Located a convenient distance from the A31 to the south west of Ringwood on the way to Poole, Shamba Holidays offers 150 pitches and caters for motorhomes, caravans and tents. Access to the site is via a relatively narrow road, but the entrance to the site itself is good and wide - an RV was pitched there during our visit as well as various twin-axled caravans.
It's far enough away from the A31 - and well shielded by trees - for no road noise to disturb the peace of the site and the grassed pitches are all level - you won't need levelling blocks - being accessed by tarmaced and gravelled roads. There are some hardstandings, with the rest of the pitches on firm grass.
They're offered in various sizes (the wardens will ask the size of your vehicle at the time of booking) with electric hook-ups and there are water points handily dotted around the site, so you're never far from one. There's also a handy drive-over motorhome service point where you can empty your grey water tank.
All the site facilities are housed in modern brick-built buildings near the reception area. There's a well-stocked shop that sells everything from the usual sweets and crisps, to cold drinks, books, bread, milk and sausages. If you can't be bothered to visit the supermarket prior to pitching, you needn't worry here. There are two supermarkets less than a mile away (a short ride on a bike or a 10 to 20-minute walk) - a Lidl and a Sainsburys. There are also several pubs with restaurants, a chippy, off-licence and a petrol station, so all amenities are to hand.
The code-accessed toilet block is first-rate with corian-style sinks moulded seamlessly into the counter tops, spacious free showers and a Scandinavian-style varnished ceiling which looks very smart. Piped music gently plays throughout these facilities, as well as in the laundry room - which offers coin-operated washing machines and tumble dryers - and a covered dishwashing area. All these facilities can't be faulted (and were spotless during our visit). It's no surprise to find that they're the National Category Winners of the 2009 Loo of the Year Awards. As well as shaving sockets, the gents even had lots of hairdryers - a thoughtful touch.
The toilet block also links through to the changing area for the on-site heated swimming pool and this is of a good size with plenty of lounging space for parents to watch their kids merrily splashing away. It also has a neat party trick in that it has a sliding conservatory-like centre-section part of the roof that offers the benefits of an outdoor pool in summer and a covered indoor pool when the weather isn't being kind. Again, everything is modern and very well done.
Opposite the pool is a patio area with picnic tables that's next to the clubhouse. Here you'll find entertainment in peak season and a bar that serves food. The stonebaked pizzas come highly recommended and are freshly made to order and cooked in the on-site pizza oven. You can also take food away back to your unit if preferred.
Children are well catered for on site with a large modern fenced-in outdoor playground to romp about in and a playing field. Assuming, that is, you can get them out of the pool...
The flat access roads are also easy to pedal around and quiet enough to be safe.
The site's location makes it an ideal base for either sampling the seaside delights of Poole and Bournemouth to the south west, or the relaxing trails and paths of the New Forest to the north east. The site is also just a short drive from a wide range of supermarkets, pubs, shops and retail parks so nothing is very far away. Our top tip for motorhomers heading to Poole is to aim for the harbour area (near the Sunseeker speedboat factory). Here you'll find seafront parking in motorhome-sized pitches and you can walk to the town centre of the quayside development (where you'll also find the famous Poole Pottery shop) from here.
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