DescriptionA charming, detached cottage (formerly the village forge) beautifully refurbished to provide a cosy retreat - perfect for a quiet romantic weekend and an ideal base for discovering this peaceful corner of Suffolk. The beautiful surrounding countryside is a haven for walkers, cyclists and artists. Near to the historic market towns of Harleston, Bungay, and Halesworth and just half an hour to the stunning Heritage coast.
HARLESTON 7 miles, BUNGAY 9 miles, BECCLES 16 miles, SOUTHWOLD 16 miles, MINSMERE 17 miles, FRAMLINGHAM 15 miles
About the property: Old Forge Barn was built in 1750 and is constructed of 'clay lump', an ancient building method local to this area of North Suffolk. It has been lovingly restored to create an airy, open-plan living space with a neat well-equipped kitchen, antique dining table and cosy sitting area, complete with Scandinavian-style wood burning stove - making it perfect for a cosy break at any time of year. The vaulted ceiling exposes original beams, the old shutters and deep chimney breast allude to its former use as the village forge. With one double bedroom, Old Forge Barn is great for a quiet break for two, although there is a second room with a sofa bed if required.
Setting: The village of Saint James has a very friendly community of about 200 residents and is one of the group of six parishes called South Elmham, known locally as 'The Saints'. There is a beautiful church built of flint and rubble, the north and west walls of which and the bast of its tower being Norman. The belfry in the western tower houses five bells, one of pre-Reformation date, so well worth a visit (note: it is in need of repair so won't keep you awake!).
The village hall has a year round calendar of events including a summer lunch and monthly farmers market. There is also a community orchard that you are welcome to explore.
The village is the highest point in Suffolk and is surrounded by stunning countryside of unspoiled agricultural farmland with the classic rolling Suffolk skies that artists love so much. It's great for both walking and cycling with a comprehensive network of footpaths, quiet roads and not too many hills!
Parking: Off road parking for one car on a private gated driveway.
Outside: There is a small garden set to lawn with mature shrubs providing total privacy. The owner has provided a bistro style garden table and two chairs for a peaceful morning coffee or late afternoon glass of wine. To the rear of the property is a small shingled area and path leading to an outbuilding that houses the washing machine and other useful bits and bobs.
This property is ideal for: A couple seeking to stay in the peace and quiet of the Suffolk countryside. It provides the perfect base for exploring the Waveney valley and the nearly unspoilt historic market towns of Harleston, Halesworth, Bungay and Beccles - all with independent food shops, antique shops, cafes and pubs. Pop into the winery at Wisset for a tasting or tour, or the local micro-brewery at St Peter's for tastings, lunch, tea or dinner in the beautiful Hall.
Keen fishers will love a visit to South Elmham Lakes, just a five minute drive up the road. Open year round, this is the ideal place for fly fishing. The area is also well known for its artistic community, with the birthplace of the Suffolk artist Sir Alfred Munnings at Menham (4.5 miles away) and activities centred around Halesworth with its annual Art Festival. This part of East Anglia played a massive role in World War II and the Battle of Britain with Metfield airfield still visible to the east of Saint James, and just 4 miles away the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.
A little further afield is Beccles - the gateway to the Norfolk Broads - and the coast is just 30 minutes drive with the lovely traditional, unspoilt seaside towns of Southwold and across the Blythe river by ferry, Walberswick - well known for The Bell pub. Minsmere bird sanctuary and the lost town of Dunwich are a little further to the south.
Eating and drinking out: The nearest pub, The Buck, is just a few miles down the lane at Rumburgh. It's a real local Suffolk pub serving good honest food (great fish and chips!) and is popular with locals and visitors.
Other good eateries include Cleones Italian Restaurant at The Angel, Halesworth offering authentic Italian. It prides itself on using locally sourced meat and vegetables for a great dining experience. For a holiday treat, the Fox and Goose is a must - make sure to book to avoid disappointment.
Just a 20 minute drive away will bring you to Bungay, which also has a great selection of eateries, including The Olive Tree and The Castle Inn.
Self catering: The nearest shop is the Community shop in Metfield, just 2 miles away, stocking locally made produce and other essentials. For supermarkets, there is a Budgens in nearby Harleston as a well as a Co-Op in Halesworth.
For more information about the area, head to Visit Southwold and Visit North Suffolk.
- Sleeps 2
- 1 Bedroom
- 1 Bathroom
- 1 Well-behaved pet allowed
- WiFi available
- Open fire/woodburner
- Bed linen provided
- Towels provided
- No smoking
- Nearest shop 2.4 miles
- Nearest pub 2.4 miles
- 14.9 miles from the coast
- Ground floor bathroom
- Ground floor bedroom
All accommodation is on the ground floor
- The front door to open plan living area: Coat hooks and space for shoes and boots.The kitchen area has chic bespoke units, a butler sink, integrated dishwasher, fridge with freezer compartment, electric oven with Induction hob, kettle and toaster. Wall rack with plates and bowls and plenty of pots and pans.
- The sitting area has a sofa, occasional table with lamp, traditional wood burning stove, drawer unit with flat screen TV ( a selection of 30 films) and freesat, digital radio with bluetooth connection so you can play your own music through it's speakers . By the window is a round wooden dining table and four chairs with views over the small private garden.
- The main bedroom has a double bed with bedside tables and lamps and a small built in wardrobe.
- The second bedroom has a day bed that opens out to a double bed to accommodate an extra guest or plenty of room for a travel cot.The sloping chimney of the original forge is a feature of this room.
- Bathroom: Comprises of a WC, pedestal wash basin, heated towel rail, bath with electric shower overhead. Part tiles and part wood cladding.
- There is heating throughout provided by storage heaters and a wood burning stove in the main sitting area. A supply of logs and kindling is provided.
- Bed linen and towels are included but please bring your own beach towels.
- In consideration of other guest, please do not smoke in the property.
- Private parking, off road, for one vehicle.
- Super fast fibre optic Wi-Fi is supplied.
We've had a marvelous time here and love the Old Forge. What a cosy, comfy and idyllic place to stay. Breakfast in the garden, dinner by the woodburning stove. Lots of walks and wildlife on the doorstep. Sue & Paul - 12th August 2017
Lovely, lovely cottage - so comfortable and everything is here. Great personal touches! So many places to walk and no where crowded! Lynne & Nigel - 29th July 2017
What a lovely surprise we had on entering the cottage. It exceeded all our expectations. We soon felt at home and have enjoyed a wonderful week with excellent weather and interesting places to visit it was a perfect week! Thank you. Marilyn & pete - 8th July 2017
Lovely place. Lovely cottage. Lovely weather. Lovely holiday. Thanks very much.A previous customer - 10th September 2016
I've had a lovely few days in the most perfect location, feels like a hideaway from my normal busy life. The perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunshine in the garden. My walks were made even more pleasant by friendly locals and their dogs! Thank you, I'd love to return one day.A previous customer - 4th August 2016
What a beautiful 'old forge' it is! We had a great stay and enjoyed the tranquility and sunshine.A previous customer - 23rd July 2016
Such a lovely cottage! Great tip-off about Metfield stores - nice cup of coffee and delicious ginger flapjack. Much to our dismay, after a lovely 3.5 hour walk, The Buck (like most other rural pubs) is not open after 3pm! I'm sure we'll be back soon.Kez and Sam - 11th June 2014
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