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Popcorn Camping Woolverstone Hall Popcorn Camping

UK England East Anglia Suffolk Ipswich

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
A tents-only, pop-up campsite with campfires on a peaceful peninsula in Suffolk

Hands up who wants to go to school in the summer holidays? The idea is not as daft as it sounds once you realise that the school in question is a rather nice, independent one that’s giving up one of its playing fields for use as a pop-up campsite. The man behind the plan is entrepreneurial events organiser, Scott Doane. He realised that an unused field coupled with some unused school sports-hall facilities on a peaceful peninsula in Suffolk was the perfect place for his next pop up.

Popcorn Camping will open at Woolverstone Hall as soon as the last pupils have cleared out of the Grade I Palladian mansion they call home during term time. Extra toilets are brought in, pitches are marked out and soon enough the campers will begin to arrive. The camping field is actually a short walk away from the school buildings and all the better for it. It’s peaceful location is edged by trees and next to St Michael’s Church, just a half-mile walk from the banks of the River Orwell.

As you’d expect for a pop-up campsite, things are kept pretty simple but it’s all been carefully thought through. You can park at your pitch for easy unloading and the super-spacious size (10m by 15m) means there’s plenty of room. During set hours campers can access the school sports hall (the rest of the grounds are out of bounds). Where there are hot showers and flushing toilets, with extra loos in the camping field. Campfires are allowed in off-ground fire pits, which you can hire on site, and logs are for sale too. It all makes for an easy but fuss-free classic camping experience in a location that’s new to the camping scene.

This is the Shotley Peninsula; separated from the rest of Suffolk, to the north, by the River Orwell and from Essex, to the south, by the River Stour. It’s a flat and mostly rural location where you can never get too far from the water. Riverside walks, boat trips, cycling and pub lunches on the water’s edge are all pleasant ways to idle away time. The foot passenger ferry offers a fun way to get to the industrial side of Felixstowe or you can drive round to explore the town and beach. Families, who this site will suit well, will, no doubt, be seduced by Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park, which offers a full day out just a few miles from site. Now, let’s try this again: hands up who wants to go to school in the summer holidays?



The site's main facilities are in the school sports hall a short walk from the camping field. It's open to campers between set hours each day and there are six (very nice) hot showers and lots of flushing loos. There's also a temporary block of toilets, outdoor washing-up points and drinking water taps dotted around the camping field. Campfires are allowed in off-ground fire pits, which are available to hire on site. Logs are for sale on site too.

Suitable For

Tent campers, couples, families, groups – yes. Campervans, motorhomes, caravans, all-adult groups, dogs – no.


Woolverstone Hall is within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Shotley Peninsula, a beautiful part of Suffolk surrounded by water with the River Orwell to the north and the River Stour to the south. You can walk straight from site down to the water's edge at Woolverstone Marina. There are plenty of riverside walking, sailing and boating opportunities and there are watersports opportunities at Alton Reservoir (five miles from Woolcerstone Hall).  Hill Farm Equestrian Centre (01473 780406) is two miles from the campsite at Chelmondiston. It's not much further to the Pin Mill Studio (01473 780130) from where there are walking and photography workshops with photographer Anthony Cullen. On the other side of the peninsula, on the banks of the River Stour, sandy Harkstead Beach is a popular place to swim. Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park (01473 604206) is five miles away and offers a family-friendly day out. From the tip of the Shotley Peninsula, Shotley Gate (five miles from the campsite), you can take a seven-minute foot ferry (bicycles allowed) to Harwich, where there's a maritime museum (01255 502872), or to Felixstowe for the Languard Fort and Museum (01394 675900). By road Felixstowe is a 16-mile drive, with well-known coastal town of Aldeburgh a little further (32 miles away) but still worth the drive. Inland, Ipswich is just five miles from Woolverstone Hall.

Food & Drink

The closest place to eat out is about half-a-mile down the peaceful road that leads to Woolverstone Marina, The Loch and Quay (01473 780909) or, for a longer walk, head from there south along the river for a couple of miles to reach the waterfront Butt & Oyster pub (01473 780764) at Pinmill.  Suffolk Food Hall (01473 786610) is an award-winning farm shop, a short drive away, that's perfect for stocking up on local supplies for the campsite. It's also home to a café and The Cookhouse Restaurant – as well as a giant inflatable pillow that'll keep the kids amused. The restaurant and pizzeria at Jimmy's Farm (01473 604206) (owned by Jimmy Dougherty, Jamie Oliver's friend from Channel 4) is another recommended option, about five miles from the campsite.


July and August only.

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Contact Popcorn Camping Woolverstone Hall, Woolverstone Hall, Woolverstone, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 1AZ

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Getting There

From Ipswich or the A14, head south towards Shotley on the B1456. After three miles, take a slight left to stay on the B1456 heading towards Woolverstone Hall, which is signposted and easy to find. Please use the main entrance to access the campsite, which is signposted as you come into the grounds.

The nearest train station is in Ipswich, five miles from the campsite. There is a taxi rank at the station.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 9 reviews


Great quiet campsite in a lovely location

The pop up site is located in the grounds of a school. The field is perfect for camping and the guys running the site were friendly and helpful. It’s quiet and the local area is beautiful. We hired a fire pit for entertainment of an evening. The site manager sells wood which is very handy. The Butt and Oyster is a great pub at the end of a short country walk. Some great local produce is available at Suffolk food hall if you don’t mind paying a little more than you would at a supermarket. The only criticism I would give is that the shower pressure wasn’t great and the toilet and shower block was a little walk from the tent. There were portaloos close by that were bearable for late night trips! There was only one sink in the washing up station and it didn’t have hot water which wasn’t ideal but to be honest these were minor issues, what do you expect from a pop up campsite. We had a great time and we were sad to leave such a nice site and beautiful part of the world.
Aug 28, 2021 by Tim Dent Verified Review

Clean facilities, beautiful setting & great hosts

For a pop up site, Wollverstone Hall has everything I look for in a campsite: Sheltered by trees. Good clean, simple facilities at the school sports hall and dotted aroubd the site. I liked that you could drive around to take all the washing up to the sink, if too much to carry. Only one washing up sink, with no running hot water though, so you need to get some hot water from the sinks in the toilets. You can hire firepits and buy wood (limited availability, when busy). Beautiful walks from the door down to the water and 30 min walk to Pin Mill and the Butt & Oyster Pub, via the 700 year old oak tree. We'll be back again next year.
Aug 20, 2021 by Hayley and family

Nice site, not enough close facilities

The site was good, albeit bumpy in places, with plenty of space to pitch up. Pitches were relaxed, which was exactly what we wanted as our group was 25 people in 4 tents. The site managers were very friendly and helpful, although they got to the end of their tether with the portaloos - not their fault, but Popcorn should have expected people to use them at any time, not just for emergencies. The 10 minute walk to the toilet was very hard with children, especially if they were busting and no adult was free to take them. Popcorn could have hired some decent, non-emergency toilets (not portaloos) and maybe even a couple of shower blocks to put on the site - it would have been worth a few quid extra per pitch. The showers had really poor pressure in all 3 of the ladies' ones, which were also too hot (this was reported to the site manager). Plus, the washing up water was only cold and of the same low pressure. I think this was the first year at Woolverstone, so plenty of teething problems to sort out. Maybe campers could pay to use the school facilities in the future (at extra cost to us, of course) - swimming would have been nice, plus some of our group were told off for being on the netball court. Nothing big to complain about, apart from the trek to the proper loos & showers, which we did understand was also an issue for the site managers, but could easily have been rectified.
Aug 19, 2021 by Sue Verified Review

Lovely area.

Lovely area. Very nice surroundings. camp site very busy stayed Friday eve till Sunday eve . Greeted by lovely lady. Very helpful . Friendly. Campers Bit of a trek to showers Quite a few porta loos.on site Ones closest to us were a Bit smelly by Sunday

Great, quiet campsite

We really enjoyed our trip. It was a lovely campsite with plenty of facilities. It was close enough to lots of places too. I really liked the couple managing the campsite (I think they were called Michael and Lynn) they were very friendly and organised. There were no firepits available when we got there and my boys were a bit disappointed they couldn't have a fire. Michael went out of his way to find one for us which I really appreciate. He also gave us some firelighters to help us get started. If I had to make any complaint it would be about the showers. The water pressure on the shower I used (furthest to the left) was woeful. I don't think this is popcorn camping's fault though as the showers were part of the school the campsite is joined too. Maybe talk to the people who run the school about fixing it? Other than that, I'd recommend this campsite to others and will likely come back next year.

Beautiful, quiet camping

Loved it. Michael and Lynne's friendly arrival really made a lovely start to my stay. The site was perfect with a beautiful pitch, surrounding woodland and a lovely little old church by the entrance. Good facilities, firepits available for hire, lovely walking trails and - most importantly for me - a very friendly but also quiet vibe. I slept like a log! I would definitely return and recommend this site and Popcorn camping as they seem to have traditional camping values - a lovely time for all. Thank you so much to Michael and Lynne and also to the lovely couple next door who gave me a jar of their homemade chilli jam!


Me and my partner booked this very last minute and we were very happy with the holiday. The campsite is on a massive unused school field. I like that you can drive right into your pitch and park there, you can have nearly as much equipment as you want with no space fuss (gazebo, tarp etc). The site manager Micheal was an absolute legend, funny guy who was very helpful and informative about the surrounding area. The school facilities are open to the campers for use of the showers which is also very clean and nice. There are loads of paths for walking to various pubs and the marina/coast.. Highly recommend The Boot pub for a sunday roast (one of the best I've had) the other way the Oyster and Butt also had some decent food and a very of Pip Mill. Then Felixstowe is only a 20min drive away for fish and chips, arcade and gelato!

Peaceful, laid back site

A quiet, peaceful site, plenty of space, with well-kept facilities and a friendly site manager. The field is large enough to find a pitch that will remain within the sun for most of the day, with trees at the perimeter if you prefer some shade. A pleasant ~30 min coastal walk to the Butt & Oyster, with good Adnams beers. We took our bikes and cycled down to Shotley (~30mins) and caught the ferry to Felixstowe for a day-trip. A small freezer in the shower block to recharge our cool-box freezer packs would have been helpful but no real complaints, would happily return.

Loved it!

We had three nights at Woolverstone site with our two children, and we all loved it. It's a beautiful field with flexible pitch options (mostly level) and shaded pitches around the edges. Our VW didn't need levelling blocks which is always a plus. The loos and (great) showers are in the sports hall of the school next-door, plus there are event toilets in the camping field itself. We had our own portaloo for the kids. It's a short walk down the hill to watch the boats at the yacht club and there is a good restaurant there too. Really pleased we took a chance and booked it!
Jul 29, 2021 by Ellen

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