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Ivy Grange Farm in Suffolk

FOLK FESTIVALS AND ECO STAYS IN SUFFOLK

Suffolk is a county that embraces the bohemian lifestyle, whether that means dancing barefoot at a folk festival or dining al-fresco and falling asleep under the stars. Hand in hand with this alternative way of life comes a deep care for the environment, and as Suffolk strives to become England’s Greenest County, there are more eco-friendly holidays available than ever before. If you’ve been longing to reduce your carbon footprint on holiday and experience a bit of bohemia, these folk festivals and eco stays will inspire you.
Ivy Grange FarmSnuggle up beneath the stars at Ivy Grange Farm
Photo (c) Ivy Grange Farm

ECO STAYS IN SUFFOLK

IVY GRANGE FARM, HALESWORTH

Ivy Grange Farm yurt campsite won the 2015 Creating the Greenest County Award for Sustainable Tourism in Suffolk, thanks to its ‘tread lightly’ green ethos. Its owners Nick and Kim have done everything they can to reduce Ivy Grange Farm’s carbon footprint, and maintain a thriving habitat for the wildlife that live on the site. You can wake in the morning to a hot outdoor shower, and the sound of hundreds of birds singing; find hedgehogs and hares snuffling in the grass; enjoy a sunset dinner outside your yurt see swallows skimming the meadow; and after night falls, spot bats and owls swooping overhead.

SECRET MEADOWS, WOODBRIDGE

Secret Meadows is a 115-acre wildlife site owned by the nature conservation charity, Sinfield Trust. Tucked away in a peaceful location near Woodbridge on The Suffolk Coast, Secret Meadows offers luxurious glamping in hobbit boxes, shepherds huts and spectacular lodge tents. It’s ethos is green to the core, with green-themed glamping packages including locally-sourced food hampers, hen coop hire, off-grid hot tubs, wildlife sponsorships and bushcraft workshops. And as the 2016 winner of Greenest Micro Business in Suffolk’s Creating the Greenest County Awards, it’s the perfect place for any environmentalist to enjoy a laid-back, luxurious stay.

ALDE GARDEN, SWEFFLING

You’ll find this tiny campsite in the village of Sweffling, just 20 minutes from Suffolk’s extraordinary coastline. Dotted around the wildlife garden you’ll find yurts, a bell tent, a tipi, a gypsy caravan and ordinary tent pitches; plus a communal area including a campfire, a field kitchen, a jungle shower and an eco-loo. Marie and Mark, the owners of Alde Garden also own the pub just next door to the campsite – so the evening’s entertainment is often sorted for you!

We can guarantee that you’ll love Alde Garden, but you needn’t take our word for it; it’s been named a perfect place for an eco-friendly break by The Ecologist, and one of the UK’s top 10 quirky campsites by the Guardian.

THE WILDERNESS RESERVE, SIBTON

The Wilderness Reserve is a collection of breathtaking houses, cottages and huts scattered around the Sibton Estate. The reserve’s conservation efforts mean that wildlife is everywhere: from the window of your electricity-free farmer’s cottage or bespoke Shepherd’s Hut, you’ll see herds of deer roaming the meadows and woodland, and over 100 species of birds including kestrels, king fishers and booming bitterns.

GLADWIN'S FARM, NAYLAND

Basking in 22 acres of Dedham Vale and Stour Valley AONB is Gladwin’s Farm, nine comfortable cottages that run on 100% renewable energy: electricity is provided by solar panels, and both the cottages and indoor pool are heated by a biomass boiler. As well as guilt-free energy, Gladwin’s Farm also gives guests the chance to explore the area of outstanding natural beauty that was once the inspiration of John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough.
FolkEast Festival in Suffolk (c) John HealdFolkEast is without doubt one of the best folk festivals in the country
Photo (c) John Heald

FOLK FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

FOLKEAST, 19TH – 21ST AUGUST

The biggest of Suffolk’s folk festivals, and a runner up in the 2016 Creating the Greenest County Awards, FolkEast is one for the music-loving, craft-appreciating, local-food-eating, barefoot dancers out there. Local folk bands form a large part of the line-up, but folk’s big names are also represented, with this year’s bill headlined by Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Blowzabella, Usher's Island and many more. In addition, there’s heritage crafts, morris dancers, a chance to explore beautiful Glemham Hall, and plenty of local food and drink producers. In fact, 95% of supplies for FolkEast come from the local area, and nothing comes from outside of East Anglia.

MAVERICK FESTIVAL, 1ST – 3RD JULY

This three-day extravaganza of roots music from both sides of the Atlantic brings its festivalgoers over forty different artists over five stages, plus dance, comedy, film and workshops. It’s set amongst the beautiful Victorian buildings of Easton Farm Park, and despite its spiralling popularity, it retains that special friendly atmosphere that so many larger festivals lack.

CÈILIDHS AT CLOPTON VILLAGE HALL

In the village hall in Clopton near Woodbridge, you can attend a cèilidh, a traditional Gaelic gathering that involves lots of Gaelic folk music and dancing! The next events are on 17th September, 15th October, and 19th November. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £4 for children over 10; for more information call 01394 383329.

CAN'T WAIT TO GO GREEN IN SUFFOLK?

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