Location & Transport
In a lovely rural setting, Belle Grove is very conveniently located for coast, country and town. The charming market town of Halesworth is only 2 miles away and has all you need including lots of coffee shops, galleries and antiques! Only 7.5 miles away through pretty back roads, Southwold is a very popular destination – as are plenty of characterful coastal spots such as Walberswick, Dunwich, Aldeburgh and Orford. See Out & About
Belle Grove is a 2 – 2.5 hour drive out of London, traffic permitting. There is no motorway into this part of East Anglia (something which has helped preserve its character). We’re easy to find using a Sat Nav or Google, but even so, take note of the final directions – link below. If you prefer to follow a traditional map but could do with more guidance, we are happy to send detailed directions.
A village shop is within 20 minutes walking by road or 30 minutes stroll over the fields. While there is also a village pub, it has temporarily closed while looking for a new owner. But Belle Grove is just two miles from the charming market town of Halesworth with its useful supermarket and array of independent shops. How many small towns nowadays have two excellent butchers?!
Nearby Halesworth also has a railway station, with regular trains from London Liverpool Street via Ipswich. The trundly two-carriage train service running on the branch line between Lowestoft and Ipswich passes on a wooded embankment nearby, which guests tell us they don’t find in the least bit intrusive. In fact, why not use the train to explore Lowestoft or pretty Woodbridge near Ipswich? Local buses go here and there from Halesworth. Further information available on request & timetables in the properties + local taxi firms contacts (also provided on booking as part of the Information Pack).
But it’s fair to say that wheels will definitely facilitate your stay, especially to reach all the wonderful pubs and eateries in the vicinity. There is plenty of private parking on site.
Belle Grove now offers a free-to-use charging point for electric cars. It is a tethered 7KW unit on a 3m cable & compatible with all plug-in vehicle brands. As a fast unit, it can take a car like a Nissan Leaf from flat to full in about 4 hours.
In this general area, there is a public charging point at RSPB Minsmere Bird Sanctuary, 12 miles away on a book-a-slot basis. On the coast, the Bell Inn at Walberswick and The Crown in Southwold have car chargers. The Darsham Hamper on the A12 is a usefully located as is the Plough Inn at Beccles and several in Norwich. To locate fast or rapid charging stations, consult a website such as https://openchargemap.org/siteor https://www.zap-map.com/live
Recently we hosted a Sunday Express journalist testing a Nissan electric car and who needed to stay somewhere with an on-site EV Charger. He had considerable problems in charging the car at the very outset in London so it seems that the Belle Grove stay was the most positive part of his experience! “Thankfully the Belle Grove accommodation was the jewel at the centre of the mess of a trip. Its quirky decor, eerily peaceful silence and stunning backdrop make it the perfect countryside getaway. The properties on the site are all five-star converted barns which range in size are well-equipped and there is even an electric charger on the grounds. This Tesla 7.kWh charger is perfect if you have an electric car because you can use your car all day, plug it in overnight and have a full charge by the next morning. You are left to your own devices at the self-catering barns and they are set into a peaceful corner of the countryside, far enough away to not be disturbed by traffic but close enough to the town that you don’t feel too far out of it. ”
On a clear night, the Constellations & Milky Way can be seen from the fields in full glory. (See Heavens Above). However, you may be able to indulge in a little star-gazing of another kind hereabouts: just a few miles away, Southwold, Walberswick & Aldeburgh attract artists, actors, authors, journalists and media types. For example, P D James, Libby Purves, Michael Palin, various scions of the Freud family notable Emma Freud and Richard Curtis, Louis de Bernières, Ralph Fiennes, Diana Quick, Bill Nighy, Julia Blackburn, Jonathan Aitken, Angela Lansbury, Martin Bell and and, no doubt many others, have strong links with this popular area.
For Young Families
Children really enjoy romping around Belle Grove even though we don’t lay on any special child facilities. *** They just love the freedom of the environment and the quirky elements. The summer houses which come with the Upper Barn & Granary also provide great ‘play’ spaces and include Dressing Up Chests.
“Our two sons (12 & 13) have had a ball and are very sorry to leave”
As well as corners of undergrowth to play in, there’s a large expanse of grass at the back of the buildings for cricket, croquet*, ball games and general messing about. (*Being formerly cultivated, it’s not exactly a dead flat ‘lawn’ – makes croquet even more excitingly vicious!)
“The garden & summer house were perfect for the children”
*** But children do enjoy following our new Dragon Trail
However, DO NOTE that there are two large wild ponds on the site. These are unfenced and definitely not for swimming! Children love feeding the wild ducks and moorhens so those under 12 years must be kept under adult supervision whenever outside the secure enclosed garden that forms part of the let property.
“I’ve had a fantastic time” (Zoe aged 10)
“Out of 100 you get 100000000000000!” (Daniel age 11)
We are happy to provide travel cots (linen not provided) and Z beds (linen provided) on prior request + baby monitor. The wood burning stoves have fireguards.
As regards the internet, we are registered with Talk Talk’s ‘Kids Safe’ which protects children from coming across inappropriate websites.
All properties have jigsaw puzzles and board games but the Upper Barn is especially well-provisioned including Jenga, all the usual indoor board games + garden games like Get Knotted, Twister & Giant Pick Up Sticks. See Indoor Entertainment.
”Many a night was spent enjoying the games, Balderdash being the most jolly”
ALSO see Babies & Toddlers
We keep a special folder of ‘family attractions’ in each property and KidsDayOut is also a useful web site.
Sometimes it’s people who inspire great works and sometimes it’s the atmospheric setting of a place that sets an idea in motion. Suffolk has been an inspiration to many writers and poets over the centuries, some of whom have been influenced by the county’s enchanting landscapes throughout their whole lives.
Roger Deakin influenced opinion about the environment, access to the countryside, its rivers and waterways, with Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain. Outney Meadow near Bungay (6 miles) features in this journey across Britain in which he takes a swim in every rock pool, river, mountain tarn and open-air swimming pool encountered on the way, thus founding the wild swimming movement.
WG Sebold‘s famous Rings of Saturn combines the details of a walking tour in Suffolk with meditations prompted by places and people encountered. It has been described as “a hybrid of a book – fiction, travel, biography, myth, and memoir”.
George Ewart Evans. Ask the Fellows who cut the Hay is a classic picture of the rural past in a remote Suffolk village, revealed in the conversations of old people who recall harvest customs, home crafts, poetic usages in dialect, old farm tools, smugglers’ tales, and rural customs and beliefs going back to the time of Chaucer.
Ronald Blythe wrote his fictionalised depiction of life in a Suffolk village, Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village (1969), based on conversations he had with people in the village where he lived. The book has become a classic of its genre and was later made into a film by Peter Hall .
John Appleby, an American serviceman who was stationed near Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham during WWII wrote his ever-popular and highly evocative book A Suffolk Summer (1948). Describing his time here towards the end of the war, he wrote: “The English landscape at its subtlest and loveliest is to be seen in the county of Suffolk. I can say this with dogmatic certainty because it is the only county in England that I can pretend to know. Furthermore, the people of Suffolk themselves tell me this, and I know it must be so.”
Author of the famous Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books, Arthur Ransome, moved to Suffolk in order to be nearer the sea, where he could more easily indulge his love of sailing, and he moored his beloved yacht the Nancy Blackett at Pin Mill on the Shotley Peninsula. It was in this peaceful place “down the deep green lane that ended in the river itself…this happy place where almost everybody wore seaboots, and land, in comparison with water, seemed hardly to matter at all” that he set the opening of his book We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea (1937). Read the fascinating story of the restoration of the Nancy Blackett here.
Crime writer PD James lived for many years in Southwold on the coast and set some of her detective stories in Suffolk. James’s fellow crime writer Ruth Rendell lived in Polstead, and she too based some of her stories in the county. Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds. Polstead, Orford and Aldeburgh all feature in various novels she wrote and she also produced a book Ruth Rendell’s Suffolk (1992) about her favourite places in the county.
Many writers have childhood memories of Suffolk, having visited during family holidays or attended school here. Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell), best known for Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm, went to school near Southwold and later returned to live in the town in his family home. His nom de plume, George Orwell, was inspired by the River Orwell, which he thought “a good round English name.”
There are many more writers who have links with Suffolk for example, Charles Dickens, Hammond Innes, Dodi Smith to name just a few.
Babies & Toddlers
We are more than happy to provide travel cots, high chairs and stair gates on request. You are also free to request any or all of the following (but advance request appreciated):-
plastic plates, bowls & beakers, toddler bibs, steriliser, plug-in baby monitor, baby bath, bathtime toys, non-slip bath mat, night light, nappy bin, potty, trainer seat, changing mat, baby toiletries and baby wipes.
For your peace of mind we can provide covers for electric sockets.
In the property you will find a special folder of baby & toddler related information including details of the nearest doctor surgery and child friendly venues.
Flush away poverty!
Alright, its not the most glamorous of subjects but good sanitation and drinking water are fundamental. Yet 1 in 3 people worldwide don’t have access to somewhere safe, private or hygienic to go to the toilet.
This has an enormous human and economic impact. For example, 60% of rural disease is caused by poor sanitation and every minute a child dies from diarrhoea diseases. So investing in sanitation is one of the most cost-effective forms of aid.
Also, provision of safe toilet facilities is of enormous benefit to women in societies where having to use the toilet in the open, renders them very vulnerable to attack.
So Belle Grove has invested in the Toilet Twinning programme. Why don’t you?
Check out www.toilettwinning.org
Get-Togethers/Parties - young & old
The arrangement of the properties is perfect for groups of friends or family reunions across the generations – and who don’t necessarily want to be on top of each other at breakfast! While entirely self-contained and with private entrances, the garden door between the Upper Barn & Granary, for example, can be left wide open, facilitating comings and goings between the two properties. Likewise between Granary & Coach House.
“Our party, 4 generations from 83 to 1, has spent such a happy week here”
The 5 properties sleep a total of 18 adults: Upper Barn sleeps 6; the Granary & Coach House each sleep 4; the Gate House & Stable each sleep 2. Parties of up to this number (+ some children using travel cots/ Z beds) can book all the properties together. (We do reserve the right to request a ‘housekeeping’ deposit, payable in advance).
The largest eating area is in the Granary – we can add another table (to make one huge one) and provide extra chairs to allow 18 or so to dine in reasonable comfort. We are more than happy to provide any additional crockery or cutlery required, large platters, serving bowls etc.
“We were a group of 18 celebrating a ‘big’ birthday. We colonized all the cottages, which were all immaculately and beautifully furnished while being different and got together for main meals in the Granary. It all worked beautifully!”
Groups often like to avail themselves of the following, details of which in our pre-arrival Information (provided on booking) :-
As an alternative to flowers, consider pre-ordering a personalised celebratory cake. How about a special meal prepared inhouse or a special ‘vintage tea party’? A local company can put on an excellent Murder Mystery with a minimum of 9 participants. There are all sorts of activities available locally – recent unusual ones have been a Falconry demostration and a Clay Pigeon Shooting day. Or hire the Beach Hut for a day and/or evneing. Great fun.
Consider a pampering session – see Wellbeing
Party accessories such as helium balloons etc can be found in nearby Halesworth www.halesworth.net/shopping
Subject to availability, you can even hire the living/dining room in our our award-winning house for a special dinner, or serve summer cocktails in our exotic summer house aka The Temple! We also now have an ‘Indian’ tent for hire.
Romance & Relaxation
The two single-bedroom properties, Gate House & Stable are just perfect for honeymoons, wedding anniversaries, romantic trysts and birthdays.
“The perfect romantic retreat – everything I envisaged plus a whole lot more – most importantly, it put a huge smile on my girlfriend’s face!”
“This has been the best surprise. My new husband has really surpassed himself in organising this for my 40th birthday so I might hang onto him!”
But it isn’t just about romance: Belle Grove is a tranquil oasis, a haven that allows you to de-stress and unwind.
“If you can’t relax here you can’t relax anywhere”
“We forgot the hustle and bustle of the city for two glorious weeks and are returning refreshed in mind and body”
also see weddings
Weddings - how we can help...
With proximity to many venues & locales for wedding ceremonies in Suffolk, Belle Grove has become a popular venue for pre-wedding bridal preparation*, somewhere for family or friends to stay – and, of course, lovely romantic honeymoons.
We do have to stick to our minimum short break policy though – the price is based on a 3 night stay which is approx. 70% of the full week rate (although if you can’t manage the 3rd night it does mean that you can leave as late as you like on the 3rd day rather than checking out at the usual 10am).
Generally speaking, short breaks, as opposed to full week bookings, are only available between October – May. However it is always worth asking if a short break is possible at other times, albeit unlikely in the high season of July/August and over Bank Holidays.
BREAKING NEWS: from 2020 Belle Grove is to host Humanist Weddings.
* On our Wellbeing page you’ll find details of practioners who can attend you in your holiday cottage at Belle Grove – we can also provide details of hairdressers, beauty treatment providers and so on.
Dogs - with or without!
We welcome well-behaved (that is, quiet, obedient & house-trained!) dogs who bring their own clean dog blankets and don’t get onto beds and chairs! That said, if you don’t have a dog and are concerned about staying in a place that accepts them – all we can say is, don’t worry, we are assiduous in cleaning and you won’t be aware that there has been a pet in the place.
“I am allergic to dogs but the staff do such a thorough cleaning job, I had no reactions”
Please note that there is a supplemental charge of £10 per night (£30 per animal for a 3 night stay). Stays of more than 3 nights have a maximum of £50 though.
For the benefit of future guests, we do ask that dogs are kept to the living area only and – especially – are not allowed onto furniture or beds. Please bring a Dog Basket and/or blanket. We supply one dog-drinking bowl. If you habitually allow your dog upstairs to sleep or into your bedroom, please think whether Belle Grove is suitable for you as we cannot allow dogs onto beds (where they will very likely go if they can access the bedrooms). Another point is noise. If your dog is inclined to be ‘yappy’ it may well disturb other guests on site so we respectfully suggest that Belle Grove is not a suitable environment.
Additional ‘Doggie Notes’ are provided on booking or beforehand on request.
“Even our dogs (a Wolfhound & a Chihuahua) have been as relaxed and happy as we have”
There’s good dog-walking in the immediate vicinity including the perimeter of a large field at the back which comes in handy for necessary constitutionals. Details of dog-friendly beaches, pubs etc. can be found in the properties.
“As new dog owners we are very impressed with how ‘dog friendly’ Suffolk is”
Each property has a secure garden although tiny dogs might be able to squeeze through the railings along one side of the Coach House garden.
NOTE: The beach at Southwold is closed to dogs between May & October but the promenade may be used of course and there are plenty of other beaches that are open to dogs all year round. Restrictions are as advertised on the following sites:
Extract from our Terms & Conditions as relates to pets:-
* Pets must be notified on the Booking Application.
* Dogs must be under proper supervision and control at all times.
* A pet basket must be brought as pets are only permitted on the clear understanding that in no circumstances may they lie on the bedding or chairs.
* Pets must not be left unattended in the property or elsewhere.
* In the interests of visitor safety it is regretted that the following dogs are not accepted: American Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Brasileiro & Dogo Argentino even where these dogs are muzzled.
* Pet owners are responsible for clearing up any fouling that occurs in the gardens or grounds.
Thanks for your co-operation!
By the way, the semi-feral farm cats can look after themselves!!
The Heavens Above
When conditions are clear, there is a fine view of the Heavens from the back of Belle Grove – we reckon nearly as good as from the Observatory at Seething, near Norwich . This led to the thought “why not provide a sky- watching facility?”
Thus our ‘new’ hut came into being which is designed not only to store summer equipment for guests’ use, such as the croquet set and cricket bat & balls, but a Skywatcher refracting telescope.** Not everyone will know how to use a telescope – it can be tricky learning how to focus on particular objects in the sky – but here’s your chance to try!
Otherwise switch off all the lights, allow your eyes to get used to the dark over a few minutes and enjoy the spectacle of the stars and planets above. Meteor showers, constellations and satellites can all be seen with the naked eye. (And there’s the added magic of possible sightings of the barn owls that nest in nearby trees).
But a regular pair of binoculars is very useful and in some ways easier for an amateur sky-watcher to get to grips with.
Although we provide a planisphere and various maps & guides, up to date sky watchers may prefer to rely on their phone or tablet with one of the many apps available to help pinpoint constellations and stars.
But watching the heavens with the naked eye can be very rewarding especially in shooting star season – the fabulous Perseid meteor shower is visible every August – updates and lots of info can be found online. (The ‘supermoon’ photo shown here was taken from a bedroom window).
** now replaced
Our Gardens & Grounds
Belle Grove’s naturalistic grounds encourage wildlife while the pretty courtyard gardens offer privacy & tranquil al fresco dining: each property has its own old brick-walled garden attractively planted with climbers and exotics, including jasmine, oleander, figs, vines, kiwi fruit and olive trees. In addition, both Granary and Upper Barn have south-facing ‘garden rooms’, lovely places to sit and enjoy the sun, whether behind glass or on the paved terrace in front.
With their gates shut, all the gardens are secure and suitable for children and dogs.
The Upper Barn has the largest expanse of grass for playtime but all the properties (except the Gate House which now has a fully paved sitting out area) have an element of grass. (As mentioned under ‘Young Families’, there is also a large shared grassed area open to all for ball games etc. ) As may be expected, the two single-bedroom properties, the Gate House and the Stable, have the smallest gardens but what they lack in size, they make up for in charm, especially now that the plants are becoming well-established and beginning to burgeon in all directions. NB: The Coach House is walled on 3 sides; the 4th side is enclosed by a railing, so that the view across the pond is not impeded.
On a practical note, garden tables and chairs are provided along with gas BBQ and each garden has a clothesline (and pegs), which can be pulled out from the wall when needed and then tucked away again.
Beyond the gardens, enjoy a stroll around the ponds (if you have children please check comments under Young Families) and take a walk around the large field at the rear (a 45 minute perimeter walk, very useful to nip out with the dog) as well as the public footpaths around and about.
Belle Grove has been and is a working farm, the vintage agricultural machines about the place a clue to its past.
“Even the farm machinery graveyard provides an interesting landscape!”
We have no livestock but the surrounding fields are cultivated, so sometimes guests may be conscious of machine activity, especially around harvest-time and the subsequent ploughing and drilling of seed. Cows may be heard in the distance from one direction & cockerels and goats from the other, all from neighbouring farms/smallholdings.
Occasional bangs in the distance usually mean rabbit shooting or an automated gas ‘scarecrow’. We pursue an ongoing programme of tree planting and have looked to preserve wildlife by designating areas of farmland into a Stewardship Scheme to include wildlife ‘corridors’ and other conservation activities.
Wildlife at Belle Grove
Apart from the many garden birds, depending on the time of year you may well see pheasant, rabbits, mallard duck, barn owls and green woodpeckers – with sightings of muntjac deer, hare and fox. The growth around the track and fringes of the site is deliberately left un-manicured as this encourages birds, insects and butterflies. Teasels attract flocks of goldfinch, wild mallow is a magnet for butterflies and swallows love skimming the pond water. There’s no imported fish in the ponds (which are fairly newly created) which now host families of moorhens, mallard ducks and myriad water creatures such as frogs, toads, newts, water boatmen, dragonfly, damselfly etc.
There is a ‘Pond Life’ guide in each property as well as a Guide to British Birds, Wild Flowers and Trees + Suffolk Wildlife Trust information.
“We so enjoyed looking out for the ducks and moorhens each day”
Further afield, there’s a plethora of ‘nature sites’ from the RSPB Sanctuary at Minsmere to Benacre Reserve, which includes reedbeds and lagoons, together with woodlands and heathlands on higher ground. Lots more information in the properties.
“Over a week at BG and surroundings, we saw blue tits, coal tits & great tits, swallows, chaffinch & goldfinch, chiffchaff, garden warbler, crows, blackbirds, pied wagtail, skylarks, house martins, tree sparrows. Barn Owls, buzzards & kestrels, collared doves, dunnocks, jackdaws, robins, wrens, mistlethrush” (Ed. These guests were staying in the Coach House, which is a particularly good spotting place as it’s right by the pond)
In May Belle Grove plays host to two pairs of turtle doves which is fantastic considering they are on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species having suffered a 91% UK population decline since 1995.
Brilliant wildlife writer Simon Barnes lives locally and often gives local wildlife talks.
Communications with the outside world
We have invested in a radio-transmitted broadband system that is not reliant on telephone lines. WiFi is hard wired to each property and provides a faster speed and broader bandwidth.
The properties do not have a landline. As the owners live on site, guests who are worried about making or receiving an urgent call are able to use an extension of the owner’s private landline located in a convenient spot and available 24/7.
The signal can be a bit erratic (depends to some extent on your network) indoors but a decent signal can be found in the grounds specially on our ’specially-constructed-from-telegraph-poles and slightly tongue-in-cheek ‘Signal Hill’, pictured right… Many guests make use of internet services like Skype, Facetime etc. and apps that allow calls are avaiable for modern smartphones.
As for snowy conditions – between them, the authorities and local farmers seem to keep the main highways open save in the most extreme conditions (which applies rarely) and we keep the track from the road to the Barns negotiable. So don’t let the thought of snow put you off!
In each property you’l find:-
- Widescreen wi-fi enabled TV with integrated digital radio
- DVD player / recorder
- Bose CD player and iPod dock (blue tooth)
- Amazon ‘echo’ show
- Good Wi-fi
- Extensive DVD Library
- Holiday reading
- Maps, guidebooks & local journals
- Loads of jigsaw puzzles & board games
“As our week progressed we found we actually enjoyed being at Belle Grove so much that we did not feel the need to go out every night – we were never short of things to do and read in and around the property.”
A beach hut at Southwold (7.5 miles) is available to rent by the day. The hut is approximately 200 yards from the wonderful Southwold Millennium Pier on North Beach, meaning it’s close to amenities including toilet block and the Pier restaurants, ice-creams & activities.
Recently refurbished, it is fully equipped with folding chairs, table, 2 ring hob & grill and includes gas, cutlery, crockery, saucepan, kettle –clothes, linen line, cleaning equipment/products etcetera + coffee, tea, sugar. A water tap is nearby. No electricity though. Cars can be parked behind it (council parking charges apply, alas), making the lugging in and out of beach gear reasonably painless. More details on request.
Attractions within 5 minutes walk are: Boating Lake, Restaurants, Café’s, Gift Shops, Mini Golf, Amusement Arcade, Life Guard Station, Punch & Judy, beach walks – and pubs are just a 10 minute walk away!
Easy access to sandy beach below via steps or ramp. Tide timetable can be seen online at www.tidetimes.co.uk/southwold-tide-times. There is also a Tide Timetable (and Full Moon indicator) at Belle Grove.
“It was raining when we went and funnily enough that made it even more fun to have as a base”
The conversions at Belle Grove were carried out to a green spec. and our aim was and is to provide a high quality sustainable self-catering destination while minimising its impact on the environment.
We are now accredited with the Green Tourism Business Scheme www.green-tourism.com which measures sustainable practices. Having gained the Silver Award first time round, our aim is the Gold!
Our eco-friendly procedures seek to reduce our carbon footprint & offset carbon emissions through recycling and other practices:
- Energy saving lighting throughout, ceiling lights typically rated at 1000 hours
- Hot water generated by solar panels and circulated from a central pump
- Photovoltaic panels for generation of electricity
- Energy saving under-floor heating
- Argon filled glazing minimising heat loss
- Exceptional levels of insulation
- Reclaimed building materials used wherever feasible
- Energy efficient appliances
- Bio-degradable containers
- Chlorine free toilet rolls
- Bio cleaning products
- Ethical and local sourcing of foods, toiletries and services
- Recycling of packaging – cardboard, paper & plastic + glass & aluminum
- Recycling of batteries & ink cartridges
Did you know that every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water and 60lb of air pollutants from being released?
Walking & Cycling
There is a network of local footpaths (map in the property) and masses of walking possibilities in the area whether along coast, in forest or over heathland.
“We have poodled and perambulated, mooched and meandered across reed beds, through forests, along the shore…”
At certain times of year you can join walking groups, which tend to go more ‘off the beaten track’.
A folder in each property contains local maps and walking suggestion booklets.
Although Suffolk isn’t anything like as flat as popular imagination, (leave that to north Norfolk!), it is still great cycling country. The nearest cycle hire is in Southwold but many bring their own bikes, which can be stowed inside the walled gardens or parked safely elsewhere on site (although we don’t offer specific lock up storage).
“We (us + 3 kids) hired bikes in Southwold and did the 15 mile round ride to Dunwich – loved it”
Then there’s the unique local Full Moon Walks – an informal group from the village head out on a fun route by moonlight, usually about 5 or 6 miles. A stunning way to see the world and wildlife in a different light. Email us for details.
For the Countryside Code – naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode
Pampering & Well-being
Enjoy being pampered during your stay by professional beauticians!
We’re delighted to offer you and your party the services of professional beauticians here at Belle Grove meaning you can enjoy treatments in the comfort of your own holiday environment.
Glo-pamper is a luxurious and truly indulgent beauty therapy service delivering 5* quality treatments to guests staying in holiday retreats across the UK. To find out more including prices and to book treatments, please contact them direct.
EXCITING NEWS – we have partnered with Niroshini to become one of only two ‘Special Retreats’. Niroshini offers cosmetic acupuncture (non-surgical face lift procedures) and holistic treatments as part of all-women Transformative Retreats to include treatments, Qi Gong classes, crystal healing sessions and much else. What’s more, a private chef provides Ayurvedic “balancing” meals. Detailed information here “A must-do for any group of women looking to invest in themselves with something completely unique, nourishing and transformative.” (Danielle Stewart, journalist/reviewer)
We can ALSO provide details of excellent local beauticians & hairdressers who can attend you at your holiday home. Please do ask!
On Site 'Emporium'
Exclusive to Belle Grove guests (that is, not open to the general public), our on-site ‘bazaar’ is a treasure house of antiques, brocante & bric a brac, mixed with a trove of personally-sourced objects from around the globe.
“What a great addition to the ‘Belle Grove experience’!”
Exotic bedspreads, throws, cushions, tassels & silkscreens; prints, posters & paintings; authentic Africana, Rajasthani furniture; vintage jewellery & clothing.
Masses of mad miscellanea.
“An Aladdin`s Cave of a room stuffed with a treasure trove of items ranging from fabrics to prints, jars to jewellery and other assorted exotica.”
Signed copies of local author books are also available including Wild Paths by Jan Farmery (a poetic response to the mysteries of Sutton Hoo), Fruitful Endeavours by Moira Coleman (a very accessible treatise on the 16th century domestic arts of Lady Catherine Tollemache) and of course, Jo’s well-received Africa Approaches: roads to a far-off place as well as 2017’s Beyond Dragons: an architecural romance. See Publications
The Emporium is run on an honesty box basis so guests are free to browse at their leisure.
Christmas & Festivities
The start date of our Christmas week (and therefore New Year) varies from year to year depending on the day of the week on which 25th December falls. The start date is flexible anyway so if you want something other than that shown on the system, do ask. However do note that we can only accept full week bookings or as near as, not short breaks, over the Christmas and New Year periods.
We use wonderful artisan Festive Wreaths made by one of our brilliant housekeeping team.
We do like to make things festive for visitors so erect (at no cost to you) real Christmas trees appropriate to the size of the property & provide decent quality decorations & Christmas crackers.
“Our 9 year old daughter was worried about missing Christmas in New Zealand. No need, it was magic – like stepping into a beautiful Christmas card”
We can supply lots of of extra large platters and serving dishes for the Christmas ‘bird’ !
“An idyllic Christmas bolt-hole”
Main supermarkets deliver to Belle Grove. However, it would be lovely if guests were to order their main poultry/meat/ham from local butchers for collection when required. Same with local greengrocer for fruit & veg. + cheeses & mince pies from the local deli. Our ‘Christmas Notes’, provided to those that book for the period, contain relevant contact numbers.