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.
Bungay, 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
83 ratings · 126 reviews
August 13, 2022
Grass Tent Pitch
Beautiful site. Well spaced out. The showers and toilets were clean. Very friendly warden
August 10, 2022
Traditional 5m Bell Tent
Idyllic and peaceful camping
My partner and I had an amazing time at Wardley Hill. The campsite is idyllic, quiet and full of character. Our bell tent was really comfortable, spacious, with loads of the bits you need (and I forgot) for a camping trip. Also there is plenty of space between us and the neighbouring campers. The team (Joe, Gary, Holly) were always there to help and give tips for things to do or places to visit in the area. I will be back.
August 9, 2022
Touareg Bell Tent
Well designed and cared for campsit
We found the campsite very peaceful and relaxed and our 'too posh to pitch' tent was really comfortable - the owners had thought of everything we would need for our stay. We loved the rustic nature of the campsite - the compost toilets were clean and well looked after and there were hot showers that were cleaned every day. Gary, the warden, was always on hand to help. Each pitch felt very private, surrounded by wild flowers and trees. We had our own fire pit and camping stove provided (with spare gas canister enough for our stay) and logs were easily available to purchase from the site - just scan QR code and pay. We enjoyed sitting and watching the stars and bats in to the evening and even had a visit from some hedgehogs! It was well-located for visits to the seaside or to Waveney River. We are already planning our next visit to the site!
August 8, 2022
2 Person Suspended Tree Tent
This was my third time at Wardley Hill, I absolutely love this campsite and staying in a tent suspended in the trees is so much fun!
August 7, 2022
2 Person Suspended Tree Tent
A beautiful escape!
We had an amazing weekend staying in the tree tent. It was so much fun and really comfortable.
The campsite is honestly one of the best we have stayed at. Joe, Holly and the other staff were so friendly and welcoming from the moment we arrived. The campsite has such a relaxed and natural feel about it. And has a great variety of accommodation/ pitches/ different landscapes. We stayed in the woodland part of the site, but right next to us was a beautiful meadow.
The site seems secluded, but you can easily walk, bike or drive to local towns and villages. That’s the beauty of it.
There is also lots of wildlife to see. We woke up to woodpeckers and spent the day watching shrews in the undergrowth.
We can’t wait to return!
August 4, 2022
Touareg Bell Tent
Absolute pleasure camping at Wardley Hill. Facilities and pitch/tent were spotless and very comfortable. Staff were very welcoming and couldn’t be more helpful.
Our two children (6 and 10) loved every moment too. They were made to feel just as welcome.
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.
High Season (until September 5th '22) camping stays must start and finish on a Friday or Monday.
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.