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Which Suffolk campsites are reopening 2020?

Gypsy's Rest glamping caravans at Secret Meadows Picture: Secret Meadows

Gypsy’s Rest glamping caravans at Secret Meadows Picture: Secret Meadows

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With lockdown restrictions lifting just in time for summer, campsites across East Anglia are now reopening – with updated social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Enjoy what the Suffolk countryside has to offer this summer with Secret Meadows Glamping in Hakeston, near Woodbridge Picture: Roz GordonEnjoy what the Suffolk countryside has to offer this summer with Secret Meadows Glamping in Hakeston, near Woodbridge Picture: Roz Gordon

With the overall pleasant weather that we’ve been experiencing so far this summer, it comes as no surprise that the sale of tents, barbecues, caravans and camping equipment has been on the rise across Suffolk recently.

People throughout the county have taken to their gardens to recreate their own staycations, soaking up the sun over the two glorious bank holidays and additional sunny weekends we’ve had during lockdown.

With Coronavirus restrictions slowly lifting over the coming weeks, campsites across Suffolk are looking to reopen, adjusting their practices accordingly, which will allow them to run safely in line with social distancing and hygiene measures.

From tent pitches that ensure you’re at one with nature, to glamping options with all the mod-cons, there’s an abundance of camping options to suit all families, needs and budgets.

Come stay in Pod Hollow for an experience like no other Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow PodsCome stay in Pod Hollow for an experience like no other Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow Pods

West Stow Pods, Bury St Edmunds

Located on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds is West Stow Pods, a family-run glamping site in the heart of Suffolk’s scenic countryside, offering fabulous nature trails, walks and cycle paths.

Providing a range of accommodation, owner Jan Lengyel said: “We are very much gearing up to re-opening on the weekend of 4 July, barring any announcements to the contrary from the Government. All of our accommodation is separate, so is ideal for social distancing and each has its own en-suite facilities, and is totally self-contained.”

Accommodation on offer includes four cosy MegaPods, two woodland lodges and the site’s star attraction, Pod Hollow, its very own Hobbit House which itself is completely separate from the rest of the site and enjoys its own private parking and access.

West Stow Pods' cosy and self-contained MegaPods Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow PodsWest Stow Pods’ cosy and self-contained MegaPods Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow Pods

Each unit at West Stow Pods is at least 80 feet away from each other, offering both privacy and the necessary social distancing measures.

Sleeping up to four people, the MegaPods are equipped with their own showering and toilet facilities – ideal for families or couples who wish to get away from it all. Additionally, they provide a private kitchenette with sink, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle.

The campsite’s Woodland Lodges and Pod Hollow also feature private bathroom and kitchenette facilities, meaning those from different households have no need to come into close contact.

“Come and stay with us for a unique and tranquil glamping experience in one of Suffolk’s picturesque locations, which benefits from total self-isolation from your fellow glampers. We really do tick all the boxes during these unprecedented times,” Jan added. For further information, please visit www.weststowpods.co.uk

One of the Luxury Lodge Tents at Secret Meadows, Hakeston Picture: Craig GirlingOne of the Luxury Lodge Tents at Secret Meadows, Hakeston Picture: Craig Girling

Secret Meadows, Hakeston

Situated just outside of Woodbridge is Secret Meadows, a range of glamping accommodation that is based at White House Farm Nature Reserve. Camping options on offer include six luxury lodge tents, a two-storey luxury safari tent, a gypsy caravan, a shepherd’s hut and a converted horsebox truck.

“We will be re-opening on Saturday 4 July, based on the current Government advice. We’re introducing quite a few changes for this season to allow for the social distancing and cleaning requirements,” said director and manager Charlotte Daniel.

Some of the changes include an updated check-in policy, so guests can self-check-in, and the removal of ‘high-touch’ items such as information packs which will now be emailed to guests instead. “We’ll be available for guests to contact via telephone at any time during their stay, and we’ll maintain social distancing if we need to visit the guest’s accommodation for assistance,” Charlotte added.

Inside one of the Luxury Lodge Tents Picture: Craig GirlingInside one of the Luxury Lodge Tents Picture: Craig Girling

Hand sanitiser and disinfectant will be available for guests to use during their stay, and there will be a ‘one household at a time’ policy for guests who wish to access the onsite shop.

“We have signed up to the Clean and Safe Charter, which has been introduced by the top holiday agent for glamping sites, and we’re following all the government recommendations for cleaning. All of our accommodation units have private facilities including private loos and showers, and private kitchens, so guests don’t need to share any facilities with other groups,” said Charlotte.

With White House Farm Nature Reserve spanning 115 acres of meadows and woodlands, a trip to Secret Meadows allows you to enjoy both the sights and sounds of rural Suffolk. Guests are welcome to explore the nature trails, all while maintaining social distancing measures.

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Pictured here is one of the luxury lodge tents, which sleep up to six people. Each tent is nestled in its own wooded area, and comes fully-equipped with a private kitchen that features a wood-burning stove, private toilet and shower, and four-poster bed. To see Secret Meadows’ full range of accommodation options and to find out more, visit www.secretmeadows.co.uk/glamping

Birds & Bees, Rendham

Birds & Bees, near Saxmundham, is a campsite providing spacious, eco-friendly camping in the heart of Suffolk’s Alde Valley.

The family-friendly campsite, which features 15 tent pitches, is scattered across three rolling meadows, where guests will have a half an acre pitch.

Sunset over at Birds & Bees in Rendham Picture: Colin Thornton / Birds & BeesSunset over at Birds & Bees in Rendham Picture: Colin Thornton / Birds & Bees

With a tentative reopening date of Thursday 9 July, Birds & Bees has listed a number of measures on its website, in order to ensure that visitors comply with its social distancing and hygiene rules.

Its website states that social distancing must be observed between households with 2 metres at all times, and children are always to be accompanied by an adult when away from their designated pitch. For guests who wish to camp with friends or family from another household, Birds & Bees asks that separate pitches are booked.

Additionally, it is recommended that guests try to use the facilities as a group from each pitch in order to ease the flow of the facilities. This includes the kitchen, outside fridges and recycle point. Hand sanitiser dispensers will be conveniently located across the site, and communal touch points will be disinfected throughout the day – such as door handles, taps, toilets, showers, bins, power points and firewood buckets.

James and Emma Strachan of Birds & Bees said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of enquiries to stay with us this summer, and we remain optimistic that we’ll be able to welcome our camping lovelies from Thursday 9 July. Our aim is to accommodate the new normal while keeping it stress-free at Birds & Bees. Everyone has been very accepting and seem grateful for the efforts we’ve made so far. We really believe everyone will work together to help bring some welcome respite, and enjoy our little slice of Suffolk paradise.”

Inside one of the glamping tents at Lantern & Larks' Sweffling Hall campsite Picture: Lantern & LarksInside one of the glamping tents at Lantern & Larks’ Sweffling Hall campsite Picture: Lantern & Larks

Birds & Bees will also have no more than an 80% occupancy on site at one time. To see the campsite’s full Coronavirus provisions guide, and to find out more, visit www.birdsandbeescampsite.co.uk

Lantern & Larks, Sweffling Hall

Within easy reach of beauty spots such as Framlingham, Southwold and Aldeburgh is Sweffling Hall, a Lantern & Larks glamping campsite consisting of six tents.

The site’s tents can accommodate up to six guests in them – with three bedrooms sleeping two people each. They also include a large open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge.

Waldegraves, located on Mersea Island, looks to reopen this July Picture: WaldegravesWaldegraves, located on Mersea Island, looks to reopen this July Picture: Waldegraves

With the campsite planning to reopen and welcome guests as of Friday 10 July, Emma Clark of Lantern & Larks said: “All of our tents have their own private showers and toilets, as well as their own kitchen – so no communal areas, and plenty of space to social distance from other guests. We are also following an enhanced cleaning policy which includes housekeepers wearing all the appropriate PPE, as well as disinfecting all surfaces.” For further information, visit www.lanternandlarks.co.uk

Waldegraves Holiday Park, Mersea

Located on Mersea Island is Waldegraves Holiday Park, an independent family holiday park owned by David Lord. The resort celebrated its 70th anniversary back in 2018, and like all other businesses up and down the country, was rocked by the enforced closure due to Coronavirus.

Park manager Krystal Crawford said: “David has never experienced anything like this. While it’s lovely to see our park blossoming along with all the wildlife, we miss seeing all our holiday homeowners and holiday makers. Our restaurant, bar and clubhouse with live entertainment are usually busy this time of year, and our outdoor swimming pool is a popular choice – especially when we have this lovely weather. We hold numerous charity events throughout the year, which have unfortunately been cancelled due to the current pandemic we all face.”

Enjoy a fun-filled family break at Waldegraves Holiday Park Picture: WaldegravesEnjoy a fun-filled family break at Waldegraves Holiday Park Picture: Waldegraves

Hoping to reopen at the beginning of July, the park is currently working on a range of measures to implement in order to make sure Waldegraves is as safe as possible for both customers and staff.

“Our trade association, British Holiday & Home Parks Association, is drawing up some detailed guidance for measures which parks should put in place – we’ll be paying close attention to these, ensuring everything is in place prior to opening our holiday park,” added Krystal. “We want to protect both visitors and our own staff from any risks.”

With pitches generously spaced out across the Waldegraves site, visitors can socially distance with ease. “Caravan holiday homes, both privately owned and rented, are entirely self-contained with their own bathrooms and kitchens,” said Krystal.

In order to ease the flow of visitors, the park is considering a staggered return, with those camping in caravans given priority over tent campers. “It’s likely that there will be a phased return to parks, so it might be that those guests requiring use of communal areas, like showers and laundries, might not be in the first phase. We feel holiday homeowners should be priority along with our static holiday home lets and our seasonal tourers, but we do hope to be welcoming touring caravans, motorhomes and tents before the end of summer.”

To stay up to date with Waldegraves Holiday Park, and for further information, please visit www.waldegraves.co.uk or ring 01206 382898.


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