Sunnyside Farm is a seven acre small holding, with two fields, an orchard, gardens, barns, yard and several outbuildings. It has been our family home for over thirty five years, and in 2020 we were inspired to open as a little campsite.
We still live here on the farm, in a converted cowshed called 'The Shippen', (where you will find us on arrival) and Grandma (Linda) lives in the farmhouse next door.
Situated quietly, at the back of the old farm, the 1 acre camping filed (named 'Hempland') is a small, secluded location, with grass pitches around the edge, a flower meadow in the middle, plentiful space for communal activities and small wooded areas for children to play.
The adjoining stables conveniently house the washing up area, shower, toilet and store (where you can make tea/coffee, buy essentials from the 'honesty shop' & hire fire pits etc.).
We offer 9 generously sized, tent and mixed touring pitches (campervans, single axel caravans & very small motor homes only). We also have one electric hookup pitch called the 'Sunny Pitch', and a central pitch with a pre erected tent (2 person) with all the necessary equipment, for those wishing for a 'ready to go' glamping experience,
The camping field has a peaceful atmosphere, with a lovely sunny and pleasant aspect and dark, starry skies at night. Lined with native hedges of hawthorn, hornbeam, field maple, dog rose, hazel and beautiful ash trees, the sheltered site is a little oasis, surrounded by farmland, with fantastic views across the fields.
Full of rustic charm, Sunnyside campsite will appeal to couples, cyclists, walkers, families and gentle folk who love nature and the outdoors. It is a ideal location for those who want to escape to and explore the beautiful Suffolk coast and countryside.
We are delighted to offer allocation for 2022 - please look out for updates here, & on our Facebook page. Bookings are via Pitchup.com.
We provide an electric hook up to 1 pitch only, from £25 per night (non peak). Other pitches are non electric, from £20 per night (non peak). The pre erected tent for 2 persons is £70 per night (min 2 nights) - is available throughout August & September.
We also offer some basic facilities including: a toilet with small wash basin, a water point; an outside wash-up area and toilet disposal - eco friendly chemicals only - compatible with the septic tank, and a large shower room with toilet & sink (you will need £1 coins to operate the meter for 7 minutes shower time).
There is a communal fridge/freezer and a small, honesty shop on site (in the store/end stable) stocked with charcoal, logs, natural firelighters, eco toilet chemical, fresh free range eggs, crisps, Suma tinned foods, marshmallows, chocolate digestive biscuits, homemade jams & marmalades, hot chocolate and other camping essentials!
There is also a kettle with complimentary tea, coffee & squash, free electric sockets, a mini library, outdoor toys & games, including a retro table tennis table. We can provide dry storage for bikes, and there is very good 4G network coverage here.
Fire pits are available for hire (£5) from the honesty shop/store, or you may like to bring your own BBQ and fire pit, as long as these are raised off the grass. Sacks of seasoned logs are £7. Easy light charcoal (£3) kindling and natural firelighters (£1). Free kindling, such as sticks, twigs, fir cones & plentiful dry leaves can all of course, be easily found on site if you forage around under the trees, or you can just bring your own or buy locally!
We enjoy 'dark skies' status here, so you can sit back and star gaze whilst you warm yourself with a crackling campfire at night and listen out for the hooting owls!
A flushable camping toilet with tent (self sited on your pitch) and a gazebo are also available to hire (pre booking advised). We accept cash or bank transfers for items hired or bought from the honesty shop.
With climbing trees, dens, balancing logs, a bog, trampolines, a playhouse and rope swings, there are lots of activities on site to entertain children, but all play & behavior must be supervised and all equipment is used at your own risk. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads.
On Thursday lunch times, our friendly fish man calls, selling delicious fresh & smoked, local fish and shell fish from his van. Homemade cake is on sale from the store on Saturday afternoons (perfect with a cup of tea, or glass of Prosecco perhaps!) and you may wish to preorder your breakfast baps to takeaway from The Shippen kitchen, for a lazy Sunday morning (9am -10.30am).
The Racehorse Community pub is just a five minute stroll away, if you are wanting lunches, evening meals and/or liquid refreshment - current opening times from Wednesday (11-2pm) Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays (all day - 10pm) and Sundays (11-2pm) www.westhallpub.com
We invite guests to write a comment in the visitors book - its always good to know what you particularly enjoyed about the site and the local area.
ALSO available - Make your camping experience extra special with:
We hope this is more than enough for the resourceful camper. Please let us know if you require anything additional during your stay.
Contact us by text or email to check availability of any of the above, or if you need more info. You can also send a message/note/request when booking on Pitchup
There has been a farm here for at least 500 years and probably for a significant time before that too! There is archaeological evidence of Neolithic people inhabiting Westhall, with several finds of worked flint and a hand axe discovered in the village.
The land around here in medieval times would have been thickly covered in Oak forest, with lots of timber readily available for building ships and houses. As areas of forest were cleared and opened up, land for grazing animals became available as ‘common land’.
Westhall village was formed around several Commons, including Mill Common, Cox Common and Bacons Green. Although the commons have since been enclosed, you can still see where they once were.
Typically Suffolk farms were often set back at the edges of a Common, and feature a long drive or track, with a pond, ditch or moat in front, to keep the cattle out. Sunnyside Farm itself is situated at the back edge of our 4 acre ‘front’ field which is a remnant of the old Cox's Common.
The farmhouse is timber framed, built in the 16th Century and features deep chamfered oak beams and large inglenook fireplaces. It was likely that the farm house was originally built as a hall house – much like a barn, and open to the roof, with livestock living at one end, and people living amongst their cattle and perhaps sleeping on an upper deck (solar) above.
Around 1800 the house was encased with brick, and then at other times in the houses’ history, further additions were made, including a dairy and a north facing kitchen (with a store above). Much later, a Victorian pantry along with the small set of stables, cart shed and stores were built, which all overlook the farm yard as we see today.
Sunnyside Farm ceased to be a working farm in 1967 and a significant proportion of the farm was demolished when the surrounding fields, once grazed by a dairy herd, were sold off to make way for more an intensive type of farming of arable crops, such as wheat, peas and oil seed. Much of the remaining farm buildings such as the big threshing barn, garage, covered yard and milking dairy are modern 1930's brick replacements, used only now for storage and workshops. The stables have been sensitively adapted into convenient washing & toilet facilities, and a store for guests to use.
The camping field itself is named on old maps as 'Hempland', and was probably used to grow a hemp crop - as the name suggests! The ponds which lie beside 'the green lane' which skirts around the site may have been 'retting ponds' where the cut hemp was left to soak, to soften and rot away the tough outer layer of the stalks, before the inner part is stripped out and used to make ropes or a canvas type material. The grass field is flat and well drained, with a sunny, East-West facing aspect. It has a very pleasant & peaceful atmosphere, and spectacular sunsets can often be seen through the trees and across the open farm land beyond. The dark skies are also very special here - you can star gaze whislt enjoying a crackling campfire, as our ancestors must have done for many centurries before us.
My family bought the farm as a 7 acre small holding in 1985 and began our mission to restore and renovate the dilapidated and near derelict farmhouse. We opened Sunnyside Farm as a campsite in August 2020 and welcome guests to share in this rural idyll.
Our own house called 'The Shippen' (meaning cowshed, often known in Suffolk as a ‘Nettis’) also forms an important part of the farm's curtilage. We converted it into a small family home in 2004 – 06 and are pleased to have contributed to the farms history.
We think its the perfect campsite with all its charm and character, and fine balance between 'boutique and basic' and hope that you appreciate and enjoy the special historical setting of Sunnyside Farm as much as we do.
Sunnyside Farm 1967