5 (off peak)
Mile End Barn is a stunning conversion in a beautiful location. The barn sleeps up to eight guests in four bedrooms, and is exactly the accommodation you are looking for whether you are going on holiday with the kids or your friends. The decor is stylish and comfortable, and the spacious grounds are secure and well tended. You couldn't ask for a nicer place to relax and unwind.
The property is in Hartest, arguably one of Suffolk's most desirable villages. Within a ten minute walk, you can find yourself sitting comfortably with a pint or chilled glass of wine in The Crown's sunny beer garden or walking around the pretty village green. The kitchen at Mile End Barn is perfect for cooking large family meals which should certainly be accompanied by a glass (or two) of wine from Giffords Hall Vineyard which is on the other side of the village.
Hartest is around nine miles from Bury St Edmunds, a historic market town where you will find supermarkets, banks, butchers and greengrocers. There has been a local market run here since William the Conqueror ruled the country so pay it a visit on Wednesday and Saturday and take your pick of fresh produce from around eighty local suppliers. Attractions in Bury St Edmunds include Abbey Gardens and St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Discovering the treasures at nearby Ickworth House and Gardens is a great way to spend a few hours. Gin lovers should not miss a visit to Adnams distillery and shop, while beer drinkers can book a tour of the Greene King Brewery.
Around the same distance from the barn as Bury St Edmunds, on the banks of the River Stour, Sudbury is another beautiful market town and a lovely place to while away a relaxing day. Visit Gainsborough's House or take a boat tour along the river. Mauldon's Brewery doesn't run tours but has a good shop where you can buy bottles of their regular and seasonal brews in bulk. Indulge yourself with some massage and beauty therapy at The Angel Therapy Rooms day spa, or some retail therapy in Sudbury's independent shops and boutiques.
Other gorgeous Suffolk villages to see include Cavendish, Long Melford, East Bergholt and Lavenham. There are numerous lovely walks and cycle paths around the area, and you can arrange a hack through local stables. Within an hour's drive, you can be enjoying the sights of cities like Cambridge and Ipswich, or be reclining on the sand at Felixstowe or Harwich. Whether you spend the day walking, driving, shopping, bird spotting, or lounging on a deck chair with hot fresh fish and chips, Mile End Barn makes a fantastic base to return to relish the day's delights and plan tomorrow's adventures.
Johanna Proudlove joined Independent Cottages in May 2017
The property has ample room for up to eight guests and is comfortably furnished to a high standard. The downstairs living area is largely open plan, providing an incredibly social space.
A wide galleried staircase with large window takes you to an upper landing off which are four very comfortable bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Outside: The barn is set back from a quiet road and sits within extensive grounds. A paved courtyard area has good-quality garden furniture for outdoor dining. It overlooks a play area with trampoline and is securely gated. A flat lawn area is ideal for children with a playhouse and swing set. All gardens are securely fenced to make them safe for children and dogs. There is off-street parking for several cars and a driveway shared with the Annex next door.
Additional Information: Well behaved dogs are welcome by prior arrangement. All bedding, towels and utilities are included in the price. Minimum hire is for five nights. The property has WiFi and gas central heating throughout. The host's representative lives locally, and you will have their mobile number in case you have any questions about the property.