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Rushbanks Farm Caravan and Camping

· Suffolk, Suffolk, England
4 acres hosted by Gareth B.
2 glamping pitches · 5 motorhome/tent pitches
Riverside camping and bell tents in Constable's countryside, right in the heart of Suffolk's Dedham Vale

Flatford Mill, famously pictured in John Constable’s The Hay Wain, may be 15 miles away but you could well expect it to be a mere 15 yards away if you come to Rushbanks Farm Campsite. The place has all the hallmarks of a Constable oil painting. The River Stour edges the grassland of the camping meadow, almost stationary it’s so slow; fat lily pads pepper along its edges and tall native trees tower along the opposite bank. There are no horses or carts, of course, and the odd campervan slightly modernises the scene. But the beauty of this campsite is that really it’s left entirely untouched – a timeless slice of countryside where you can camp with minimal fuss (particularly if you opt for one of the riverside bell tents).

Opened in the 1950’s and now run by the third generation of the Bates family, Rushbanks is the only campsite directly on the banks of the River Stour. Along with its painting-worthy aesthetics it also has some features that make it an easy choice for a Hipcamp recommendation. There’s a thoroughly laid-back atmosphere, campfires are permitted (firepits provided for the bell tents) and the local pub is not only within walking distance but also within paddling distance, with canoes available to rent for gliding the scenic two mile route.

For urban amenities it’s a 20-minute drive into Colchester town centre, but naturally it’s the rural charm of Dedham Vale that’s most appealing. The 15th century buildings in nearby Nayland, the thatched roofs in medieval Lavenham or visits to Kentwell Hall, where actors recreate Tudor scenes, all play on the timeless appearance of the surrounding countryside. It’s difficult to find a more charming riverside campsite in the UK.

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19 Ratings · 16 reviews
Matt W.doesn't recommend
September 17, 2023
Grass pitch
Disappointing but lovely river
Great potential but ultimately disappointing- very odd layout for the campsite - if you’re not early enough to bag a river spot then you’re packed tightly along a gravel track which is like camping on a road. Showers were awful and lots of unnecessary rules (no showers before 18:00hrs and pouring water on campfires at 23:00hrs whilst a warden watches!) really kills the atmosphere! The river is amazing as is the canoeing to the pub but ultimately let down by a poor campsite.
Jake C.recommends
September 12, 2023
Grass pitch
Fantastic river camping experience
We had an amazing time at Rushbanks. Managed to get a lovely pitch right next to the river which we woke up to every morning. Facilities were good and overall the campsite had a lovely feel to it.
Robin W.recommends
June 7, 2023
Grass pitch
Very nice
Great river, nice facilities, very welcoming on site staff, nicely tucked away in the countryside
Thomas H.recommends
September 4, 2022
Grass pitch
Welcoming and beautiful spot.
The campsite is great! Access to the river is awesome and the canoe ride is a must. Would definitely go back again. Gareth is a great guy. Very welcoming and has done a brilliant job especially with the kids book too.
Roger B.recommends
August 10, 2022
Grass pitch
Yes very good, canoeing was great and site tidy and clean. Lovely location. Site manager was very friendly and efficient. I had to move pitch due to some noisy teenagers but this can be expected from time to time in the holidays. Will book again.
Atlee P.recommends
August 10, 2022
Grass pitch
Camping by the Riverside.
A beautiful camping site, the special attraction is the river flowing besides the camping ground. Well maintained pitches except for the bathing areas that were a bit messy.
Suffolk, Suffolk, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking

Hosted by Gareth B.

Joined in April 2016
From the host
Rushbanks Campsite is set in the heart of Dedham Vale, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The region was immortalised by the famous paintings of John Constable, and is thus known as ‘Constable Country.` Rushbanks Campsite is the only official site on the banks of the River Stour, close to the charming Suffolk village of Nayland which is characterised by picturesque 15th century buildings. The site first opened in the 1960’s and has been in the Bates family for three generations. It is currently operated by Gareth James Bates who will be pleased to see you down there on-site. Over the years the site has grown in popularity, with people returning at different times of the year to enjoy the changing colours of spring, summer and autumn. Rushbanks Farm welcomes families who want to enjoy themselves, whilst providing many opportunities for nature lovers and those who want to explore the great outdoors – or others who just want to relax, and wind down around a campfire under the stars at night. We hope to see you soon!
Nearby attractions

Rent a canoe and paddle to The Anchor Inn at Nayland keeping an eye out for swans, geese and deer on the banks along the way. Or take a stroll along the local footpaths – Wissington's Norman church (01206 262453) is a short and pleasant walk away. It's just over 2 miles to Arger Fen Spouse’s Vale Nature Reserve (01473 890089), a fascinating mosaic of ancient woodland alongside fen meadow and regenerating forest. It's particularly good in spring when a carpet of bluebells covers the floor. For the exact painting area of John Constable's The Hay Wain, head to East Bergholt where Flatford Mill (01206 297110; 15 miles) is now a popular tourist attraction.

Food and drink

The nearest pubs are The Anchor Inn (01206 262313), a traditional riverside inn in Nayland, around a mile and a half away, and The Hare & Hounds (01787 212396), a similar distance away in Leavenheath. Slightly further afield, The Crown (01206 262001) in Stoke-by-Nayland has a particularly good restaurant of the gastro-pub sort.

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