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Visitor Reviews - Swattesfield Campsite

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Site Reviews

Swattesfield Campsite
Gislingham Road
Thornham Magna
Suffolk   (Browse area)
IP23 8HH
Tel: 01379 788558
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Pitches: 15 plus Pixie Huts, Bell Tents & Suffolk Hay Cart
Open: Easter To September

Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 13 Reviews
                9/10 from 13 Reviews

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 Tent Pitches   No Caravans   Motorhome Pitches   Glamping Units 
 No Statics for Hire   No Statics on Sale   No Seasonal Pitches   No Caravan Storage 
 Electric Hookups   Hardstanding Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Adults Only   Club Members Only   Rallies Welcome   Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome   Motorbikers Welcome 
 Toilet Facilities   Hot Showers   Washing Up   Bathroom 
 Baby Changing Facilities   Laundry On Site   Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 Chemical Disposal   Battery Charging   Gas Exchange   Recycling Facilities 
 Kitchen Facilities   Freezer Available   Motorhome Point   Fully Serviced Pitches 
 Shop <1 mile   Bar <1 mile   Restaurant <1 mile   Wifi Access 
 Kids Playground   TV Room   Games Room   Evening Entertainment 
 Fishing <1 mile   Wild Swimming   Indoor Pool <5 miles   Outdoor Pool 
 Horse Riding   Cycle Hire   Golf <5 miles   Tennis <1 mile 
 Beach   Watersports   Boat Launch / Mooring 
Other Features
 Sea Views   Working Farm   Campfires Allowed   Open All Year 
 Waterside Pitches   Public Transport <1 mile  Dog Walk 

Reviews:  13 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: June 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Belper Bloke 2 reviews from this member

At last a amazing camp site, run by a proper manager Dave, top bloke. Stayed two weeks ago only one other unit on site, so much to see and do from the site, its flat with shelter if needed. No caravans which is a good thing as there is no EUH, free shower, if very basic, freezer, great camping shop, and guess what ? a pub down the road. We went on the train from Diss to Norwich great city to visit, Southwold for a day out, and lots of local walks. Top Place.

Date of Visit: May 2016 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Jbb1003 5 reviews from this member

We stayed for a weekend as a family with three children aged 2-7.

Our children had a ball, and kept disappearing off to hunt for tadpoles in the small pool. The campsite manager was very friendly - almost excessively for our somewhat quiet nature, but he meant very well, and was more than helpful to us.

The facilities are excellent. There is even a microwave, something I have never seen on any campsite in the UK - and the manager lent us a picnic table to use as well. We did not try out the showers.

The field is car-free, but you can drive your car up to unload so long as you move it back afterwards. This is nice for the kids, and also improves the general view.

There is noise from the nearby trainline (which doesn't run that late) - but the train is visible, providing endless entertainment for our two year-old, and also from a bird-scarer in a nearby field which is quite loud but didn't bother us.

We plan to return.

Date of Visit: August 2015 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Susiewillis14 1 review from this member

My partner and I recently stayed at the campsite and were pleasantly surprised with what we found.

We were greeted by a friendly warden, who seeing we were a couple showed us which pitches were likely to be quietest and he was right. Both nights we slept until 8. 30 which is late for a campsite!

The area is so peaceful and picturesque. As other reviews state, there are regular trains passing near by, but these did not both us at all. The access to thornham walks is fantastic and the campsite provides an excellent base to explore both Suffolk and Norfolk.

Although we didn't have children there was certainly plenty to keep kids entertained meaning they were not a nuisance.

The facilities were much better than what we were expecting, they are often described as 'basic' which made us fear the worst but they were clean, fully functional and hot water was never an issue. The fridge was a bonus!

However, the site got quite busy at the weekend so for those who seek a really quiet stay a mid week visit might be best

Date of Visit: April 2014 Unit:  Other Rating:
Reviewer: DandB 14 reviews from this member


Swattesfield campsite is situated in lovely countryside with pleasant surrounding villages, a secluded location, well away from main roads.

Although there is a train line nearby, it is far enough away that the sound is quite faint.

You can access the Thornham walks directly from the gate which is a huge plus for the campsite for us. Walk through woods, surrounding countryside and villages around the Thornham estate along quiet, well waymarked paths.

The nearby Forge Café does a nice cuppa, cakes and meals, and is recommended, as is the Four Horseshoes inn, where we had a good food and drinks at a fair price.


The site itself is pretty in a natural way, and surrounded by trees, hedges and wildlife - a real ‘relax and enjoy nature’ kind of place. The pitches are unmarked, and the provided fire pits are great, adding to the back to basics feel.

Although we had the site to ourselves, with the size of the site and the number of pitches that are advertised, I can’t imagine it feeling too busy. It really does feel as if it is run more as a hobby than commercially.

The facilities block is basic, but clean and more than adequate, with plentiful hot water. Washing up is undercover. There was a ‘fridge and freezer for campers use, map of the local area, a couple of shelves of books to borrow from, etc.

We found the owner to be friendly, helpful and laid back. He appears to rely on campers natural consideration for others rather than a long list of rules to be followed, asking only for sensible things like parking your car near the entrance once you’ve unloaded to keep the site car free, and keeping fires off the grass to keep it looking nice.


I must qualify that our visit was partly to celebrate a special birthday, and so we opted to stay in one of the glamping accommodations, the shepherds hut, which was fantastic, with a great wood burning stove to keep the chill at bay in the evening, even solar lighting. And even though we came to ‘glamp’ on this occasion, this is a site that would love to visit again with our tent.

Date of Visit: June 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: MrsNoviceCamper 10 reviews from this member

This is a great little campsite with all the facilities you could want on a camping trip.

There's a clean toilet block with separate male and female toilets and showers. (There's only one shower in each so I imagine there could be quite a queue in busy periods. ) The pot washing facilities had plenty of hot water and spare bowls and washing up liquid.

Logs and kindling are sold on an honesty system and fire pits provided free of charge.

The little shop was a nice touch with helpful camping related items, and the kids loved the pick and mix.

The campsite is on the the Thornham Walks which offers a pleasant stroll round the countryside. The Four Horse Shoes is a lovely pub too.

The only negative that I found was that when we arrived there was no one around to let us know where to pitch. Eventually we just picked a spot and went for it, and it was fine, but if the site had been busier this could have caused a few problems.

Date of Visit: June 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Ktob 1 review from this member

Had an incredible stay here in one of the luxury bell tents with my partner, every comfort had been thought of and provided including extra details like lanterns, beanbags and fresh flowers on arrival. The pizza oven was fantastic! Very comfortable and clean, the memory foam mattress and ample space in the tent made it very luxurious indeed. Jonathan was very helpful and hospitable, making it a real pleasure to stay here, we felt welcome and at home.

I would definitely recommend this campsite and the bell tents which were fantastic, ten out of ten!

Date of Visit: August 2012 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: SharonE28 3 reviews from this member

Returned from a lovely 3 night stay at the site. We can recommend the lovely Thornham Woods walk and the pub we ended up at for a evening meal (Four Horseshoes) which catered for children as well. Really enjoyed the Aspell draught cider! It was a 1/2 hour walk with 2 young nephews.

The toilets were clean but basic but we didn't care. A real back to nature feel and a site we will be visiting again. The only thing we noticed were the trains but you did get used to them.

I would give this site a 9 out of 10. If they could update the showers then it would be 10 out of 10. It is somewhere we will come back to. A good base camp when visiting the area.

A very friendly campsite and good equipment from the owners for campfires.

Date of Visit: August 2012 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Cak556 1 review from this member

We chose this site for 2 nights camping over a weekend. We were attracted by the fact you could have open fires and there were no static caravans etc.

When we camp we want it to be proper 'camping' not parking your tent in neat little rows and listening to the tent next door playing XBox360 on the electric hookup all night! If you are looking for a site like this, look elsewhere.

This site was great. Awesome. Lovely. Delightful. All of those things.


This site had a lovely atmosphere, really friendly. Everyone seemed like-minded, kids could freely run around and hang out at different tents. Parents all seemed to be really open to interacting with the children - a bunch of kids came over to our tent and roasted marshmallows! Brilliant!

Not only does it have this family friendly atmosphere, it also seems like the place you can stay up really late, have a few drinks and a laugh around the camp fire and not worry that people are going to complain in the morning.

The kids had a brilliant time. The site is fairly compact too - so the kids are never far away. Plus, it is nowhere near any roads or traffic, and cars are not allowed in the fields so it feels really safe.

There is a little woods to explore, and some smashing little walks to go on. We had a large group of 5 tents, but we were not quizzed or treated with suspicion.

There were a bunch of people around the site still drinking and chatting at 1am, but no music or shouting - there seemed to be this kind of mutual respect - full of conscientious campers who still want to have a few drinks and have a laugh, but don;t want to disturb others.


I have been to sights where the showers are nicer, the toilets are better - the facilities here are MORE than adequate. Never had to queue for a shower or washing up. Shower was hot, washing up water was piping hot. There is a little shop which sells all the things you forgot to bring - gas / pegs / barbecues etc. Really useful to have that on site.

The village shop at Gislingham is awesome - they have chip and pin, and can do cash back. They have some lovely local produce and all the basics. OPen til 8pm too! Its a 2 minute drive down the road.

You can have fires. I cannot imagine going camping without a fire, sat around a fire as the sun goes down, kids in bed, a few drinks with friends. Fantastic. The chap who runs the site will bring the firepit over to you, and take it away. They also have cool trolleys to move your gear from your car to the pitch.


Father and son - what a lovely couple of chaps. Thoroughly polite, helpful and knowledgeable. Very accommodating and nice with the kids. They are the type of people that are running a site because they see it as a fun hobby, not as a business and this seems to be at the core of their philosophy. Very quick to respond to emails.

We have been camping all over the place, and whilst this site is not for everyone, for a young, fun and open minded family of campers who love the outdoors this was perfect. I had so many lovely chats with people, the kids were all playing together nicely and the scenery itself is wonderful, plenty of shade and trees and close to some lovely places. Just driving round that part of the world is a pleasure.

We will definitely go back again. It was a great weekend.

Date of Visit: August 2012 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Mrs Mavis 2 reviews from this member

We stayed here during a glorious August weekend and loved it! This is a great site - a very simple, back to nature site, which was exactly what we wanted.

There is a really nice vibe to it and campers were all really friendly, as were Jonathan and Phil who run it.

It felt like a really safe place for the kids who could run around to their hearts content, but were still where we could see them.

The facilities are fine - separate male and female toilets and showers which were basic but clean. There is also plenty of drinking water and a small shop.

We particularly liked being able to have a campfire (what is camping without a fire?!)

The Suffolk countryside is beautiful, and it's close enough to the coast to go for the afternoon.

We would definitely recommend it and are very likely to come back.

Date of Visit: June 2012 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Crack 5 reviews from this member

We were here for the Queens Jubilee weekend and had a thoroughly good time. The site itself is quite small though thankfully don't allow too many tents to pitch (booking is advisable. )

Clean shower block and well stocked toilets.

They have an honesty system for the wood (£4. 50per bag) and also sell eggs, again on an honesty basis.

The owner is very friendly and welcoming.

Nearby is the village or Eye where there are two co-ops (about four miles).

We went for Sunday lunch at the Four Horseshoes pub which was recommended to us and the Sunday Carvery ws good value.

There is a pond on site which maybe an issue for campers with small children.

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