Review: Rushbanks Farm Campsite - ‘Carefree camping by the river’
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Our reviewer tried out this popular site near Sudbury, where technology goes out of the window in favour of getting back to nature
You don't have to go abroad to have fun in the sun - why not stay close to home and try a holiday under canvas?
In the quaint village of Dedham Vale, on the Suffolk/Essex border, lies Rushbanks Farm caravan and camping site - the only official campsite located along the banks of the charming River Stour. The site is very much based around nature and the natural beauty of the area, with the opportunity to hire out canoes and go boating on the river.
It's about a 40 minute drive from Ipswich and there's plenty of parking on site, so you wouldn't need to worry about that.
My boyfriend and I arrived at the campsite on the hottest day on record. We were a bit confused as to whom we had to contact at first to be shown to our tent, but this was quickly resolved.
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It was safe to say we were pleased to touch down at base camp for the night, and dip our feet in the river to cool down.
The cash-only campsite provides a basic, but immaculate, toilet block, showers, fresh running water, and outdoor sinks for washing up and recycling bins.
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On first glance the campsite was very tidy and well kept, with a picturesque view of the river and the surrounding fields. It was very much family orientated, with children and adults enjoying some wild swimming in the river to keep cool on a hot day.
We stayed in one of the 5m bell tents located on the riverbanks for a touch of luxury, which can sleep up to eight people, so there was plenty of room for the two of us.
The bell tents come with a basic fire pit, which you can cook your food on. We decided to have a barbecue, but I would advise you to bring something to prop the cooking rack up with, in order to avoid your sausages succumbing to the flames.
Also provided in the bell tents were 10 roll mats and a light. But I would advise to bring your own airbed or something to sleep on to make your stay comfier.
The campsite is a stone's throw away from the post office and a Co-op supermarket if you need to stock up on supplies.
On the second day of our camping experience we decided to hire out a canoe and take a trip down the river to the Anchor Inn pub, in Nayland. We were provided with a brief training session and a map to help us navigate the river on our journey and made aware of the two weirs along the way, which you had to avoid.
There were two portage points where you had to take your canoe out of the river and lift it past the weirs to safety. This proved to be a bit challenging for two people as the canoes were quite large, but families and groups of three would be fine.
The river trip was beautiful, there was so much wildlife to enjoy and it was really peaceful. It was nice to occasionally come across other friendly boaters along the way too. We stopped at the pub, which was also located right by the River Stour.
The food was tasty and there was a wide variety to choose from. You could tell they used good quality ingredients and served local Adnams beers and Aspall cider on tap.
After refreshments, the canoe back was equally as enjoyable as the journey there.
A wonderful slice of countryside life on our doorstep.