Camping in the New Forest:
Now that lockdown in the UK is starting to lift it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to start planning summer adventures. If, like me you are looking forward to a break away but don’t want to go too far from home then a camping trip could be just the thing. Campsites in the New Forest that allow campfires are always at the top of my list for a mini adventure away. Having a fire pit in the evening and stargazing really adds something to life under canvas.
I am lucky to live in the beautiful New Forest and love a bit of camping. Last year we upgraded our tent and made the most of the local area. For more on my summer lockdown adventures head here: My 2020 highlights: I had a baby and bought a big tent! Camping in the New Forest is a wonderful experience, ponies and cattle roam free and there are an abundance of picturesque spots for outdoor adventures. From pitching a tent amongst ancient woodland to enjoying a campfire near the ocean, there are some fantastic campsites to choose from.
One of the things I look for when planning a camping trip is a campsite that allows campfires. For me a campfire is an absolute necessity. There’s nothing quite like huddling around a fire pit as the sun goes down and the stars come out, toasting marshmallows and planning adventures for the next day. Most campsites will let you take your own fire pit and many have them to hire for a small fee. Not all campsites allow campfires in the New Forest so it’s good to know the ones that do. I’ve hand-picked some that I’ve already stayed at and some that I’m planning to book in the future…
Campsites in the New Forest that allow campfires:
Located in Frogham near Fordingbridge in the New Forest, there’s a pub next door and donkeys mingle outside the campsite. Harry’s Field is flat with spacious pitches, the toilet and shower blocks are clean and tidy and the washing up area has freezers and a small seating area nearby. Created by campers for campers it’s a lovely spot on the edge of the forest. Take your own fire pit or hire one, you can also purchase wood. I love this campsite; it is small and friendly with lovely owners. Pitches are very well spaced to allow for social distancing. Open form the beginning of July to the beginning of September this site is a popular one so be sure to book well in advance of your stay. The site allows campervans, motor homes and tents, there are also bell tents to hire.
Lepe Beach Campsite
This campsite is in a gorgeous location right by the beach at Lepe, it has views of the Solent and Isle of Wight. Stargaze whilst listening to the crackle of the campfire and the waves rolling in on the shore. Hire fire pits or take your own. It’s worth noting that there is a charge for taking your own fire pit. If you don’t like the idea of putting a tent up, then book a pre-pitched tent that comes with plenty of amenities. I think it’s such a great idea if you want to try out camping without all the effort of putting up a tent and taking it down again! Be prepared to pack wellies if it’s raining as the site was fairly muddy near the toilet and shower block when we stayed. It is a tent only site and you can choose your own pitch.
Hurst View Campsite has four large fields to pitch up in, choose your own spot and listen to the waves of the Solent in the distance. There is a play park onsite and a small cafe. Nestled behind the sea wall in between Lymington and Keyhaven there are some great walks nearby. Tents and camper vans are allowed and electric hook up is available. Campfires are of course allowed; marshmallows and logs can be purchased from reception.
New Forest Water Park
New Forest Water Park is a really cool camping spot if you enjoy watersports. Nestled in woodland by a lake in Fordingbridge, wakeboarding, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are all available. Shared campfires in a woodland spot allow for a very chilled out stay. Tents and campervans are allowed and firewood can be bought on site. The facilities are rustic, but well worth it if you enjoy getting on the water.
Embers at Pylewell Park
Embers can be found on the beautiful coastline of the Pylewell Estate, just outside of Lymington. There are sea views from the campsite and pebbly beaches within walking distance. This is a tent only campsite, fire baskets are provided for each pitch and logs can be purchased onsite. Pre-order a homemade wood fired pizza before arrival, if you are camping on a Friday or Saturday night burgers are available for pre-order too. Embers is a tent only site, there are also bell tents to hire.
A meadow surround by ancient oak trees in the heart of the forest, wild camping at its finest. There are no allocated pitches, just 50 acres of grass to choose from. This perfectly flat meadow has picturesque sunsets and a pop-up cocktail truck! With two new shower blocks and eco toilets there’s everything you could need for camping in the forest. Harry’s Meadow is at the top of my list for camping this summer!
What to pack for a camping trip:
- Warm clothes: even in the middle of the summer it can get chilly around the campfire in the evenings.
- A hammock: If you are looking to relax amongst the trees whilst on your camping trip then a hammock is the perfect piece of equipment. Read my review on a travel hammock. I tested it out in the New Forest and loved reading a book while listening to the gentle rustle of the leaves.
- A portable phone charger. Most campsites have somewhere to charge phones, but it’s good to have your own.
- Fairy lights/torch: Fairy lights aren’t necessary but a nice extra to make your tent look pretty. A torch is useful for finding your way to the toilet block a night.
- Wellies…the typical British weather can be very changeable even in the height of the summer. So, I’d really recommend packing wellies, a camping field can very quickly turn muddy if the rain pours down!
- Resealable bags: I always recommend food bags. They are an easy way to store perishable food and handy for keeping the all-important tea bags dry!
- Anti-bac hand gel and wipes: Handy for the current times and useful for a quick clean-up of utensils etc.
- A foldable washing up bowl: Important for washing up and a folding one is handy to save on space.
More on campsites in the New Forest:
There are some lovely campsites in the New Forest, some with basic facilites others with bell tents to hire to make it more of a glamping experience. Camping in the Forest is a good place to start looking for your ideal pitch. They have 10 campsites spread out across the forest with varying facilities. All are perfect for getting back to nature and exploring this gorgeous area. Going slightly against my post these campsites don’t allow the use of campfires but, some are in the heart of the New Forest so are well worth heading to for a weekend escape. Pitchup is great site for researching and booking campsites, they have an option for searching for sites that allow campfires, which is very useful.
What are your favourite campsites in the New Forest? I’m always on the lookout for recommendations for campsites in the New Forest that allow campfires, let me know in the comments below.