No-frills, tent camping in the Norfolk Broads with campfires permitted and ample space
We love a campsite with campfires at its heart and at The Old Vicarage it’s rare to find a group of visitors who aren’t kindling theirs by 6pm, the second the sun begins to dip towards the horizon. Any excuse and the fires will be going – too cold, too dark, too hungry for marshmallows. Owner Bernie thoroughly encourages it too. “Campfires are an integral part of camping”, he says. “Fire warms, soothes and inspires us”. There aren’t many here who’d disagree.
In fact, Bernie’s custom designed braziers have become such favourites that some visitors have even bought them afterwards, sticking them in the car to take home for evenings of nostalgia. They’re the perfect souvenirs. After all, the simplicity in their design is emblematic of the entire campsite – nothing flashy, nothing too clever, just the basic essentials that do everything you need. It’s a reminder once you’ve left of the simple life that was. The good old-fashioned camping that makes The Old Vicarage so special.
Set in three grassy acres on the edge of the Norfolk Broads, there is pleasantly little to describe about The Old Vicarage. A couple of wooden cabins house the showers and composting toilets and there’s a tap for water. Otherwise that’s pretty much it, save for the scattering of tents that are spread around the field, some tucked near hedges where small gaps peep out at fields of wheat, others pitched more centrally, where children zip around playing catch with their new found neighbours. The space is flat, spacious and car-free (with parking right next to the field) and the entertainment is the sort you make for yourself – think grass stains, sticky marshmallow fingers and daisy chains in your hair.
It’s off site where further activities can be found and there’s enough to write your own guidebook. Three guidebooks, in fact: one for the coast, one for the Broads and another for Norwich, all of which are less than 20 minutes in the car. The city is best saved for any rainy days, when you can retreat into galleries, museums and cafés, while better weather can be spent boating on the network of rivers or pedalling around on two wheels. Arrive by bike and you’ll even get a free bucket of firewood and a broad smile from keen cyclist Bernie. Smiles are generally extended to everyone though. Bernie’s a happy man and the simple truth is, folks who camp at The Old Vicarage are very happy people.
Norwich, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Bernie ?.Joined in February 2016
33 Ratings · 48 reviews
June 24, 2022
Big patch of grass- up to 5 people
Ideal and friendly camp!
Perfect location, great facilities - very clean and well kept, beautiful sunset every night, lots of great spots to put your tent. Loved every minute of our short stay here. Lots of friendly animals around as well with the owners dog and farm cat making an appearance daily for cuddles!
June 9, 2022
Big patch of grass- up to 5 people
Bernie's top notch site!
Bernie's site was perfect; we really enjoyed the back to nature feel, the open space of the farm and the facilities were top notch. Bernie was really accommodating which helped make our stay even more enjoyable. I would 100% return to this site.
September 5, 2021
Big patch of grass- up to 10 people
What a lovely place to hang out. Bernie has worked hard to get everything just right. It's so simple, clean and lovely, and fantastically tasteful. There are stacks of herbs to use by the information hub which also has loads of brilliant local info, usb charging ports, and everything else that's handy for a stay. Immaculate loos and showers and plentiful hot water at the washing up station. Fantastic huge field to find a spot with loads of room and lovely views across wheat fields. What is also fantastic is the no cars where you camp. It does mean hauling your stuff to your desired spot but it's a tiny price to pay for total safety on site and no rumbling engines. It's also located in a brilliant part of the world that has loads to explore - we barely scratched the surface. Love it! We'll be back next summer unless I can convince my husband that I need a year off camping and go all inclusive with kids' clubs........... I imagine we'll be seeing you next year Bernie!
August 30, 2021
Big patch of grass- up to 10 people
Just back from a lovely family camping trip that brought a smile to all our faces - from the 7 year old to the 72 year old! It was so refreshing to not have any cars allowed on site and the addition of the wheelbarrows to cart your belongings about was an added bonus and a great way to get the kids involved too! Compositing toilets were clean and always had plenty of toilet roll and sawdust; showers were hot and always free; and washing up station had plenty of hot water too! The hut proved very useful too in charging phones and freezing cool blocks. We will definitely be recommending Bernie and his peaceful campsite!
August 16, 2021
Our stay was amazing! I loved the fact that no cars were on the actual campsite as the children could run around and play without us worrying about cars! The facilities were amazing! Toilets were clean, lovely hot showers, and a washing up station with hot water! We loved the fact we could have a campfire and the children loved telling stories around it and roasting marshmallows! We will definitely be booking to come again! Thank you!
August 16, 2021
Weavers Bell Tent
We hired the two bell tents for a long weekend birthday gathering. The beds were comfy and the tents were very clean when we arrived. There were quite a few other groups and families in the field with large tents but due to there being plenty of space, everyone was spread out. Bernie was very friendly and came and greeted us once we'd arrived to check if we were okay and found everything we needed. The cute little village of Acles is only a short 7 minute drive away so was easy enough for us to pop to the local co-op for any supplies we were missing and the Great Yarmouth beach was a short 20 minute drive which made for a nice day trip. The braziers with the inbuilt cooking grill was definitely one of our favourite highlights of the weekend as we used these for every meal and the hand written signs that labelled all the facilities showed much time and effort had gone into making everything feel homely. All in all a very chilled and calm weekend which ran very smoothly due to the great facilities that Bernie provided.
From the host
Established in 2011, the Old Vicarage Campsite was created for the love of camping. We are a tent-only campsite, welcoming all forms of fabric accommodation; tents, teepees, wigwams, yurts, bivvys, swags, gazebos and bedsheets tied between sticks!
We have an open site with no formal pitch boundaries, so families or groups can gather together to make their own camp while couples can have a peaceful corner to themselves. With over 2 acres and a strictly limited number of bookings, you are guaranteed plenty of space.
Have a campfire with one of our custom made braziers: Cook in the fire or on the hotplate, toast marsh mallows over the embers, enjoy the warmth or just get mesmerised by the flames of a real wood fire. We supply home-grown firewood, seasoned and split to the perfect size for the braziers.
Ideally situated to enjoy the Norfolk Broads, Norfolk Coast and the City of Norwich, as well as the local countryside. In the evenings, enjoy the magnificent Norfolk sunsets and gazing at the stars in our clear night's skies.
The Old Vicarage is on the edge of the Norfolk Broads and a 15 minute car ride from the coast and great beaches like Horsey and Winterton, backed by a vast dune nature reserve. Norwich is within easy reach, a fantastically compact little city where everything is within walking distance – including the castle (01603 493 625), arts centre (01603 660352) and cathedral (01603 218300). The Broads will soak up the rest of your time. Visit nearby Ranworth and climb the church tower to get a great birdseye view of the broads, then visit the Ranworth Broad nature reserve and take a 45 minute guided boat trip, great for seeing the wildlife. Nearby Rockland Broad is one of the least-known, but also most beautiful – and characteristic – Broadland landscapes. Alongside it the Wheatfen Nature Reserve (01508 538036) is also worth a visit. They run regular Sunday nature walks and bushcraft sessions – everything from freshwater mussels and medicinal plants to a 'Swallowtail day".
Food and drink
One of Bernie's favourites is The Ferry (01493 751096) in Stokesby, a great riverside spot for meals outside on sunny evenings. For families, The Bridge Inn (01493 750288) is also a fantastic riverside choice, while real ale lovers should try The Cock Tavern (01493 700895) in Cantley. Just a short walk along the footpath from the campsite, Moulton Nurseries (01493 750458) have a coffee shop serving afternoon teas, cakes and meals (not open in the evenings).