The Farmstead review: The log cabins of your dreams in the heart of Suffolk

The cabins at The Farmstead in Suffolk, near the world famous Sutton Hoo, are cozy, charming, quirky and fun. Toby Keel paid a visit.

I have some experience with log cabins – assuming you count a garden shed as one house. A couple of years ago, when the sentiment around the pandemic moved away from “is this really happening?” it’s really still happening?” I came to the conclusion that working from home, sitting on any sofa, kitchen chair or bed, not currently occupied by another family member for their urgent Minecraft/Whatsapp/coffee messaging with friends, was unbearable. And so I moved my office to the shed.

It was great. Electricity and internet were dealt with quickly, and soon I was making video calls amid broken lawn mowers, ancient golf clubs, and rusty bikes. I made friends with spiders. In the middle of winter I wore thick coats, hats and two pairs of trousers. And it all worked so well that I decided to turn the barn into a real home office, and now it’s a real little room. With normal windows, faded white walls, and… well, no character at all. In all practical respects, this is better. But he lost all his fun, romance and charm.

It didn’t bother me for a while, but then we stopped for a couple of days at a place that showed me exactly what I had to do with the place. I had to turn it into a miniature version of The Farmstead, a series of eight completely, exquisitely and mind-blowingly gorgeous self-catering log cabins in the Suffolk countryside, near Woodbridge.

The Farmstead has eight cottages, ranging from small one-bedroom units to large L-shaped two-bedroom cottages.

Our hut was made of wood that looked like recycled scaffolding boards, left so beautifully and unabashedly unfinished that some still had clumps of construction dirt on them. The floors were uneven and the abundance of mismatched furniture was so erratic that my wife would have me tip it straight if I “accidentally” bought it at a local auction.

The bathrooms are made of corrugated iron and poured concrete, with faucets like the ones your grandfather used to attach hoses to. And yet it works amazingly well and combines so many touches of modernity, comfort and luxury that I felt completely relaxed, yet pampered and entertained at the same time.

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It’s like living in an episode Waltons but also to have decent wifi, a tv with netflix, a fully stocked kitchen, and a shiny copper bath that i thought only existed in brochures. One of the (two) tubs was even installed on the veranda so you could soak up the sun as it set over the surrounding fields and woods.

In short: the photos don’t lie – even in terms of the light, which is usually terrible in log cabins, but here it’s enhanced by skylights. Are there any disadvantages? Well, this is real countryside, so you can’t avoid the bugs, especially since the seeds were sown to create a wildflower meadow; and the owners of The Farmstead run a wedding venue nearby, whose music you’re likely to hear at night if your trip coincides with a celebration (although booking cabanas is also recommended for wedding parties). But these are small things in what is one of the most charming and fun places I have stayed in years. Just make sure you go there before and not after your home office remodel…

Lodges at The Farmstead start at £500 for three nights. Visit for more information and bookings.

Things to do near The Farm

Apart from all the expected country walks, there is plenty to do in the area. Top of the list has to be Sutton Hoo, the site of one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, when a Viking burial ship was unearthed in the mound, now run by the National Trust. While the dig site itself is literally just a big field with a few humps (although it can be viewed from a lovely new lookout tower), the gorgeous visitor center is great, as is the museum of the dig that Edith Turned Pretty Woman’s House into.

There are also a couple of castles nearby: Framlingham and Orford, both run by English Heritage; Framlingham is a lovely town worth visiting in its own right, as is Woodbridge.

And finally, for traditional family fun at sea, Southwold is close by with its sandy beach, putting green and pier, which, apart from the usual attractions, is home to Under The Pier, a crazy collection of coin operated machines that really should be seen to be believed. . The city itself is also beautiful, as is neighboring Aldeburgh.

Aldeburgh Beach is dotted with colorful beach houses.

Keith Green looks out over the village of Flatford in the Dedham Valley, AONB, and the cottage in particular.

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