Swattesfield Campsite

UK England East Anglia Suffolk Stowmarket

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Staggered showering times
  • Distance markers in shared facilities
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • 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.



Campfires are allowed in the designated fire pits provided and can be hired onsite. There is a homemade Eco pizza oven for use by all. Logs and Kindling can be bought onsite for the pizza oven and firepits. You can bring your own but all logs have to be dried kilned. No electric hook-ups for pitches but we do have plug sockets for charging phones and electric vehicles. A clean toilet/shower block, with 4 separate showers, 6 sinks and 6 toilets, hairdryers, USB ports and UV hand dryers. A small campsite shop onsite sells camping equipment and can re-freeze ice packs for you. A large, outside double sink unit for pot washing. Gislingham village shop is a 15-minute walk away. Thornham walks runs from our campsite, leading to our local Roscoes deli, the Forge Cafe, playground x2, den building area, walled garden, the local fishing lake and a selection of pubs; The four horseshoes, The Whitehorse, Bull Auberge, The Rail way Tavern and neighbouring villages. Dogs are welcome but must remain on leads at all times on our site. Drinking water taps and fire stations throughout the site. Recycling is requested onsite and bins provided in the main car park. cars must remain in the car park at all times other than sleeping vehicles, disability, or dropping off and picking up luggage/camping equipment on arrival and departure. No vehicles allowed past the main field for safety reasons. Easy access to main roads to visit local and countyside attractions, whether that is wild swimming, parks and our local beaches or Pleasurewood Hills theme park, Dinosaur Park, Bewilderwood, Museum of East Anglian Life or Bressingham Steam museum and Gardens etc. There is something for everyone!

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, small caravans and motor homes, dogs, kids – yes. Noisy groups – no. The site is also available for whole-site hire so please enquire by email for information and pricing.


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 Roscoe's Deli (01379 783373) are a 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.



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 quiet 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.

Social Distancing Measures

Site terms must be signed on arrival. Theses may change throughout the season. Facilities block; main doors will be kept open at all times, 2m markers, sanitiser gel used on entry to the toilet/shower block & wash hands before leaving the facilities. Children under the age of 16 must be supervised by a responsible adult. Communal facilities will be cleaned daily. The reception will be open to book people in & buy essentials once a day. You are responsible for your party & ensure all adhere to the policy. Distancing measure will apply as current law. The communal kitchen area will remain CLOSED until June 21st or as permitted. We have the right to refuse access if you have any symptoms of COVID, & we have the right to ask you & your party to leave, without a refund, if you do not adhere to our policy. Do not arrive at the campsite if you or anyone in your booking have any symptoms or you have been asked to isolate!


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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Contact Swattesfield Campsite, Gislingham Rd, Thornham Magna, Eye, Suffolk IP23 8HH

Show Map

Getting There

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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. Continue up the farm track about 60 metres and turn into the campsite car park on the right hand site entrance.

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.


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Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • 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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