Glamping and camping in the wilds of north Suffolk with ample space to roam and endless time to think
Family campsite Swattesfield was set up in the spring of 2011 and is now helmed by keen camper Jessica and her father Phil. It’s a simple spot exuding a Hipcamp vibe, with two grassy fields separated by a small lake with some adjoining woodland to explore. The position is perfect for bucolic strolls along the well-marked paths and bridleways of nearby Thornham Walks, for exploring Thornham Magna village, visiting country pubs and for discovering the old walled garden of the neighbouring Thornham Estate, which has recently been restored and is open on weekends.
Above all Swattesfield is a great place to simply do nothing and enjoy getting back to nature. You can erect tents or park your campervan in the main field, spacious, green and peppered with daisies in summer, or pitch on the lush, vehicle-free space around the small lake in the centre of the seven-acre site. Beyond are the woods, where more adventurous campers can trundle off with a loaded trolley and find a hidden clearing in which to pitch – enjoy the shade of the trees and see the sparkle of sunlight that shines through the leaves onto the woodland floor.
For those not pushed to pitch there are a range of 'upgrades' that Jessica can offer, helping you enjoy the outdoors with a few extra comforts. There's a clutch of bell tents in the main camping field, with double beds and all the essential cooking equipment you need, plus a pair of octagonal wooden huts – 'Pixie Huts' – and a traditional Suffolk hay cart. When evening comes campers and glampers alike enjoy the smell of the woodsmoke from campfires as people cook out and toast marshmallows. You can also freely make use of Swattesfield's handmade pizza oven, crafted entirely from materials found on the site.
The pizza oven is just one sign of the way Swattesfield Campsite has continued to evolve over the years with the hard work of Jessica, Phil and the rest of the family. The space the meadow affords could easily have been a recipe for ‘Tetris tents’ in their dozens, yet instead the opposite has been created. Overall, Swattesfield is a site with a pleasantly chilled-out atmosphere situated in a very special location. And, for all it provides, we couldn’t be more grateful.
Eye, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Jessica E.Joined in December 2015
From the host
Swattesfield is set in the heart of the Suffolk countryside with direct access to woodland walks and wildlife. There are two grassy fields separated by a small lake with some adjoining woodland to explore. It's a seven acre site with plenty of space yet an intimate feel, with tent or campervan pitches alongside our glamping accommodation. There are no marked pitches so you can camp where you'd like; in the woods, in the glade, by the hedgerow or by the pond. We do get very busy during the holiday periods, If you are looking for a more peaceful quiet stay we would highly recommend visiting during the off peak season or mid week.
As well as the tent and camper pitches you will find a new style of Bell-Tent with all the creature comforts you'd need to have a thoroughly enjoyable stay. At five metres across with no central pole, these are big enough for four or five people and have a full-size comfy double bed as well as child beds.
Another option are the unique Pixie Huts; These octagonal wonders have four peak-a-boo windows, a comfy full-sized double bed and two smaller foam beds for any little imps. Over-looking the south facing skies of Suffolk you'll soak up the best of the sunny days, and in the cooler or wetter times just fire up the multi fuel wood burner to get the hut nice and toasty. These really are the new way to camp; cosy, cutesy and a great place to wind down and relax.
Another exclusive for Swattesfield is the converted Suffolk Hay Cart fit for two adults and two children, there is a double bed with another underneath for the kids. All your cooking equipment is supplied making the Hay Cart a real cosy camping experience especially when the stove is lit! You can still spread out onsite under your personal canopy with tables and chairs to use whilst toasting marshmallows over your fire.
Open fires are allowed and encouraged but only in our fire pits, and use of our handmade Pizza Oven is free for all to use. Toilet facilities are clean and there is plenty of hot water for the four showers. There is a large outside double sink unit for pot washing and a communal kitchen with free gas, stoves, pots, pans and microwave.
Gislingham village shop (01379 788522) is a 15-minute walk away and there’s also a play area on the green for little ones. ‘Thornham Walks’ is directly accessible from the site – 12 miles of waymarked footpaths (open daily 9am–6pm April–Oct; shorter hours outside this period). It’s a mile and a half to Thornham Fishery (07810 653600), with 3 mature well-stocked lakes – don’t forget your rod and rod licence if you want to give it a go! By car, the Museum of East Anglian Life (01449 612229) is 20 minutes away. Set over 70 acres, there is plenty for everyone, including steam engines, a farm zoo, gypsy caravans and events throughout the year.
Food and drink
The Thornham Estate’s Forge Tea Room (01379 788566) and Roscoe's Deli (01379 783373) are a 20-minute walk away and serve lunch and dinner. Or try the Four Horseshoes pub (01379 678777) at the other end of Thornham Magna, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is about a 30-minute walk.