CAMPSITE REVIEW: Mad Hatters, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Mad Hatters is a new site to us, we were drawn to it due to its close proximity to Type 2 Detectives (who take care of Vinnie) so predict we will be back lots for overnight stays when we need to drop off or collect Vinnie from storage.

The campsite is set in 5 acres of beautifully landscaped farmland, with new trees and wild flower meadows planted to encourage wildlife. We saw hares running across the field and apparently Roe deer often visit too. The owner Claire could not be more accommodating, welcoming and thoughtful. It’s a really peaceful and chilled campsite.

  

👍

  • Lovely owners, really thoughtful and well-run site 
  • Great sunsets and night sky 
  • Surrounded by countryside views and Ely Catherdral
  • Path around meadow on site good to exercise dogs and kids 
  • Camp fires 
  • Excellent bathroom facilities
  • Spacious and spaced out pitches 

👎

  • For us a lot of what camping is about, is being able to go on great walks straight from the campsite. We found walking round here frustrating, overgrown footpaths, main road walking and going along way round to circumnavigate train tracks. 
  • Pretty busy road nearby, but actually we could barely hear the road noise
  • No pubs a short walk away 

Surroundings

  • Ely is a walk from campsite or a very short drive. The most direct route along the river is 2.5 miles (50min walk) however its pretty terrifying and not recommended with kids and dogs as part of it is walking along a fast main road with no pavement (it’s a shame the footpath on the river side is too overgrown to walk on). There’s a longer, much safer alternative route (see the directions in the washing up area), but still lots of road noise while walking on the river path and trains to contend with. 
  • Ely cathedral
  • Waterside antiques

Fire

  • Fires allowed – Campsite provides pits and sell wood
  • BBQs yes 

Food and Drink

  • Strawberries grown and sold on site 
  • None of the pubs in Ely or Littleport seemed to have re- opened when we visited (the day after pubs were officially allowed to re-open during lockdown) but we intend to check out the following dog friendly pubs on our next visit: Drayman’s son, The Cutter Inn and Swan on the River
  • Peacocks tea room Nice tea room on river front with garden
  • There’s Sainsburys, Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose in Ely if you need to stock up.

Facilities

  • Really nice toilet and shower block 
  • Hot showers 
  • Baby changing 
  • Extensive Recycling and composting 
  • Good reception, 4g
  • Electric hook ups 
  • Hot water washing up 
  • Kids play and picnic area 
  • Glamping has own kitchens 
  • Muddy washing area (dogs) 
  • Fridge freezer with Free loan of ice blocks
  • Tea, coffee, juices at small reception cafe (closed for Covid) 
  • Hot towel rails in the shower rooms

Covid Precautions

  • Temperature taken on arrival 
  • Hand sanitisers at water fill up
  • Facilities have brilliant peg system, so only one person can enter each area. Sanitiser on entry
  • Pitches are all really distanced anyway

Our top tips

  • We loved camping in the ‘playing field’ no electric, but beautifully secluded from the main part of the site.  Electric hook ups are more traditional camping pitches, marked and side by side, but all have nice countryside views and much closer to the bathroom facilities. 

Mad Hatters website

Map of all campsites

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