We have come home and booked the cottage for next year.
As a couple we were delighted to find somewhere that had flat access, a wet room and just one bedroom (beds made up as one king size divan or two singles as per your request). This meant we weren't paying for bedrooms we didn't need and could take advantage of a relatively cheap holiday which it seems as a couple needing accessible accommodation we can so rarely find. The cottage was refurbished this year when the current owners took over and all the furnishings are to a very high standard. Central heating efficient and we stayed warm and snug when the temperature dropped unexpectedly for September. The owners, lovely people, provided a shower stool for me to use (it was small but I found it ok) and offered me a seat raiser for the toilet (it is quite a low toilet in the ensuite bathroom, the second toilet in the utility room is higher). We needed to be careful that when we used the shower we didn’t flood everywhere which would be easily to do. A long handled squeezy as we suggested would be helpful to push the water down the drain. I was pleased I had taken a non-slip shower mat. Kitchen is open-plan, not adapted as such, well kitted out, even with a cosy for the tea pot! There is a beautiful sheltered patio overlooking well-kept borders and lawn that attracts birds and wildlife which is accessible to wheelchair users by using a side gate at the end of the adjoining cottage. Parking is just across the drive-way at the front of the cottage. We did have some concerns about my powerchair tyres messing up the very pale carpet that has been fitted through the cottage and suggested a bigger carpet runner to help dry tyres would be helpful.
Not possible (as far as we could make out) to get to anywhere from the property in a wheelchair without going in the car but we found accessible walks at nearby Sutton Hoo and Dunwich Heath (National Trust hire out all terrain scooters free of charge at both – worth pre booking). Access to local businesses is generally not good for wheelchair users but Lemon Tree Bistro (has a ramp), 221 Bakery (& café) and the Railway in Framlingham we found accessible (The Station Hotel and Victoria have steps and pub at Badingham we got in but with a struggle. The Queen in nearby Dennington has ramped access and does wonderful food (2 courses for £10 weekday lunch times), toilet at the Queen not specifically accessible but does have a small grab rail and I did manage it in my 6-wheel mid-wheel drive powerchair. We also explored and enjoyed Helmington Hall Gardens, Southwold and Aldeburgh as well as having some enjoyable peaceful rest days in the cottage which it so lent itself to. Avoid the road into Framlingham from the cottage at 4 pm in school terms – it gets seriously blocked up.
We have just returned from a week's holiday in Cart Lodge which is cosy, very well equipped and full of Suffolk charm. It is part of a small complex (Boundary Farm) of three properties plus two Shepherd's Huts for Glamping. It was quiet, peaceful and relaxing. The accommodation was clean and the fixtures and fittings are of a high standard. We appreciated the Welcome Pack which consisted of milk, eggs, biscuits and a bottle of wine. A vase of fresh garden flowers was a lovely touch. We found the beds to be extremely comfortable and the bathroom towels and bedding were of good quality, too. The Lodge has adaptations for those who may be in a wheelchair, including a wet room. It is all on one level with grab rails and other facilities for the less mobile. We arrived late and had a minor problem with access but, despite the hour, the owner arrived within ten minutes of our phone call and the problem was instantly resolved. Tina and Chris have certainly created something very special at Boundary Farm and we are delighted to have been able to experience part of it. Many thanks.