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Happy Days Retro Vacations

England / Saxmundham, Suffolk
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Full description

Experience the nostalgia of authentic vintage Airstreams and caravans, all blissfully set on a peaceful Suffolk campsite, complete with a cinema shed and two escape rooms!  

A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom! Hold on to your headscarf, kick off your brogues, and get ready for an unforgettable retro getaway at Happy Days Retro Vacations!

Described by owners Jenni and Kevin as the ‘ultimate in kitsch camping', Happy Days Retro Vacations offers a unique twist on glamping - the chance to stay in a vintage Airstream caravan, or as they put it, your very own ‘chrome from home', either as an individual stay or an exclusive group site hire.

Nestled in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, the seven retro caravans have been carefully updated with every comfort you might expect from modern accommodation, but sympathetically furnished with unique retro interiors, ranging from black and white checkerboard floors to flamingo curtains.

The oldest, ‘Dee Dee', was made in Ohio in 1959, but spent most of her life on the South Carolina coast before being shipped to the UK.  The newest addition to the fleet, ‘Nettie', is a 1972 Avion trailer (similar to an Airstream) made in Detroit and kitted out with orange upholstery and flowery curtains. Pennsylvanian ‘Betsy', dating back to 1972, and ‘Annie', built in West Virginia in 1966 also sleep four.  The largest Airstreams sleep five; Californian girl ‘Gloria' dates to 1961 and still has her original fridge door, and while it's not clear where ‘Peggy' came from, she was built in 1973 and exudes vintage charm.  Finally, ‘Wanda' completes the fleet, she's a four berth trailer and dates back to 1963.  Wanda spent all her life in Ohio before settling in sunny Suffolk.

Each caravan is fully equipped for self-catering, with an oven and hob, a fridge and small icebox, cutlery, crockery, pans and utensils, as well as a toaster,

All have British-style electrical points (yes, even the American Airstreams!).  Guests are asked to supply their own bedding and towels, but bedding can be hired at a one-off charge if necessary.

Every caravan comes complete with outdoor furniture - ideal for relaxing on lazy summer days, or for toasting marshmallows around the fire pit.  When surrounded by these vintage beauties in the middle of the countryside, it's easy to see why the campsite has received national acclaim and twice been named one of the Top 20 Coolest Campsites by The Times.

There are also four more pitches for tents, campervans or your own retro caravan.  Well-behaved dogs can stay in these, but ‘Betsy' and ‘Nettie' are the only retro caravans that can accommodate dogs. The well-maintained toilet and shower blocks are available for use by all guests.

New to the site is the brilliant Red Shed Movies, a deftly converted shed and now an onsite cinema room showing classic family movies every night on weekends and during school holidays.  The site is also home to two Escape Room games inside two converted wartime Nissen Huts - what a unique adventure!

Children are very welcome and an on-site play area, with swings, a trampoline and an old army truck, will keep them amused for hours.  They'll be completely safe as the campsite is a car-free zone, with cars parked in the adjoining field. 

A popular option at Happy Days is the option to hire the entire site, for a group event or celebration.  The trailers can sleep up to 32 guests but add in the camping pitches and this also rises to 45, so it's a brilliant and fun choice for a birthday weekend, hen do, even a small wedding perhaps - what a kitsch way to tie the knot!

We'd understand if you didn't leave the campsite during your stay, but just in case, Saxmundham is a mile away with a small range of shops for necessities.  A little further along is Aldeburgh, well known for its art scene, and a visit to Southwold comes highly recommended for its famous pubs, pier and the Adnams Brewery.  And don't forget to stop at Thorpeness for a glimpse of the iconic House in the Clouds.

So what's stopping you?  Climb on board and step back in time for a holiday to remember!

Things to note

Minimum stay 2 nights rising to 3/4 in school holidays or bank holidays. 4 additional camping spaces are available to rent on request, Betsy and Nettie accepts pets but they are not permitted in any of the others.  Cots will only fit in Gloria, Peggy or Annie so be sure to request these if you require one. You may bring portable BBQs.  The entire site has capacity for up to 45 including camping pitches too.

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The basics

The basics

Region: Saxmundham, Suffolk
Cost (from): £240 (2 nights)
Sleeps: 2-32
Bedrooms: Varies
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 111

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Caravans include a cooker with hob and small oven, undercounter fridge with ice box, crockery, kitchen utensils, saucepans, toaster, camping toilet in each caravan, fire pits (one per caravan), oil radiators and blankets, outdoor table and chairs, onsite play area, parking, communal showers. No towels or bedding provided, but may be rented for a small fee. Washing up liquid, tea, coffee and sugar are provided. 

Please contact the owner directly with any questions.

Local activities

Onsite:  2 x Escape rooms.  Nearby: Rowing, House in the Clouds, coastal walks, beaches, pier, amusements boating, crabbing, sand dunes, castles, nature reserves.

At a glance

At a glance

  • Seven retro caravans (five American Airstreams, an American Avion Trailer and one British Cheltenham Sable), sleeping 2-32 (exclusive hire is a popular option), on a peaceful campsite in rural Suffolk
  • Sympathetically restored with retro features and modern-day comforts
  • A range of onsite amenities, including toilet and showers, hot water sinks for washing up, fire pits for hire, onsite cinema shed room and children's play area
  • Two fun Escape Rooms are onsite for guests use
  • Exclusive site hire is a popular way to enjoy the facilities, with the option of up to 45 guests, including camping pitches.
  • 1 mile from Saxmundham, with direct train links to London; short drive to popular coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold; 5 miles from Suffolk coast

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