The most recent Government announcement outlining how the restrictions will ease over the next few months allows us, finally, to make plans for motorhome trips this summer. We think that Suffolk should be considered, although it remains relatively off the radar as a camping and touring destination. It’s unspoilt, lovely, and quiet - exactly why you should take your motorhome to Suffolk. You’ll beat the crowds flocking to other destinations such as the south-west coast, the Lake District or the New Forest this summer. It has something for everyone, too. Part of the appeal of Suffolk is the 50 mile stretch of heritage coast, most of which is Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designated. This includes some of the UK’s most pristine beaches, like Dunwich, Thorpeness, Aldeburgh, Southwold, Walberswick and Covehithe. If a beach holiday doesn’t entice you, the rural Constable countryside around Dedham Vale is also an AONB. The rivers Deben, Orwell and Stour offer opportunities for fishing, swimming, and sailing on more placid water. Many quaint Suffolk villages wait to be explored, there are ancient health and woodland nature parks, you can steep yourself in medieval history at Sutton Hoo in Woodbridge, and twitchers can spot some of Britain's rarest birds at the RSPB Minsmere reserve.
Whatever type of camping holiday you’re looking for, there are a whole host of motorhome friendly campsites in Suffolk to suit your needs, and we’ve picked six of the very best out for you below.
1. Best Overall: Haw Wood Farm
Top of our list and definitely hard to beat for campsites in Suffolk is Haw Wood Farm. You’ll find it close to the A12, just a few miles from the coastal town of Dunwich with its forest, Walberswick, Southwold and the RSPB site at Minismere. It is a 14-acre site surrounded by open countryside, for 100 tourers, tents, motorhomes and 55 privately owned Static Caravans. It’s also nearby to picturesque market towns, bike trails, woodlands and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants. One of the best things about it is the newly planted woodland, wildflower meadow and dedicated dog walking field, where you’ll see a magnificent array of flora and fauna, and have gained their David Bellamy Gold Award for Conservation.
Haw Wood recently refurbished their toilet facilities, which are modern, award-winning, and have been compared to a 5-star hotel! The family bathrooms have extra space, underfloor heating, baby change units and toddler steps. There is a bathroom with disabled access and fittings, too. The laundry room, which includes washing up sinks with constant hot water powered by our biomass boiler, tumble driers and a freezer for ice packs, is open 24 hours a day. There’s a shop in the reception area, which is well-stocked with fresh and local produce. During the high season, their ‘Cafe@Hawwood’ serves cooked breakfasts, fresh croissants, cakes and pastries, light lunches, hot and cold drinks (including beers and wines), cream teas and occasional evening meals which you can take away or enjoy either on the patio or in the warmth of our indoor seating area. During other seasons, the cafe operations are reduced but the owners are always willing to open the shop up if anything is needed. Even the sheltered Chemical Waste disposal room for motorhomers is impressive, with a flushable unit and a handwashing sink.
£28 for a serviced pitch (grass with 10Amp hook up) per night for 2 adults in the high season.
Haw Wood Farm Caravans and Camping, Haw Wood Farm, Hinton, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 3QT
2. Best Caravan Park: Mill Hill Farm
The next site on our list for a motorhome trip to Suffolk is Mill Hill Farm. This great caravan park is set in 30 acres of meadows and lakes, and 50 pitches for caravans, campervans and motorhomes spread across 3 fields. Most touring pitches are in bays of up to four pitches each with its own tap. There are grass and hard-standing pitches with electric hook up and grass pitches with no electric hook-up. There is no extra charge for awnings or gazebos providing that they are fully contained within your pitch. The site is divided up into sections with hedges and trees to help your seclusion. They do have WiFi in the reception block for last-minute weather forecast checks or map downloads, just ask for the code.
There are three heated toilet and shower blocks and two utility rooms. The ‘Nightingale’ and ‘Barn Owl’ blocks have a separate disabled toilet/wet room. Motorhome visitors can use a grey waste emptying point and service point. The token-operated washing machine and tumble drier are in their own log cabin. They sell maps in the shop and you can ask our staff about local walks and places to visit. There are two fishing lakes (just purchase a day or night fishing ticket from reception). They are also a great walk, offering farmland views and wildlife-spotting opportunities. For four-legged campers, we have extensive off-road dog walks where they can sniff and explore to their heart's content. Some areas have longer grass with paths mown in, to provide habitats for various birds and animals. Their Airstream Catering Wagon will be working again this Summer, in association with The Fox Inn at Darsham.
Nearby attractions include the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Darsham Marshes Nature Reserve, various walks and bike rides through the countryside via permissive paths, lanes and footpaths, and the seasonal pick-your-own soft fruit at Friday Street Farm. The nearby Westleton Crown is a lovely pub, too.
High season price per night for grass or hardstanding pitches with electric hook up for 2 people is £26.
Westleton Road, Darsham, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 3BS.
3. Best Family-Friendly Site: The Orchard Campsite
The Orchard Campsite is a gorgeous, 11-acre site on the edge of the market village of Wickham. It’s close to the Suffolk Heritage Coast and Rendlesham forest which is famous for UFO sightings! It has a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere and has been in the Hammond family for three generations. Recently, they’ve enjoyed a rapidly increasing popularity, with many visitors returning several times each year enjoying the variety of seasons at The Orchard. There are 20 electric hookups 10 of which offer freesat TV and a variety of camping terrain, from open, spacious and flat grassy pitches to more secluded woodland. The River Deben flows through the foot of the site, adding to the idyll of the setting.
On their website, they say that they try not to be overly lavish, but their well-stocked shop offers quite a luxurious selection for thirsty parents, with over 200 beers and wines from around the world. Fresh hand-carved top rump steaks, daily deliveries of fresh croissant and bread from a local artisan baker, a superb range of Suffolk produced jams, pickles, sauces, drinks and fresh meats – with prices that are often lower than the big supermarkets. Other facilities include the toilet and shower block with male and female washrooms including free-to-use plugs for hairdryers, shavers, and charging). There’s an indoor/outdoor kitchen area with free to use hot water and washing up facilities, a coin-operated washing machine and tumble dryer, an enclosed play area with swings, undercover table tennis, and ‘The Snug,’ which is an ideal all-weather spot to hang out. You can buy wood by the sack, which is sustainably and locally sourced, plus kindling and (of course) marshmallows! There’s a landscaped BBQ area that is free to use, or you can use your own BBQ at your pitch. Visitors can also fish for free in the River Deben (rod licence required) or in the campsite fishing pond for Carp, Roach, Tench and Bream.
Whether or not you are looking for motorhome sites in Suffolk to bring the kids, the Orchard will see all your needs met!
The Orchard Campsite, 28 Spring Lane, Wickham Market, Suffolk, IP13 0SJ
4. Best Small Site: Swattesfield Campsite
Swattesfield Campsite is one of our favourite campsites in north Suffolk’s rural heart. It’s a pleasantly chilled out, glamping and camping site run by father-daughter duo Phil and Jessica since 2011. They offer, above all, ample space to roam and endless time to think in their two grassy fields separated by a small lake. You’ll be able to spot local wildlife, like barn owls, kingfishers and more, as well as the resident Jacob’s sheep. Some adjoining woodland and the well-marked paths and bridleways of nearby Thornham Walks offer great strolls and the opportunity to explore Thornham Magna village. The old walled garden of the neighbouring Thornham Estate has recently been restored and is open on weekends, too, and there are a great array of local country pubs, such as the Thornham Coach House or the Four Horseshoes pub.
There is a communal kitchen with a gas stove and cooking equipment, and hanging fire pits with logs and kindling available. You can make full use of their pizza oven for free, too! The owners are more than happy to help you out with getting it up and blazing away. A village store is just 15 minutes walk or a 2-minute drive away in Gislingham in case you have forgotten anything. The site has an eco-friendly ethos and prides itself on efforts such as LED lighting, recycling facilities, and all water from their own onsite boreholes, even the hot water for the showers and their cleanly toilet facilities.
Campervans can pitch up from £17 per night.
Swattesfield Campsite, Gislingham Road, Thornham Magna, Suffolk IP23 8HH
5. Best for Adults: Brick Kiln Farm.
Brick Kiln Farm is a blissfully peaceful, adults-only site, where your experience of motorhome sites in Suffolk is likely to be the most relaxing. There are only 30 pitches, which are allocated in a charmingly relaxed manner - if your name isn’t on the whiteboard in the ‘check-in hit,’ pitch up wherever you like. Although there is no electric hook up, we’d say this is a bonus for your countryside escape, as you can make the most of the idyllic setting by switching off from the outside world. Nonetheless, Should you wish to charge your phone, there are plugs in the seating area of the barn for charging phones and wifi can be accessed in some parts of the site.
Each pitch has a fire pit, with wood and kindling available to purchase on-site. In terms of facilities, Brick Kiln twins elements of a traditional back-to-basics site with little touches of comfort to ensure a rustic yet fuss-free stay. There's a central toilet and wash block in a converted barn, with toiletries and hair dryers thoughtfully provided, plus a kitchen/dining area with washing-up facilities, utensils, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle and toaster – all free to use. A trunkful of games and books are available for wet weather entertainment, and a barbecue and tools for hire as well (it’s even cleaned for you afterwards!).
You’ll be camping near the Suffolk Coast’s delights, like Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Southwold. The site is also close to Snape for concerts, shops and food. There are 12th-century castles in Framlingham Castle and Orford, and medieval histories to be discovered in Woodbridge on the River Deben and Sutton Hoo. There are also good local pubs nearby in Snape, Blaxhall, Easton, Pettistree, Ufford and Melton.
Pitches are £25 per night for 2 people. This pitch size is 10 x 8 metres, there is no extra charge for gazebos or pup tents as long as they remain within your pitch. An additional 2 people can be added for £5/head/night.
Brick Kiln Farm, Campsea Ashe, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 0QL
6. Best Location: Cliff House Holiday Park
Cliff House Holiday Park is a super popular holiday park site for camping on the Suffolk Coast. We can put this down to the cliff top location, which has direct beach access and is surrounded by the most beautiful heathland and woodland. It is two miles from the RSPB Minsmere nature reserve and close to Southwold and Aldeburgh, so it’s great for swimming, walking along the Sailor’s Path, cycling (you can hire bikes on site), and bird-watching. The onsite bar and restaurant is a great place to unwind, as it is well-supplied with a selection of local beers supplied by Adnams of Southwold and freshly cooked food. There’s a small shop, cleanly and newly-renovated toilet and shower block with disabled facilities, hot water and underfloor heating, kids play area and indoor family entertainment room. Despite the ‘Holiday Park’ destination, testimonials attest to the fact that this site is as quiet and relaxing as they come!
Minismere Road, Dunwich, Saxmundham, IP17 3DQ.
This selection of campsites in Suffolk offers something for everyone, whatever your budget and ideal motorhome holiday look like. Before you make your plans, just be aware that some sites may not offer any indoor facilities until mid-May this year due to government restrictions on the use of shared indoor facilities. This is no problem if you’re travelling in self-contained campervans, which we have to rent for 2021! As well as using your four-wheeled home to get to the best of Suffolk’s beautiful landscape, be sure to soak up a fully unique experience by enjoying all the local fare, sipping a Suffolk brew and discovering the rich cultural offerings of this lovely, wild little corner of England.