Amherst House is a fantastically high quality conversion of a Grade II listed stable building nestled alongside a cluster of similar cottages within the 800-acres of forest, parkland and farm grounds that makes up the the beautiful Stowlangtoft Estate in Suffolk.
The 3 bedroom cottage has a wonderfully light and bright interior thanks to its double-height central living area with vaulted ceiling and smart and contemporary decor. Guests enter from the communal courtyard, or directly through the patio doors that open onto instantly relaxing views over woodland - best enjoyed within morning coffee or an evening drink sitting on large, decked balcony (safely enclosed). The ground floor living area is very spacious and comprises a useful lobby area, with plenty of room for coats and shoes, a huge and well-equipped kitchen/diner and a comfortable living room with all new furnishings, plus sofa bed. The ground floor is also home to a luxurious shower room with over-sized shower and sensor lighting. Upstairs the space has been cleverly used for two double bedrooms (one with zip'n'link twin/super king) with ample storage and quirky triangular windows, a further family bathroom, with bath and over-bath shower, and, leading on from the double bedroom (separated by a curtain not door), a small third bedroom ideal for a cot and a single bed. This room also has a pull-out second single bed, suitable for children to sleep in, and the lack of windows, will be a bonus for those generally requiring blackout blinds for a restful sleep! Vintage-style bunting and furnishings make it a charming space for mini guests.
The cottage boasts contemporary luxuries in the form of IPod Dock, DVD, Flatscreen TV and WIFI, along with a telephone, wine cooler, dishwasher, microwave and washing machine with the usual appliances in the fully fitted kitchen. The kitchen balcony leads straight onto the semi-walled mature garden, which is shared with two other holiday cottages and therefore ideal for sociable toddlers, whilst the south facing balcony is a great space for parents to enjoy evening dinners and drinks. Add to that a fantastically thoughtful Baby SOS arrival survival kit (see Fast Facts column) handy list of baby and toddler gear, and beautiful woodland setting, and the result is a brilliant rural retreat for any pre-school family!
Although wonderfully rural, the cottage is brilliantly convenient too. There's great walking and cycling, with bikes for hire on site, one restaurant in the courtyard (Fri & Sat evenings only) and the Michelin award-winning restaurant and cafe at Wyken Vineyards within 2 miles. Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, and a whole host of fantastically pretty coastal towns and villages are all within a short drive.
The historic market town of Bury St Edmunds is a great place to explore and is just ten minutes away by car. The Abbey Gardens is a lovely stop for the playground and duck feeding, and the leisure centre offers a pirate ship and flumes for the young ones. Family friendly Café Rouge and Pizza Express are centrally located and St John's Street has some great boutiques for kids.
The medieval wool town of Lavenham, and nearby Long Melford, are also close and ideal for antique hunting. Cambridge is 40 minutes away for a great day's shopping, punting or touring. The renowned Suffolk coast with its famously pretty towns of Aldeburgh, Dunwich and Southwold are within a short drive and well worth a visit.
Other nearby attractions include the award-winning Easton Farm Park which is perfect for toddlers and offers animal feeding, petting, egg collecting, horse and cart rides and mini train trips. Banham Zoo, with its brand new giraffe enclosure is an easy drive, and the Africa Alive safari park nr Lowestoft has a fabulous re-creation of the African Savannah.
If babysitting is an option, Bury is home to the Old Cannon Brewery and Brasserie (a lovely brew pub), and Maison Bleue, for superb fish. Further afield is the critically acclaimed The Great House at Lavenham and family friendly Thorpeness Brassiere and Regatta in Aldeburgh. Other recommendations for eating out with little ones in tow include the brilliant field kitchen at Jimmy's Farm (near Ipswich), made famous by the TV show and a great day out in itself thanks to its animals and nature trail - stock up on supplies in the shop too.
Nearest Medical Services:Doctor 2 miles away, local hospital 9 miles away.