Mad Hatters Campsite

UK England East Anglia Cambridgeshire

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Cosy year-round glamping and seasonal camping in a fenland meadow with views of Ely cathedral

Forget the Mad Hatter’s tea party and head, instead, to Cambridgeshire for the Mad Hatter’s camping party. Okay, so it’s not quite a party but it’s fair to say that there’s a great atmosphere and everyone is invited. Campers, glampers, kids, couples, dogs and groups of camping buddies are all welcome here. This quirky, Alice In Wonderland-themed fenland site is quickly establishing itself as the place to pitch for a stay near the charming city of Ely. With pitches among tussocky grass and wildflowers, views of the cathedral and a riverside trail in to town, it’s little wonder why.

Mad Hatters Campsite is lightly-themed on Lewis Carroll’s classic story with pitches named after key characters and a year-round glamping cabin that’s straight out of a fairy tale. The name, and subsequent theme, pays homage to Ely’s own Mad Hatter – farmer David, who owns the land. He is always busy and (you guessed it) is often seen sporting a hat (a practical cap rather than an elaborate headpiece – but, even so, the name has stuck). It’s daughter Claire who’s set up the campsite in a field among the 100-acre farmland that stands in sight of Ely Cathedral.

The Queen of Hearts Cabin is the top spot and remains open throughout the winter but in the summer there’s under-canvas glamping too in three bulbous, well kitted-out Luna bell tents. There are 28 pitches for those with their own kit in a field that could accommodate twice that number. Space is valued here and the establishing trees and wildflowers have been planted to encourage biodiversity and connect wildlife habitats with neighbouring fenland farms. The long grass, the campfire-friendly policy and quirky bell tents give the site a laid-back atmosphere but it’s traditional in other ways with modern facilities and a sweet-little reception area where you check in and can stock up on seasonal strawberries, grown on the farm.

This site has achieved the rare feat of being equally appealing to couples and those with kids. Younger campers will love the theme, exploring the little play areas and looking for wildlife while adults will love the privacy of the well-spaced pitches. The walk in to Ely is the perfect length – long enough to stretch the legs but not too long for little ones. There are plenty of recommended eateries and grown-up attractions at the end of it (the cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s house, for example) and enough riverside appeal for the 40 minutes on foot.

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Details

Facilities

6 toilets, 3 showers & 2 washing-up sinks. 8 of the pitches have electric hook-up. There’s a shared fridge/freezer and solar USB charging points in reception as well as sockets for hairdryers in the washing facilities. Campfires are allowed and each pitch has its own fire pit and solar lantern. Logs are available at £4.50 a bag. There’s a small children’s play area, a wildlife-rich pond with benches and a parachute-covered sitting area too. The Luna bell tents and the cabin are kitted out with bedding, a table and chairs, a small stove, cooking equipment, cutlery, coffee, tea and a few other extras on arrival.

Suitable For

Pretty much everyone! Campers, glampers, caravans, motorhomes, groups and dogs – yes.

Nearby

It’s a 2.5-mile walk along the River Ouse in to Ely where you can visit Ely Cathedral (01353 667735) and Oliver Cromwell’s House (01353 662062) which includes interactive exhibitions and an escape room. If it rains, you could head for Ely Leisure Village, 3.5 miles from site, which has a swimming pool, 6-screen cinema and fast-food eateries. More active adventures can be found 9 miles away at Hannam's Wake Hub and Aquapark (01353 649683) or 12 miles away at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve (01353 720274) where you can walk, hire bikes or take a boat ride. Perhaps visit Anglesey Abbey (01223 810080) where there’s a Jacobean House and maze. Cambridge and Newmarket are both 17 miles from site and the Norfolk Coast is 30 miles away.

Food & Drink

Ely has plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink. Recommended hotspots include the riverside Cutter Inn (01353 662713), The Royal Standard (01353 645194), Peacocks Tearoom (01353 661100) and The Almonry (01353 666360) – which stands within the cathedral precincts. If you’re eating out with kids, try Wildwood (01353 659587) or Arbuckles Diner (01353 656710). Spanish restaurant, Habis (07445 831648) in Littleport (3 miles from site) also comes highly recommended.

Opening Times

February – end of October.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

The campsite consists of five acres of green grassy field with a beautiful pond, surrounded by colourful wild flowers nectar mixes, and over 3 acres of newly planted trees and hedges. We have various bird boxes and feed stations in the mixes to encourage wild birds and pollinators, something that we are really passionate about. The Mad Hatter's theme is incorporated throughout the campsite, with quirky signs scattered around the site, a trail and a small play house. Each pitch is also themed with its own unique name which is also sign posted with a Mad Hatter charm to it. The cosy coffee room, will be fully open later this year, and will be the perfect spot to chill out and warm up on those rainy days. The tranquil small pond has benches scattered around it and several public footpaths close by, so you can enjoy the scenery, be closer to nature and really switch off. There are also many pretty rural walks nearby, the walk to Ely along the River Ouse is particularly beautiful, with amazing views of Ely Cathedral.

Accommodation

28 pitches (including 8 with electric hook-up), 3 Luna bell tents and a cabin.
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Location

Contact Mad Hatters Campsite, Mad Hatters Campsite Clayway Farm CB7 4UE

Show Map

Getting There

From Ely, head towards Queen Adelaide on the B1382. Halfway through the village at the crossroads take the road marked Branch Bank heading towards Littleport. Stay on this road for just over half-a-mile before turning right on to Second Drove (gravel road). The campsite is on the left approximately 500 metres from this turning. The closest railway station is Ely, 3 miles away. There are no buses which stop near the site but a taxi from the station should cost no more than £10.

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Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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