor heating and some have wood fires - others have a gas effect wood burner. Both Bay View and Long Reach have AGA cookers. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Iken Barns Woodbridge, Suffolk