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 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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A gem of a site, clean facilities, spacious pitches set apart from each other and very much back to nature.
A hidden gem in the heart of Norfolk!
We stayed for three nights (2 adults and a 4 year old) in Hilda the shepherds hut and it was more than we expected! We were met by Joe who was incredibly friendly and welcoming. The hut is beautifully presented with everything you need for a comfy and cosy stay. The wood burning stove was perfect for the chillier nights and mornings. The toilet is a composting one which I was a bit nervous about but it was clean and not that bad smelling! We had some glorious sunsets and two bags of wood was more than enough for three nights in the firepit. Joe came round every evening to make sure all was ok and he gave us some good suggestions for places to go. Highly recommend taking a day boat on the broads from Wroxham (stop at The Swan in Horning for lunch) and another great day out is Southwold, a lovely seaside town. Make sure you book for lunch at Sole Bay on the harbour. The campsite was very peaceful and our little boy loved playing hide and seek in the tall grass and pathways that separate every site. A real gem of a place and one we will be visiting again!
Can't recommend highly enough
Absolutely loved our stay here - lots of space, open top shower was lovely (could maybe do with one more) Joe, Holly and their delightful little boy could not have been more helpful, friendly and attentive. Will definitely be returning :-)
Space between things
Really has the balance between scale and facilities just right. Campervan, so didn't glamp it, but they looked happy, too! Wonderfully conceived and managed site. Loved it.
Peaceful, spacious, enormous skies
Loved every minute. Peaceful enough to be relaxing, with loads of space between the pitches, but with enough wild places to keep my daughter and her little campsite gang occupied playing in the shady woods for hours. Perfectly good facilities if you like the idea of wild camping but still want a shower. Really helpful owner, who apparently isn't called Rob - despite us calling him that all week ;-)
Casual spacious and friendly
Beautiful scenery, very friendly and well worth a visit
beautiful and tranquil... before we arrived
This is an absolutely beautiful campsite and Joe is an extra-ordinarily welcoming and chilled out guy who clearly takes great pride in going the extra mile to try to make this site perfect for everyone... Unfortunately I was there with my 3 kids and though there is loads of space I was just a bit concerned that we were ruining it for everyone else with our sometimes less than tranquil behavior... It's probably more of a perfect site for adults and those with older kids or tiny tots, rather than feisty 7-12 year old boys. It's all off grid, so there is only 1 shower, if you're keen on a cleanliness you'll probably have to queue up in the morning. That said I thought it was awesome and lovely and Joe couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful. Particular highlight was the solar powered fairy lights on the shower head. I showered late when it was dark (no queue) and it was very cosmic.
A real gem.
We had a wonderful and relaxing time at Wardley Hill. Campfires, plenty of wildlife to spot and the kids loved building and playing in a den in the woods. The composting toilets take some getting used to, but they certainly do not detract from the beauty of the campsite. Joe was really helpful and friendly and gave us some excellent recommendations for beaches in the area. We will certainly be camping here again.
Perfect weekend. Perfect place
What a fantastic place. Holly & Joe gave us a lovely welcome and have a brilliant ethos. Their friendly, chilled and laid back style sets the tone for the whole place. The Campervan pitch was spacious and the whole site is carefully laid out to give everyone stunning views. Couldn’t have asked for anything more. Will definitely be back. A gem.
Glamping yet still back to basics
This was our first time camping since having the little one so we decided to stay in the family emporer bell tent to ease ourselves back into it. Joe was extremely helpful, he text us on the day we was travelling up and advised the best route to avoid traffic due to a local festival. Once we arrived Joe greeted us with the large picnic basket we ordered and the fire wood. If you enjoy your cheese and crackers I’d recommend the large basket as it really was plentiful. Everything has been really thought out on the campsite from wheelbarrows to take your stuff from your car to the little solar fairy lights that come on at night. The shower is lovely and warm and is also nice being open so you see the sky. The fire pit/bbq was brilliant, we enjoy bbq cooking at home and having both a griddle and a frying grill in one was great for cooking on we found a mixture of coals and fire wood was enough to heat it up and cook efficiently on. Having tea making facilities with the tent was a lovely touch especially in the evening watching the sun set. The grounds are large and even when there was a lot of people on site you didn’t notice them and you really felt like you was out on your own. Joe is extremely helpful from making sure you are all comfy and settled in to giving advice or local areas to visit/eat. We would highly recommend this camp site and will even come back with our own tent next time.
First time glamper
I brought two nights in the lotus bell tent for my partners birthday present. We are both wanting to start camping and the glamping experience at Wardley hill broke us in gently. It's a lovely camp site with long grass between spaced out pitches that gives you privacy. The bell tent was amazing, pretty much everything we needed for the weekend was provided. Joe was very helpful on arrival and the wheelbarrows to take your belongs from your car to the tent were a life saver. Would definitely camp here again!
Relax amongst nature
We had two perfect nights camping at Wardley Hill. Beautiful spacious plots surrounded by wild grasses (wild flowers gone to seed due to heatwave), fabulous clean eco toilets & warm shower. Perfect location for exploring the picturesque Waveney valley by bike & wild swimming locations! Will definitely return when heading back East.
Lovely site Joe & Holly made us welcome, practice camp for Latitude weekend it went very well after many years of not camping. Choice of pitches set away from each other offering the feeling of seclusion behind the tall grasses, made us feel we will be doing more camping in the future weather helped. Recommend The Olive Tree within walking distance for a great meal.
Wonderful location, relaxed and quiet
Our second visit to wardley hill was delightful. Quiet, rural, friendly and relaxed. Perfect mini retreat from home - Thankyou
We loved everything about Wardley Hill and as seasoned campers think it among the very best campsites we have visited. We loved the grassy meadow and the oak trees, the compost toilets and the hot shower, the wood and the pheasants and the rabbits and the amazing atmosphere of peace... The owners, Joe and Holly, are lovely and went out of their way to help us when we had a flat battery and were stranded in Bungay. Bungay itself is a great little market town with several nice pubs, old-fashioned shops and the river nearby. We can't recommend this place enough!
Space, peace and everything just how you'd want it
Stayed here in late May. Very idyllic. Plenty of space meant a decent separation between pitches. All the facilities worked fine and I appreciated the water taps dotted around the site. The cabin with tourist info and a great selection of books was a nice touch, as was the "stranded" yacht. The owner was a great - very welcoming and friendly. Took the time to explain to my curious two little boys how the sewage waste disposal works! Ambience and setting were great. Campsite was also easy to find and access.
Peace and quiet
Lovely quiet campsite, basic but essentials provided in a cool and novel way... Safe and relaxed for our young family. Dolly the dog enjoyed it immensely too! Thanks for a lovely stay 😃
Perfect- despite the weather!
What an amazing site. Quiet with space for everyone. Took our camper for 2 nights and even though one day the heavens opened we still had a relaxing break. The shower was always hot and the whole vibe was eco and relaxed. The owner Joe made us feel very welcome and even gave us a lift to the Pub! Will certainly be back soon.
Such a lovely campsite. Couple of compost toilets which were kept stocked with loo roll. Such a fab shower, open top... I got caught in the rain which only added to the experience, clean and constant hot water which was a very pleasant surprise!! Tall grass around each pitch which makes it feel really private. It was full when we went but still felt quiet and secluded. Fires allowed, loads of fire pits to borrow and logs available for £6. Can’t really think of anything negative, little bit of road noise but really not a big deal. Can’t recommend this place enough!
loved it. quiet, friendly and remote enough.
big old field with 20 odd sites max. no official spaces. just go ad you please. few toilets and a shower but real basic just how it should be. fires allowed as should be too. five mins away from pubs and beccles. bike friendly also and the owner said they never turn bikes away even if full which is real nice.
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..