Mad Hatters Campsite

UK England East Anglia Cambridgeshire Ely

  • Contactless check in
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • 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.

Our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Book with complete confidence at Mad Hatters Campsite with the Cool Camping Coronavirus Booking Guarantee. We guarantee the following clear policy for your booking:

  • A low deposit of 30% to secure your booking
  • Balance due 30 days before your holiday
  • Complete flexibility to move bookings up to the end of 2021 in the event of Coronavirus restrictions
  • Due to the flexibility provided we are unable to offer refunds
  • This guarantee supersedes any other policies

Click here to read the full terms

Details

Facilities

8 toilets, 6 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, as well as an open grass area for ball games and kite flying, a wildlife-rich pond with benches and a wooden covered sitting area too where Mad Hatter teas parties can be held. 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. Each glamping Luna tent has its own wooden outside kitchenette with water, sink, and electric. The Queen of Hearts Cabin has its own kitchen and en-suite.

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?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • 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, is 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.

Social Distancing Measures

We have taken risk assessments on sites and will adhere to all Government guidelines/ restrictions on social distancing. We have created a checklist sheet which will be emailed to guests the night before arrival. Our pitches are very spaced out so the only area for changes will be in the wash facilities. We have 4 parts to our wash facilities and a system in place to control numbers inside. Wash facilities will be deep cleaned everyday as well as our regular cleaning of morning, afternoons and evenings.

This site offers our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Accommodation

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

Cabin - Queen of Hearts

Cabin Sleeps 2
The Queen of Hearts Cabin sleeps two people in one king size bed. All bedding is included and a welcome pack of ground coffee, fair trade tea, organic milk, and eggs. Dogs are welcome for £5 a night.

Timber Tent Caterpillar

Timber tent Sleeps 5
Timber Tent - Caterpillar can sleep 5 people with one double bed, two single beds and a single sofa bed. All bedding is included as well as cosy throws, furniture, cutlery and a BBQ. We also give you a welcome pack of goodies!

Timber Tent - King of Hearts

Timber tent Sleeps 4
The Timber Tent can comfortably sleep four people with one double bed and two single beds. The tent is cosy, decorated with throws, bean bags as well bedding, cutlery, tables, chairs, a stove and a welcome pack of goodies.

Timber Tent - Mad Hatter

Timber tent Sleeps 4
The Timber Tent can sleep 4 people in a double bed, and 2 single beds ( additional guests £5/person/night) . All bedding is included as well as throws, cutlery, tables/chairs, BBQ and a welcome pack of goodies such as coffee, tea, & eggs.

Grass pitch (with electric)

Grass pitch with electricity Sleeps 7 6 Available
Our Electric pitches have 16amp hook ups, they are all level and divided by trellis and small wildflowers. We offer a number of grass pitches that are suitable for caravans, motorhomes, tents and folding caravans

Grass pitch (No Electric) TENTS ONLY

Grass pitch Sleeps 7 14 Available
Each of the pitches are surrounded by wildflowers with higgledy paths connecting one another. We offer a number of grass pitches that are suitable for caravans, motorhomes, tents and folding caravans

Check Availability

Location

Contact Mad Hatters Campsite, Mad Hatters Campsite, Clayway Farm, Prickwillow, Ely, Cambridgeshire 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.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 22 reviews

★★★★★

Vast views, amazing wildlife.

The children loved the quizzes; seeing the hawks, deer, hares and a barn owl. Walked to Ely on flat ground and further afield. Definitely will return. Very friendly.

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

So pleased you enjoyed our site and the wildlife. Thank you for the comments, Claire
★★★★★

Lovely themed simple camping experience

Our break was the first week in October, and of course it was a cold experience, but the site is lovely - the concept of Alice in Wonderland - and was greatly enjoyed by our 3 girls. We had the "run of the site" with only 2 other groups staying that week. We look forward to booking again, hopefully with a group of our friends. Really nice site and local area - including being a dog friendly location.
★★★★★

Excellent camping experience

All other campsites should take note of how well designed and run this place is. The shower / washroom block is first class with hot showers and lots of space. Having a fire pit on each pitch made it easy to have our evening camp fires. The meadow grass surrounding each pitch have extra privacy. The recycling facilities were exceptional covering everything from food to Pringles packets. Claire was really helpful and delivered some fire wood to our pitch whilst we were away for the day. Lots of Covid-precautions were in place making us feel Covid-secure. Despite the rain we had a fun stay with the 3-mile walk into Ely enabling plenty to do during the days locally.
Oct 7, 2020 by Richard
★★★★★

Fabulous stay caught the last of the late summer sun

Claire was so helpful in fitting us in at very short notice & Must say our 1 night without EHU In the overflow field with a sunset & sunrise to die for Was magical We had the whole field to ourselves & sat around our fire pit Until late at night - so peaceful - we were lucky to have two days of hot sunny weather - mid September - big skies 😍 The next day we moved onto a EHU Pitch nearer the facilities which are immaculate & with plenty of hot water & a heated towel rail in the shower - BLISS as it was much cooler & rainy On the last morning This is also the only site we were temperature checked on arrival & felt very safe with the procedures in place regarding Covid & the safety of guests Well done Claire - you are doing a grand job !
Sep 26, 2020 by Sandy

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Really pleased you liked our site and the sunsets - we certainly get big ones.
Claire
★★★★★

very well organised and welcoming

Despite the coronavirus restrictions, we received a very warm welcome. Excellent facilities and brilliant recycling options. Shame we missed the strawberries - should have come earlier in the year!
Sep 3, 2020 by Emma Verified Review

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for the feedback, really pleased you liked our recycling. Our strawberries unfortunately were available when everyone was in lockdown - so hoping next year its different., Claire
★★★★★

Lovely campsite with great facilities

The campsite was really well set up and I loved the individual pitches, with plenty of room for a large tent, gazebo, wind breaks outside area etc, much nicer that’s scrambling for a pitch at a first come first serve campsite. The facilities were also very good with large shower rooms and clean toilets, along with good washing up facilities! It also had some lovely communal spaces like a large wooden shelter and children’s play area and grassy area! Really lovely campsite, perfect for families or groups!
★★★★★

Great camping & wonderful wildlife

We had a lovely two-night stay in sweltering weather and loved our stay. Loved the safe, vehicle-free nature of the campsite and really enjoyed all the birds (starlings?) that obviously loved all the wildflowers around the pitches and the young trees that have been planted. It will be cool to return again in a few years time and see the trees when they have grown and there is a mini woodland next to the campsite! We cycled to Ely one day for a walk around and drove to Cambridge another day. Felt very safe with all the Covid measures the campsite had in place and Claire & Brian were super friendly and helpful. Thanks to Brian for a good recommendation for somewhere to go swimming in the river. Recommended, especially for families!
Aug 28, 2020 by James Smith Verified Review

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank for the feedback and lovely comments - really pleased you enjoyed the wildflowers and - like you, I cannot wait for the trees to grow.
Claire
★★★★★

Enjoyable stay

We stayed from Monday 24th until 28th August. On arrival Claire met us and took our temperatures before being allowed on site which reassured us. Claire explained the site set up and procedure for COVID 19 using a peg system for the washrooms. We thought it was a great idea. The pitches are not close at all giving you a sense of privacy. We had the use of a fire pit which was great for toasting marshmallows. Claire and the team are extremely friendly and contactable throughout our stay. Storm Francis tried its best to ruin a perfect camping trip, fortunately we were experienced enough to work our way through the storm. No damage to our tent. If you are looking for peace and quiet this is the campsite for you, I could not recommend the campsite any higher. We have already decided to return next year.
Aug 28, 2020 by Andrew Allan

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Really pleased that you want to return and the storm didn't cause any damage - it was pretty windy for a couple of days.
Fingers crossed next year is less windy!
Claire

★★★★★

Perfect stay!

We had the perfect stay at Mad Hatters. The site was really charming and the facilities were lovely. The staff were so accommodating for our group, and really looked after us. They seemed to be taking the Covid systems they have put in place very seriously which made us feel at ease. Site is perfectly located to the town and supermarkets etc. We would definitely stay again.

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank for the lovely comments - so pleased you enjoyed the site
Claire
★★★★★

Wet but lovely weekend!

Lovely campsite, we camped in the main field in tents. The non-hook up pitches were all nicely set out and surrounded by wild flowers with walkways between. Plenty of space on each pitch for large tents and gazebos (life saver given that we had a weekend of showers!). The toilet and shower facilities were perfect, very clean and warm, they were deep cleaned once a day between 1PM and 2PM. The COVID precautions were very visible and the peg system for the toilet blocks worked well. Showers can get quite busy in the mornings but easy to avoid if you shower later in the day. Lovely warm welcome when we arrived, easy to find our spot. Even when camped at the far end it is not too far a walk to the toilets. Fire pits on all pitches and firewood available to purchase from reception. Great area for walking, highly recommend this campsite.

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for the feedback - really pleased you enjoyed our site and the precautions we have in place for COVID19. Lets hope next year is completely different. Claire
★★★★★

Lovely weekend

Thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. Warm welcome and a temperature test on arrival, with an explanation of the peg system to ensure social distancing in the toilet and shower facilities. Speaking of which, there was plenty of hot water and nice to have hooks for clothing. The family shower rooms were ideal and everything kept clean. Our non electric pitch had plenty of room and of course a fire pit. The wild flowers surrounding each pitch must have been glorious earlier in the year. Overall, the site was very clean and tidy with lots of recycling. There's a 10pm noise curfew and it was adhered to. Staff very friendly (and free phone charging!) We left very happy campers.
★★★★★

Lovely weekend

We had a lovely weekend. Non-electric pitch with plenty of room and of course a fire pit. Warm welcome and temperature check on arrival and an explanation of the peg system, ensuring social distancing in the toilet and shower facilities. Speaking of which, lovely hot showers, with lots of hooks for clothing and some had stools as well. Emphasis on recycling and a very clean and tidy site. The wild flowers around all pitches must have been stunning earlier in the year. All staff very friendly (and free phone charging!) There is a 10pm noise cut off and was definitely adhered to the weekend we stayed. Although the Mad Hatters theme was unfamiliar to our 4 year old grandson, he loved me telling the story. Very happy campers!
★★★★★

Lovely campsite with a good feel and close to Ely

Plenty of room for each pitch, lovely waking up and watching the birds and wildlife around the site. Facilities are good and clean with everyone being helpful. Enjoyed my stay and would definitely book again.
Aug 16, 2020 by Emma

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

I love the amount of native wildlife that has moved in - and really pleased you had chance to enjoy it to.
Claire
★★★★★

Extra special campsite

We loved this campsite, it had nice big pitches and it was so lovely having all the wild grasses surrounding the pitches. The toilets and showers were clean and tidy and the extras such as campfires and recycling were a bonus but it also had a magical adventure feel as the pathways took you to places you didn’t know.
Aug 7, 2020 by Sally B

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

So pleased you enjoyed the site and paths - at night it seems even more magical. And the recycling is something I am very passionate about.
Claire
★★★★★

Pleasant surprise in the fens

We stayed as a base to visit family so didn't know what to expect. The long gravel road in was a bit off-putting but the site turned out to be great. The wild flower borders give a lovely feel to the pitches. Facilities are clean etc - showers were hot. Claire was very helpful. The site is quite small in a good way. The clear eco emphasis and the Mad Hatter styling were both very welcome. We may well be back. Anywhere with fire pits gets our vote.

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Great to know you enjoyed the site and it was a pleasant surprise. Hopefully see you in the future.
Claire
★★★★★

Fantastic Campsite!

We loved our weekend at Mad Hatters! The site is spacious and doesn’t feel crowded. The staff were so friendly and helpful throughout our stay. The facilities were kept exceptionally clean and the “peg system” to ensure everything was safe and COVID-secure worked really well. Beautiful surrounding fields and areas for flying kites, playing cricket etc. The kids loved it. We will certainly be back!!
Aug 4, 2020 by Charlie Drury

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

So pleased you enjoyed our site, will be returning and the open grass for games. I wanted to create something where guests felt closer to wildlife/ nature.
Claire
★★★★★

Fantastic Campsite! loved it.

We visited here this weekend. The campsite was full, but the layout meant it didn't feel that way. I loved the way the pitches are all random and surrounded by wild flowers. Really nicely done. Very pretty area. Fantastic showers :) Fire pits to borrow - just need to buy the wood. Camp fires for the win always! We could only get two nights here but will return for longer next time. Its a really lovely place with a lovely feel. Thank you Mad Hatters :) if you book a tent with non electric you cannot drive your car to the pitch, just something to be aware of - however they have plenty of wheel barrows to get your bits to your pitch and its not far from the car park.
Aug 3, 2020 by Charmaine

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for the lovely comments, yes campfires feel like a must when camping.
Claire
★★★★★

Fantastic stay

We had a great time camping here, beautiful site which feels very spacious. You are surrounded by copious wild flowers interspersed with seashell pathways. The walk into Ely is quite a trek, took us over an hour, but is a pleasant walk along the river and through meadows.... if you avoid the main roads. The only slight criticism is the lack of washing up facilities, two sinks when the campsite is full would be a challenge I think. Overall a wonderful place and have already booked a return visit.

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for the feedback - really pleased you are returning and enjoyed our site. There are several routes into Ely - I think I need to take photos of the places to turn for the most direct path. Its going on my to-do list this winter! I will look into added another area for washing up sinks - its always useful to know where we can tweak things. Claire
★★★★★

10/10

Fantastic campsite. Can not fault anything. Peaceful, clean, well looked after. We stayed in the King of hearts, it was a great first glamping experience. Great time had by all 3 of us. The facilities were some of the best I've come across over my many years of camping. Lots of happy faces All the staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Will definitely be going back, we intend to try the camping side and most definitely the Queen of hearts, looks amazing (the little one won't be coming with us that weekend!)
Jul 23, 2020 by Vicki Street

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

So pleased you think our glamping and campsite was lovely. The Queen of Hearts is my favourite - more so over winter when its cold outside and the log burner is going. Claire
★★★★★

Idyllic campsite with excellent facilities and Covid-safe measures

We (5 x adults) have just returned from a wonderful weekend at Mad Hatters. The site is beautiful - with individual pitches (ours was spacious for 3 x 3 man tents) carved out among stunning wildflower meadows, meaning you aren't right next to other groups. Claire and her team were all incredibly friendly and helpful, washroom facilities were spotless and regularly cleaned and sanitised - and clear, robust Covid-19 measure were in place, including limiting numbers in washroom blocks at one time and plenty of soap and sanitiser. It was easy to socially distance at all times and all guest had their temperature taken by a staff member before getting out of the car. The atmosphere and ethos of the site was really lovely, with a fantastic recycling system, clear love of and respect for nature, and a lot of attention to detail. We had a lovely walk in to Ely (around 1 hour) along walking routes almost completely off-road. Great to know this is here in easy reach of London - we will definitely be back!
Jul 20, 2020 by Sian Wynne Verified Review

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for all the lovely comments - really pleased you enjoyed our site and ethos. Brilliant that you want to return,
Claire
★★★★☆

A beautifully maintained and spotlessly clean campsite

We camped at Mad Hatters for two nights this week and loved the site. The camping pitches are large, well separated and surrounded by grasses and flowers to give extra privacy. All the non hook-up pitches have their own fire pits. The campsite is spotlessly clean. The toilets and showers are cleaned 3 times a day, with plenty of constant hot water. All Covid-19 protective measures are in place, with lots of hand sanitiser posts, and numbers are restricted in the toilet/shower block at all times. Claire and Brian were so welcoming and have put such care into making the campsite a relaxing and comfortable place to stay. We'd definitely return!

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thats great - thank you for the feedback and really pleased you enjoyed your stay and will be returning
Claire
★★★★★

Great campsite

A lovely setting with large pitches nestled in amongst the wild flowers. Excellent facilities, very clean with plenty of space. A nice walk into Ely along the river takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wicken Fen is a short drive away and worth a visit, as well as Thetford Forest and Cambridge.
Jul 18, 2020 by Tom Hodder Verified Review

Response from Mad Hatters Campsite

Thank you for the feedback and comments - really appreciated and so pleased you enjoyed your stay.
Claire

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • 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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