Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hot Air Balloon Trips to Make Your Holiday Special

Tour Suffolk in a wonderful hot air balloon this year with several safe and friendly local companies to guide you through the air above stunning landscapes and buildings. Children over the ages of eight are welcome to enjoy the flight with you, but must be at least 4’ 6” to be able to see out over the edge of the basket.

Hot air balloons are an exciting way to travel on calm weather days, and many are within a close distance to our lodges. East Anglia is home to a vast number of historical buildings and land, all of which can be seen from the sky on your day out. The route in which you travel will depend entirely on the direction of the wind that day, but views from the sky are guaranteed to be stunning no matter where you go.

Windmill Lodges is based in rural Saxtead, near to the beautiful and historic town of Framlingham. Our attractive wooden lodges are ideal for a quiet holiday away with the family, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding countryside and the sounds of nature.

Wizard Balloons

Wizard Balloons launch from a number of locations, with the closest site to our luxury lodges being at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds. This large park is over 200 acres and was designed over a century ago in a Victorian style. Bury St Edmunds is a stunning medieval market town which looks breathtakingly beautiful from the sky.

Hot air balloon rides from Bury St Edmunds can take you over small villages, such as Lavenham and Long Melford, with views of exquisite country houses and cathedrals. Newmarket is often travelled over on days with easterly winds, and its famous racing yard can be seen from miles around. On clear days London landmarks can also be seen on the horizon, especially on early morning trips.

Flights with Wizard Balloons either run in the early morning or late evening due to the calm nature of the weather around these times. If the weather is unsuitable your flight may be cancelled, however you will be warned of this in advance and allowed to rebook for another time.

Broadland Balloons

Operating for over 20 years, Broadland Balloons have allowed over 20,000 people to enjoy the joy of hot air balloons. All of their balloons have a much larger capacity than normal, and their two brand new balloons even have seating for when the balloon is in landing for added comfort.

The balloons take off from Brome, near Eye, and flights last around an hour each. While flying above the Suffolk countryside you may, if the weather permits, see Framlingham Castle in the distance, and if you look carefully you should also be able to see our luxury lodges. East Anglia has an abundance of wildlife and reserves, including Thornham Walled and Bressingham Gardens, which can be seen from high up in the sky due to their vast size.

Balloons fly at heights ranging from 500ft to 3000ft, depending on the weather, and it is advisable that you wear sensible clothing as temperatures will be the same as they are on the ground. Hats are recommended to protect your head from the heat of the burner above, as well as gloves on cold days.

Virgin Balloon Flights

Virgin have a huge range of locations for you to fly from in close proximity to our luxury lodges, including Brome, Stowmarket and Old Buckenham Airfield. Flying from Stowmarket will give you spectacular views of the River Gipping, which flows through the area, as well as the nearby farms and countryside.

Old Buckenham Airfield is around an hour’s drive from our lodges, however this will reward you with gorgeous overhead views of the Norfolk Broads. These beautiful lakes and rivers look lovely from the sky, and this trip is especially charming on sunny days.

Virgin offer a variety of trips which vary in price, and all come with a champagne toast, luxury voucher and gift wallet. Flights last around an hour, and you will be invited to help with the inflation and deflation of the balloon. Virgin also offer a retrieval service back to your original launch site, which is particularly convenient for when the whole family wants to take part.

Visit Windmill Lodges to view our available luxury log cabins.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Animal Meet and Greets in Suffolk

Our luxury lodges are the perfect destination for families with young children, with private hot tubs, a swimming pool and plenty of space to run around outside. Keep your children entertained during your stay with us by taking them to a variety of petting zoos where they can take part in feeding goats, cuddling bunnies and riding ponies.

Suffolk is home to a variety of wildlife, so for a calm and relaxing holiday why not stay at one our luxury lodges and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside? Windmill Lodges is set in rural Suffolk, and as well as nature on your doorstep, it has many family attractions within close distance.

Easton Farm Park

Easton Farm Park is home to a variety of farm animals including cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, horses and chickens. Children can cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs, feed the goats, interact with the sheep, and ride the ponies around the farm.

They also have a play area called the Barmy Barn, which houses their indoor air cannons for your children to safely play with. Within the barn there is a warm café, with views of both the farm and the play area, so you can keep an eye on both at once.

Valley Farm Equestrian Centre

Develop your skills at Valley Farm where you can learn how to ride. Here they also teach many equestrian disciplines such as English riding, side saddle, western, vaulting and carriage driving. The experienced instructors here can help to guide your children through their lesson, while you can enjoy a coffee in the café next door.

They also have donkeys, camels, alpacas and a variety of smaller animals, which can be seen during scenic walks around the arenas.

Hollow Trees Farm Trail

This picturesque trail will take you around the fields into Pogals Pit and the Livestock Barn where you can see some sweet animals. Pogals Pit is a small play area for children of all ages, which features rope swings and bear dens.

There are many different routes for you to explore, and on your way you can find Dirty Dave the tractor, Rolly Polly pole, Goat Mountain and much more. Hollow Trees stays open all year round, and is just 45 minutes from our luxury log cabins, in Semer. There is also a popular local farm shop, and fresh produce from here can be taken back with you to our beautiful wood log cabins to enjoy during a quiet night in.

Jimmy’s Farm

Open throughout the week, Jimmy’s Farm, in Wherstead, is just 40 minutes from our log cabins. While visiting the farm you can hold and pet all of their friendly animals, including chicks, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats.

The Butterfly House is a new feature of the farm, and was created by Jimmy following his childhood 
passion for butterflies. It is home to an array of tropical butterflies which fly freely amongst brightly coloured flowers and plants. If you stand still long enough, you may even be lucky enough to have one land on you!

Nowton Farm

Aimed at small children, Nowton Farm is a small petting farm in Bury St Edmunds where many of the animals run freely around you. Young children will enjoy the close encounters with all of the baby animals, many of which have been rescued and rehomed by the farm.

There is also a local farm shop where you can stock up on fresh produce to take home with you afterwards. Stock up on soups, oils, chutneys, chocolate, jams and many other goods to take back to our luxury lodges after a fun family day out on the farm.

Visit Windmill Lodges to view our available log cabins.