THE STORY OF SUOMI CABINS
Reborne as Suomi Cabins in 2020 by Mark and Sibylle Gleed, the roots of the cabins go much farther back, all the way to the 1960s when Helena Gleed, a young Finn, arrived in England as an au pair, bringing with her the essence of Finnish lifestyle that you can now experience to this day at the Cabins.
Interested to know more? Continue reading below to discover:
1) The history of the Cabins
2) The Gleed family continuing Helena's legacy today
We offer numerous amenities and services to make your stay at Suomi Cabins a pleasure. We’re dedicated to blending comfort and convenience to provide you with the attention and respite you deserve. Featuring authentic accommodations and attentive family members on hand at all times, we guarantee you’ll have a pleasant experience here. Explore what we have to offer and book a cabin today.
How Suomi Cabins came to be
Suomi Cabins, known as Karelia Holidays at the time, was instigated by Helena and Richard Gleed. Helena, a born and bred Finn, grew up spending her summers in a basic, wooden cabin by a lake (think no WiFi and little electricity!), reflecting a lifestyle lived and shared by many Finnish families. Arriving in England as an au pair at the age of 22, Helena brought with her a vision of bringing to life the essence of Finnish cabin lifestyle so that regardless of geographical barriers, everyone can share in the respite and comfort of Finnish cabin lifestyle that Helena and others enjoy so much. As such, with lots of time, effort and hard work Karelia Holidays was borne.
Rose Cottage, the first of the Suomi Cabins was established in 1905, its name reflecting the rose bushes surrounding the cabin at the time. Subsequent cabins were inspired in name by Finland. “Laatokka”, a large lake in the area where Helena's parents once lived, inspired the next named addition (later renamed “Ladoga” by the Russians when the area was annexed). The smallest cabin was christened “Piilopirtti”, meaning “hidden house”. Camouflaged by a traditional grass roof, the unique covering provides both insulation and a rustic appearance. The most recent addition to the Cabin family is Tuulikki, a unique space with a particularly meaningful family connection as both Helena's middle name and that of her granddaughter, Janina. The Finnish meaning behind the name being "little wind" derived from tuuli "wind" and also the name of a Finnish forest goddess. The Acorn Hut (Terhomökki), a labour of love during lockdown, is a new accommodation in the form of a Shepherd's Hut that is evolving into its own special space.
The cabins are set in two acres of woodland, acquired by Richard’s grandparents many years ago. Being heathland at the time with a scattering of silver birch, heather and gorse, the land soon blossomed under Richard's grandfather love for rhododendrons and azaleas. Many hybrid varieties were planted as well as various conifers and specimen trees. The rhododendrons, now large mature bushes, make a splendid, colourful show in April, May and June.
From the vision and dedication of a young Finnish woman to a fully established cabin lifestyle experienced by many over the years, the youngest generation of the Gleed family continue the legacy of a dear family member, bringing the authenticity of Finland to the modern day so that people can connect to each other, nature and the outdoors for the greater well-being of people and the planet.
Suomi Cabins offers a unique environment which we hope for our guests evokes the relaxing, authentic, hyggelig Finnish cabin life enjoyed by people all over Finland. And now you can too!
HEI! NICE TO MEET YOU
A Hello from the Gleed Family
"Hello, I'm Mark. Having grown up visiting and then living here by the forest, this place has become very special to me, a feeling that I'm so glad to share with guests and hear them express. Having people visit as children and return with their own children years later is very special."
My favourite thing about Suomi Cabins:
Meeting people from all walks of life
I can help you with:
Advice on pubs and the local area
Learning about firewood preparation, chainsaws, Finland, and the history of the cabins
A knowledge about wood and building beyond belief
Always up for a fireside chat (it is a rare occasion when he isn't found by the fire in the evening)