Hill Farm Suffolk

UK England East Anglia Suffolk Stowmarket

  • Campfires Allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
Bell tent glamping in the trees on a rural Suffolk farm (and several pubs within walking distance)

A narrow country lane, spilling at its sides with cow parsley in summer, leads from the hamlet of Stoke Ash to Hill Farm. It’s a full half mile long, seemingly leading nowhere, before you arrive at its end, where a clutch of barns, stables and an old farmhouse complete the scene. At first you don’t notice the bell tents, sheltered as they are in a triangle of woodland but, when you do, there’s no doubt you’ll be skipping from your car to your new-found canvas home. This place is utterly charming.

Hill Farm Suffolk is home to just four bell tents in total, each sleeping up to four people, though with room for a further two on camp beds if required. Each of the tents is named after horses on the farm – Bracken, Mayfly, Dexter and Peggles – and comes stashed with a box of cooking clobber, including a gas stove, coolbox, kitchenware and crockery. Ben linen, along with towels, are provided which you can take to the newly built washrooms (think good, powerful showers) and there’s also a communal dishwashing area where you can clean your things and use the site’s fridge-freezer.

The shady setting of the trees is one of the real selling points here. The woods are light and bright enough that grass still grows and there’s plenty of space to move around, yet at the same time the glamping space feels sheltered and secluded – something only accentuated by that long private road to get here. On two sides, the triangle of trees overlooks the open fields of the working farm where barley dances in the breeze.

To make the most of such scenery, step out and walk to one of the local pubs. There are a handful of options within range. Follow the hedgeline half a mile east and cross the stream (the River Dove) and you’re into the village of Thorndon, where the CAMRA-approved Black Horse does a decent carvery, or follow the entry road back to Stoke Ash and walk down Wood Hall Lane, where a footpath ultimate leads you to The Four Shoes, a charming pub that looks every part its 12th-century age, with a low thatched roof and pinkish lime-plastered walls.

Further afield there’s plenty to keep you busy. On rainy days urban Ipswich is 25 minutes by car and Norwich is 40 minutes North, while on sunny ones it’s a 50-minute drive to Southwold, Aldeburgh and the Suffolk coast. You needn’t get in the car if you don’t want to, though. There are bikes for rent at Hill Farm Suffolk and, of course, the communal campfire to laze beside. There’s no need to rush here. No need at all.

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Details

Facilities

1 queen-sized and 2 single beds in each tent. A cooking box with a gas stove, kitchenwares, utensils, crockery and cutlery, plus a cool box in each tent. A new timber building houses three washroom cubicles with powerful showers, proper flushing loos and basins. WiFi across the site. Electricity to each tent. Communal washing up facilities. Communal fridge-freezer. Communal campfire pits and BBQs. Free parking. Bikes for hire.

Suitable For

Glamping only. The site does not allow dogs unless they're service/assistance dogs.

Nearby

There are plenty of good walks straight from Hill Farm, with the local pubs providing a decent destination (see Food & Drink). Bikes are also available to hire from the site. The local market town of Eye (3 miles) has a ruined 11th-century castle – one of the few surviving motte-and-bailey castles from the early Norman period – which is open from 9am until dusk and overlooks the town's similarly impressive 14th-century church. For rail enthusiasts, Mid-Suffolk's Light Railway is nearby (3 miles; 01449 766899) as is the Bressingham Steam Experience (7 miles; 01379 686900). Framlingham Castle (15 miles; 01728 724922) is one of Suffolk's best known tourist attractions. Once a fearless fortress, it was built by Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, before being confiscated from the powerful Bigod family by King Henry II in 1157. Today it is owned by English Heritage and visitors can walk the ramparts, while, during school holidays and summer weekends there is a range of activities, including jousting shows. For longer days out, it's 25 minutes to Ipswich, 35 minutes to Norwich, 40 minutes to Thetford Forest and about 50 minutes to the Suffolk coast, where the likes of Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, Dunwich, Thorpeness and Southwold await.

Food & Drink

There's no shop at Hill Farm Suffolk itself but the neighbouring farm sells free range eggs with an honesty box for payment. There are several good pubs within a walking radius. It's a 20-minute stroll on the footpaths (and across the River Dove) to the low-beamed Black Horse Inn in Thorndon (01379 678523; closed on Tuesdays), while, in the opposite direction, it's the same distance to The White Horse (01379 678222) and a few hundred yards further to The Four Horsehoes (01379 678777), which is every bit worth those extra footsteps – the 12th-century pub is utterly charming with a thick thatched roof and a scattering of flowers. Vegans and vegetarians should try the excellent Walnut Tree in Thwaite (01449 766003) – a 5-minute drive or 40-minute walk.

Opening Times

June–October.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

When you come and stay at Hill Farm, you can expect a warm welcome.

We have a choice of four 5m bell tents available to book in our beautiful woodland. Each tent is named after a local Suffolk punch horse, two of which (Bracken and Mayfly) were horses which used to belong to the farm. Their names are still on their stables in the farmyard.

We will provide you with WiFi and electricity at each tent, high quality toilet and shower facilities, communal woodland fire pits and BBQs, individual gas cookers and kitchenware, fridge/freezer storage and a cool box for food, and bike rental. There is ample parking onsite. Parking is very close to the woodland and the toilets and showers are also a very short walk from the tents.

Video Tour

Accommodation

4 luxury bell tents sleeping 4 people as standard, though up to 6 people can also be accommodated in total for an extra fee.

Check Availability

Location

Contact Hill Farm Suffolk, Hill Farm, Grasshopper Lane, Stoke Ash, Eye, Suffolk IP23 7ER

Show Map

Getting There

Hill Farm Suffolk is located to the east of the A140 between Ipswich (South), Norfolk (North), Bury St Edmunds (West) and the Suffolk Coast (East).

Coming from the South on the A140, go past the large Mendlesham Mast and through to Stoke Ash. Take the second right turning to Stoke Ash onto Roman Way.

Coming from the North on the A140, go past the Bull Auberge and White Horse pubs on the right, and take the second left turning to Stoke Ash onto Roman Way.

Once on Roman Way, fork at the first left then turn immediately right/straight on the no-through road. Hill Farm is right at the end of this lane.

It's a bit of a trek to the nearest train station. Diss is 8 miles away and Stowmarket is 11 miles. The main changeover station is in Ipswich (18 miles).

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews

★★★★★

Amazing!

We had such an amazing time at Hill Farm! It’s a gorgeous site, you have everything you need and the bell tents are ace. The owners are lovely and the location is excellent (go to the black horse!). I can’t recommend highly enough.
Aug 6, 2019 by Shuna Stevenson

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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