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The Old Vicarage Campsite

· Norwich, Norfolk, England
2 acres hosted by Bernie W.
2 glamping pitches · 15 tent pitches
Best in East Anglia / East of England: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Laid back, free-range camping with campfires

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.

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62 Ratings · 63 reviews
Yaz H.doesn't recommend
August 21, 2023
Weaver's Bell Tent
it was alright. Fully furnished means no pillows and blankets. We had to wrap our kids in towels to keep them warm. And at 10 in the eve there was a tractor working in the field. Not worth it, glad it was only 2 nights
Bruce S.recommends
August 2, 2023
Big patch of grass- up to 10 people
Bruce (Otley)
Second visit. We would come again. Lovely place. Thank you!
Emma M.recommends
July 30, 2023
Big patch of grass- up to 10 people
A lovely campsite in a beautiful location. Very quiet and simple. The facilities were well maintained.
Megan D.recommends
July 17, 2023
Big patch of grass- up to 10 people
Amazing views! Great campfire which we loved cooking on. Overall a good and laid back stay
Sarahjane ?.recommends
July 9, 2023
Big patch of grass- up to 5 people
Fab weekend away!
Had an absolutely fabulous time at the old vicarage campsite! The site is lovely and quiet. We only stayed a couple of nights but could have happily stuck around for longer. The facilities were always clean and toilet roll (and sawdust!) were plentiful. Check was super easy, just dropping Bernie a text to say we've arrived, the hardest part was choosing where to pitch! Wouldn't hesitate to book another trip 😅
Helen B.recommends
June 3, 2023
Big patch of grass- up to 5 people
Great few days
Great back to basic campsite, clean composting toilets, great washing up area with hot water, open showers - sometimes warmer than others, loads of space, braziers were great and reasonably priced logs. We had a great few days here.
Norwich, Norfolk, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Bernie W.Joined in February 2016
From the host
Established in 2011, the Old Vicarage Campsite was created for the love of camping. We are a tent-only campsite, welcoming guests with 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.
Nearby attractions
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).
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