Happy Days Retro Vacations

England / Saxmundham, Suffolk
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Authentic vintage Airstreams and caravans on a peaceful Suffolk campsite.  

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'. 

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, ‘Elsie' completes the fleet, a 1971 British Cheltenham Sable caravan.  At only 13 feet long, she's smaller than the Airstreams, but comfortably sleeps two - perfect for couples.

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, radio, and a small TV for watching DVDs (please note ‘Elsie' has a 2-ring electric hob instead of an oven, and a hotel-style fridge without icebox). 

All have British-style electrical points (yes, even the American Airstreams!), and the small selection of DVDs is ideal for passing time on rainy days.  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 an awning and 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.

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. 

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. Travel cots, bed guards and high chairs available on request, 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. Prices from £140 for Elsie and £220 for an Airstream.

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The basics

Region: Saxmundham, Suffolk
Cost (from): £140 (2 nights)
Sleeps: 2-5
Bedrooms: Varies
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 111

Facilities

Caravans include a cooker with hob and small oven, undercounter fridge with ice box, crockery, kitchen utensils, saucepans, toaster, small TV/DVD player (some DVDs provided but recommended to bring some), radio, 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 are provided free but may be rented for a small fee. Washing up liquid, tea, coffee and sugar are provided. Elsie the 2-berth caravan has no oven and a small fridge.

Please contact the owner directly with any questions.

Local activities

Rowing, House in the Clouds, coastal walks, beaches, pier, amusements boating, crabbing, sand dunes, castles, nature reserves.

At a glance

  • Seven retro caravans (five American Airstreams, an American Avion Trailer and one British Cheltenham Sable), sleeping 2-5, 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 and children's play area
  • 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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