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By Tim Saunders

“I worked at the Greene King brewery in Bury St. Edmunds for 30 years,” says Mick Baldwin from Risby, just down the road from where we stay at The Highwayman’s. “In the old days you could pack in your old job on a Friday and start a new one on the Monday. That’s what I did on a number of occasions. I started off working in a hospital and had a series of jobs until I ended up at Greene King, a stone’s throw from Risby. There wasn’t really an interview. A number of my relatives worked for them and that was good enough. I started off on the ground floor and then worked my way up to become a beer tester; a job I enjoyed for 20 years. I had to ensure that the beer was brewed correctly and had the right amount of alcohol in it for Customs. In the early days there were great perks including a beer a day. At that time the managing director knew the names of all staff regardless of their position. It was a great family run business and you felt the management cared. When my wife and I married we even had a free bar. Guests told me it was the greatest party they had been to but we didn’t see it because we had to leave at 9pm to go on our honeymoon.” Eventually Mick applied for redundancy and took early retirement. “I didn’t like how the process was being automated,” he recalls. Founded in 1799, today Greene King is the UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer owning 1,600 pubs nearly all selling cask conditioned beer. A major Suffolk employer the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange. While I was familiar with this business I wasn’t expecting to bump into a past employee with such a fascinating tale to tell.

We stay at the Highwaymans, which, in the 18th century, was a favourite haunt of notorious highwaymen. You can imagine them settling down to a good night’s sleep after robbing some poor unsuspecting soul. Later it was the spot of a vineyard and in fact during our visit we spy some young vines that have been successfully planted. Today, The Highwayman’s is owned and run by Juliet Fisher and her five children. When our daughters Harriett (5) and Heidi (3) play outside on the bikes and pedal cars we bump into Meralina (5) and her brother Noah (9). It’s great to see that the four of them instantly hit it off and start talking about school and their interests. Meralina quickly notices that she has the same shoes as Harriett. As Meralina hares around on her bike she stops to say: “I learnt to ride this when I was four.” Noah, a keen footballer, chips in that there’s a holiday cottage, various rooms, and caravans can even stay for £10 a night on the eight acre site.

We stay in a family room, which really does have the wow factor. Large windows let in lots of light to the master bedroom and the accompanying window sills cry out to be sat on, I find; an ideal spot to sit and make notes. Wildlife paintings on the walls and antique furniture help to make a stay here a great occasion. It reminds us of a plush hotel but with the added family appeal. The girls have their own separate bedroom complete with bunk bed, which can be shut off from ours. As is often the case the first night is never great because Harriett and Heidi take time to adjust and so they keep getting up to mess about. Anyway, bleary eyed we pray that the second night gets better. Thankfully it certainly is. We all enjoy their 12 hours sleep. My wife, Caroline even grabs a few hours more than she is used to but not enough of course because of little Henry’s (4mths) teething, which has seen him develop a nasty cough. When he wakes up at 1am he insists on clinging to mummy and nobody else. The beds are comfortable and there is peace and quiet, when our children finally get to sleep. For business travellers there is wi-fi. The Highwayman’s is not just a place to rest your weary head, there are regular events. “We have clay pigeon shooting every two weeks, regular yoga classes and even art exhibitions,” says Juliet. In fact the current exhibition features selected professional artists from Creative Coverage including Clare Blois, Gerry Defries, Susie Lidstone and Clive Meredith.


The Highwaymans


Well located, unique corporate hospitality

Whether you are looking to support employees relocation or arranging off site meetings or corporate hospitality The Highwaymans is the ideal, well located, competitively priced solution.

Set in a delightfully rural location yet within close proximity to Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket only half-an-hour from the M11 and one mile north of the A14, The Highwaymans offers tranquil relaxation and optimum comfort.

3a10a51b-3a72-4c1f-a946-e4eeb1445697Long Term Accommodation
There are various types of accommodation available, rooms and apartments, all are light and airy spaces with en-suite, TV and Wifi.

Living in such beautiful and peaceful surroundings you can enjoy time to relax on a walk or a glass of wine on the terrace.

All options are extremely competitively priced, please contact us to discuss your requirements

Corporate Hospitality
As well as long term accommodation we also offer the perfect location for a business meeting or a corporate event. With plenty of space set within stunning surroundings The Highwaymans offers the perfect location for a business meeting or a corporate event.



As well as long term accommodation we also offer…

The Gallery

unnamed-1Arts and crafts are very much at the heart of The Highwaymans which is why we created the light, airy and spacious Gallery.

At the gallery we welcome an eclectic mix of arts exhibiting contemporary art, photography, antique furniture, crafts, sculpture and much much more !

Keep up to date with the latest exhibitions by clicking here.



We love opening our doors and welcoming people to enjoy the sublime surroundings and amazing facilities that we have on offer.

We run a wide range of events from yoga retreats to our recent summer festival.

To find out more take a look at our calendar of events by clicking here.



unnamed-3Situated in such amazing surroundings The Highwaymans is the perfect venue to hold a function.

Hire for exhibitions, social group meet ups, artist retreats and much more. Simply contact us to discuss your requirements.
There really is something for everyone to enjoy at The Highwaymans.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.


TREE sketching in the 300 Tree Arboretum


1 hour £8, 2 £15, 3 £22 & 4 hours £28

Bring an A4 Sketch Book & set of 2H to 9B Pencils.
Other dates also available for TREE Sketching, Collage, Painting & even Tree Making classes!
Contact Trudi Edmunds GCGI, Artist – Designer – Tutor for more information and to book your place.

Tel: 01284 764064 – Email:


Yoga Retreats


Min 8 people, from £250.00 per person, inclusive of 2 nights, food, classes and access to the grounds.

Daily Schedule:

8am-8.30 – Morning silent walk
8.45 – 10.30 – Morning Yoga & Meditation
10.30 – Brunch
11.30-1 – Massages, free time read, walk, relax
1 – 3 – Workshops
3 – Afternoon lunch
3.45-5.45 – Treatments, walk relax
6-8 Evening Yoga
8 – Light evening Meal
9 – Own time


Yoga Classes 2016

Starting Monday 4th January
Monday Nights – 7.15pm – 8.15pm
Wednesday Nights – 7.30pm – 8.45pm
Please contact Jane on 07721209116