The bucolic Suffolk farm that served as the home and inspiration for Roger Deakin is now available to rent, allowing fans of the late British nature writer to get an authentic and intimate look into his life.
Called Walnut Tree Farm, the Elizabethan farmhouse is located deep in the countryside of northern Suffolk, on the edge of Mellis Green, the largest area of common grazing land in England. Deakin bought the farm in 1970 and lovingly restored it, dredging the moat (where he swam every day), planting woods and acquiring the surrounding fields to grow hay and wild flowers. The farm became a place of pilgrimage and inspiration for nature-lovers, writers and artists, and was later the subject of two BBC Radio 4 documentaries The House and The Garden, as well as the writer’s journals Notes from Walnut Tree Farm that described his love of life in Suffolk and contains photographs by current owner Titus Rowlandson.
The property is now available to book through Airbnb, with a wood cabin and a railway wagon on the site. The railway wagon is situated in a field next to a moat, with an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, barbecue and outdoor seating with table and chairs. The interior has been decorated with original paintings and has a double bed and a sofa that can sleep another adult. The wood cabin sits in a meadow and includes a patio area with seating and outdoor cooking facilities.
“We are basically just sharing our beautiful home. People who don’t know about the history of the place love the peace and tranquillity, and the people who are fans of Roger’s work are blown away that they can come and stay. In the past we have had people dropping in unannounced on pilgrimages, which was sometimes a bit awkward. Allowing people to stay has taken that away. We have met the loveliest people who are so appreciative and filled with gratitude that they can stay here. Roger touched and continues to touch so many people with his work, and I get the honour of hearing their stories and welcoming them into my home,” Titus’ wife and current owner Jasmin Moss told Lonely Planet.
Roger Deakin’s book Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain became a much-love classic of nature writing and gave impetus to the wild swimming movement.