Wardley Hill Campsite
Wardley Hill Road, Kirby Cane, Bungay, Norfolk. NR35 2PQ
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 cords 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, while on its banks the pleasant market towns of Diss, Bungay and Beccles offer inland attractions if you’re not heading directly to the coast. 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 a crackling campfire.
The Owner Says
Wardley Hill Campsite is an 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.
ur 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 stunning Lotus Bell Stargazer tent, a huge Family Emperor Bell Tent, a locally crafted Shepherds hut, Hammock Hut and even a Tentsile Connect tent suspended in the trees.
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If you've stayed at Wardley Hill Campsite campsite, please take a minute to tell us about your experience. Every month, one lucky reviewer will be picked at random to win a £100 voucher, courtesy of our recommended retailer Blacks. Each review counts as one entry, so get writing!
Small thoughtful family friendly campsite
We stayed at Wardley Hill campsite with our 3 children over the recent Easter break. The weather wasn't great but despite the rain we enjoyed ourselves. When we pulled up to the campsite, we spotted a river boat on the grass towards the bottom end of the campsite near the forest. It was a very 'Dirk Gently' moment for us and we knew that we would like this campsite. Some of the provided wheelbarrows are big enough to carry the kids in too! The campsite itself is well thought out with nice little touches that make camping with children easier. There were little wooden blocks for little ones to use to reach the sinks and even the urinal. Our daughter loved the rainbows in one of the composting toilets as it had a transparent pattern perspex window overlay so that when the sun did shine, it acted like a sun catcher casting rainbows inside. Not that we got much sun :( There is also a lovely hot shower that had groovy "disco lights" that turn on when you showered. Wardley Hill is a back to basics campsite that is safe and small enough for families to leave their children to explore and wander around. It has mainly flat pitches and the fact that you can have open fire is a plus. The kids loved roasting marshmallows and chopping fire wood. The owner has also added a small "library" room on site for those raining days to hang out in.
Stayed there yesterday. Everything you need is there, looks, hot showers, sinks. Wood burners, privacy. You pick your spot and plot up. No one is allowed to camp too close to you so you are able to escape. Lovely village of Bungay 20 mins away. Joe was wonderfully helpful. Loved every minute.
The Best Find
At short notice we found ourselves int he Emperor Bell tent a day early, before we were even in the tent we wanted to stay an extra night! A very thoughtful site, delightfuly mowed paths through the meadow. Welcome fire pit for marshmallows and relaxing. Super area to explore, and sample lovely food, swimming in the lido in Beccles & to watch the river go by. Nature, open space, sunshine & laughter, what a wonderful camping trip - cant wait to return. Thank you for creating such a lovely site. (Don't tell everyone about this little gem)
We spent a happy and relaxing ten days staying in Hilda the Shepherd's Hut, the latest addition to this lovely campsite. Hilda was very cozy and just about big enough for the four of us (two adults, an almost 6 yr old and a wee one). The beds were comfortable and the nights gloriously dark - we all slept brilliantly. We loved cooking over the fire and eating outside (there's a little hob in the hut as well), and it was great having our own composting loo with a view (which was surprisingly unsmelly). Joe and Holly were super welcoming, friendly and helpful, and full of great local tips. We had a very varied stay - lazy camp days, trips to the coast, a couple of days in Norwich, a canoeing trip, a little local festival... Nearby Bungay is great for food shopping (greengrocer, fishmonger, butcher, deli) and eating out. The site itself is gorgeous - lovely to have the wild areas in between the tents and huts. Thanks Joe and Holly, we'll be back!
Spent a long weekend here (Fri-Mon) with two small children and dog - and what a great time we had. Very friendly owner (Joe), loved the open top showers and overall low-impact approach to camping and lots of space to run around. We will be going back again for sure!
A Great Basic Campsite
If you like a basic campsite where you can relax and not be bothered by anyone or anything then this place at the beginning of September is for you. We stayed three nights then which were wonderful and peaceful. We will return. Facilities are as described on this site. Two loos that are composted and a urinal that feeds a willow bed. This all works really well and did not seem to suffer from unpleasant smells. There is a hot shower that works well. It is worth noting that this has no roof so one can shower under the stars if so inclined. Joe, the owner, is often on site ensuring all is running smoothly. You turn up, put your tent where you like, and chill. What more could you want?
What a lovely week we had at the beginning of August, did not want to leave. Joe could not do enough to make sure every person on that site was enjoying their stay. This site out beats any site I've ever been on in all my 20 years of camping. The compost toilets took a little getting used to but as they were always clean it didn't take long. Joe recommended a local pub for lunch the Artichoke which was lovely for Sunday lunch and a few real ales. Can't wait to come again and meet some lovely people as well as relax with the wildlife fluttering around us.
we've found our little haven
Amazing place, we stayed 3 nights wish it could have been longer! Joe & Holly are very chilled and welcoming. My 6 year old stepson loved the freedom of running around with us not fearing any dangers around like cars where he could get hurt. Lots of kids around when we went so he was able to make new friends and he had a great time playing! For my boyfriend and I it was relaxing, and we're just happy to have found this beautiful haven. We will be back! Other campers were friendly and you could chat away or keep yourself to yourself if you wanted to. It was just amazing!
Basic and beautiful
Just returned from a 5 night stay, a first camping trip since children and despite damp and stormy weather, we had a fantastic time. Joe was so helpful and friendly, advising on the best place to pitch; clearly with many plans to take the site forward and yet keep the small and friendly nature. There are 2 composting loos, a lovely hot shower, a washing up area and water points currently, all immaculate thanks to Joe's hard work. There are plenty of spaces to pitch on mown grass with lovely paths through the longer grass and wild flowers. There are numerous fire pits available too. There were a couple of big gatherings on our last night, but the sound of the trees muffles any noise that they may have produced. It's a lovely site and we plan to get back.
6 of us in 4 VW campers stayed for a long weekend in this lovely campsite. Joe, the warden was friendly and helpful, the facilities were spotless, we had a great grassy pitch, a campfire in an old washing machine drum and we loved it all. We had clear skies on 2 nights with amazing stars & shooting stars, and watched a pair of buzzards circling overhead in the mornings.
Had a lovely week. Very restful. Everything was very clean. The owner was very helpful and kind. Thank you very much.I would highly recommend this camp site.
This a little gem - I only had 1 night in my VW camper but will return soon, I hope. A lovely spacious meadow, ancient trees, splendid sunset and Joe could not have been a more thoughtful host. Well done for creating this eco-friendly, but also people(and dog)- friendly campsite for us campers to enjoy!
Thoroughly enjoyable camp.
Just enjoyed fantastic four night stay at Wardley Hill in our VW camper. We were lucky to have exceptionally good weather, waking each morning to sunny meadow with wild flowers etc Joe was so friendly and hospitable with lots of advice and tips for the area etc Beautifully peaceful site with bird life and great views and sunsets. Would highly recommend this site if you enjoy simplicity and want to camp "back to basics" Joe provides a fire drum for you and enjoy outdoor cooking but if you are looking for a meal out highly recommend the Olive Tree in nearby Ellingham - fab pizzas ......
We recently stayed at this campsite and had a lovely time.... We loved the relaxed atmosphere and the privacy between each pitch! Joe was fab and showed us around, it was so nice to find someone who loves to ensure his guest are happy. We stayed in 'Hilda' the Shepard's Hut which was extremely clean and spacious. Lovely design and one of the best night sleep I've had! Very comfortable... Great hidden gem, highly recommended!
Great campsite for getting back to nature, love the fact no cars are allowed on the camping field past the car park so it's really quiet and no worrying about kids and cars. Love being able to have a camp fire and joe was excellent at providing everything we needed and we got to watch the buzzards flying over ! The solar tree showers where awesome..