Region: East of England

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Accommodation & Residential Trips

Address: Tudor Barn and Old Brooder Bunkhouse, The Hall, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 9NY

Contact: 01787 247235



The Tudor barn and Old Brooder bunkhouse are situated down a long drive on our environmentally-friendly working farm in rural Suffolk but within 1.25hrs of London and within three miles of historic Lavenham and 16 miles of Colchester and Ipswich.

The ancient barn and newly kitted out bunkhouse are 100m or so apart so you can have sole occupancy of either or combine the two and all eat together in the huge atmospheric listed barn.

This is an unusual location, off the beaten track and peacefully surrounded by ancient wildflower meadows, ponds, woodlands, crops, castle earthworks and hedged countryside where bantams scratch amongst the herbs, sheep have lambs in the spring and a couple of Gloucester Old Spot pigs grunt contentedly.

At Milden children, university students, or staff on training days, can get together in spacious, beautiful, ancient and unspoiled surroundings, amidst our sensitively farmed landscape. You can use us as a base to do activities elsewhere or you can do your own thing indoors or outside - or we can lead various historic, environmental or art activities. You have space to explore, orienteer, hug trees, pond dip, write poetry, practice photography, play croquet, paint, play musical instruments, sing, dance, study plants, insects, archaeology - and lots more.

Our family have hosted school activities, music courses and residential groups for over 20 years. Our website gives an indication of the environmental, history re-enactment and art activities we can provide experienced, knowledgeable and friendly leaders for (or ask us for a list). However, many groups come here to use the enormous space we have to run their own music courses, Duke of Edinburgh map practise, play and dance rehearsals. Alternatively guests use here as a base for:

• cricket , hockey or other teams on tour;
• to Go Ape on hire wires in Thetford Forest;
• nearby water-activity centres where guests can kayak down the River Stour (from Sudbury) or sail (Alton Water);
• history visits to castles or joustings (Orford, Framlingham, Hedingham, Mountfichet, Colchester) or re-enactments at Kentwell Hall or West Stow Anglo Saxon village;
• archaeology site visits Sutton Hoo and Grimes Graves;
• Gainsborough House art exhibitions and print workshop courses;
• more leisurely activities such as Colchester Zoo, local museums (Fitzwilliam, Colchester, Rural Life, Ipswich), and National Trust properties (Ickworth, Blickling, Sutton Hoo, Long Melford).

We can unpack a supermarket delivery for you to self-cater or offer catering options with our home-made, and often home-grown, food. And because we live in the farmhouse next door so we are pretty much on-site all the time in case you need us beyond the initial welcome briefing.

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The Tudor barn
The Old Brooder bunkhouse

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any accreditation such as Tourist Board, or AALA. 
The Tudor barn - Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Award -

The Old Brooder bunkhouse - Tripadvisor Excellent Award -

What group sizes do you cater for?
Combined barn (22+) + bunkhouse (20) + farmhouse (8) options sleep a maximum of 50 but realistically for staff several of the private double rooms would need to be used as singles reducing this total, but this can be countered by adding a few camp beds. We can be flexible. For activities students would be split into smaller groups depending on the activity.

Accommodation can be booked as several sole-occupancy options for school/education groups including staff/accompanying adults:
A. Old Brooder bunkhouse only sleeping up to 20 guests (2 x 2, 2 x 8)
B. Tudor barn only sleeping up to 22 guests + camp beds (3 x 2, 1 x 16 + camp/sofa beds)
C. Tudor barn and Old Brooder bunkhouse combined sleeping up to 42 guests + camp beds (5 x 2, 2 x 8, 1 x 16 + camp beds)
D. Milden Hall Farmhouse rooms overflow to either of above sleeping up to 8 guests + camp beds (1 x 4, 2 x 2 + camp beds)

Please give information regarding room sizes and room facilities?
The Tudor barn is listed Grade II*, huge and atmospheric with modern facilities in some areas and quite primitive winter-heating in the main barn area.

Ground-floor, underfloor-heated, cartlodge:
Hobart - 1 x double with bath/shower/WC ensuite (sleeps 2)
Burton - 1 x small upstairs twin
A second bathroom with loo, shower and bath
A large kitchen with cooker, 2 fridge-freezers, 2 dishwashers, hot cupboard, large kitchen table seating 14+
A small upstairs sitting room snug for staff with TV (with 2 x sofa beds)

The adjoining barn (Spring) - has banquet tables, a comfortable sitting area around the woodburner for 22 guests, and huge open plan sleeping arrangements for 16 in comfortable Suffolk-oak beds (2 x four-posters, 2 x truckle doubles, 8 x singles),

Adjoining ‘potting shed’ De Bures - 1 x double has its own basin/WC.
The loo and shower block - a hop, skip and a jump away are the very modern and separate male and female showers (2 in each), WCs (5) and wheelchair-friendly WC.

The Old Brooder bunkhouse features include joiner-made oak bunk beds, conventional beds and all beds made up, ancient stained glass and artwork on walls, Mexican tiles, Indian sari bedspreads .... and views over hedged farmland.

Ground floor:
Canham & Powney - 2 x twin bunk bedrooms (sleep 2 in each)
Meldinge - 1 x long, thin dormitory with 4 x bunk beds (sleeps 8).
1 x wetroom shower/WC for less mobile guests, 2 x showers, 2 x WC
A kitchen-dining area provides simple seating for 20 at two rustic tables. Cooker, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and modern kitchen equipment - and a pantry next door.

First floor:
Alington - 1 x 8 large room with conventional beds (sleeps 8)
1 x shower/WC.
A sitting room snug with TV seats 20,

The Hall farmhouse available as overflow to either of the above has three bedrooms (1 x 4, 2 x 2) and all share a bathroom with shower/WC and a second WC.

What is the cost of the accommodation?
Send us an email enquiry as costs vary according to options, number of guests, length of stay, catering or self-catered, time of year, activities, special offers etc. We rarely offer day-only visits.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
All activities are risk assessed by us and these are available upon request. We encourage pre-visits to enable teachers to fine-tune this risk assessment depending on their own group of students and any special needs. A fire risk assessment on both barn and bunkhouse is available on request too and we brief all residential groups on fire safety and other hazards as part of their welcome. We have some activities whereby students learn to risk assess for themselves.

Does your Accommodation have a booking contact?
Enquiries and bookings are made with Juliet Hawkins - contact or 01787 247235.

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?
We have first aid kits on site and we have a very small staff and whilst first aid trained, we prefer groups to bring their own qualified first-aider and follow their own risk assessments regarding first aid/medication to bring.

Please list facilities available.
Milden Hall farm is available for exploration by all guests and we provide annotated maps to help guests enjoy different routes and features.

Sport: Both barn and bunkhouse have table football, table tennis, badminton, rounders, quoits, croquet, an assortment of other outdoor games equipment and indoor board games. Rough meadows are available for rounders, football or other ball games. Guests in the barn have access to our hard tennis court. Occasionally the village cricket pitch can be booked by visiting schools.

Kitchen/catering: Both barn and bunkhouse have very well equipped modern kitchens but we can offer full or half-board, pack lunches or flexible catering options of healthy home-cooked meals so just discuss your needs with us. For history study groups we offer Tudor or WWII themed meals. Contact us for options and costs.

Music equipment: The Tudor barn has a small sound system with aux lead for iPod/iPhone and a large sound system by arrangement, and digital piano. The bunkhouse has a small sound system.

We have washing machines and various drying rooms/washing lines.

What are your disabled facilities?
Both barn and bunkhouse are on a working farm with uneven ground, gravel and mud in winter, which all make wheelchair access fairly difficult and whilst much of the accommodation is on the ground-floor (and the bunkhouse has a wet room), getting in and out of the buildings and bathrooms is not easy for wheelchair users. For further information contact us direct.

What are your opening days and hours?
Residential visits are available Sunday evening to Friday midday throughout the year. They are available at considerably higher rates at weekends too but it is always worth asking for a quote at any time of the week or year.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
Taking a class of 17 Year 5 pupils to the Tudor Barn was a wonderful experience and I never thought as a teacher I would say that! Juliet was a warm and knowledgeable host who made us all feel at home and her enthusiasm for all things Tudor engaged all the class and brought out history topic to life. The accommodation was superb, the barn is beautifully restored and the food delicious there was not one fussy eater for the stay - it certainly felt we were part of the 'House of Tudor'. The weather was incredible and the surroundings idyllic and even as the teacher I felt very well rested and could easily have stayed longer. Thank you for a wonderful 2 nights. We will be back next year! I thoroughly recommend the barn to any school considering a residential either from a Tudor history or science conservation point of view. (Julia Cottam, Sancton Wood School, Cambridge, 2015 and annually ever since.)

Wow! What a truly amazing place! You could not have been more helpful to all our mad requests. You have provided us with spectacular food, farmhouse accommodation and rehearsal rooms. We’ve had such fun doing concerts, masterclasses, dancing, mask-making, silk painting (Jacky Woods, Arpeggione April 2009 & annually twice a year ever since!)

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?
Both our barn and bunkhouse are not your typical school trip stay location - it’s quirky, unusual, beautiful and we’re very flexible about what you can do or what we can do for you. Check out our website for more information and masses of photographs.

Consider a visit here for students or staff and check out the cross-curricular ideas you can do whilst here:

Art, photography and design: Lots of potential to create natural installations in the woods and grassland, to draw, photograph and paint on the farm and beyond - with or without our leaders.

Archaeology: Field walk and consider archaeological issues on the farm - we have a Norman castle earthworks, Roman sites, ancient ponds and landscape features and a small farm museum of finds.

Citizenship: Take part in a whole day ‘custodian of the environment’ challenge or do your own thing.

Drama: Our Tudor barn has lots of space, lights, PA system, assorted costumes. Do your own thing or work towards a woodland or pond performance linking drama with the environment.

English: Scope to interview trees, write poetry about individual insects or the wider environment, make up myths.

Geography: Study the farmed environment and adjacent lowland habitats; learn to orienteer with maps and compasses; explore sustainability and environmental issues.

History: Re-enact the rural life of Tudor peasants or WWII evacuees - and eat like them too.

Music: Bring your own instruments and create an orchestra – lots of space, good barn acoustics.

PE: Use our 20 adult bicycles on planned local routes or go off-road biking; play tennis, table tennis, table football, badminton, croquet, boules, cross-country running and orienteering.

Environmental science: Study ecology, natural history, water, habitat, trees, fungi, flowering plants, insects, birds, small mammals, birds as whole themed days or incorporate into your own plans.

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

Accommodation Type: Bunkhouses Outdoor Residential Centres