Dutch barge business weighs anchor to berth at Snape Maltings
PUBLISHED: 17:11 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:13 27 July 2018
CARL LAMB AMBIENTLIGHT/Carl Scott
A Dutch barge holiday business has dropped anchor at Snape Maltings.
Holiday cottages business Woodfarm Barns, at Stonham Aspall, near Stowmarket, branched out into boats last year, taking on two historic Dutch sailing barges moored on the River Deben at the Tidemill in Woodbridge, and on the Orwell at Pin Mill.
Now Woodfarm Barges owner Carl Scott has moved the Onderneming, which is let as a ‘floating holiday cottage’, from Pin Mill to Snape in order to give holidaymakers new opportunities to explore the Suffolk coast.
“It’s adding a new dimension to Snape Maltings and we are all very excited about it,” he said. “Snape Maltings is a cultural Mecca in Suffolk.”
Visitors to Snape were already stopping to admire the boat, which at nearly 100ft with space to sleep six to eight was “huge’, he said.
Last year’s expansion was a natural progression and resulted from his need to find more space to house his growing number of guests.
This year has been very busy, and all the properties were heavily booked, he said.
“It’s just gone mad. I’m trying to fit everyone in, but it’s all really, really good and really positive. It’s fantastic. The barns are just flying still,” he said. “We are just absolutely choc-a-bloc.”
Most of his business came from outside of the county, he said, but local holidaymakers were attracted to the barges.
Carl, a former property developer and recruitment firm director, started the business nine years ago.
It has since gone from strength to strength and was awarded the Quality in Tourism Gold Award from Visit England for all seven of its Suffolk holiday cottages and its two barges.
Now the business is planning an ‘open barge’ afternoon, on Sunday, August 19, when it will be showing people around the colossal vessel, which has been converted into a luxury holiday barge and has featured on television.
“Snape Maltings is arguably one of the best places in Suffolk to enjoy the stay,” he said.
Although Pin Mill is lovely, he said, Snape offered more, he added.
“There’s just more to do. It’s as simple as that. Pin Mill is lovely - I have been there for a year. It’s a beautiful location.”
Although the barges are seaworthy, the stay is enjoyed in port.