Wayland Prison

Wayland is a men’s prison near Thetford, Norfolk.

Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We will update here as soon as this changes. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. You can:

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003.

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Book and plan your visit to Wayland

To visit someone in Wayland you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least 3 working days in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit. Three adults plus children can visit at one time.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Wayland.

Contact Wayland if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Wayland
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

You can book your visit online.

You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01953 804 179
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 12:30pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Tuesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Saturday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Sunday: 2pm to 4pm


You can also book by telephone.

Booking line: 01953 804 179
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday, 12:30pm to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Visiting times:

  • Monday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 11am
  • Wednesday: 9am to 11am
  • Thursday: 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 9am to 11am

Getting to Wayland

Find Wayland on a map

The closest railway station is Thetford. A taxi can be booked at the station help desk.

Contact the visitors centre on 01953 804 152 for local coach or minibus information.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a free visitors car park, including spaces for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Wayland

All visitors aged 16 and older need to bring one of the following types of photo ID:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • benefit book
  • senior citizen’s public transport pass
  • annual public transport season ticket (with photo card)
  • employer ID card (if it shows the name of the visitor and the employer)
  • European Community identity card

All visitors will be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing items like revealing clothing or clothing with offensive slogans.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £30 in coins (notes are not allowed). £50 is allowed for family visits. The money can be used to buy food and drink in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Wayland. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker in the visitors centre. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There’s a visitors centre at Wayland. The visitors centre has small children’s play areas inside and outside.

Inside the main visits hall in the prison there’s a snack bar providing hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, hot food and other snacks. There’s also a play area for children.

Family visits

There are additional family visits and children’s visits. These are held on alternate Mondays, 9am to 1pm.

For children’s visits, 1 adult can attend plus the resident’s children. For family visits, 5 adults can attend plus children.

The resident must apply for these visits.

Keep in touch with someone at Wayland

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a resident during their time at Wayland.

Phone calls

Residents have phones in their rooms but they are only for outgoing calls. They will always have to call you. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

At certain times of day they can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.


You can send emails to someone in Wayland using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the resident, depending on the rules at Wayland.


Include the person’s name and prison number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prison number, contact Wayland.

All post apart from legal letters will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

Gifts and parcels

People in Wayland sentenced for a fixed length of time may have a clothing parcel sent in to them within 28 days of sentencing.

People in Wayland serving a life sentence or an indeterminate sentence may have a clothing parcel sent in to them on their birthday each year.

Contact Wayland for more information on what’s allowed.

Make sure to include the person’s name and prison number on the parcel.

All other parcels will be sent for storage at the National Distribution Centre at Branston and can only be returned when the resident is released.

All parcels will be opened and checked by officers.

Life at Wayland

Wayland is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

There are a range of opportunities for residents to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Wayland has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board.

If you have any concerns about a prisoner at Wayland, contact the Safer Custody team or speak to the chaplaincy team on 01953 804 080.

Arrival and first night

When a resident first arrives at Wayland, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.


Each person who arrives at Wayland gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.


Around 1000 men live at Wayland, across 13 units. Most rooms are single. The induction area has shared rooms, as well as in some of the other units. Some units have in-room showers and many have privacy keys and kitchen facilities. Communal eating areas are also available.

There are specialist units for drug treatment programmes, a drug-free area, and for those preparing for release. There is a healthcare centre at Wayland.

Education and work

Wayland has a wide range of training facilities with opportunities to gain qualifications. Workshops include electrics, welding, bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry, plastering, streetworks, industrial cleaning and motor mechanics. There’s also a farms and gardens area.

Wayland’s large education department and library offers residents the opportunity to improve their literacy and numeracy.

To prepare for release, Wayland works with partners to help residents find employment and resettle in the community.

Wayland also offers behaviour programmes and a range of opportunities for residents to recover from drug and alcohol addiction.

Temporary release

Residents in Wayland can apply for Release On Temporary License (ROTL). This includes day release and overnight release.

It will be linked to objectives in residents’ sentence plans. It is used to help prepare for release by rebuilding family relationships, re-establishing links in the local community and attending interviews for work, training or accommodation.

The resident can apply to the offender management unit who will assess if they can apply.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Wayland

Wayland works with Spurgeons, a charity supporting children and families. The Spurgeons team provides support and information to help you access available services.

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Wayland. If you can’t resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

Contact Wayland

Governor: Sonia Walsh

Telephone: 01953 804 100
Fax: 01953 804 220
Find out about call charges


HMP Wayland
IP25 6RL

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Wayland, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01953 804 000
Find out about call charges

Out of normal working hours, call the main telephone number and ask to speak to the duty governor.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 18 December 2019
Last updated 28 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added confirmation of secure video calling availability at this prison.

  2. Updated survey link

  3. Prison visits update

  4. First published.