Suffolk Punch Trust

Overview

general information

General Information

The Suffolk Punch Trust is a registered charity that is dedicated to preserving the Suffolk Punch rare breed horse and educating people about the rural heritage of Suffolk.

Our home, the Hollesley Bay Colony Stud, is the world's oldest and largest Suffolk Punch stud farm. It is the perfect place to meet our magnificent horses, to find out how they shaped the landscape of East Anglia and helped to develop farming throughout the Eastern Counties.

Venue Hire

We can offer a range of different sized rooms at The Suffolk Punch Trust

We have smaller rooms available for hire which can host a variety of corporate and private events including conferences, presentations, AGMS and meetings. These rooms include projectors and we can supply coffee and lunches on request.

The impressive function room is one of the largest at The Suffolk Punch Trust which is ideal for children's parties, adult parties and receptions.

GROUP BOOKINGS

Guided Tours, Parties and School Groups are welcome by arrangement.

To book, contact Julia Vinson 01394 411327 or info@suffolkpunchtrust.org

Stables

This is where you can come and meet some of The Colony Stud's star characters - the horses and foals. Today the stud has one stallion, 6 breeding mares, 3 foals, 3 working geldings and 4 youngsters intraining. The stable area is where we hold our horserelated demonstrations, including how to put on a harness, braid a horse's mane and how to handle a horse.

Along with the horses, we also work to protect other endangered breeds of nativefarm animals by looking after them and raising awareness to aid their survival. Here's a little more about each of the farm animals we have on site.

  • Rare Large Black Pigs - This is the only all black pig breed in Britain, with big ears that flop over its eyes. By the 1960s it was almost extinct. Numbers have slowly risen, but it's still vulnerable.
  • Red Poll Cattle - Red in colour and hornless, the Red Poll is native to East Anglia. Its numbers declined when Friesian cattle became popular, so now needs protecting.
  • Suffolk Sheep - We have the oldest registered flock of Suffolk sheep in the world. This black faced sheep was first bred in Suffolk in the late 1700s and is now a flagship British breed.
  • Ixworth chickens - This all white chicken was first bred in 1939 in the Suffolk village of Ixworth. It almost died out between 1950-1970 and is still rare today.

Farm:

PETS PADDOCK

Come and meet our resident rabbits and guinea pigs. A popular destination for families, the pets paddock is where you can find out how to care for the pets plus get the chance to help to feed them.

We usually have pets' feeding time here mid-afternoon - at 3pm.

Gift Shop

Choose from a selection of attractive gifts and souvenirs with items to suit every pocket - many priced under £10.

Items for sale include:

  • Postcards, greeting cards and prints
  • Books for (adults & children), DVDs
  • Kids pocket money toys and gifts
  • Local honey and chutneys
  • Beeswax candles and tealights
  • Suffolk Punch Trust souvenirs, including T-shirts and caps
  • Paintings of Suffolk Punch horses by local artists

Get involved and try something different with our range of activities. Here's a summary of what's on offer:

STABLE DEMONSTRATIONS

Learn how to braid a horse's mane, put a horse in harness plus learn how to handle and care for horses.

PAMPER THE PETS

Come to the Pet Paddock to see and feed our resident guinea pigs and rabbits.

TRACTOR TRAILER RIDES

Enjoy a scenic drive around our 200 acre farm. These rides run on busier days in the summer (depending on demand and weather conditions).

CHILDREN'S PLAY AREA

A challenging activity playground for young children, located just outside the cafe.

ARTS AND CRAFT ACTIVITIES

Enjoy some fun art and craft activities in the visitor centre. Make your own rosettes, and a horse bookmark to take home plus lots more. It's free to join in and materials are provided. Activity work sheet to take around the stud plus see if you win a prize.

Walks

We have three circular routes within the 200 acre farm that enable walkers to see all the horses and livestock, as well as enjoy the peace and beauty of our rural setting - this area of the Suffolk coastline is designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Short walk - approx 30 mins

Great if you are first-time visitor and just want to stretch your legs a little. Also a good option if visiting with young children, or if the weather is looking unpredictable.

Medium walk - approx 1 hour

This walking route is good if you want a decent walk after lunch at the cafe but also want to spend time viewing our exhibits and other attractions. Popular with dog walkers too.

Long walk - approx 1.5 hours

A good choice if you're looking for a more challenging walk and to spend more time outside exploring the full expanse of the farm, like the Quick Water field and Student Water Meadow.

Dog walkers

We welcome walkers with dogs on leads and have regular visitors who like to follow the medium and long walks to exercise their canine companions.

Prices

prices

Prices

FREE ANNUAL PASS WITH ADMISSION

Free Annual Pass with your admission – come and visit us THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!

Enjoy Spring time foals and lambs.

See the horses working in the Summer sun and take a stroll in the Suffolk Heritage Garden while it's in full bloom.

Experience the changing Autumn colours and go for a walk on our new woodland trail.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adult £9.00Children (5-16 )£5.00 Child under 5 FreeFamily (2 x adults, 3 x children) £22.00 Concession £7.50 Cyclists and walkers Deduct £1

No admission charge for entry to café only

Special Offers

More Info

more information

More Information

Cafe

Relax and enjoy our home-cooked food with a lovely view looking out towards the stables. We also have an outdoor terrace and picnic area to sit on sunnier days.

FRESH HOMEMADE FOOD

All the food is freshly made each day by Judith Vaudrey, who runs the popular local store in the nearby village of Alderton.

Since opening in 2012, the cafe has become a firm favourite with locals as a great place to eat lunch and have afternoon tea in Suffolk.

Specials, light lunches & salads plus a hot dish of the day are served daily.

Popular items from the cafe menu:

  • Homemade soup with bap - £3.50
  • Ploughmans lunch - £5.50
  • Seasonal homemade quiche with potato salad and mixed salad - £5.50
  • Homemade jumbo sausage roll with red onion marmalade – £2.50
  • A selection of baps - £3.50
  • Selection of home-baked cakes and scones from - £1.95
  • Delicious cream teas - £4.00

We also now have a licence to sell wines, beer and cider.

Try great local produce from Suffolk

We're keen to use as many ingredients sourced from Suffolk as we can, including:

OPENING TIMES & ENTRY

The same as the Trust - see our general opening hours. You don't need to pay the entry fee if just visiting the café so eat with us as often as you like!

Special dietary requirements can be catered for - just call to give us notice a day ahead

HERITAGE MUSEUM

This exhibition hall contains lots of small items, many now housed here after the sad closure of the Suffolk Horse Society's museum. The hall is divided into areas, each illustrating a different theme. These sections include:

  • The history of the Suffolk Punch breed, the 250 year old Colony Stud and The Suffolk Horse Society.
  • An area on Suffolk's three big engineering firms: Ransomes of Ipswich, Garretts of Leistonand Smyth of Peasenhall – all leaders in making horse-drawn machinery.
  • Artefacts showing the manual and child labour that was common in farming.
  • Farriery displays showing the craft of the wheelwright and the blacksmith.
  • An insight into rural life and what people did when not working on the farm.
  • Info on the Suffolk breeds we have on the farm – plus equipment for keeping livestock.
  • A look at the local industry linked with arable framing - brewing, malting and milling – and modes of transport in Suffolk, all dependent on horses.
  • A collection of vintage grocery items from East of England Co-operative Society.
  • A Ferguson tractor - a machine that spelt the end of the agricultural horse.

EQUIPMENT BARN

This building contains the larger items - 60+ horse-drawn vehicles (both rural and urban) and implements all in working condition and still used.

Vehicles

  • A pantechnicon (furniture removal van) lent to us by London firm, Bishops.
  • A bottle dray lent by McMullen's Brewery of Hertford (regularly taken to events).
  • A miller's wagon from Messrs. Pauls' - the finest example in existence.
  • A restored dray from Paul Rackham.
  • The 3 staple vehicles of any Suffolk farm - the road wagon, harvest wagon and tumbrel.
  • A unique parade wagon belonging to Worshipful Company of Farriers and used for the Lord Mayor's Show in London.

Cultivating implements

  • Sugar beet and potato lifters.
  • Two Essex wooden beamed ploughs used to work heavy clay soil.
  • A soil reaper (the first mechanical harvesting machine) in perfect condition.
  • Hay making implements.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Leave A12 Woodbridge bypass on A1152 at roundabout- signposted Orford and Melton.
  2. Continue straight, through traffic lights and over the railway line to next roundabout.
  3. Take 2nd exit onto B1083. Signposted for Bawdsey, Hollesley and Woodbridge Airfield.
  4. Take next left, signposted for Hollesley and the Suffolk Punch Trust (brown tourist sign).
  5. Continue straight on (for approx 3.5 miles) to Y-junction. Take left turn, signposted for Butley, Boyton, HM Hollesley Bay Colony and the Suffolk Punch Trust (brown tourist sign).
  6. Continue straight to cross roads (along Melton Road), following any signs for HM Hollesley Bay Colony. Note – landmark water tower on right at cross roads.
  7. Continue straight across at crossroads into Woodbridge Walk.
  8. Enter the Suffolk Punch Trust via the first driveway on the right. This is well signposted as the entrance for the Suffolk Punch Trust visitor centre.

FOR DISABLED AND LESS MOBILE VISITORS

The visitor centre was designed with good access in mind. There's easy access parking on a hard surface in front of the building for disabled badge holders. This leads straight onto a paved walkway to the front door.

Getting around

We don't have wheelchairs but our buggy (golf cart) is available to visitors with limitedmobility to help them travel around our farm (subject to staff, demand, weather and surface conditions).

Walking frames are not suitable on paths around the Stud Farm. However, in general, access is dependent on the mobility of the individual and underfoot conditions/weather.

Mobility scooters can be used in the visitor centre. Surfaces around the farm are uneven so some scooters may not handle the terrain. Please drive slowly around the farm, barns and stables, with due care to pedestrians and animals.

Disabled toilets

There is a fully appointed disabled toilet within the visitor centre. The outside toilet block on the farm does not have disabled access.

FOR BABIES & CHILDREN

Prams and buggy access

These can be used in all areas of the visitor centre. All terrain buggies and prams are suitable on all farm paths and walks but small wheeled buggies/prams will struggle. Access is also weather dependant, especially on the dirt tracks on the longer walks.

Baby changing

All visitor centre toilets have baby changing facilities. The toilet block on farm does not.

Feeding

We have a picnic area if families wish to bring their own food. In the cafe, we have high chairs and can provide warm water to heat baby milk and baby food if required.

FOR CYCLISTS & WALKERS

We encourage visitors to arrive here by bike or foot, so cyclists and walkers receive a discount of £1 off their ticket price.

There are 4 cycle racks at the front of the visitor centre for cyclists to lock up bikes.

PARKING

There is ample free parking on site for visitors and patrons of the cafe.

The gravel area in front of visitor centre takes 30 cars, plus there's space for a further 10 cars on other side of the front door on a hard surface (2 allocated disabled spaces).

Coach parking

Coaches are welcome with advanced notice. Coach parties can organise to visit as a group with rates and activities pre-arranged. Visit our days out for coach parties page for more info.

Overflow and event parking

We can accommodate 400+ cars by using the grassed meadow to either side of the entrance drive, in front of the visitor centre. On event days the car park is managed and all 10 spaces by the front door are for disabled use only.

Off-gravel parking may not be suitable for low-slung vehicles visiting on an event day - please contact us in advance.

Gates onto the site are opened at opening time and locked at closing time.

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Ages

Ages

Babies (0-1), Toddlers (1-3), Pre-Schoolers (3-5), Juniors (5-13)

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