Swattesfield Campsite

UK England East Anglia Suffolk Stowmarket

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Glamping and camping in the wilds of north Suffolk with ample space to roam and endless time to think

Family campsite Swattesfield was set up in the spring of 2011 and is now helmed by keen camper Jessica and her father Phil. It’s a simple spot exuding a Cool Camping vibe, with two grassy fields separated by a small lake with some adjoining woodland to explore. The position is perfect for bucolic strolls along the well-marked paths and bridleways of nearby Thornham Walks, for exploring Thornham Magna village, visiting country pubs and for discovering the old walled garden of the neighbouring Thornham Estate, which has recently been restored and is open on weekends.

Above all Swattesfield is a great place to simply do nothing and enjoy getting back to nature. You can erect tents or park your campervan in the main field, spacious, green and peppered with daisies in summer, or pitch on the lush, vehicle-free space around the small lake in the centre of the seven-acre site. Beyond are the woods, where more adventurous campers can trundle off with a loaded trolley and find a hidden clearing in which to pitch – enjoy the shade of the trees and see the sparkle of sunlight that shines through the leaves onto the woodland floor.

For those not pushed to pitch there are a range of 'upgrades' that Jessica can offer, helping you enjoy the outdoors with a few extra comforts. There's a clutch of bell tents in the main camping field, with double beds and all the essential cooking equipment you need, plus a pair of octagonal wooden huts – 'Pixie Huts' – and a traditional Suffolk hay cart. When evening comes campers and glampers alike enjoy the smell of the woodsmoke from campfires as people cook out and toast marshmallows. You can also freely make use of Swattesfield's handmade pizza oven, crafted entirely from materials found on the site.

The pizza oven is just one sign of the way Swattesfield Campsite has continued to evolve over the years with the hard work of Jessica, Phil and the rest of the family. The space the meadow affords could easily have been a recipe for ‘Tetris tents’ in their dozens, yet instead the opposite has been created. Overall, Swattesfield is a site with a pleasantly chilled-out atmosphere situated in a very special location. And, for all it provides, we couldn’t be more grateful.

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Details

Facilities

Campfires allowed in the pits provided and there is a homemade pizza oven for use by all. No hook-ups. Simple but clean toilet block, with 4 showers, 6 sinks and 6 toilets. A small shop sells camping equipment and can re-freeze ice packs for you. Library for use and board games to borrow. A large, outside double sink unit for pot washing. Gislingham village shop is a 15-minute walk away.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs, kids – yes. Noisy groups, stag/hen do's – no. The site is also available for whole-site hire.

Nearby

Gislingham village shop (01379 788522) is a 15-minute walk away and there’s also a play area on the green for little ones. ‘Thornham Walks’ is directly accessible from the site – 12 miles of waymarked footpaths (open daily 9am–6pm April–Oct; shorter hours outside this period). It’s a mile and a half to Thornham Fishery (07810 653600), with 3 mature well-stocked lakes – don’t forget your rod and rod licence if you want to give it a go! By car, the Museum of East Anglian Life (01449 612229) is 20 minutes away. Set over 70 acres, there is plenty for everyone, including steam engines, a farm zoo, gypsy caravans and events throughout the year.

Food & Drink

The Thornham Estate’s Forge Tea Room (01379 788566) and Thornham Coach House (01379 783373) are a 15–20-minute walk away and serve lunch and dinner. Or try the Four Horseshoes pub (01379 678777) at the other end of Thornham Magna, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is about a 30-minute walk.

Opening Times

March–September.

Family Friendly

Bring bikes or good walking shoes to wear the kids out or head to the playground on the local village green. Then enjoy the wildlife and the peace and quiet of this smallsville rural campsite run by a father and son team.

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The Owner Says

Swattesfield is set in the heart of the Suffolk countryside with direct access to woodland walks and wildlife. There are two grassy fields separated by a small lake with some adjoining woodland to explore. It's a seven acre site with plenty of space yet an intimate feel, with tent or campervan pitches alongside our glamping accommodation. There are no marked pitches so you can camp where you'd like; in the woods, in the glade, by the hedgerow or by the pond. We do get very busy during the holiday periods, If you are looking for a more peaceful stay we would highly recommend visiting during the off peak season or mid week.

As well as the tent and camper pitches you will find a new style of Bell-Tent with all the creature comforts you'd need to have a thoroughly enjoyable stay. At five metres across with no central pole, these are big enough for four or five people and have a full-size comfy double bed as well as child beds.

Another option are the unique Pixie Huts; These octagonal wonders have four peak-a-boo windows, a comfy full-sized double bed and two smaller foam beds for any little imps. Over-looking the south facing skies of Suffolk you'll soak up the best of the sunny days, and in the cooler or wetter times just fire up the multi fuel wood burner to get the hut nice and toasty. These really are the new way to camp; cosy, cutesy and a great place to wind down and relax.

Another exclusive for Swattesfield is the converted Suffolk Hay Cart fit for two adults and two children, there is a double bed with another underneath for the kids. All your cooking equipment is supplied making the Hay Cart a real cosy camping experience especially when the stove is lit! You can still spread out onsite under your personal canopy with tables and chairs to use whilst toasting marshmallows over your fire.

Open fires are allowed and encouraged but only in our fire pits, and use of our handmade Pizza Oven is free for all to use. Toilet facilities are clean and there is plenty of hot water for the four showers. There is a large outside double sink unit for pot washing and a communal kitchen with free gas, stoves, pots, pans and microwave.

Accommodation

Around 20 unmarked camping pitches, 5 bell tents (sleeping 4/5), 2 pixie huts (sleeping 2 adults and 2 children) and a converted Suffolk hay cart (sleeping 2 adults and 2 children).

Grass Pitch for a Campervan/Tent

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 15 Available
Pitch your own tent or campervan in our lovely countryside camping field, with plenty of space, and campfires allowed in fire pits.

The Chestnut Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 6 3 Available
There are 3 quality furnished Bell Tents made in the UK available to rent on the main field, They are 5 metres in diameter and each able to accommodate up to 2 adults and 4 small children. Each Bell Tent is equipped with a comfy double bed, the mattresses are made from memory foam and there’s coir matting throughout for extra comfort and warmth.

The Kestrel Pixie Hut

Cabin Sleeps 4 2 Available
You’ll love our cosy Pixie Huts with full sized double beds, your own south-facing decked outside space, all your cooking equipment and fire pit to relax around in the evenings.

Suffolk Hay Cart

Gypsy caravan Sleeps 4
This unique, rustic converted Suffolk Hay Cart offers cosy glamping accommodation for up to 4 people.

Pre-Pitched Empty Bell Tent

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 4 Available
Rent an unfurnished, pre-pitched bell tent in our lovely countryside camping field, with plenty of space, and campfires allowed in fire pits.

Ash the Woodland Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 6 2 Available
High quality Bell Tents made in the UK. The tent is 5 metre in diameter and able to accommodate up to 2 adults and 4 small children. Your Tent comes equipped with a cosy and comfy double bed and mattress. There’s astro turf throughout for extra comfort and warmth.

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Location

Contact Swattesfield Campsite, Gislingham Road, Thornham Magna, Suffolk IP23 8HH

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Getting There

To find the campsite from the A140, follow the signs to the Thornham Walks and continue past the Walks entrance , continuing along Gislingham Road for about a mile and then turn right soon after seeing a 'school' sign and 'Slow' marked on the road – there is a Swattesfield Campsite sign on a tree to the left marking the entrance to the site on the right. And if you're travelling from the opposite direction through Gislingham: exit the village past the Church and towards Thornham Magna. About 1/2 mile out of the village and soon after travelling under a train tunnel you will see a 'school' sign and 'Slow' marked on the road – there is a Swattesfield Campsite sign marking the entrance which will be on the left.

The nearest station is Diss (6 miles away) which is on the direct mainline from London Liverpool Street and often stops at Manningtree, Colchester, Stowmarket, Diss and Norwich. It's only an hour and a half from London and there are usually cabs waiting at the station (although we would advise to book in advance) or you can put your bike on the train and cycle.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 46 reviews

★★★★★

Lovely set up

Just spent a couple of nights at Swattesfield to try out our new tent. Peaceful, uncrowded & relaxed. Good facilities, friendly hosts & great walks. We enjoyed our campfire & would definitely recommend to other campers.
Sep 29, 2019 by Jill Roberts
★★★★★

Great facilities and atmostphere

We have just had a great stay here with a big group of friends. This campsite has a lovely laid back atmostphere with good facilities and really helpful owners. Fantastic for children and adults who want to explore the woods and walks while staying on site where you can enjoy cooking on the fire and playing games.
Sep 23, 2019 by Anna Dawson
★★★★★

We always enjoy staying at this site.

There are no caravans on the site so you will always be with campers which is nice. Having somewhere to be able to get under cover if it rains is not available everywhere you go. Feels homely and calm. Not too many pitches so not loads of people about.
Sep 4, 2019 by Dorothy Young
★★★★★

Brilliant camp site

We have just got back from a great week camping at Swattesfield. Jess and Phil were really helpful pointing out walks and where to go for wild swimming. The Option of booking an empty bell temp along with the brillaint facilities to cook ( Pizza oven is great) enabled our camping trip to be hassle free.
Sep 2, 2019 by raine smith
★★★★☆

Nice little camp site

It’s quiet, a good idea to have a covered communal kitchen and dining area
Aug 31, 2019 by Mark
★★★★★

Beautiful family run campsite in lovely setting

Couldn't recommend this enough really. We stayed out in the forest which was really nice and secluded and away from the main field. Surrounded by forest with nice forest walks all round the area. Friendly, helpful owners. Good facilities. Perfect family outing.
Aug 27, 2019 by Sam Childs
★★★★☆

Great campsite for family camping.

This was our second trip to Swattesfield. Our children (aged 4-8) love the "den trees", i.e. a den made of trees that they can all climb, with a rope swing in it, as well as the horizontal tree in the woods, also great for climbing! There is a covered area for bad weather with a couple of games, big chalk board and some books. This area also has four gas rings and some utensils. We always choose sites that allow campfires, are fairly quiet and a good price, and this really fits the bill! The only slight issues, and they really are very, very minor, is that the soap in the loos was not replaced when it ran out (which of course wouldn't have been a problem if we had taken our own), and there is a slide that has a lump of concrete in the middle of it, but it didn't hurt the children or anything, just makes it less slippery! Overall, this is a great site, and we won't hesitate to book again if we decide upon another Suffolk holiday!
Aug 16, 2019 by Jane Sharp
★★★★★

Family Fun

An amazing laid back feel, with all the thoughtful touches, like a covered play area for reading a massive chalk board and table football, not to mention on the pizza oven. Three different families with seven kids from 7 to 18 years old and all just spent hours playing, even in the rain. Highly recommending for an outdoor experience. All that's missing are the chickens to feed!
Aug 12, 2019 by elisabethbendall
★★★★☆

Nice vibe at Swattesfield

Great spot for family camping. Laid back vibe, plenty of space for kids to enjoy, fire pits, a wood fired pizza oven. Near enough for day trips to seaside, rivers to swim in, woodlands and nice countryside on the doorstep. A really nice camping experience.
Aug 6, 2019 by Mr Ben
★★★★☆

Great little campsite

Lovely campsite which was perfect for relaxing, great walks on you’re doorstep,with pubs within walking distance. Great place for the kids too. We would all go again. Only slight quibble showers an toilets weren’t cleaned while we were there, or not very well?
Aug 6, 2019 by Slim
★★★★★

Camping Made Easy On This Lovely Site

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time camping or your 100th time - camping at Swattesfield Campsite makes it so easy and enjoyable. The communal kitchen with provided gas (free) means you don’t need to take your own stove if you don’t want to; but if you would prefer to cook by your tent, either on stove or fire/BBQ, you can do that too. Everything is so easy going at Swattesfield. There’s an on-site shop to buy a few essentials (and some luxuries) should you wish. There’s even a table-football provided to use. Jess and her Father who run this campsite, work tirelessly to ensure their guests have a great time. The campsite is immaculate everywhere; showers, toilets, kitchen, pitches etc.
Aug 4, 2019 by David Humphrey
★★★★★

Peace & Quiet

We stayed three nights during a hot week here in July. It’s a small site & all other campers appreciated & maintained the peace & quiet of this site. The facilities are clean & are kept clean. We had a meal at The Four Horseshoes which was great, & it was nice to have walks right by the campsite. We loved it & we hope to visit again
Jul 31, 2019 by Peta Bush
★★★★★

Magical

I simply wanted to get away from it all for a few days, just me and the dog. The site was everything I was looking for - honest, straightforward and in a glorious setting. Run by some very lovely people Do you remember when you were a kid and your caravan/camping holiday finished to soon, you didn't want to go home and you shed a few tears. Well I cried like a baby as I pulled away from the site and I'm a grandad these days ! Going back real soon whether 'er indoors likes it or not !!
Jul 12, 2019 by John Rance
★★★★★

Very welcoming and peaceful campsite

We spent a couple of nights here and are already making plans to return. The site is very peaceful with plenty of room between the tents, and even though a fairly large group had occupied the bell tents in the centre of the field it still felt very private and quiet. Lots of space for everyone. The children enjoyed exploring the woods (especially the swings and climbing tree) and we took a signposted walk which starts right from the field where we stayed and leads to a nice cafe (great ice cream!) with some fun activities for the little ones nearby also. Facilities were great with proper hot water for showers and washing up, and a communal kitchen with a library and some games. The hosts were really friendly and welcoming, and since there were no new arrivals on the day we were leaving we could spend the afternoon on the site still after packing up the tent. A perfect break and we'll surely return.
Jul 10, 2019 by Koen
★★★★★

Great service

We stayed here in our campervan with awning for 2 days over the weekend. When booking this site we didn't really know what to expect as we are slightly new to camping. There wasn't a lot to do on the site, but we did take a few strolls on the beautiful Thornham walks. The lady that runs/works the campsite is a star and nothing is too much trouble. Even out of hours she will help if she is onsite. The toilet/shower facilities were really good, clean with lots of soap and toilet rolls and electricity for your own hairdryer. There was a communal area with table, chairs, picnic tables, hob and pots and pans etc and a communal kitchen area to clean pots etc. All in all a lovely family run site that we would definitely recommend.
Jun 18, 2019 by Beverley Walker
★★★★★

Amazing family time

Just got back from a couple of night break with the family, we had a great time, hosts were super attentive and so friendly. Facilities were perfect and the kids loved exploring the site. Thank you, we will be back!
Jun 1, 2019 by Cheryl
★★★★★

Lovely campsite in great location

We stayed at Swattesfield for three nights over the late May bank holiday - it was small and friendly in a lovely location with easy access to beautiful country walks and wildlife, also within easy reach of nearby pubs and shops. The site is relaxed but well organised with a very useful shop and good shower and washing up facilities.
May 30, 2019 by Lucy
★★★★☆

First time, very happy and great value

Had a really good stay here, was freezing during the night but thats not the campsites fault! Highly recommend for people with children, well set up with covered communal kitchen and use of hobs and utensils. Also really good location as our day out adventure with the kids into the nearby woods was great for den building etc.
May 14, 2019 by George Bradley
★★★★★

First timers at Swattesfield

Spent the May Day weekend at this lovely little gem Four adults two campervans and Syd the dog The weather threw everything at us and it was so so cold bit the site kelt our spirits up. Lots of facilities including clean toilets and hot showers. The site shop was well stocked and the firewood and BBQ pit were awesome! Friendly owners that were very helpful regarding local pubs, walks etc. We shall return
May 9, 2019 by Jayne Metcalf
★★★★★

Last minute retreat that exceeded expectations.

We have just returned from a wonderful long Easter weekend at Swattesfield Campsite. In tow was me, my partner, two under 11-year olds and our Cockapoo. Booking through Cool Camping was quick, easy and fantastically painless. Swattesfields is a small family run, first come first serve bases camp site. It has all the amenities one would need for a comfortable stay. We found it safe and the children really enjoyed playing in the woods and walking around to the main kitchen where there was “fuzball”. We stayed in one of the two furnished Bell tents which was situated in a quiet woodland area about 3 mins walk from the communal kitchen and bathroom facilities. We never used the kitchen itself because our Bell tent had its own outdoor kitchen, equipped with everything we needed for our stay. Well, I say that... ... the one thing that was missing, was the wine glasses, but they very swiftly appeared after mentioning it to Jesse, the campsite owner :o) We really enjoyed cooking on the fire pits and making the most delicious pizzas in the pizza oven - and from what we saw – most of the other campers enjoyed it very much too. We highly recommend making your own dough, rolling out the (not so perfect) round pizzas and let the children add toppings per their preference. All round a brilliant evening. The campsite itself is very well run, clean and the owners friendly and very helpful. There was a small shop that had most necessities (even ice!) and for good quality meat for the BBQ and bacon/eggs for breakfast, there is a small butchers one minutes’ drive from the site. We spent an half a day in Southwold, which was a hour drives away and a beautiful little beach town, with pretty pier and we had a stroll along the promenade. Warning (!) PARKING is a nightmare, so either be prepared to wait for a parking space or go to the beach really early. Swattesfield Campsite will definitely see this family plus dog again.
Apr 24, 2019 by Ren
★★★★★

A hidden gem..perfect.

When I booked it was on a recommendation and was not sure what we would find...what a total surprise when we arrived. The staff were always friendly and helpful. There is an open kitchen and childrens play undercover area that was free to use at any time. A pizza oven that was and enjoyable experience to use.. the site field allows free camping for campers and the wooded area for tents... perfectly located with enough space away from each other. The toilet and shower facilities as we understood has recently been upgraded... and we found them to be clean and tidy and the hot water was hot. The other campers were friendly and a perfect place to allow your little one some supervised freedom... There is a very small shop on site which for us was adequate. All in all it was a perfect camp out and I would definitely go again....
Apr 23, 2019 by Mandy Steed
★★★★★

Hidden Gem

We made a last minute decision to head East for Easter weekend and came across Swattesfield on Cool Camping. The hosts were friendly and the site perfect and not too over crowded. You are free to camp where you like, tents can opt for the field by the pond or the glade. Camper vans are restricted to the main field, which is equally nice. Lovely couple of days with a village (essential pub) only 20 mins walk away.
Apr 22, 2019 by RJF
★★★★★

Family site

I stayed in a pixie hut and my family camped next to the hut. The field we camped in was lovely and the surrounding area has beautiful countryside. There was also another field and a wooded area that are used for camping. For each gender there is one shower and three toilets. There are communal areas for cooking and washing up but the pixie hut had its own cooking area, fire pit and bench. We had a lovely time. The manager seems to be on site most of the day and we found him helpful and polite. I saw him help a family cook their pizzas in the pizza oven and play cricket. There's a great pub nearby, which I think is called The Four Horseshoes and there's a village shop not far away. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would come back. I loved the pixie hut. It's a great site for families.
Sep 2, 2018 by Penny
★★★☆☆

Lovely countryside setting

Small site with kitchen and dishwashing facilities, however, both areas in need of a good scrubbing. 3 toilets and one shower per block, again, in need of a good cleaning session. Some of the accessories, such as the brushes for the toilets and those for washing dishes really should be replaced. Overall, cleanliness was very much lacking. I really didn't want to stand on the shower floor and used my small towel to do so. Shame really, because a bit of elbow grease, a pot of paint and a general spruce up would be all it would take to justify the £20 per night charge for a camper van of 2 people and would have made this reviewer write more positively. Open field with 4 bell tents, two lodges and a grassed area for tents or camper vans. Cars are parked just outside the entrance gate, which is a great idea and lends to a feeling of more space. A small lake and forest area is situated at the opposite end of the entrance. There is a busy train line alongside and if you can ignore the noise, you'll find it a peaceful setting. The manager was very attentive and we enjoyed his daily visit to see how we were. Eye is only 3 miles away and we can recommend the Chinese restaurant and the chippy. Diss is around 8 miles away and that's great for general shopping, having a coffee etc. Nice vibe.
Sep 1, 2018 by Lindsey
★☆☆☆☆

Dirty facilities and LOTS of flies

The location is lovely and I think that the campsite's popularity is based solely on this fact! The woods and fields around offer children lots of room to run and play football, if that's what you like on a peaceful campsite. However, the site manager was rude and abrupt and the facilities were never clean in the 3 days and two nights that we stayed there. The showers and toilets have not had a decent clean for a long time...I would rather use an outdoor solar shower and composting toilet than these ones! Shame really because the website does a good marketing job of advertising the campsite in all its glory. Few tweaks and it would be really lovely.
Aug 18, 2018 by Catherine
★☆☆☆☆

Shower room of nightmares

We booked this campsite as it had been recommended by one of the Sunday papers. The site itself is beautiful and sectioned off into small paddocks and woodland areas and there are pre-erected bell tents and wooden hut options for camping. There is a covered field style kitchen with gas hobs, cooking pots and a microwave that's quite handy. There are firepits you can hire that you can barbecue on and there is a pizza oven. That's the positive. The toilet facilities are absolutely appalling. The toilets and shower were filthy and unhygienic. I have never stepped into anything more unsanitary and decrepit in all my life. It's a shame I can't upload photos to prove it. I'm not talking about not cleaned that day, or week but it looked like years of filth build up. Live black mould and walls encrusted with yellow stains of limescale build up and as soon as you ran the shower the smell from the drains kicked up with an offensive sulphur odour. There is only one shower and three toilets per gender. We stayed for three nights and had the entire campsite to ourselves thankfully otherwise I suspect there is huge queues. The distance from the top tiers of the campsite to the toilet facilities is great so not good if you have small children. The campsite has a basic camping supplies shop which doesn't have any opening hours but only when the campsite manager feels like it. The freezer is also locked in the campsite shop so difficult to gain access to change freezer packs. The campsite manager is sexist and rude. He stuffed an ice pack down my back whilst changing the freezer packs and was rattling the toilet door when I was using the toilet with no regard to privacy. He wouldn't allow us to drive onto the site to set up our pitch but put everything in his tractor trailer on arrival, which was helpful. When we left he refused to help - probably because we hadn't found his sexual innuendos funny, so we has to make multiples trips with rickety trolleys in 38C heat. If the toilet and shower blocks were upgraded and cleaned and the site managers attitude moderated then this could be a good campsite.
Jul 29, 2018 by Maria
★★★★★

Wonderful, simple pleasures

Just had our second stay at Swattesfield - 2 families with 5 young kids. We loved it. The field is safe as cars aren't allowed on and you can see all corners of it from your pitch. Wonderful for the kids to run around, climb in the trees, play table football and make new friends. Dave is always very helpful. Easy access to Thornham Walks so plenty to do. Good kitchen facilities and nice fire pits. Would recommend.
Jul 2, 2018 by Emma L
★★★★★

LOADS of kids and big groups, 1 shower only

Basically just a field-states 15 pitches at any one time but we counted over 20. Not a huge thing but when each pitch has at least two adults, plus most had at least two kids-that's a lot to get through one shower in the morning! There were always really long queues, and even queues for the toilets as toilet roll wasn't replaced so everyone was queuing for the one that had some left! Website states no groups but there was a huge group when we were there that monopolised most of the site and were very loud. Also website stated no kids under 11 years old.....there were so many kids it was crazy! Again, wouldn't have been an issue if it wasn't advertised as being a site not for kids (as an adult group this appealed to us). Fire pits are nice but even though we had pre-booked one we had to ask the owner three times before it was brought over. Basic campsite with basic facilities-not what we felt was advertised. Wouldn't stay again.
Jul 31, 2017 by Heth Taggart
★★☆☆☆

Pretty site but grumpy manager

Must say I read other people's reviews with amazement...not sure I stayed at the same place! There were a few positives - the fire pits you get are great, the wood fire pizza oven is a lovely idea and there was plenty of hot water - but more negatives overall I have to say. The campsite manager is far from friendly - after spending over 7 hours in traffic we arrived later than planned (at 8pm) and as I walked across the field to greet our friends, he barked at me to get our tent up! We were never sure when he would be around to buy wood or answer any questions, and you have to ask him to open the on site "shop". The fridge freezer is also kept locked away in the shop, rather than in the kitchen, so again you could never be sure when you would be able to access it as his hours seemed erratic. There is only 1 shower for each sex so unless you get up pretty early, you will always have to wait for a turn and the facilities could certainly do with a thorough clean. There are some nice ideas like a chalkboard and some building blocks in the kitchen area for the kids to play with but this is spoilt again by the manager barking at kids to "pick the blocks up or I'll take them away altogether!" We discovered a play area for the children (monkey bars and a swing) through the top field which would been nice to have been told about. I get the feeling it was nice a while ago but the owners perhaps don't have much involvement in the day to day running of the site, and it felt tired. Shame as it could be lovely with a little more care!
Aug 31, 2016 by londoninterest
★★★★★

Truly memorable

I have just come back from a stay here and had a truly fantastic time. We took my parents both of whom are first timers, more accustomed to luxurious hotels and even they loved it. We were extremely well looked after by Dave who kept the campsite clean and stocked up. Nothing was too much trouble. Despite it being peak season, numbers were restricted so it meant that I never had to queue for the shower. I also managed to leave my iPad there and got a call almost immediately so was able to pick it up. Thank you Dave!
Aug 19, 2016 by sineadlester79
★★☆☆☆

Don't believe the website!

We’ve just returned from a 4-night break from Swattesfield and overall had a lovely time. We are very careful to book small campsites and after much research decided that Swattesfield sounded ideal – their website boasts no more than 6 tent pitches aside from their own bell tents, pixie huts and Shepherd’s hut and no groups of campers allowed. We were less than impressed to discover on our first night that while we had been out during the day, some noisy neighbours had arrived and pitched their tent less than 1 metre away from our guy ropes and there were far more than 6 tents. By the third night of our stay we counted 29 tents, which included 4 groups of campers, plus the campsites own accommodation. Put this in context with only one male and one female shower on site. When we voiced our disappointment we were greeted with an indifferent attitude from the site manager. It is such a shame as the campsite could be lovely but the facilities cannot cope with such a huge volume of guests.
Aug 1, 2016 by IWishIHadACamperVan
★★★★★

Fantastic & Friendly

We had originally planned to go to Wales but due to the poor weather forecast we followed the sun to Suffolk. I called up on the day we were due to arrive and told we would be most welcome. If you want a friendly, quiet campsite this is the place for you. It is surrounded by the most beautiful woodland walks. Evenings are spent around a camp fire with plenty of space for children's games in the open area. (most tents were pitched around the edge of the field). The toilets were clean and drinking water available. The showers are fairly basic but nice hot powerful water. Dave the manager could not have been more helpful bringing us wood for our campfire and lending us a gas cooker as our kettle was taking ages to boil on the fire. There is a basic shop which, for their financial benefit as much as the campers benefit, could have been better stocked by Dave's own admission. All in all this is a fairly new camp site which they are building and i think in a few years it will be a very very popular place, so go now before it gets too busy.  I would recommend travelling by car as the nearest train station is in Diss about 7 miles away. Taxis are around £18-£20 to Diss. Diss itself is a nice town unfortunately like most high streets it is taken over by Pound and charity shops. So i recommend walking up the hill to the "old town triangle" where you can find lovely shops, a fantastic Indian restaurant called Indian Cottage, art shops, pubs, etc. Seek out the Norfolk House Courtyard on St Nicholas Street for a lovely cafe, deli, old fashioned sweet shop. I was told they are pumping alot of lottery money in to this area also so i can imagine it becoming the go to area. If you see the chap selling local Pork Pies buy one as they are the best i've ever tasted!!

I wish Dave and the team the best of luck at Swattesfield as they deserve it. 

Jun 13, 2016 by Lighty2
★★★☆☆

Good but too busy

I chose this campsite based on what I read on their website. It states "There are only six pitches available so book early and we no longer accept group bookings". Unfortunately this is not the case, during my stay there were at least 15 tents including a large group comprising 7 tents! This campsite doesn't have enough shower/wash facilities for this many people and the 'boutique' atmosphere we were hoping for was not there. Apart from that, we had a great time, but I would not recommend if you are looking for a quiet, 'get away from it all' trip.

Aug 9, 2015 by Louise Kelly
★★★★★

fantastic campsite. cant fault anything

Were just back from a great last minute weekend away to swattisfield campsite. I and my children had never been camping before so thought we would start of in a bell tent. This didn't dissapoint, spacious and comfortable, equipt with all the essentials, cutlery,pots pans, tea towels, gas hob etc. The site itself is exactly what we were looking for. Spacious, quiet and safe for the children. Having cooked all our meals on the firepit/tripod bbq, playing endless games of football and catch with the kids, taking the dog for some great walks and warm showers with great washing/wc facilities what more do you want from camping.

We would like to thank Dave the site manager for the hospitality and making our stay a great one (especially when the fire stopped working).

The kids especially enjoyed making their pizzas and being cooked on the pizza oven.

If your after a quiet, relaxing well presented campsite we would highly recommend swattisfield campsite.

There really is nothing better than waking up hearing the whistle of campers kettles then getting your own on the fire, cooking your breakfast while all the kids on the campsite played with smiles and laughs. If the kids are happy we are happy and swattisfield made all happy.

Many thanks Jonathan and Dave. We are already planning our next weekend there (may even bring our own tent next time)

Jun 28, 2015 by paul b
★★★★★

Lovely quiet site

Our first stay with swattersfield and it was lovely! The site is very peaceful and set around beautiful countryside. We stayed on until Monday so had the entire site to ourselves for the Sunday evening. This gave us the perfect opportunity to use the pizza oven! David, the site manager, really looked after us. The toilets were clean and well kept. Although I think the one shower might get a bit busy in the summer months. We have a sneak peek in the bell tens and the pixie huts. They looked brilliant and had everything you could need. Very tempted by them for the future. Although we like to try new sites each time, I think this is one of the best and we'll always have it in mind to return

Jun 9, 2015 by princess_mamoru
★★★★☆

Bell Tent Campers

This was our first time at Swattesfield, our friends had recommended it and it didn't disappoint! We were greeted by the site warden and he was very helpful for our whole stay of 4 nights. It was easy to find and just enough out of the way. The bell tent was great and the bed was comfy. The facilities are basic, but more than adequate. With lots of hot water, shower and washing up facilities. Also the fridge and freezer came in handy. We had fantastic weather and its a great base to visit the coast (we did Southwold) and the historic Framlingham Castle. Really lovely campsite and great campers, the kids had a blast running around and playing games with the other kids camping. The Pizza oven was great fun as well, it became a social point.

We will definitely be back soon and would recommend.

The only minor gripe was the unseasoned wood that was supplied for sale. A bit of a smokey fire rather than a flame to gather round at night.

May 30, 2015 by Lupo
★★☆☆☆

Let down by

I visited the site this year with friends and our children and I'll admit to being dissappointed enough to write some feedback.  During our stay there were repeated issues with the hot water and at one point the cold water in the wash facilities. This was dissappointing.

After the matter had continuing into the second day I was again fustrated by the lack of presence from the owner who during my four day stay I only saw once and that was when I went to pay for my stay.

Now it might be that I am comparing this site to one I stayed at the week prior to visiting this site, there the owner was very present. He popped round on a regular basis and shared info, weather forecasts etc and was charming with it.

I also considered the sites facilities to be tired and generally poor. You can make wash facilities earthy and rural without looking rundown, which I guess makes them harder to clean as well.

The site has plenty of potential and hopefully the owner will take time to address the faults, but given the other better alternatives available I'd look elsewhere first next time.

Oct 21, 2014 by Huddy & Co

Response from Swattesfield Campsite

Thank you so much for your constructive review. We continue to develop Swattesfield Campsite, ensuring it represents the relaxed informal and car free campsite with great, limitless and free hot water, and all with clean and open facilities for all. Unfortunately the period you stayed coincided with an emergency power cut by National Grid, completely out of our control - this prevented the pumps from working for our fresh water borehole and consequently no water. A sign was placed for all visitors to see and I personally visited every camper when this happened but there were some campers that had left for the day to visit the beautiful Suffolk countryside and so was obviously unable to speak with you at the time. All campers are free to contact me if they have specific queries but Swattesfield Campsite is a low density, intimate campsite and experience has shown that many campers like to be left to enjoy the walks and open space on the campsite. There is plenty of information and walks maps on the open kitchen and near the free to use fridge and freezer.
It's obviously unfortunate that you felt the need to post your experience here, many months after your visit and without mentioning your issues when we met when I would have been more than happy to explain.
As can be seen by the numerous excellent reviews already received you can see yours is an unusual experience. And here is some recent feedback around the time you also stayed: "I never had to queue and enjoyed a piping hot shower every day", "Well run and well located", "the shower was very good, always hot water when we used it", "nothing disappointed us from the cleanliness ... and the facilities", "We found Jonathan, the owner, to be friendly, helpful and laid back", so it may be your interpretation of rural facilities are simply the location of Swattesfield Campsite being of a delightful countryside location with easy access to walks, play areas, pubs and restaurants not to be what you're looking for. Kind regards, Jonathan

★★★★★

Lovely relaxed site

Have just returned from 3 nights at this campsite and had a lovely time.  We were camping with our two young children and were keen to find a site that didn't allow cars and that was family friendly.  

The site is divided into two fields and we stayed in the lower field (which also contains some bell tents and log cabins).  Cars are only allowed in this field while dropping and picking up belongings.  The upper field seems lovely and offers some hidden camping spots within the woodland (as well as some hidden rope swings) but this field contains an unfenced lake that we felt was just too dangerous with an 18 month old.  

This site overall is very relaxed.  We were happy to be able to let the little ones roam a little and they had a great time playing with some neighbouring children.  It was a real plus that campfires are allowed (using the provided fire pits).  Jonathan the owner was friendly and on hand to answer queries from time to time but generally seems to leave the campers to enjoy themselves.  It is nice to be able to chose your pitch wherever you fancy and the layout of the site suggests that it would rarely feel packed.  The shower/toilet block is more basic than some sites but is MORE than adequate and although there is only one shower, I never had to queue and enjoyed a piping hot shower every day.   

This is a great spot for real campers.  Well run and well located.  We would be VERY happy to return.


Aug 18, 2014 by Katherine
★★★★★

Family birthday celebration

We needed a campsite that would cater for a large family group for our first camping experience. We were lucky that we found Swattisfield. We had a bell tent, a Pixie hut and the Shepherds hut, all 3 provided  excellent accommodation for 4 people and 5 in the bell tent. The utensils, cooking facilities were very good, we cooked breakfasts and dinners on 2 days. Never having used shower/toilet blocks before, we were thinking that maybe a week without a shower would be ok. But the shower was very good, always hot water when we used it. The kids (5 aged between 9 and 2) loved the space and freedom of running around outside. I have had quite a bit of communication with Jonathan before our visit, during our visit and since we arrived home and at all times I have found him to be very friendly, very helpful and fair. Wanting to spend a special birthday with all the family but conscious of costs for some, Swattisfield ticked all boxes, we loved it.

Aug 11, 2014 by Janet
★★★★☆

Bell Tenters

Had a lovely, relaxing time for 3 nights in a Bell Tent with our doggy. The Bell Tent itself is really cute – tonnes of space, really comfy bed and a straw carpet. They provide you with a gas cooker and all plates/cutlery.  We went just before kids broke up for summer holidays and so the campsite was really quiet – perfect!  Jonathan is really friendly and you barely see him after you check in – nice to be left to your own devices. Facilities are basic but no less than you need.

It’s a fair walking distance to the local pub or shop (especially in the heat!)  Local forests are lovely, but the heat is absolutely baking in the open wheat fields. Have no complaints about our stay, just that the local area has relatively little in terms of breathtaking landscape. The area is very flat and so there is a lack of sightseeing such a mountains or streams/lakes where you could have perhaps dangled your legs in the summer heat.  

But if you love Suffolk, this is the place for you!

P.S- there is a great tree swing in the forest off the back part of the campsite where the Shepherds Huts are!!  Nice forest too :)

Beware of the lack of phone signal in the campsite or anywhere locally! Luckily the local pub, The Four Horseshoes, kindly let us borrow their landline to call a cab! We did discover that there was signal in the forest by the Shepherds Huts though – strangely!  

Jul 24, 2014 by Bell Tenters
★★★★★

Just Perfect! :)

My partner and i have just returned from a spontaneous weekend away (along with our pug) at Swattesfield and it couldn't have been better. We arrived at 11pm Friday eve after deciding we'd like to get away from everything for a few days and nothing disappointed us from the cleanliness of the tent and the facilities, the facilities which were provided, the walks we went on and the fab country pub we found. The atmosphere was extremely relaxed with an honesty box for the kindling and logs if we wanted them (which we did!). We started the saturday having breakfast at the local cafe and then headed out on the walking trails (for which maps are provided) ending up at the four horseshoes pub which was really lovely and the food was amazing too. We then returned to camp, lit our fire pit and laid outside our bell tent for the evening with nothing but the sound of birds and our conversation to listen to which was for us was wonderful. A weekend with no phones, TVs or iPads was exactly what we wanted. We don't normally write reviews but after visiting here we couldn't not write one. Thanks for such a lovely weekend, we will most definitely be back :)

Jul 13, 2014 by Rusty3186
★★★★★

Great weekend!

Me and my boyfriend chose this campsite for a weekend away from technology, for his birthday and just to enjoy ourselves. Went by train and a cab, cab service was bad, charged way to much for a 15 minute drive because he got lost, nothing to do with the campsite. However, it was just a really pleasant weekend, we arrived on Friday 6th June and got a warm welcome greeting from Jonathan, the campsite owner, he told us where everything was and where we could find the shop, which was very helpful indeed. After we found our place to pitch our tent we went to explore everything that was around us. The walk to the shop was a bit of a pain in the hot weather as we had to walk through a lot of fields and tall grass however it was a really nice atmosphere and good to be away from London. We had great weather the whole time we were there. Every night we made our own little fire with the fire pits given to us and the wood that we brought on site, the best part was the roasted marshmallows. For my first time camping it was a pretty good experience, unfortunately me and my boyfriend forgot some things which was annoying as we planned it out for so long. The showers there are clean and have a temperature dial so you can choose how you want it, which was nice. The toilets were clean and always lit up of a night time so you could see where you were going. The nature was very pretty and I loved it. On our second to last day we were the only ones left on the campsite which was very peaceful. On our last day we had time to waste so we walked around for a while and found a tree craved into a lion and saw what we think to be a wild deer. Even though our last day was really stressful with trying to get home as all of the cab companies wouldnt take our calls or they wouldnt come to where we were or none of the were avaliable, for a long while we thought we weren't going to get home and catch our train, so we thought we were going to have to walk 6 miles to the train station however Jonathan the campsite owner kindly offered to give us a lift to the station which we couldn't be more thankful about and appreciative. The worst part of the whole thing was the journey through London on tubes in rush hour as we had heat stroke from being in the sun the whole weekend and forgetting suncream so we were burnt, and the packed out hot stuffy trains didn't help. This was nothing to do with the campsite though even with all of hassle me and my boyfriend had a great weekend break together here away from everything and just being together. I want to thank Jonathan for being so generous to us otherwise we would of been stuck. I will like to go here again but I think I'll wait until I can drive as everything is a lot easier and you can get around easier.

Shelby Lewis and Luke Miller.

Jun 21, 2014 by lukewm
★★★★☆

Great tranquil site

Location

Swattesfield campsite is situated in lovely countryside with pleasant surrounding villages, a secluded location, well away from main roads. Although there is a train line nearby, it is far enough away that the sound is not a disturbance.

You can access the Thornham walks directly from the gate which is a huge plus for the campsite for us. As well as the local woods, these walks can take you through surrounding countryside and villages around the Thornham estate along quiet, lovely and well waymarked paths. The nearby Forge Café does a nice cuppa, cakes and meals, and is recommended.

Also recommended is the Four Horseshoes inn, that does a good meal at a fair price, and a nice selection of ales, ciders, etc.

Site

The site itself is pretty in a natural way, and surrounded by trees, hedges and wildlife - a real ‘relax and enjoy nature’ kind of place. The pitches are unmarked, and the provided fire pits are great, adding to the back to basics feel.

We visited just after the Easter holiday as others were leaving, and so had the site to ourselves. But with the size of the site and the number of pitches that are advertised, I can’t imagine it feeling too busy. It really does feel as if it is run more as a hobby than a commercial enterprise.

The facilities block is basic, but clean and more than adequate, with plentiful hot water. Washing up is undercover. There are the ‘fridge and freezer for campers use, and nice little touches like leaflets for surrounding attractions, map of the local area, a couple of shelves of books to borrow from, the weather forecast on a blackboard, etc.

We found Jonathan, the owner, to be friendly, helpful and laid back. He appears to rely on campers natural consideration for others rather than a long list of rules to be followed, asking only for sensible things like parking your car near the entrance once you've unloaded to keep the site car free, and keeping fires off the grass to keep it looking nice.

Glamping

Our visit was partly to celebrate a special birthday, and so we opted to stay in one of the glamping accommodations - the shepherds hut. This was fantastic, lovely inside, a great wood burning stove to keep the chill at bay in the evening, even solar lighting. Picnic bench, ‘cooking station’ and fire pit. Very comfortable and highly recommended.

And even though we came to ‘glamp’ on this occasion, we would love to visit this campsite again with our tent.

May 3, 2014 by D&B
★★★★★

Would definitely recommend!

Had an overall enjoyable experience at this campsite. 

The site and surrounding areas were very lovely (even though it was a grey and rainy weekend), lots of walks on offer, and the facilities available were very good. I had gone to get away from London for the weekend and be just out in the countryside by myself (great since I was the only person there that weekend) and that is exactly what I got. The owner was very friendly and easy to have a conversation with as well as helpful while I was there. While shops and pubs are not extremely close they are hardly a difficult trek from the campsite and are in two very nice and friendly villages nearby. All in all I would definitely go again and recommend it to others who would like to get away to the countryside for the weekend.   

Apr 29, 2014 by Sean
★★★☆☆

not quite cool...

Had a nice night, good weather helped, and a nice pitch in the trees, but the site is let down by lots of small things: It's looking very tired after only a few years (last years pizza oven is falling apart), I would not call it small-child safe with the unfenced pond and the map and signs are pretty useless. Also, if they are pitching at this end of the market, then the "Ryan Air" approach to pricing needs to go, in that if they say they provide fire pits, they need to make it clear that this is only if you pay for their wood and kindling! Lastly, there are two good sorts of campsite owners, those you never see, and those you do see, but who are properly friendly and don't make you feel like you've suddenly appeared in their back-garden! Lastly....maybe a small thing to some people, but the main reason I won't be back, or recommending it; when I shake hands with someone, and introduce myself, the other person is supposed to do the same....VERY rude!

Apr 9, 2014 by joat43

Response from Swattesfield Campsite

A warm welcome is always open at Swattesfield Campsite to all lovely campers that are looking for a delightfully natural and open country campsite. For those happy campers looking for dappled walks, free-to-use showers, pizza oven, fridge and freezer, with a large double sink station and covered information area and car-free environment it's a welcome breath of fresh air. 

We welcome all campers that would like open fires, to get back to real camping if they wish with the freedom to camp almost where they wish as we don't have marked pitches. And for those that would like more comfort then there is always one of our Bell Tents. With double beds and two further kids beds if needed, there is also it's own cooking station with all your cooking implements, your own picnic table and fire pit you - really only need bring your bedding. We greet with open arms any camper that would like to stay in our Pixie Hut; big enough for two adults and two children, it has it's own wood-burning stove, outside chimenea, picnic table and all your cooking equipment. It's called a Pixie Hut because it's cute, quaint and set in the trees and it helps to keep trolls away - we don't like trolls.

Swattesfield Campsite is nature's garden, a truly back to nature experience where campers have the experience of seeing many wild birds and animals with Herons, Kingfishers, Moorhens and Eegrets all frequenting the natural pond on the upper field. On the lower field, which is almost two acres large, there is plenty of room for campers and is surrounded by trees and hedges and a real sun-trap. From here there's easy access to the free-to-use showers and free-to-use fridge and freezer to pop your cool beers, wines and ice-creams in. From the main camping area the free-to-use Thornham Walks offers 12 miles of way-marked walks where campers can visit the 11th Century thatched pub, The Four Horseshoes. Walkers can also take the easy going woodland paths to The Forge Cafe and free-to-use play area. There's also The Coach House - a family run cafe/restaurant offering delicious home cooked food at great value. 

Back to Swattesfield Campsite and campers can choose to have a fire and, whilst firewood literally does grow on trees, it's unable to be sustainable, slow-grown hard wood, dried, seasoned, hand-cut and netted for your convenience and like the fire wood we sell, there is also the hand cut kindling, dried, bagged and small enough to start the fire in our firepits. The fire pits we use are specifically chosen to be raised off the ground thus avoiding scorching and killing the grass below and keeping the site looking as lovely as possible. We also actively discourage campers that wish to burn and destroy the hedgerows and surrounding trees which are homes to many birds and insects and are a key part of the lifecycle of a real countryside campsite. 

Then there is the hand made, clay pizza oven, full of character and charm and a delight to cook in with a little practice! The pizza oven was made by squelching clay, straw and grit to make the perfect consistency so it will hold it's shape and retain the heat for cooking. The free-to-use pizza oven is an organic cooking station which is offered continuous tlc throughout the seasons to maintain it's appearance.

Swattesfield Campsite is lovely, we love lovely people to come and stay, to relax and enjoy a warm welcome, a great country side environment, that has space and big skies for small and big kids to enjoy.

With Love, Swattesfield Campsite

P.S. Hugs are always available to cheer you up...they're free too!

★★★★★

Swattesfield

This is a fantastic site, very, very pretty and well run by Jonathan and Phil who are very easy going but accommodating when you have a need.

The showers and toilets are pretty basic but the location is superb and caravans are banned so if you are a proper camper this is a great site. There are plenty of decent pubs and shops nearby. Firepits are available for real fires.

The site is great and very safe for children who have plenty of room, including a woods and playing field, to make their own fun. There are a few homemade swings and he most fantastic natural 'bushcraft' den.

The site is not far from the London/Norwich main line, which can be irksome sometimes but the trains are few and far between, just the odd one very late at night or very early in the morning.

We've been three times now, including a week-long break so it's definitely recommended.




Jun 13, 2013 by Ian and his bell tent

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