There are not many campsites that feel as rural as Long Meadow Campsite, which is set in the heart of the New Forest, yet is still just a convenient few miles away from Junction 1 of the M27.
It's accessed via the New Park Showground and the gravelled entrance takes you past the showground itself and through an equestrian centre. Driving slowly through here you get an odd sensation of being watched as around half a dozen inquisitive horses poke their noses over the stable door to see what's going on.
The campsite itself is to be found a few hundred yards away from the stable block and offers 100 pitches in a massive field - these are not marked out so there's plenty of room for everyone to spread out. A gravelled road leads across the field and it is very flat.
As the field is bordered by the New Forest, it's rich in wildlife and during our visit we spotted several red deer roaming about, as well as a rare white deer. A gate at the far end of the campsite leads directly onto the New Forest trails, with a sign-posted path taking you to the delightfully genteel town of Brockenhurst (which is 1.5 miles away). This path winds through the ancient woodland, with an attractive bridge over a stream being about a five-minute walk away. It's a great place to walk your dog or go for a bike ride, or just savour a relaxing stroll.
It's also the perfect place to stay for one of the many events held at the nearby showground. A variety of events take place over the year on the 230-acre showground, with the New Forest & Hampshire County Show being the largest and typically attracting over 100,000 visitors. It's held annually usually takes place in July - check the website for more details.
The Show features all manner of agricultural and equestrian displays, together with hundreds of trade stands, craft shops and great local food stalls. Anyone with an interest in the countryside and traditional country pursuits is sure to love it.
The Showground, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, South East
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