On Saturday 4th September 2021 Lady Lorna Belhaven was joined by Councillor John Griffiths MBE for the grand opening of her new five-star luxury cat hotel. The fabulous new facilities offered by Longcroft Bury St Edmunds, represent the 25th hotel to open under the successful Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel brand in the UK. The boutique hotel is run by cat lover Lady Lorna Belhaven and is an exciting new venture, making use of the spacious grounds of her stunning Suffolk estate in a rural location close to Bury St Edmunds. The hotel is already receiving lots of booking as it is answers a surge in demand that the UK has seen since the Covid pandemic, with a rise in pet ownership nationwide.
The pandemic has sparked a big growth in pet ownership in the UK, as people understandably crave the love and affection that animals like cats can bring. Cats can help us to make the most of time spent at home. And now, as things begin to open up and owners start to book holidays and make travel arrangements again, they are seeking high quality care and accommodation for their beloved furry family members.
Longcroft Bury St Edmunds answers the demand by offering five-star accommodation for feline guests while their owners are on holiday. It includes eight luxury suites, each built to the same exacting standards as those of all Longcroft’s hotels. Every suite has its own climate-controlled bedroom, leading to a private, safe, garden play area, complete with multi-storey viewing platforms for feline guests to play or relax. The peaceful location of Longcroft Bury St Edmunds is perfect for both indoor and outdoor guests, set in more than eight acres of gardens at Lorna’s home, with stunning, far reaching views over the glorious surrounding countryside. The quiet, rural site is conveniently located just 5 minutes from the A14 and 15 minutes from Bury St Edmunds.
On Saturday afternoon Lorna and her husband Freddie welcomed local residents, customers and friends to the Grand Opening of their brand-new state-of-the-art hotel. Cllr John Griffiths MBE, the leader of St Edmundbury Council, cut the ribbon to mark the occasion. And they were also joined by representatives from charity Cats Protection, including Margaret Spratt of the Bury St Edmunds branch, to whom Lady Lorna donated a lovely cat hamper to be raffled for the worthy cause. Longcroft is dedicated to supporting Cats Protection with regular donations including food. Lorna’s guests enjoyed some Longcroft hospitality: sampling Longcroft cupcakes, Prosecco and the opportunity to take a peek at the gorgeous new hotel and it’s stunning setting.
Lorna was thrilled at the turn out on Saturday: “What a purrrfect day we had! I am delighted to have officially opened our fabulous new cat hotel surrounded by so many guests, including Cllr John Griffiths. I’m very proud of the facilities we have here and I just love cats and spending time with them and their owners. It’s wonderful to have so much support from the local community as we embark on this exciting new chapter.”
The Longcroft ethos focusses on animal welfare, treating every guest as if they were Lorna’s own beloved pets. Lorna is a huge animal lover who is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care. She and her husband Freddie moved to beautiful Suffolk two years ago from Somerset, and were formerly based in London. They have welcomed the shift to a country way of life and the opportunity to fulfil their love of all things feline:
“I live with my husband Freddie, who runs his business from home, as well as our gorgeous two British Shorthair cats, Poodles and Bluebelle, who most definitely rule the roost! For many years I lived in the centre of London and was self-employed as a property developer and landlord. I’ve been a life-long cat lover but was unable to have cats for many years when I lived in London. A month after getting married and moving to the country, our gorgeous two cats joined us. I now fully embrace country life and I’m so excited about our Longcroft adventure!
Lorna discovered Longcroft when searching for suitable holiday accommodation for her two beloved pussycats: “When it came to finding somewhere for Poodles and Bluebelle when we went away, I was extremely disappointed by the vast majority of catteries available, and was uncomfortable leaving them in an environment that I felt was not caring enough. But then I read an article about Abi and Longcroft and a light went off in my head! This was exactly what I wanted to be able to offer to other people who feel the same as I do, who want to be able to leave their beloved cats, knowing they will be looked after with love and the highest level of care and expertise.” – Lorna
Longcroft is the UK’s only luxury hotel group for cats. It was founded in 2010 by Abi Purser, who opened the very first hotel in Welwyn Garden City and still successfully runs the hotel more than 10 years later. Longcroft has been successful and grown rapidly thanks to its detailed and expert approach to cat boarding, placing animal welfare at its heart. Longcroft offers peace of mind to all cat owners when they go away, by providing an expert, tailored, home-from-home experience for its feline guests.
To find out more or to make a booking go to: Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel Bury St Edmunds.