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Rated ★★★★★ over 31 reviews
Wild and free
Lee Valley offers you the perfect mix of wild and comfort. The surrounding woodland area is very secluded and we even saw wild Muntjac roaming around. We stayed next to the river which was very calm, the woodland area offers more of a forest camping experience. I definitely recommend getting the logs for the campfire. It is very easy to get to via train, only 10 minute walk from Broxbourne station. There are beautiful canal side walks and a couple of nice riverside pubs as well as a boat hire shop if you wish to take out a row boat for the day. Highly recommend!
Camping in comfort...
My friend and I had a break here for the weekend and really enjoyed it. There is nature all around and yet we didn't feel cut off or isolated, so the best of both worlds. Each pitch had plenty of room for two tents and a whole lot more, with two wooden benches and a fire pit. The car park is nearby and you can use the wheelbarrows provided to take your things to your pitch. You will also find the office/reception at the car park. So, if you need to get away from it all without going to the ends of the earth, this must be the place!
Great site, simple but all you need
The site is in a great location with good sized pitches and not over crowded. Nice wooded forests and next to water. Simple amenities, but all you need for a couple of nights. Recommend ordering wood and a grill for the fire beforehand. We went through about 2 and a half bags per night.
This is the second time we’ve visited, both times on a riverside pitch (3). This is a great site to spend a weekend away from London, particularly with a kayak! On our first visit in June 2019, we took the train and walked to the campsite which is doable. We spent the weekend walking to pubs along the way to Rye House. The ranger went out of his way to provide water as the tap had broken and brought fire wood to our tent (no pre-order necessary). It was relaxing and I would rate 5 stars for this weekend, hence the rebook. This year (August 2020), we drove up so we could bring the kayak. It is a great spot for kayaking and we did a similar route to last year, stopping at the Fish and Eels, Rye House and then the Crown on the way back. Unfortunately we didn’t have the same amazing experience but it was passable. We chose the site, knowing from the year prior, that it’s quiet and marketed as a back to nature retreat. Unfortunately, in the evening, large groups (over 6 - up to 10) were on pitches and playing loud music. We’re early 30s so we get it but didn’t think this was the place. Woke up the next morning to find toilet paper over the site (and yet none in the loo). Felt very dirty and lots of litter in pitches (their prerogative but took away from the idyllic almost wild feel for sure). In the current climate, we would have expected better monitoring of numbers on each pitch and better cleanliness. More toilets would have better suited the numbers and both locks had broken on the only two. The ranger, too, said he would let us pick up wood but he closed earlier than he said and left for the night. A disappointing experience compared to the first. We were hoping this would be an annual weekend escape - three stars tops. Hoping this experience was a one off. Four star average, based on the first fantastic experience.
We were a big group of friends and the company kindly arranged for us to have two pitches side by side. The pitches were lovely and roomy, the fire pits were an added bonus. It’s a funny thing to review but the composting toilets were brilliant too! The only thing that could have been better if is the basic sink at the site could have even just been cleaned. I appreciate it’s wild camping but even wiping down the sink between days would have made things a bit nicer for the dozens of people using it...
Lovely campsite, super close to London
I booked on a whim for my puppy and me to take advantage of the holiday weather. I had a tent-free pitch and it was enormous, super secluded by being surrounded by trees and lovely and shady in the hot weather. The campsite is quite small but it's perfectly set up with composting loos and the River Lea right there with a canoe/SUP landing. I took my SUP and had a great time paddling about the river. I saw a review saying there wasn't much to do but I think there's loads - there's the river for canoeing/SUP, there's Broxbourne Riverside right across the road which extends back quite a way through lovely walks, there's the other side of the Lea which has even longer walks. Broxbourne is like 15 minutes walk max and has all the shops/pubs etc if you want those, plus there's Paradise Wildlife Park a couple of miles away and the entire Lee Valley white water rafting/sailing etc area literally right there. Even if you don't have a car (I didn't), the station is literally less than 10 minutes walk and it has a cab company, so it's super-easily accessible. I'm not sure what more you could want from a campsite, we loved it and hope to go back soon.
A great woodland camping experience!
Had a wonderful night here, sleeping in hammocks in one of the woodland pitches. Unlike the tent pitches, which are large and pleasant but relatively open, our woodland pitch was very secluded in the trees. And huge! Which meant you were not really conscious of your next-door neighbours at all. The wood, charcoal and grill we pre-booked were all waiting for us on arrival. Composting toilets were clean and totally unsmelly! We did get some noise - though this was from some of the narrow boats moored across the river/canal, who were evidently having a party. So there was music and party noise drifting over well into the early hours. It didn't really keep me awake, but some earplugs might be worth packing, along with your torch. (It was a Bank Holiday weekend though - I don't know how typical this is.) We cycled, which means it's pretty easy to get out to the shops for food (under a mile) as well as explore the local area, which has various nice walks/rides along the canal.
Gorgeous pitch, not much to do
We were assigned pitch 1 which was the best by far... On the edge so no passing traffic. Very big pitch. Lots of geese poo. It rained almost the whole weekend so we were in the tent playing board games, but, to be honest, there was not much to do at the campsite or nice walks around it. Small River on one side not suitable for swimming, larger River with houseboats on the other, also not suitable for swimming. Maybe would have been fun to go on the big River with a canoe. Noise from train and aeroplanes. Toilets not clean. I wouldn't return here myself but maybe it would best suit canoeists.
Great little find!
Really nice campsite close to London. The pitches were a bit closer together than we had thought they'd be but both the clientele and the fact that the sound didn't seem to carry meant that it was a very peaceful weekend none the less. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful without being at all intrusive. We had a great time (despite it being really cold for the time of year!) And would certainly go back again. Broxbourne is 15-20 mins walk away and has some nice restaurants and pubs. You can tell you're not in the middle of nowhere because of distant train, car and plane sounds but for being this close to London it's pretty relaxed! All in all a great experience, will be back!
Peaceful overnight stay in a site within cycling distance of the city
We had a perfect one night stay at Almost Wild Campsite in April. We cycled from South London along the Lee Valley canals, a relaxed, flat, and easy ride, with beautiful light all along the water. We were met by a very friendly and helpful site attendant, who had left the grill and logs on our pitch for us. Our pitch was luxuriously big for our small tent, could easily fit several more. We cooked dinner on the fire, watched the sunset and moonrise accompanied by water birds in the water along the site. In the morning we weren't rushed to leave as the gate didn't need to be opened for our bike departure. A lovely discovery, we're definitely planning to stay again!
We booked the meadow pitch and got number 7 - it was a huge space for just our one tent but that meant we weren't too close to either of our neighbours, with some bushes seperating each pitch. Really nice and secluded ( well as secluded as you can be just outside London!), would definitely go again and would recommend!
Location, and the peacefulness of the site, while still being able to have music on and have a rake of beers.
Each pitch is a generous size, so we didn't hear much from other pitches at all as they are quite spread out. Nice walks along the river, Kayaking very close bye, and some good pubs with just a short walk. The toilets were very clean when we arrived, although started smelling a little by the end of the weekend, as there are only 2 on site. A small shower block would be a great addition, but easy to survive without if only there for a weekend. Also, no swimming permitted on site which we hadn't realised before going. In general though, great site, very clean, easy drive from London and I will certainly be going back.
Great site great Ranger.
Attended spoon carving workshop on Sunday 29th July. Great venue with fantastic canopy. Didn't even notice it was raining. We really enjoyed the workshop and managed to make a spoon and spatula. Craig was very knowledgeable and would have the confidence now to use an axe, saw and knife safely. Great course if you want to learn a new skill and as an exercise in mindfulness. New toilets are very nice. The ranger kept checking to make sure all was going well too. This is obviously a very well run site and I would recommend it to others especially for courses.
True to description, nicely secluded
Only stayed a night, but will come back to stay again. Definitely need to come with supplies as there is nothing nearby unless drive to nearby town.
First time here I was very impressed. The pitches were big and private which made a difference as we love feeing like your there on your own. Defo booking again and again. I want to book a week next time if they allow. Views are lovely and nature surrounding you. We had a wild rabbit that didn’t mind us there. The park ranger was very nice and helpful and the camp site it self has all you need for a great wild experience.
We stayed at one of the hammock/bivouac lots at Almost Wild Campsite and it was a fantastic experience! Surrounded by trees and a nice campfire right next to our hammocking spot made the weekend truly enjoyable. You do feel like you’re somewhere off grid yet if you need to get to a grocery store, they’re not too far away. I can only recommend this place to anyone who’s looking for a simple and proper camping experience but cannot travel too far.
The best campsite for bushcraft easily accessible from London
My cousin and I came to stay for two nights in May 2018. We were blown away by the tidyness and organisation of the site. The toilets are probably the best public toilets that I have ever used, don't think festival, think top hotel! The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and interested in making your stay a success. My cousin is an amputee but found the facilities here easy to use. Access to the site is great for walkers, boaters, cylclists and car users, the site being close to both the trains and the M25... plus the river Lee. We will definitely be using the site as often as we can.
Peace and quiet in the woods
Had a really nice night at Almost Wild, very peaceful and calm. The meadow pitches are big and have soft grass but no trees, the woodland pitches and slightly smaller with lots of trees and shade, but the ground is more varied. We booked the riverside pitch because I thought there would be some trees around and when we got there is was crazy hot. The camp ranger guy was very friendly and said we could switch to one of the woodland pitches that had cancelled earlier in the day, made the stay much more comfortable, but strung up out hammock, pitched the tent and made a fire, which was a real plus! Great place for a local nature experience. One downside was the noice, most of the time it was really peaceful and quiet with lovely birdsong, but it seems to be under a flightpath so every half an hour or hour a plane comes over which can be quite loud. I would definitely recommend it to people short on time that want a quick and convenient break from the city, but if you have more time I'd say venture further out of London!
Camping and canoeing: the perfect match!
My boyfriend and I spent an amazing bank holiday weekend at the Lee Valley Almost Wild campsite. We picked up a canoe from nearby Lee Valley Canoe Cycle and arrived at the campsite by boat, which was fun and easy to do. Gareth, the Warden, is a friendly, relaxed but very professional guy who has a real passion for the site. Not surprising because it is an peaceful, well-maintained campsite, with large pitches, clean (smell-free) toilets, water, fire wood, washing up station, etc.. Gareth was really flexible and let us come on a site a bit early (because we had to pick the boat up at 10.30am). He also saved us when our airbed sprung a leak; he actually gave us a brand new airbed! So, to sum up: lovely host, beautiful site, great facilities, and a location close to lots of fun water activities (plus walking and cycling). We will definitely be coming back soon and recommend you visit too!
In a word, liberating.
I grew up in semi-rural Australia, and through a bizarre series of events find myself in a little London flat. I've despaired a lot at a loss of freedom to do things for myself, or to have any space to think and breathe. Well I absolutely could not be more impressed with the entire site. I have stayed twice in a woodland pitch, and I will be back every opportunity that I get. The facilities strike an amazing balance, you have running water, smell-free toilets, a dish washing station, and you are within walking distance of shops if you are low on supplies; but beyond that you can be as rustic as you like. The rangers are all friendly, knowledgeable, and generous with their time. Bushcraft lessons are informative, relaxed, and practical. While I only stayed on a woodland pitch, the fact that both woodland and riverside are so close makes it easy to manage groups: maybe you want to sit in a hammock in a sun dappled glade, and your friend wants to set up their stove with their spacious tent on soft open grass. Easy. I genuinely appreciate everything that Lee Valley Almost Wild is doing, and I will be dragging anyone I can along with me.
Campfires, Bushcraft and Woodlands-Perfect!
My husband and I had our first stay here this last weekend, and it definitely won't be the last!! Having grown up camping in the Aussie bush land, we were despairing of finding a similar experience close enough to London to work for weekend trips, until we found Lee Valley. We booked the woodland pitch and it was everything we were hoping for! The pitches feel wonderfully secluded in the trees, and by far a huge perk is being able to have your own open campfire. We were able to cook lovely meals, and felt like we got the rustic camp experience we were looking for, while still having perks of convenience in the form of the washing up station, a cold water tap and very well presented compost toilets that were kept immaculate, with loo paper and hand soap provided, as well as almost no smell due to how they work. A huge befnefit is how easy and accessible the site is from London. As we don't own a car, this was a huge factor in deciding where to go as many places are very tricky to get to, especially as we are carrying all our gear. We took the train from Liverpool Street, and couldn't believe how quick and easy the journey was, the campsite being only a 15min easy walk from the station. As well as that, the local high street being only a 20ish min walk away, so we had lots of options for getting food and water etc. We also took part in one of the bushcraft classes offered, the primitive fire starting one, and found it fantastic. They are well worth doing, being very informative and interesting, with a very hands on approach to having a go with great guidance from our instructor. Overall, it was the perfect trip for us and lives up to the almost wild camping experience it offers. 10/10 and we will definitely be looking to make this our go to for camping weekends.
We stayed here for one night on the weekend and had the perfect camping experience - loads of room in our pitch, in built fire pit for our BBQ, amazing toilets and very wild woodland setting (considering its proximity to London). Loved every minute. Will be back!
Exactly what we've been looking for...
We've been looking for a woodland campsite near London where we can have a proper fire and practice some bushcraft skills. Almost Wild is almost perfect. The woodland sites are well sized and fairly secluded. We used a tent although a hammock setup would be ideal. It rained near constantly but we strung a tarp high up over the fire, so had a good space to hang out. Staff were very knowledgable and friendly. The composting toilets are clean and modern, but the slamming doors need to be fixed. Overall, the whole thing was beautifully simple, well thought-out and peaceful. We'll definitely be back.
Perfect camping so close to london
Wonderful simple site an easy drive from London. Firepits as standard with great wood available to buy. We had pre-ordered it and it was already waiting at our pitch when we got there. We had great privacy on a huge end of row riverside pitch. Excellent compost toilets that were clean and the best i've come across with no nasty smells. Overall lovely set up and surroundings with friendly and enthusiastic people looking after the place. Will definitely be re-visiting!
Had a brilliant time at Almost Wild Campsite! Firstly, the staff were welcoming and personable and went the extra mile to make sure we had everything we needed. Secondly, the setting was beautiful, clean, fresh and located next to a gorgeous canal. We had decided to book this specific campsite due to its close location to London. From Liverpool St station it was a mere 45 mins and then a 5 min walk to the site. I could believe it had taken me under an hour to get there!
Another thing I'll mention is how lovely the toilets were! Because they are natural compost toilets they didn't smell at all and were kept immaculate. We did a brilliant two hour lesson on how to make fire which was so interesting and fun! When my friends had suggested we did this I secretly reluctantly agreed because I thought it might be a bit boring but I think I enjoyed it more than everyone else!! Highly recommend doing the bush classes. Overall, a 10/10 experience. We are already planning our next trip back!
Do it! The perfect break from London life (and you can get there with your Oyster)
This was less time than my commute to work, cost less that a bottle wine at my local and was one of the best weekends I have ever spent! Our pitch was HUGE, the site itself is surrounded by water, with a peaceful canal on one side, theres also a little canoe dock thats perfect to sip your coffee on in the morning! Each pitch has a fire pit, we went with friends and cooked two meals each day (you can book a grill for your fire and I couldnt recommend doing this enough! made everything so easy!) Theres local shops about a 20 min walk away so you can just stock up each morning for the day ahead. We took a bushcraft skills course on Saturday morning, these are £10 each for the hour and we learned soooo much!! You just head up to the main tent and you can speak to staff about when classes are on. Everyone on site is actually incredibly helpful, theyll leave you to it so you get the wild camping feeling but are also there for any questions you have and really friendly! What I love about this place is you get wild camping buzz with out having to travel far if you live in london. We had looked into a city break for the weekend but booked this on a whim and I am so glad we did!! There is nowhere else I could have gone to that easily where I got to enjoy lush surroundings, learn how to make fire and have so much to do nearby (the surrounding area is so beautiful we had a long walk on Saturday afternoon, theres also Lee Valley activity centre nearby so you can canoe etc). We spent wayyyyy less than a normal weekend in London but had an unforgettable time. It would be great for people travelling through London as well as you can cycle/ drive/take train super easily. I cannot wait to go back! Other bonuses were; the toilets are composting toilet which are also well lit at night and really clean, theres a very eco friendly washing up station, fresh drinking water and you can pre book your firewood so when you arrive its waiting next to your fire pit.
Peaceful riverside site
This site is small, pretty and the staff are friendly and helpful. We made good use of the firepit at our woodland pitch, and the logs for sale were appreciated. The launch makes river access easy and this stretch of the Lee is lovely. There's a decent riverside pub which does food, the Crown, about 15 - 20 mins walk away, or via the river (one lock in between, slightly tricky to find a good entry / exit point for a paddleboard on the pub side of the lock, but do-able). There's also a boat hire centre opposite the pub.
Perfect site for wild camping
This site was an amazing introduction to wild camping for someone who had never really done it before. To cook and sit by the campfire was a great experience and the site itself was incredibly peaceful despite being not too far from a small town. The staff were really helpful and the limited facilities were perfect, adding to the wild camping feel of my stay.
Perfect retreat from city life
Stayed at the Lee Valley campsite for one night, and can't wait to return! Very friendly, helpful staff. Gorgeous riverside pitches, which feel right in the heart of the countryside, and everything you need from basic facilities - 2 clean compost toilets, a cold water tap and washing up bowls and soap provided in a separate area. Each pitch also as a fire pit, perfect for the summer evenings. Ideal for a 1 night break or longer if you wanted.
Fantastic place to get away.
Didn't know that such a beautiful and peaceful place could exist so close to normal busy life. It was very relaxing sitting round our own campfire listening to the wildlife. Was really quite and have a great night sleep. Highly recomend and i will be returning very soon.
Amazing escape from London
Highly recommend this campsite, especially if coming from London. I cycled out here with camping stuff in my bike saddle bags. Stayed for the one night over the weekend and really enjoyed it. A proper break from the city rush but within very east reach. We will return!