Site & Facilities
What is the garden like?
The garden is small & peaceful with a feeling of wild camping amongst friendly ducks & chickens.
Winding pathways lead through trees and wildlife areas leading to small clearings where each of the accommodation options hide.
Friendly communal areas allow you to get to know other guests, but the accommodation also has enough seclusion to allow you private time too.
At night the site is enchantingly lit by solar lights and the dark sky is perfect for stargazing.
To maintain the ambience of the garden, cars are kept in a car park adjacent to the site (not next to the pitches) and we don’t allow ball games, amplified music or large groups – so you can expect a feeling of tranquillity alongside nature. Sometimes, however, there are families with children – so if you’re looking for complete peace & quiet it’s best to avoid weekends and school holidays.
The site is on the outskirts of the village of Sweffling – meaning that play areas, footpaths/cycle routes & open spaces are just a stone’s throw away.
A converted barn provides a communal space for cooking, eating, washing up or just hanging out. In here you'll find:
- sinks with running water, washing up bowls, washing up liquid, tea towels, chopping boards
- 8 gas cooking hobs, stove-top kettles, stove-top wire toasters, cooking utensils, saucepans, frying pans, BBQs
- plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, mugs,
- plastic food storage boxes & storage area. Please bring a lidded plastic food box and/or cool box if you have one
- 2 tables, lots of chairs, and an honesty shop selling a range of food & toiletry essentials
- tea bags (and of course a teapot!), coffee, sugar
- buckets of wood for sale (for when you've run out of the complimentary wood in your accommodation)
- an honesty shop selling some tasty foods such as pasta, pesto, tinned local baked beans & dhal, plus a few essentials such as bamboo toothbrushes and natural deodorant.
Whenever we're about, we offer an off-licence service to guests – basically a doorbell at the back of the pub! You can buy from our extensive range of locally brewed bottled ales, draught ale by the pint or flaggon, local cider, and a selection of local / organic fair trade wines. You can also buy crisps & locally made ice creams (when in stock)
Although we don’t have any electricity in the garden itself, we’ve set aside a small sheltered area near the house with a fridge freezer, washing machine, electric kettle and microwave for our guests to use. Inside the freezer is a load of freezer blocks which you are welcome to use in your cool box/bag if you have one. Please bag and label your food (with your surname) so we know what we can dispose of. Unlabelled food will be eaten by the fridge pixies! There is a spare socket for charging a mobile phone.
We feel it’s just not camping without a real fire, which is why we set aside this area as a communal fire pit. Sheltered by the tall conifers nearby, and surrounded by a circle of rustic benches this is the perfect spot to relax after a hard day’s cycling/walking/doing nothing. Listening to the crackle of the fire, watching the dancing flames and sharing fine ales and merry conversation – a magic not to be missed! Wood for the communal campfire is provided by us free of charge.
Toilets & Showers
We have flush toilets and solar powered showers for use by our guests. We pride ourselves on our clean, airy toilet block. Our shower cubicles and big enough for a parent with a child, and one of the toilet cubicles in the ladies is also large enough for a family. Our showers are heated by solar (with an electric top-up for colder days – so no cold showers!) and the urinals are waterless. Many thanks to the Rural Economy Scheme for their support in this part of our project.
For the more adventurous amongst you, we have a jungle shower set in the trees. It is a very basic wooden shower cubicle with a hook for you to hoist up your camp shower bag (provided) for a nice hot afternoon shower in the open with a wonderful view of next door’s pigs. It is an experience not to be missed!
We have a small selection of lovingly restored vintage bikes available for use free of charge for our guests. We also have details of some of the lovely cycle routes in the area and can give suggestions of places to visit along the way. We’ve also provided a selection of hi-viz jackets and cycle helmets – please use them! If you're thinking of doing a little more than just a very local bimble, we recommend you hire bikes from Velo Bike Hire - they will deliver bikes to the site and collect them after use.
We’ve designed the garden to have a wild, uncultivated feel and to be a haven for wildlife and guests to enjoy side by side. We’d really love it if you could avoid trampling on or picking plants & flowers (except from the herb garden of course) so others can enjoy them too. No animals are discouraged from our garden and we try, as much as possible, to let nature do it’s own thing. Our ducks, chickens & geese are our pets - please be gentle and friendly towards them and encourage others to do the same.
There’s a few raised herb gardens dotted about (one is near the pizza oven) – please help yourself. Fresh herbs are an amazing addition to any meal. Please do pick carefully though – only take what you’ll use and don’t pick more than half of the foliage of any plant. We usually have sage, oregano, bay, mint, rosemary, thyme & lavender.
Please feel free to fire it up and cook your own pizzas, garlic bread – or whatever you like. Instructions are beside the oven, and in the ‘welcome file’ within your accommodation/shelter. The oven takes around 1.5 – 2 hours to warm so give yourself plenty of time. Wood for the pizza oven is available to purchase from the shelter.
It doesn’t look it, but it is deep. Please be careful, and be particularly vigilant of small children at all times. This is a favourite spot for the ducks to hang out - and the geese sometimes use it too. There is another pond in the goose pen, and hidden somewhere in the garden is a wildlife pond which we built as a safe place for frogs, toads, newts and other wildlife.
Ducks & hens
..love friendly, gentle people. Please be nice to them, and please discourage children from chasing them. If you want to feed them, please help yourself to the food in the tub marked ‘chicken & duck food’ in the shelter. We also have a pair of adult geese onsite. The geese are not as friendly as the ducks so children must be supervised at all times and it’s not a good idea to feed the geese.
Please place all leftover food as well as tissue paper/kitchen roll in the compost bucket provided in the shelter. Please don’t leave food lying around or in bins, and please don’t feed it to the animals. Our compost gets pooled together and composted slowly to make safe fertilizer for our plants.
We’re very proud of our ‘Treebog’ and our guests report that they have been surprised at how pleasant it is to use. Simply use it like a normal loo (anything other than poo, pee or paper goes in a paper bag in the bin) but no flush – saving 6 litres of water every time it is used! No need to worry about sawdust - we do this bit ourselves.
Bread, milk etc
We usually have a supply of bacon, sausages, bread, milk & butter in the freezer for guests to buy – please place money in the ‘honesty pot’ next to the freezer. We also sometimes stock locally made ice creams to purchase from the back door. In the shelter you'll find an honesty shop stocking all sorts of essentials and local goodies including pasta, tinned foods, toothbrushes, pesto, soft drinks & snacks.
We have travel cots – please request these on your booking form or by email. Please note we cannot provide bedding for the travel cots so you will need to supply your own. For those wishing to cycle, we have 1 child seat for babies. You will also find a small child's feeding chair in the shelter.
Bedding is not included in the price of your holiday (except Badger Cottage) as we would prefer that guests bring their own. In your accommodation you'll find beds and mattresses – so you’ll need to pack sheets, duvets and pillows. If this is not practical, we can supply bedding (tent pitches and Hideout excluded) for an extra fee of £10 per adult & £5 per child. Our bedding consists of 100% cotton sheets & pillowcases and wool blankets. We have one single and one double mosquito net available for guests to use – if you would like to make use of this please email us.
Pampering and nourishing
Ufford park offer our guests 50% off day membership in the Health Club (including indoor swimming pool, spa bath, sauna & steam room, plus their fully equipped gym) and 25% off any of their Spa experiences ranging from short treatments to full spa days. Ufford also offer Alde Garden guests a 2 for 1 offer on a round of 18 holes of golf. Cranio-sacral massage, aromatherapy & reiki are all offered within a short stroll/bike ride of the site, and visiting massage is also available. In addition to this, a whole host of holistic treatments are available at TK Yoga in Framlingham. More details of these and other treats can be found on the extras page.
Sweffling White Horse
The pub on site is open four evenings a week (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays) from 7pm + Sunday lunchtimes (12-3) serving a selection of locally brewed ales, local spirits, ciders and soft drinks. Although we don’t have an extensive food menu, we serve a lovely local Ploughman’s in the summer, and hot pies and snacks in the winter. Well behaved children are welcome before 9pm. We have regular live music and other events – check the pub’s website for up-to-date info on what’s happening in the pub.
Things to do locally
Within walking distance of the site are some lovely footpaths through woodlands and farmland. Borrow one of our bicycles and explore the area, or hire a horse & cart for a leisurely tour of the neighbourhood. Nearby Framlingham is a lovely place to visit, with its eateries, independent shops - and of course its fabulous castle - and for famillies Easton Farm Park offers a perfect day out. Suffolk's beautiful coastline is just half an hour's drive with seaside towns of Aldeburgh & Southwold - as well as some quieter beaches to explore.