30 of the best camping and glamping sites in East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 17 June 2019
Fretting about Brexit and Euros and flights? Holiday at home instead in a yurt, airstream, shepherd’s hut, treehouse...or your own tent.
1. West Lexham, King's Lynn, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Included
Nestled into a private estate across 21 acres of spellbinding grounds you'll find a fairytale world of treehouses and bell tents. The site (which uses 90% renewable energy) is ripe for adventure, with rivers, meadows and gardens to explore - as well as a tennis court and large boating lake complete with boats. There are six handcrafted treehouses and a range of bell tents complete with everything you could need. And the communal garden kitchen offers a well-equipped cooing area, hot showers, vintage-style toilets, taps of the site's own mineral water, board and lawn games, a pizza oven, and a camp fire circle.
2. Happy Days Retro Vacations, Leiston, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
If going under canvas isn't your style, how about a retro American Airstream camper? There's a fleet of eight quirky vans here complete with all the bits and pieces you need to make yourself at home.
It's car-free, so kids can play with abandon on the fields. And there's no charge for the fire pits provided. Happy Days benefits from new toilets and showers with a family shower room. Plus, it must be one of the only camp sites in the country to have its own Escape Room Challenge!
3. Kelling Heath, Holt, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Available
Some call this the Center Parcs of camping. Betwixt Holt and Sheringham, this site has it all for tourers and campers. Generously sized plots. Woodlands with cycle and footpaths. Activities for children. A heated indoor pool (for a charge). Tennis courts. A well-stocked shop. Pitches range from a standard serviced to hard-standing premium. Families return to Kelling Heath time and time again for its clean and extensive facilities, friendly vibe and unbeatable location. If you're new to camping this is a good place to start.
4. Secret Meadows, Hasketon, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Only out of season, Electric: Only in one accommodation
An award-winning glamping site that really does have it all - luxury lodge tents (one with a hot tub), shepherd's huts, two storey luxury safari tent and a 'Hobbit Box'. If you want to glamp in style check out the safari tent which sleeps eight in the trees overlooking a meadow. It's equipped with a kitchen, wood-burning stove, furniture, two private toilets, showers, two double beds (one four poster) downstairs, and a double and twin upstairs.
The price includes a complimentary tea tray, chest of wood with firelights, access to hammocks, games, a picnic table - you name it. You can even arrange to have your own hen coop for fresh eggs (from £24 for a weekend)!
5. Ivy Grange Farm, Halesworth, Price: See online, Dog friendly: No, Electric: No
A wonderful glamp site of just a few yurts and a shepherd's hut set within a three acre meadow. All have decking, a fire pit, wood burner and barbecue, and come equipped with proper mattresses, kitchen areas, fairy lights and more.
It's the little touches that make this place. The fact you can borrow bikes. There's a vineyard next door.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs can be picked from the grounds for your supper. And there's a barn with table tennis, books, phone charging points and seating. Make your own pie in the pizza oven. And take a hot woodland shower screened by willow. Blissful.
6. Rushbanks Farm Caravan and Camping Site, Wissington, Price: £24 per night for two, up to two under 18s free in same tent, Dog friendly: No, Electric: No
A true back-to-nature experience at the only official campsite on the banks of the river Stour. Spend your days jumping in the water wild swimming, and canoeing or kayaking up to Bures or Nayland (where a pub awaits).
The cash-only site hires out water craft to guests only and has a basic but clean toilet block, portable toilets and showers, fresh running water, and outdoor sink and recycling facilities.
For a touch of luxury there are two 5m bell tents on the banks of the river to hire, each sleeping eight and including use of a fire pit.
7. Whitlingham Broad Campsite, Norwich, Price: Midweek £8.40pp, weekends £9.50pp, under 16s £5 or £5.50, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: No
On the outskirts of the city set within the 80 acres of country park, opposite the café/visitor centre and just a short walk from a variety of watersports on the lake, this site has a very relaxed, almost hippy vibe.
Camping on the upper field is car-free and for tents only (use their wheelbarrows to unload your kit), while the lower field will take cars, campers and small motorhomes.
Pitches are decent at 7m by 10m and there are basic family washrooms with toilets and a shower. You're welcome to use a fire pit or real barbecue and there's a small shop with phone charging and freezer block rental.
8. Alton Water, Stutton, Price: £25 per night or £37 for a super pitch, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
Ever visited here and wished you didn't have to leave? Now you don't need to. A purpose-built campsite now resides at Alton Water, offering 88 level grass pitches, a modern shower block and covered washing area.
There's loads to do on site.
Take your bikes to travel the paths around the lake (there's hire available), go fishing, try your hand at paddle boarding or sailing, or check out the giant inflatable water course this summer.
9. Bircham Windmill campsite, Great Bircham, Price: £18 per pitch, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes for extra charge
Rise to the sight of a magnificent historical windmill on your doorstep.
This is a no-frills basic site but has a lot to offer.
Your pitch fee includes entry to the garden, play area, tearoom and reduced mill entry - as well as 24 hour access to a fresh water tap, toilets, washing up facilities, showers and games room. Have a bite to eat in the tearoom, purchase bread and cheese made on site in the shop. And you can even pay to bake your own loaf.
10. Birds and the Bees Campsite, Rendham, Price: £17.50 per night for adults, £8 for five to 15-year-olds, Dog friendly: No, Electric: No
If you really want to go back to nature you've come to the right place. The site is planted with mature trees and hedges, broken by pastureland, with just 15 pitches across the glades boasting an incredible half acre per tent.
Vehicles are hidden from view in a sunken car park. And there's a real ethos of sustainability - even down to a composting toilet in the camping area with electric and drinking water for those middle of the night emergencies.
The shop has all the essentials you'll need and there's hot showers and decent toilet facilities as well as a washing area with fridge, freezer, kettle, microwave and more. Buy local meat from the shop, pick fresh herbs from around the site - and try some of their homemade ice cream. Real fires are allowed in fire pits and raised barbecues.
11. West Stow Pods, West Stow, Price: Varies. Pod Hollow starts at £150 per night for two adults, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
Just a short drive from Bury St Edmunds and close to West Stow Anglo Saxon Village this is glamping with a difference because as well as four equipped megapods and a woodland lodge, there's an amazing new Pod Hollow.
The Lord of the Rings-alike subterranean dwelling (complete with cute round entrance) has two double beds and a sitting room, TV, free wifi, a shower room and toilet and a full kitchen.
12. Deepdale Campsite, Burnham Deepdale, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
A reliably good, quiet site close to the sea. They can accommodate up to 85 tents and motorhomes in the six paddocks, and offer toasty toilet and shower facilities with underfloor heating - running off 100% renewable energy.
There's a camp shop for bits and bobs, free Wifi and mobile charging facilities and laundry facilities. You can hire bikes on site to explore the area, and if you feel peckish, next door is a café.
They have a strict no noise after 10pm policy so if you prefer a less noisy holiday it's ideal.
13. Waldegraves, Mersea Island, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
A lively, friendly family site in north Essex, a short drive from historic Colchester and its magnificent castle. There are five large non-electric camping fields close to the sea or near the fishing lakes, as well as hard standing pitches for tourers.
Facilities are excellent. You've got plenty of shower, toilet and washing up blocks - including a family bathroom and disabled toilets.
Plus you've got access to the laundry block, a freezer and mobile phone charging. And you don't need to leave to have fun. Make use of the outdoor pool, arcade, restaurant, bar, footgolf, driving range, mini golf, boating lake and more. The beach is just on your doorstep.
14. Carlton Meres Holidays Park, Saxmundham, Price: See online at Park Holidays, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
Tucked away in a tranquil location outside of the market town this is a buzzing family site.
It has separate camping and touring areas with their own shower and toilet blocks - as well as camping pods. The park is well-equipped.
There is an outdoor pool, gym, tennis courts, adventure play, restaurant and bar, and also has fishing lakes set amidst the woodland.
15. Newbourne Woodland Campsite, Newbourne, Price: £25 per night or £20 for cyclists without a car, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: No
The Risdale family has opened up the woodland and grounds close to their plant nursery as an adult-only, tranquil campsite. Ipswich, Felixstowe and Woodbridge are in easy reach at the carless site where you're offered barrows to move your belongings to your pitch.
There are firepits to borrow and charcoal and wood for sale. And take advantage of hot showers in the 24 hour his and hers washrooms.
It's been named one of the best campsites for couples in the country.
16. Waveney River Centre, Beccles, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes Electric: Yes
You may also want to watch:
You are literally right by the water of the Broads here - with views over the boats and beyond to meadowland and the nearby nature reserve.
Pitches are very generous in size at 8m by 9m or 12m by 10m, and they have some of the very best toilet and shower facilities - toasty warm. On site are a large bar and restaurant using local produce, an indoor pool and play area.
There are escape pods as well, fitted with electric, lights and mattresses, and 5m wide yurts with electric sockets, heater, stove and deck.
17. Three Rivers, Geldeston, Price: £10pp per night, children five to 15-years-old £7.50, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: On half the pitches
How many campsites have their own boat launch?
Well this one does. Close to Beccles and just a ferry trip or canoe ride up the river to the famous Geldeston Locks pub, this is a no-frills natural campsite ideal for those who want to live on the wild side.
You'll have access to a shower room, kitchen and toilet area and canoe and kayak hire, and barbecues and campfires are permitted.
18. Hickling Campsite, Hickling Price: £12pp per night, £6 for four to 16-year-olds, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: No
Camp in the Broads on these lovely flat grass pitches.
You've got the best of both worlds - sandy beaches close by, and the lure of boating on the waterways.
All the usual facilities are provided including those all-important hot showers, and there's access to miles of cycling and footpaths. Handmade shepherd huts live on the site now too - if you'd rather sleep on solid ground.
19. Wild Duck Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, Price: Book via Haven or Hoseasons, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
A fantastic park with families in mind.
There are 108 touring and camping pitches with access to covered washing areas, a heated shower block, baby changing and disabled facilities.
The woodland setting is home to both indoor and outdoor pools, forest trails (with bike hire), a market, crazy golf, outdoor sports courts and more. And Gorleston beach is just four miles away.
20. Applewood Countryside Park, Banham, Price: From £14.50pp per night without electric, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Some pitches for additional charge
Close to Banham Zoo this site has plenty of room for caravans, motorhomes and tents and prices include access to the showers, parking and Wifi - plus discounts to the zoo!
You can glamp as well in one of the cutesy shepherd's cabins which sleep up to five and come with linens, bedding and towels. They've even got a couples-only cabin with a luxurious oversized bath.
21. Tangham Campsite, Butley, Price: £22 per night, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: On most pitches
Sleep amidst the woodlands of Rendlesham Forest where miles of cycle path, adventure play areas and a BMX track await. This popular site is basic but popular, offering seven level acres for tents, tourers and motorhomes.
The showers and laundry facilities require a small fee, and there's a small shop with the basics, as well as a free 24 hour freezer service for ice packs.
22. Shottisham Campsite, Shottisham, Price: £20 per night, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: On some pitches
A slice of The Good Life in Suffolk. The small park was commended as one of the best in East Anglia for families last year- it's not hard to see why.
Fifty level pitches are spaced out across five fields, with new solar-powered shower and toilet blocks supplemented by the older ones. The smallholding rears its own pigs and grows its own produce with the chance to buy their homemade jams, sausages and bacon both in the shop and the new onsite café - with pizza on Fridays. Hire firepits and picnic tables and have a little farm feast.
For a touch of luxury there's also a glamping bell tent with everything you could need for your break. A proper escape-from-it-all kind of place.
23. Lanterns and Larks, Sweffling, Price: See online, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: No
Sleep under the stars in luxury in one of this place's three-bed tents. Well - slightly more than a tent. They have solid floors, wood-burning stoves, a kitchen area, their own showers and toilets, comfy beds and more - all you need to sleep blissfully.
You can arrange various activities such as woodland archery or stargazing with an astronomer.
If you need anything during your stay there's a small shop where you can take what you desire on an honesty basis to be totted up and paid for at the end of your holiday.
24. Cosy Camping, Bucklesham, Price: £20 per night (£30 at weekends), Dog friendly: No, Electric: Only in the pods
Bed down on this family farm in your own tent on one of the 6m by 6m grass pitches, or in a camping pod. These sleep up to six people and come with beds, a kettle, microwave, Bluetooth music player, table and chairs and a firepit.
Just bring your own camping gear to complete the picture.
A toilet and shower block with washing up is available for everyone to use.
25. The Grove, Cromer, Price: Call or book online, Dog friendly: No, Electric: Yes
You may have stayed in the hotel or eaten in the restaurant, but now you can sleep in the ground of The Grove - in perfect comfort. There's a range of yurts sleeping four to eight people, set around a central communal fire.
The authentic Mongolian buildings have star-watching windows, beds, duvets, wood-burning stoves, undercover cooking facilities and barbecues.
You'll also have access to the pool and play area, hammocks for lazing about and the woodland path to Cromer beach. Sleeping 26 in total it's a great site for groups (but not stag or hen parties).
26. Cliff House Holiday Park, Dunwich, Price: £28 for two including free electric, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Available
A well-established family-friendly site with access directly onto Dunwich beach. Cliff House sits in an AONB, flanked on three sides by National Trust land - perfect for walks and cycling.
There are 120 pitches for touring and camping and facilities include a restaurant, shop, play area, family games room, cycle hire, new toilets and shower blocks with the luxury of underfloor heating.
A great base for Aldeburgh and Southwold.
27. Beeston Regis Holiday Park, Sheringham, Price: From £28 per night for two people, Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Yes
Found just over the 'bump' beyond the golf course and Sheringham proper, this campsite is literally right on the cliffs, commanding superb views across the sea.
The 62 acres (15 minutes walk to the town) has 40 camping and touring pitches with access to toilet and hot shower facilities, washing up areas and a launderette.
It's a fine place to base yourself for a seaside holiday.
28. Forest Park, Cromer, Price: From £28 per night , Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: On some pitches for an extra charge
One hundred acres of loveliness close to Cromer. Choose to bring your tent or sleep in one of their glamping cabins or shepherd's huts with views over the Royal Golf Course. You can expect to find a shop, café, indoor heated pool, clubhouse and highly rated washrooms. Plus there's free wifi.
Each of the 12 deluxe wigwam cabins is ensuite with its own cooking area.
You have to pay additional charges for bedding, towels, cutlery and cooking packs and other extras.
29. Clippesby Hall, Clippesby, Price: £42 per night for two adults, one car and awning, Dog friendly: Most pitches, Electric: To many pitches
One of Norfolk's premier campsites. The award-winning park has eight distinct areas, catering for all kinds of campers - from the wide open spaces of The Cedar Lawn and South Park for families, to dog-free Pinewoods. They even have glamping now for up to four people in a shepherd's hut.
Facilities are excellent and include high quality washrooms and showers, mini golf, an outdoor pool, cycle hire and a brand new Base Camp area with a café, shop and bar.
The site is only a short drive from the north Norfolk coast.
30. Happy Valley Glamping, Grimston, Price: Varies, see online Dog friendly: Yes, Electric: Some
Wow. That's the first word that'll come to mind when you step foot into Norfolk Wildlife Trust's nine acre wooded wonderland. Choose to sleep in a woodland lodge, bell tents, tree temples or shepherd's huts. All cabins are heated and come with the basics, plus access to filtered water from their own source, games, books, hot waterfall showers, toilets, outdoor seating, fire pits and much more. You can book to use the wood-fired hot tub. And you'll discover hammocks and rope swings for rest and play all around. It's not exactly camping but there's an awesome disabled friendly 'treehouse' for hire too.
Prices are per night and relate to the high season per tent. There may be an additional charge for extra people, dogs, awnings and cars. Check with the site before booking for the latest pricing information.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Fakenham and Wells Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.