14 Of The Best Campsites In South East England
From white cliffs and family beaches, to historic castles and rolling countryside, the South East of England has plenty to offer for a camping holiday
Here is a selection of 14 of our favourite campsites in this area.
HEATHFIELD FARM CAMPING PARK
Isle of Wight
Heathfield Road, Freshwater, Isle of Wight PO40 9SH
Heathfield Farm Camping Park is set on the west of the Isle of Wight on the outskirts of Freshwater village. The site is open and level within nine acres of countryside. Shrub and tree plantings have created a haven for wildlife including the rare red squirrel. There are 75 pitches, 60 with electric hook-up. There are also a limited number of Premier View pitches that offer great views across the Solent towards Hurst Castle.Facilities on site include a wildflower meadow with space to exercise dogs, a playing field, and refurbished amenity buildings with showers, toilets and separate wash cubicles. There is a large wheelchair accessible shower and toilet room and also a laundry. Brook Beach and Alum Bay are both close by. Brook beach features golden sands and is a hotspot for fossils! Over at Alum Bay are the iconic chalk stacks known as The Needles along with the famous chairlift taking visitors down to the beach with its coloured sands.
WARNER FARM TOURING PARK
Warner Lane, Selsey, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 9EL
Warner Farm is a great choice for those who prefer a peaceful pitch but want to be close to all the facilities and action of a family-friendly holiday park. The touring park itself has electric grass and standard grass pitches, bordered by countryside, with facilities just including toilets, showers, a laundry and small shop. However, guests on park have access to all the facilities of the neighbouring Bunn Leisure Parks and a bus service runs between all the parks to make nipping from one area to the other really easy. The other great thing about the park is its location on the Selsey Bill Peninsula with a mile long stretch of private beach, bordering West Sands with its Waterfront Complex and restaurant and bars. The facilities on the other Bunn Leisure Parks include the Oasis Complex with swimming pools, waterslides and gym, live entertainment, play areas, sports courts, kids clubs, plus a multitude of food and drinks venues from bars, restaurants and diners, to takeaways, fish and chips and pizza.
Downs Road, Standlake, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7PZ
Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire Countryside, this is a level park with 196 pitches on either grass or hardstanding with electric if required. At Hardwick Parks you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can relax and explore the peaceful parkland, or you can have a watersports adventure on the site’s lakes – choose from wakeboarding, waterskiing and ringo rides to name a few. You can also make a splash in one of the designated swimming areas. The site is within a central location, near to numerous historical and cultural places of interest. A short drive away is the city of Oxford and picture postcard Cotswold towns and villages such as Charlbury, Chipping Norton and Woodstock. You can also visit the grand English country house of Blenheim Palace and Cotswold Wildlife Park. For camping customers Hardwick Parks has an air-conditioned toilet and shower block, disabled facilities, plus a laundry room. There’s also a large shop and a licensed clubhouse serving food. An area adjacent to the lakeside has been set aside for ball games, kite flying etc.
HORAM MANOR TOURING PARK
Horam, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 0YD
Set amid wooded countryside and on a manor estate, Horam Manor has plenty to offer for a quality holiday. Within the estate are nature trails through the woods, a tennis club, a farm museum with craft shops, fishing and riding stables. There’s also the Lakeside Café serving light meals, breakfast and roasts. The café is also open Friday and Saturday nights in season. Pitches on site are level and spacious, spread over seven acres. There are grass and all-weather pitches with electric. Facilities include toilets and showers, privacy cubicles, a family shower room and a laundry. Dogs are welcome, there is a dog walk adjacent to the park, along with a play area and Wi-Fi. In the local village is a shop, pub and fish and chip shop. Attractions nearby include the Cuckoo Trail, an old railway track between Heathfield and Polegate, which is perfect for walking and cycling. There’s also the Seven Sisters Country Park and a golf club nearby, and Eastbourne and Brighton are within 15 miles.
SWISS FARM TOURING & CAMPING
Marlow Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2HY
Swiss Farm Touring and Camping is situated on the edge of Henley-on-Thames. Ten-minutes’ walk will have you in the pretty riverside town with its famous regatta and choice of places to eat. With several stations nearby it’s also possible to easily get into London to experience the various attractions of England’s capital city. You may decide to enjoy the host of facilities on this pretty site instead. They include a heated outdoor pool, a coarse fishing lake exclusively for guests’ use, and the Farm Kitchen Bar & Café. There a plenty of walks nearby for four-legged friends and a handy dog wash to hose off muddy paws afterwards. Amenities for guests include a shop, laundry and toilets and showers. The camping area has a variety of grass pitches on a slight slope, some with electric. Swiss Farm is a top Thames Valley spot with historic towns such as Windsor nearby, along with the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the top family attraction Legoland.
BROADHEMBURY CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK
Steeds Lane, Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent TN26 1NQ
Set in the Kent countryside, Broadhembury offers the best of both worlds for those holidaying with children, and couples wanting some peace and quiet. There are two touring and camping areas – a family area with pitches close to the amenities and play facilities and a quiet meadow area for adults only. The adult only area has its own facilities and the Top Meadows area is surrounded by fields and trees with plenty of wildlife around. There are a range of pitches from basic grass to hardstanding. Facilities on site include heated toilets and showers, a family bathroom, privacy cubicles, facilities for the disabled and a laundry. For children there is a play area, sports field and games room. Locally there are plenty of country lanes for cycling or walking, with picturesque villages and ancient towns in-between and Leeds Castle, Folkestone and Chapel Down Winery within 30 minutes. Lighting on site is kept to a minimum meaning Broadhembury is perfect for some night-time stargazing.
East Moors Lane, Ringwood Road, St Leonards, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 2SB
Appealing to country-loving couples and young families, Shamba Holidays is located close to the New Forest and Bournemouth, in seven acres of countryside, on the boundary of Hampshire and Dorset. There are 150 pitches, all with electric hook-up, sheltered by hedging, trees or fencing. Facilities at Shamba include toilets and showers, a family/disabled shower room, family bathroom, washing up area and laundry. For dog owners the site has a huge dog walking field and is only 20-minutes’ drive from the New Forest and 10-minutes’ drive to Moors Valley Country Park. For leisure time on site there is a 40-foot heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool with separate toddler pool. The pool features a unique sliding roof and walls that can be retracted on sunny days to let the outside in. The clubhouse/reception area houses a games room, bar, takeaway and shop. In peak season the clubhouse offers entertainment such as quizzes, karaoke and live acts. Attractions nearby for all the family include Go Ape Treetop Adventure, Peppa Pig World, and the seaside resort of Bournemouth.
Martin Mill, Dover, Kent CT15 5LA
Situated just four miles from the port of Dover, Hawthorn Farm is set in 28 acres of landscaped gardens containing some 5,000 ornamental fruit and woodland trees. Site amenities include award-winning shower and laundry facilities, a well-stocked shop and small café. There is also a disabled/family wetroom. The site is close to the village of Martin Mill where there’s a train station and local pub serving food. Hawthorn Farm is located between the towns of Deal and Dover with a bus stop a short walk from the site entrance. The village of St Margaret’s is two miles from the park and here you can take walks along the white cliffs and into Dover if you wish. If you want to head to the coast then Deal is just a short drive away. Here you’ll find a castle, Georgian townhouses and a pleasant long, pebbled beach.
LEE VALLEY CAMPING & CARAVAN PARK
Meridian Way, Edmonton, London N9 0AR
0208 8803 6900
Lee Valley is a peaceful site close to River Lee Country Park but also within easy reach of all the attractions of London. Using public transport you can be in London in less than an hour! On site there’s plenty of open space and nearby there is the River Lee Country Park which spreads over 1,000 acres. There are many walking and cycling trails bike hire, kayaking, play areas and even a dog agility course. There’s also FootGolf, a golf course and cinema to take advantage of. If watersports are more your thing then head to the Lee Valley White Water Centre where you can do rafting, an inflatable water obstacle course, canoeing and paddle boarding. On the park is a dedicated tent field with pitches with or without electric. Facilities for campers include toilets, showers, a laundry, play area, WiFi and shop. Nearby there is a bar and café. Please note that this site is located within the London Low Emission Zone – find out more at tfl.gov.uk
WELLINGTON COUNTRY PARK
Odiham Road, Riseley, Berkshire RG7 1SP
This is the perfect campsite and location for those with young ones in tow. Set within 350 acres of parkland, there is so much to do here. There are adventure play areas for all ages, including areas just for toddlers and indoor soft play. The animal farm and petting barn includes Shetland ponies, donkeys, sheep, chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats and alpacas for children to meet and feed. In terms of activities there is a Splash Zone, mini golf, sand pits, water play and diggers. There’s even ladders to the top of a hill and slides to get back down so you can play a real-life version of Snakes and Ladders. After all that fun you can relax on the miniature railway or explore the range of nature trails. For food and drink there’s a café open daily within the main reception and also a Lakeside café open during holidays and most weekends. The gift shop carries the essentials such as bread, eggs and milk. The site has electric pitches along with premium ones offering slightly more privacy. Facilities include toilets, showers, a laundry and washing up area.
LONG MEADOW CAMPSITE
New Park, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QH
Set within the New Forest National Park, Long Meadow Campsite is ideal for those wanting to enjoy outdoor activities aplenty. There are miles of trails through the forest landscape for both walking and cycling that can be accessed through a gate at the back of the site and bike hire can be arranged. There’s also plenty of open space on site for children to play and lots of wildlife to be seen including ponies and deer. Brockenhurst village is a two-minute drive away or can be reached via a flat 30-minute walk through the open forest. Here you will find an abundance of pubs and restaurants as well as shops to stock up on supplies. The site has 100 pitches with a choice of electric, grass or hardstanding set in a 19-acre meadow. There are two modern facilities blocks that are accessible for wheelchairs and include toilets and showers and a washing up area. Nearby attractions include the coastal villages of Lymington and Milford-on-Sea, Peppa Pig World, Beaulieu Motor Museum and Longdown Activity Farm.
WHITEFIELD FOREST TOURING PARK
Isle of Wight
Brading Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 1QJ
For a site recommendation in the south east we had to include the AA Campsite of the Year South East Winner for 2017-18 – Whitefield Forest Touring Park. Set in woodland between Ryde and Sandown, this quality site has well drained, level pitched, that are sheltered by trees and developed in sympathy with the surrounding woodland. Nature and conservation is a big thing here, with the site having a woodland walk and squirrel hide. The wildlife and flowers you can see on site include red squirrels, woodpeckers, bluebells, orchids and more. There’s also a play park and bush craft area for children nestled within the woodland. Pitches are available on grass or hardstanding, all with electric. Modern amenities include privacy cubicles, provisions for the disabled and a laundry. There is a network of walking or cycling tracks from the site and also a handy bus route for exploring the island.
APPULDURCOMBE GARDENS HOLIDAY PARK
Isle of Wight
Wroxall, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 3EP
Set in 14 acres of secluded grounds on the Isle of Wight, Appuldurcombe Gardens is located in the valley of the Stenbury and St Martin’s Downs, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The holiday park was originally part of the grounds of the nearby historic house, the old walled orchard now containing the static caravan part of the site. Touring and camping facilities are situated within sheltered grassland. Site facilities include toilets and showers, an access friendly shower room, family bathroom and laundry. There’s a bar, shop, play area, outdoor heated pool, games room and crazy golf. In season there is also a café serving hot food and providing a takeaway service. A network of footpaths and cycle paths can be easily accessed from the park, and it’s a short drive to Ventnor’s famous coves and beaches. Appuldurcombe Gardens is just three miles from the Island’s highest point – the Ventnor Downs. Managed by the National Trust, the landscape consists of open areas of grass and heather, with the glistening sea below.
WHITECLIFF BAY HOLIDAY PARK
Isle of Wight
Hillway Road, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5PL
With 60 miles of unspoiled coastline and a ‘back in time’ kind of feel, the Isle of Wight offers a relaxing break. Whitecliff Bay is the perfect balance between a coast and country holiday, with rolling countryside and woodland on one side and a sandy beach on the other. The bay has a long, shallow beach that is great for paddling, plus there’s a beach café. Pitches on site range from basic grass to hardstandings with electric. There’s plenty to keep everyone happy including an outdoor and indoor pool, a nautical-themed covered play area, indoor soft play and outdoor adventure playgrounds. There’s evening entertainment in peak season and daytime activities such as archery, pool kayaks, and craft sessions. For dining options there is the Nab Bar, Culver Club Diner & Takeaway and Rex’s Rest. Just over a mile from the park is the National Trust’s Bembridge Windmill. As the island’s only surviving windmill you can climb the tower and learn how the mill worked, and outside there are walking and nature trails.