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A relaxed, back-to-basics campsite on the Norfolk Suffolk border

The meandering Waveney River carves the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, its glistening waters drifting eastward into The Broads. The wide green flood plains, dotted with pockets of woodland, are home not only to the handsome market towns that have stood for centuries, but also a plethora of wildlife with a far longer reaching history. It is here, amongst the birds and the bees, the bushes and the trees, that Wardley Hill Campsite can be found. A simple rural meadow in the beautiful Waveney valley.

Though we proclaim the rich history of the Norfolk countryside, Wardley Hill is actually a relatively new site, opened back in 2014 by owners Joe and Holly Putman. The lush, six-acre space is a seemingly unmanaged mix of long wild grass, ageing oaks and trickling streams, though in fact the field has been carefully well kept in subtle, ecologically friendly ways. Amongst the meadows, wild flower seeds have been generously scattered, boosting the butterfly numbers, while wider areas of mown grass still provide practical camping space for large tents and a family game of French cricket.

The facilities here are in keeping with the campsite's pared-back, partially wild approach. Wonderfully crafted wooden huts contain three composting loos, and you can borrow solar-powered shower bags if you want to forgo the regular shower facilities on site. The result is a simple, traditional camping experience in a site as populated by wildlife as it is by people. Woodpeckers bounce along the tree line, tucked amongst the shade, while overhead buzzards can be spotted, circling in the thermals. A small stream also runs past the meadow – trickling almost dry in the height of summer – and, jumping across, children can play hide and seek in the shady wooded copse.

Those who appreciate such bucolic surroundings, yet look for more comforts than the wild camping on offer, can take advantage of one of the site's glamping options. These range from the sturdy shepherd’s hut and a cluster of bell tents to more quirky and innovative options. There is, for example, a tree tent, suspended by taught cords among the trees in one corner of the campsite, while the well-named ‘Hammock Hut’ is a warm, wooden Wendy-house-style structure that, inside, has two hammock hanging across its length. Each comes with a fire-pit area for evening campfires, while regular campers can borrow fire-pits too, to get in on the marshmallow action.

When daylight returns, Wardley Hill is poised to enjoy the best of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Waveney River (one mile away) acts as a waterway into The Broads, drifting by canoe, kayak or sailing boat, while on its banks the pleasant market towns of Diss, Bungay and Beccles offer inland attractions if you’re not heading directly to the coast. Many here, however, are rarely in a rush to go anywhere. The new, relaxed pace of life amongst the green pastures is enough to slow down any touristy intentions, kicking back instead to enjoy the pleasures close at hand: nature, seclusion and a crackling campfire.

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The Owner Says

Wardley Hill Campsite is an ecological campsite in the Waveney Valley. Wild flowers and grass are left to grow to encourage butterflies and bees. The long grass surrounds lush mown unregimented camping spots for you to choose, some secluded and others big enough to fit several families.

ur six-acre site has some woodland, a small stream and three seasonal ponds which can be safely explored during the summer. Our car free camping field is exclusively for tents while small campervans are also welcome to stay with us in their own area. For those of you looking for a Norfolk glamping experience we have a stunning Lotus Bell Stargazer tent, a huge Family Emperor Bell Tent, a locally crafted Shepherds hut, Hammock Hut and even a Tentsile Connect tent suspended in the trees.

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