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Our Story

Meet our family;

Alex, Vanessa, Izzy, Billy and Oona, our friendly dog! We moved from Bath in March 2012 in the search for adventure, an escape from the ‘rat race’ and a new way of life to allow us to watch Izzy and Billy grow up with plenty of outdoor activity.

Vanessa grew up in Kent, where her parents were successful farmers and went on to study Hotel Management and Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University. Alex spent his childhood living in Norwich and spent many an hour messing about on the Broads, before spending some years with his Spanish relatives in Fuerteventura in the Canaries, where he learned to cook under the watchful eye of his Abuela. We met whilst we were both working in London and after a year touring the States and Central America (researching ideas for a business!), we returned to England, moved to beautiful Bath and opened a successful tapas bar and cafe.

After 10 years we made a bold decision to leave our wonderful and much loved friends, school and home in search for a different way of life… and here we are!

Our story image
It's a family affair!

We took the reins of the Bodiam Ferry Company from Jim and Bev Newman in 2012 and haven’t looked back. It’s been a bumpy ride, but we have adapted well to our new lifestyle and are really enjoying everything this beautiful setting and region has to offer.

To date we have re-branded the business, doubled the size of the campsite and introduced fire pit rental and have added kayaking and stand up paddleboarding to the river activities. A jetty and cocktail bar have been built and the cottage has been knocked down and replaced with a kit house! We now boast a stunning timber clad cafe with indoor and outdoor seating which means we can operate year round.

We are just as excited and ambitious as the day we took over and are still brimming with more ideas of ways to put Bodiam Boating Station, Lime Wharf Cafe and Riverside Cottage Camping firmly on the map.

There will be lots of exciting prospects and changes in the future months and we will keep you up to date with these plans via our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for both Bodiam Boating Station and Lime Wharf Cafe.

We look forward to seeing you here soon and hope you will enjoy sharing our journey with us.

Alex, Vanessa, Izzy, Billy & Oona

Find out more about Bodiam Boating Station at