Back-to-basics camping beside the River Deben with fresh fish and farm produce available
How many campsites can boast so many of Britain’s best natural assets in one place? The sea, the river and the countryside all roll into one at Ramsholt on the Suffolk coast. It’s no surprise, then, that the farming family here create an abundance of produce; asparagus and root vegetables, and also fresh fish landed from the North Sea on their own boats. There are few more wholesome camping experiences than buying smoked fish, eggs and a veg box straight from the site before settling down at your tent to enjoy dinner as the sun sets over the River Deben.
Wild Riverside Camping does pretty much everything it says on the tin. Down a long lane and through some blackberry bushes (where a new, narrow gateway has been freshly strimmed in), this campsite is totally off the grid and light on facilities. There are portable toilets, bins and some big plastic bowzers to provide a fresh water supply but there is little else besides. For campers who want a back-to-basics experience and a spacious, riverside setting, though, it’s just the ticket. It takes all of two minutes to walk from your tent to the estuary beach, where you can relax and have a splash in the River Deben or stroll the riverside footpath to the nearby Ramsholt Arms pub, about 30 minutes away.
Given the wild nature of the place, a big part of the attraction here is just getting out and exploring. It’s a great location for launching boats, kayaks and canoes into the Deben and venturing upstream towards Woodbridge (seven miles), while, in late summer, it’s a good spot for foraging, be that salt-water plants further along the estuary or bulging blackberries in the bushes that lead to the campsite. It takes less than half an hour to drive to popular spots like Orford, Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings, where civilisation comes in the form of cute coastal cafés and independent artsy shops but, at the end of the day, you still get to retreat back to your little patch of peaceful wilderness at the campsite. If you don’t mind forgoing a shower for the weekend and prefer to bathe in a river instead then you’ve come to the right place.
Ramsholt, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Jonathan S.Joined in July 2020
From the host
A no-frills wild riverside camping experience in a stunning location on a working farm situated on the beautiful River Deben in Suffolk. Ideal for those that want to be off-grid and enjoy wildlife, nature, cycling, birdwatching and walking. Stunning views and access to river walks and a beach. A mile from the nearest public road, our farm is set in Suffolk, Coasts and Heaths area of outstanding natural beauty. Grass pitches are 6m x 6m, with parking on the pitch with no mains running water but portable loos and a water bowser (eg: boxes). Eggs, and smoked fish are available from the farm. We're open for 56 days a year (mainly weekends and Bank Holidays) starting Easter weekend, and finishing August 31st. for bookings.
A big part of camping here is about forgetting the car and just enjoying the immediate locale. There’s great walking along the riverside footpath (particularly a short stroll to the pub a mile east of the campsite) and it’s also nice just to relax on the estuary beach, watching boats to and fro. It’s a 15-minute drive to the market town of Woodbridge, while some of the true highlights of the Suffolk coast are all within a half hour drive, including Orford, Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh (all part of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB).
Food and drink
It’s about a one-mile walk along the riverside to the dog-friendly Ramsholt Arms (01394 411209), an isolated waterside pub that’s popular with walkers, sailors and birders. Food is all locally sourced and, unsurprisingly, there’s a good deal of fish on the menu. Local artwork adorns the walls, along with photographs detailing a local air crew who crashed into the river during World War Two whilst making a flight from a nearby airfield. For another option, venture a couple of miles inland to the beautiful, thatched, 17th-century Sorrel Horse (01394 411617), which hosts folk nights on alternate Wednesdays and has popular quiz evenings. Community owned, it has a great atmosphere and a traditional feel, with bar billiards, cask ales and good, mostly homemade, food. You can also order fresh fish and local produce to cook on the campsite directly from the farm – the best way is to purchase on the campsite website and then let them know which pitch you're on.