Flexible accommodation in rural area ideally suited to couples or family groups
Nick and Cath Marno
About Nick and Cath Marno
Souters is found in the grounds of Valley Farm Cottage, home to Nick's family for nearly 100 years. The restoration of Souters was completed in 2012 with most of the work being done by Nick.. He also designed and built Gribbles shepherds hut which was completed in 2014. Both he and Cath enjoy continuing to develop features at the property. Nick works as a self employed heating engineer and is a keen country sportman who enjoys flying his hawk, rough shooting, working ferrets and fishing the river. Cath works for a local organic grower, enjoys growing fruit and vegetables for the home and is known for her baking and preserving. She has planted a herb bed at Souters for guests to use. Cath also enjoys walking the wealth of country footpaths with her dogs.
What makes this Barn unique
Souters was a derelict stable building, surrounded by overgrown trees and brambles when we moved back here in 2005. We realised it wasn't possible to try to incorporate it into the lower farmyard which at the time we used for livestock including horses and cows, but that it could make a beautiful dwelling. Nick did much of the restoration himself. We have left many of the internal timbers exposed which give character to the building and there are some carpenters marks left on the beams inside. We love living at Valley Farm Cottage and particularly enjoy the peace and quiet and the wealth of wildlife apparent throughout the year. Gribbles shepherds hut was a further development which we felt would open the experience to bigger groups without impacting on the original charm. It is lovely to be able to share this with guests at Souters and we have met some very lovely people. Although within the grounds of our home it is far enough away to feel private and secluded but near enough that should any questions or problems arise they can be dealt with immediately.
Please consider the following guidelines when booking this property:
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
First impressions were that the cottage was clean, well-presented and cosy - and from that great start things only got better. The location was perfect for the two of us and our two dogs, whether we wanted to explore the many wonderful sights in the area, or be lazy and spend time in the garden and woods. The wildlife there is so inspiring to see. We're already planning a return journey!
quiet, cosy and comfortable
very well furnish with a lot "character"
Souters is very well equipped, clean and comfortable. Very well situated for exploring Suffolk and Essex. A relaxing stay.
Lovely cottage in a quiet and peaceful location.
Lovely cottage in a quiet and peaceful location.
So good we didnt want to leave
This property as well as the owners are amazing. It is tucked away down a road with no light pollution so the view of the stars at night are beyond belief. The owners made us fresh bread and had flowers picked set upon the table. It really is one of those experiences that you really dread having to leave and wished we were able to call this place home. Thank you for everything!
We are very glad that our guests from Oregon had such an enjoyable visit and thank you for leaving such a positive review.
Perfect tranquil cosy
I needed a quiet break and this was it ! So well thought out and everything catered for. Wanted for nothing. Close to local quaint towns and 30mins to beach. Ideal. Thanks so much.
The delightful village of Dedham is only 2 miles away and is well worth visiting. It is considered to be the very heart of Constable country, as well as home to Munnings Museum it has many beautiful buildings including a magnificent church. There is an art and craft centre and several excellent places to eat. Why not hire a boat and row down the Stour to Flatford, or take the bus boat and walk back through the river meadows. There is an extensive network of footpaths which take walkers through the fabulous Stour Valley and beyond.
Hadleigh is our nearest town with a complete range of shops and services. It is one of several towns made rich from the wool trade which is reflected in much of the architecture. Lavenham with its streets of timbered buildings is also within easy reach and is a lovely place to visit, as is Long Melford.
Other attractions easily accessible from Souters include:
Framlingham Castle - fantastic castle often has re-enactments and activities for all ages.
Colchester Zoo - world renowned for its breeding programme.
Museum of East Anglian Life - a fascinating day out.
Walton on the Naze - typical seaside town with pier and fish and chips.
Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club - Accredited as a Junior Gliding Centre
Sutton Hoo - Anglo-Saxon ship burial exhibition.
Beth Chatto Gardens
Alton Water - kayaking, dinghy sailing and windsurfing
Stonham Barns - bird of prey centre and shops.
There is a thriving performing arts scene from outdoor Shakespearean performances to rock and roll panto
The Wolsey Theatre Ipswich
Eastern Angles Theatre Group
Mercury Theatre Colchester
St Marys Art Centre Colchester
Common Ground Theatre Company
There is a rich seam of creative artisans including potters, artists, sculptors, furniture makers and woodworkers whose work can be found in some of the many galleries in the area.
And many more attractions far too numerous to list here.
Eating out is one of the pleasures of being on holiday and we are fortunate to be surrounded by many fine gastro pubs and restaurants. Several within walking or cycling distance.