The owners of a period farmhouse and award-winning holiday barn in Westhall, near Halesworth, have put both properties on the market as they look forward to retirement.

Kim and Nick Hoare purchased Ivy Grange Farm in August 2009 after deciding to leave London to “find something we could create together and put all our energy into”.

Kim and Nick Hoare inside the holiday barn at Ivy Grange FarmKim and Nick Hoare inside the holiday barn at Ivy Grange Farm (Image: Ailsa MacDonald)

The traditional Suffolk moat to the side of the house was the “icing on the cake” for Kim.

“Having read Roger Deakin's ‘Waterlog’ book about wild swimming in his own moat further west in Suffolk, here was an opportunity to have that same experience in our own garden!” she said.

For Nick, the deal was sealed when the couple drove a few miles for a coffee and found themselves at the seaside village of Walberswick, still their favourite beach to this day.

“Our offer went in first thing the next day!” he said.

The extensive grounds – spanning four and half acres – enabled the couple to fulfil their long-held dream of running a glamping site.

The couple initially opened a successful glamping in the extensive groundfThe couple initially opened a glamping site in the extensive grounds (Image: Musker McIntyre)
“We had always had something like glamping in mind as a business,” said Kim. “I had enjoyed family camping holidays whereas Nick liked a little more comfort – top of the list was a proper double bed!

“When we first came across yurts, we thought they might be what we were looking for,” she added. “We went on a couple of courses to learn more about them and searched out some lovely English yurt-makers who also taught us a lot more.

“It's easy to forget that, back in 2010, the term ‘glamping’ hadn't even been invented and very few people had heard of a yurt.”

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Nick and Kim also had a lot of work on their hands renovating the dilapidated old cowshed to provide facilities for the site – space for eating, recreation, showers, toilets – as well as building the decking for the yurts.

“That’s not to mention the heated outdoor showers, which amused some of our neighbours when we had an open day for the village ahead of opening!” said Nick.

The couple have since converted the cowshed to an award-winning holiday barnThey have since converted the cowshed to an award-winning holiday barn (Image: Musker McIntyre)
The couple opened the glamping site in the summer of 2011, growing it from two yurts to a total of five.

Committed to minimising their carbon footprint, they placed solar powered lights and lanterns inside the yurts, while guests were invited to dig up their own food in the various fruit and vegetable patches.

“We very quickly built a strong customer base and were delighted to see families coming back year after year,” said Kim.

And then came the pandemic.

“It hit us hard very personally as Nick's brother was one of the first to die from Covid, and, professionally, our lives were turned upside-down by the shock of suddenly closing, cancelling all our bookings, not knowing how or when we would be able to run the business again,” said Kim.

As Covid restrictions started to ease – and Nick and Kim became grandparents for the first time – the couple began to re-evaluate their priorities.

“We decided that whilst we still wanted to continue our engagement with guests and the ‘outside world’, we also wanted to take more regular time out for spending time with family,” said Kim.

​The idea of converting the barn into holiday accommodation offered the ideal solution.

The holiday barn offers a generous open-plan spaceThe holiday barn offers a generous open-plan living space (Image: Musker McIntyre)
“We had great fun working with a local artisan builder to create something that reflected and developed the sense of fun and ‘wow factor’ that the yurts had,” Nick explained.

Opened in 2022, the fully renovated barn includes three bedrooms, including two en suites, and a family bathroom.

The front door opens to a spacious open-plan eating/living/kitchen area with a wood-burner, and there is a utility room with freezer and washing machine to the rear.

READ MORE: Victorian barn conversion in Pixey Green for sale for £800k

Both the barn and farmhouse are fitted with solar panels and a biomass heating system, continuing the sustainable approach of the yurt business.

“We're delighted to boast that the barn produces a carbon footprint of -2.3 tonnes of CO2 – the minus symbol is thanks to feeding our solar-generated energy back to the grid,” said Kim.

One of the barn's three bedroomsOne of the barn's three bedrooms (Image: Musker McIntyre)
Guests have free access to bikes and EV charging points – or can choose to be collected from a nearby train station if they wish to travel without using a car at all.

“The yurt business and the barn have been developed to encourage engagement with the quick wins we can adopt to reduce our carbon footprint and live better – often cheaper – lives,” said Kim.

“The three-acre meadow is managed in an environmentally friendly way and is now home to hares, buzzards, barn owls, masses of voles, glow-worms, bats and many bird and wildflower species including a range of orchids – plus it's a lovely space to walk around and star-gaze from!”

In recognition of its eco credentials, Ivy Grange Farm won the ‘Green Tourism’ award at Suffolk County Council’s Creating The Greenest County Awards 2023. This followed previous awards for the yurt business in 2014 and 2015.

The grounds stretch to four and a half acresThe grounds stretch to four and a half acres (Image: Musker McIntyre)
After 15 successful years, Kim and Nick have decided now is the right time to sell Ivy Grange Farm.

“We're now grandparents with a son living abroad, and having also reached a good retirement age, we are keen to spend more time with our family as well as doing some more exploring on our bicycles – both in our lovely county of Suffolk and further afield,” said Nick.

“We love the quiet country lanes and access to the mainline railway so are hoping to move to our neighbouring market town of Halesworth, so that we can maintain our friendships and have more time for getting out and about whilst our knees are still working!”

The main farmhouse has two large living spaces on the ground floorThe main farmhouse has two large living spaces on the ground floor (Image: Musker McIntyre)
Ivy Grange Farm is certainly an attractive prospect for buyers, hitting the market at a guide price of £1,250,000.

The farmhouse itself is full of period charm and has undergone extensive and sympathetic improvement over the years.

There are two large living spaces on the ground floor, boasting character features and a wood-burner in each room. The sitting room provides access to a double bedroom with en suite, which is ideal for guests.

The hub of the home is the spacious kitchen/dining/living area, opening to a terrace that runs along the rear of the property. It also leads to a utility room and WC.

The main bedroomThe main bedroom (Image: Musker McIntyre)
Upstairs, the landing serves as a light and airy study space with vaulted ceilings, offering potential as a fifth bedroom.

The striking master suite has a dressing area and en-suite shower room, with two further double bedrooms and a family bathroom completing the first-floor accommodation.

READ MORE: Victorian barn conversion in Pixey Green for sale for £800k

Ample parking is provided by the long, gravelled driveway and double garage, which sits alongside a large pond.

Further outbuildings include a brick stable building and timber-clad garden store.

The attractive gardens are home to a greenhouse, vegetable plot, fruit cage and orchard. To the rear of the house is a courtyard with views over the fields beyond.

The attractive gardens include a vegetable plot, large pond and orchardThe attractive gardens include a vegetable plot, large pond and orchard (Image: Musker McIntyre)
Ivy Grange Farm is located in the rural village of Westhall, approximately four miles from Halesworth and nine miles from Southwold.

Westhall benefits from a village pub, which has been owned and run by the local community since 2022.

“To really settle into the community, there's no better introduction than doing a stint or two behind the bar!” said Kim.

For more information on Ivy Grange Farm, please contact Musker McIntyre.


Ivy Grange Farm, Westhall
Guide price: £1,250,000
Musker McIntyre, 01986 888205