A relaxed, back-to-basics campsite on the Norfolk Suffolk border
The meandering Waveney River carves the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, its glistening waters drifting eastward into The Broads. The wide green flood plains, dotted with pockets of woodland, are home not only to the handsome market towns that have stood for centuries, but also a plethora of wildlife with a far longer reaching history. It is here, amongst the birds and the bees, the bushes and the trees, that Wardley Hill Campsite can be found. A simple rural meadow in the beautiful Waveney valley.
Though we proclaim the rich history of the Norfolk countryside, Wardley Hill is actually a relatively new site, opened back in 2014 by owners Joe and Holly Putman. The lush, six-acre space is a seemingly unmanaged mix of long wild grass, ageing oaks and trickling streams, though in fact the field has been carefully well kept in subtle, ecologically friendly ways. Amongst the meadows, wild flower seeds have been generously scattered, boosting the butterfly numbers, while wider areas of mown grass still provide practical camping space for large tents and a family game of French cricket.
The facilities here are in keeping with the campsite's pared-back, partially wild approach. Wonderfully crafted wooden huts contain three composting loos, and you can borrow solar-powered shower bags if you want to forgo the regular shower facilities on site. The result is a simple, traditional camping experience in a site as populated by wildlife as it is by people. Woodpeckers bounce along the tree line, tucked amongst the shade, while overhead buzzards can be spotted, circling in the thermals. A small stream also runs past the meadow – trickling almost dry in the height of summer – and, jumping across, children can play hide and seek in the shady wooded copse.
Those who appreciate such bucolic surroundings, yet look for more comforts than the wild camping on offer, can take advantage of one of the site's glamping options. These range from the sturdy shepherd’s hut and a cluster of bell tents to more quirky and innovative options. There is, for example, a tree tent, suspended by taught straps among the trees in one corner of the campsite, while the well-named ‘Hammock Hut’ is a warm, wooden Wendy-house-style structure that, inside, has two hammock hanging across its length. Each comes with a fire-pit area for evening campfires, while regular campers can borrow fire-pits too, to get in on the marshmallow action.
When daylight returns, Wardley Hill is poised to enjoy the best of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Waveney River (one mile away) acts as a waterway into The Broads, drifting by canoe, kayak or sailing boat. Holly and Joe have stand-up paddleboards you can hire. You can collect them at the campsite or get dropped off on the riverside behind the ruined medieval castle in Bungay. Two more riverside market towns, Diss and Beccles, offer inland attractions if you’re not heading directly to the coast (it’s a 20-minute drive to Lowestoft). Many here, however, are rarely in a rush to go anywhere. The new, relaxed pace of life amongst the green pastures is enough to slow down any touristy intentions, kicking back instead to enjoy the pleasures close at hand: nature, seclusion and the crackling sparks of a campfire.
England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Joe & Holly P.Joined in May 2015
63 Ratings · 113 reviews
June 20, 2022
Grass Tent Pitch
Plenty of space between pitches and nicely set out with the path way's, really enjoyed our stay
June 19, 2022
Grass Tent Pitch
Beautiful wild campsite. You book, you rock up, find a space and pitch. The wheelbarrows are enormous! It is really nicely spaced out and I really liked the added touch of an onsite library which has books AND board games. If anyone works out the rules to Lost The Boardgame, please let me know!
June 14, 2022
Grass Tent Pitch
Chilled site in wild flower fields
Fantastic site! Joe is really welcoming and everything is so well laid out and planned. We had a great time and will defo come back
June 7, 2022
Small Camper Van Pitch
Very relaxed eco site with space
Loved the whole ethos that Joe and Holly have set up. It is very quirky and such a happy place. The meadows were looking great and will only get better as the summer approaches.
June 3, 2022
Grass Tent Pitch
Lovely campsite. Perfect balance of comfort and nature. Joe was incredibly helpful. We will be returning soon.
May 28, 2022
Small Camper Van Pitch
A perfect campsite?
Super campsite, everything laid out beautifully. We were in our camper and the pitches were almost level (bring your levellers if you are fussy) and nicely mowed and laid out. Joe was there almost constantly cleaning the loos and showers, and asked some folk playing music to turn it down (great!). Showers were lovely and hot, composting loos were fun. Nice woodland walks and great fun for children to explore. In all, we loved this spot, and will definitely be back.
From the host
Wardley Hill Campsite is a family operated off grid ecological campsite in the Waveney Valley. Wild flowers and grass are left to grow to encourage butterflies and bees. The long grass surrounds lush mown unregimented camping spots for you to choose, some secluded and others big enough to fit several families.
Our six-acre site has some woodland, a small stream and three seasonal ponds which can be safely explored during the summer. Our car free camping field is exclusively for tents while small campervans are also welcome to stay with us in their own area. For those of you looking for a Norfolk glamping experience we have a locally crafted Shepherds hut, Tinkers Hut, Hammock Hut and even a Tentsile Tree tent suspended in the trees.
The quiet lanes offer peaceful cycling or horse riding and there are miles of footpaths to discover on foot. The River Waveney passes one mile away, providing the gateway into the Norfolk Broads with boats and canoes available to hire locally. On the river banks, Bungay and Beccles (the latter with particularly good access to the river, a slipway and many boat rental companies) are both market towns with plenty to offer, including supermarkets, art galleries, pubs, restaurants, tourist information and lots of independent shops. Just beyond Bungay, the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum (01986 896644) has an impressive collection of aircraft outside and a wealth of indoor displays, with East Anglia playing a particularly important role over the years given it's relative proximity to Europe. Beyond the Broads, the coast is also near at hand, with the stretching sandy beaches of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth to the east for a smattering of ‘kiss me quick’ seaside. Follow the line south, however, for arguably the best of the Suffolk Coast with Walberswick (the place to go for crabbing at the waters edge), Thorpeness and Aldeburgh all worth a visit.
Food and drink
In the village there is a wonderful Italian restaurant, The Olive Tree (01508 518147) and a small convenience store with post office. To the west in Broome you’ll find the Artichoke (01986 893325), a traditional country pub serving good food, real ales and a huge selection of whiskies. Both of these are within walking distance of the campsite. Looking further afield, Wardley Hill sits between Bungay and Beccles. Both market towns have plenty to of excellent food to offer along with supermarkets for a quicker grocery shop.