The New Forest
The New Forest is a brilliant destination to visit, not only because it’s full of incredible scenery, free roaming wildlife and tonnes of exciting activities for all the family but also because it’s only around an 1hr 45mins journey from us (87miles ish)!
The New Forest, or as known by the locals simply as the ‘Forest’, is the largest remaining of the Royal hunting grounds that once spread across the country. Situated in the south west corner of Hampshire it extends into south east Wiltshire and borders east Dorset. Although it is nestled between several cities the unique landscapes remain relatively untouched and are some that are rarely found anywhere else in Europe. It’s a place where the iconic New Forest Ponies run wild and play freely along many roads that zig zag through the landscape, but be aware, under the byelaws they have the right of way over motor vehicles!
It’s no wonder this incredible countryside attracts over 15 million day visitors yearly. For the active campers there’s many walking and cycling trails. The New Forest Theme Park for families whom wish to get close to nature, escape the everyday hustle and embrace the natural surroundings and tranquility the park has to offer. You may not believe it but it’s also a place steeped in history from the Bronze Age to preparations for D-Day. Local deer were hunted by kings and Rufus the Red, or properly known as King William II, was killed in a hunting ‘accident’ within the Forest. All this and much, much more is waiting to be discovered!
Now whilst wild camping in the New Forest or overnight parking in Forestry England car parks is not permitted there are plenty of wonderful campsites to choose from. We’ve put a little list of just a few sites with different levels of amenities for you below.
Sites for family camping with toilets & showers facility can be found in Ashurst, Hollands Wood, Holmsley (Holmsley campsite occupies part of what used to be Holmsley Airfield in WWII – one of 12 New Forest wartime airfields and Advanced Learning Grounds!) and Roundhill to name just a few. We all know how difficult it is to escape everyday life and find the perfect place that suits the whole family but you can be sure to find exactly what you are look for at one of these sites. Don’t fancy staying in one place for your whole holiday? Why not hop around and make it a multi-stop holiday. Experience everything from the wild New Forest ponies to the tranquil nature trails in the ancient woodlands. Take a trip to one of the gorgeous sandy beaches or find a quiet spot snuggled up by a warm fire in a quaint little local pub. You could even take a day trip out to Paultons Park and visit Peppa Pig for the day with the little ones.
For you campers who like to feel a little wild there’s a great campsite in Ocknell which offers basic toilet facilities but not much else. However what it lacks in luxuries it makes up for in nature! Free roaming ponies right on your doorstep, what more could you want!? The site is perfect for children to play and explore, or as a base for taking off into the forest, while the views provided at any one spot are incredible and instantly warm the soul.
And for the wild campers at heart these ones are for you! These absolutely no facilities so it’s essential you bring your own! Aldridge Hill, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Longbeech and Setthorns (electricity available) are a few places where you’ll be able sit back, unwind and truly become one with nature. For a true back to basics camping experience, offering seclusion and tranquility these are the sites for you. Whether you want a relaxing break for yourself and a loved one, a group of nature loving friends or the whole family, you won’t be disappointed.
If you are planning on taking your 4 legged friend(s) with you please check your chosen campsite as some don’t allow pets. Site facilities vary, please check they carefully.
Will so many attractions and places to visit sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and hard to know where to start first. But worry not, The New Forest have some great websites to help with planning your trip. We’ve found a great one here that offers itinerary ideas for you to use when visiting.
With wild camping not permitted at the new Forest it’s important to plan and book ahead before visiting to ensure you have a spot for the night/s. Most campsites will operate from around May-October however there are a couple that operate all year round, we found a few here.
And most importantly don’t forget to book your campervan with us here!