10 of the best campsites in Dorset for caravanning
Explore the wonders of Dorset from your caravan with this selection of ten coastal and countryside campsites
Words by Claire Tupholme
1. South Lytchett Manor Caravan & Camping Park
Dorchester Road, Poole BH16 6JB
T 01202 622577
OPEN 1 March to 1 January
PRICE from £20
This AA Campsite of the Year award-winner is set in 25 acres of stunning parkland just three miles from Poole and 20 minutes from Bournemouth. The bus stop at the site gates is extremely handy for anyone who doesn’t want to drive and worry about parking and services go to Poole, Bournemouth and Swanage.
There are fully serviced pitches with free WiFi and TV connection with heated amenity blocks with toilets and showers, disabled and family bathrooms. Also on site is a shop, off licence and games room. The site is dog friendly and a 2.5-acre mowed off-lead dog walking field is provided along with a dog wash.
There is a bakery on site in high season, and the local pub, St Peter’s Finger, is just a five-minute walk away. All South Lytchett guests receive a free bottle of wine when dining there.
2. Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park
Ulwell Road, Swanage BH19 3DG
T 01929 422823
OPEN 1 March to 7 January
PRICE from £15.50
With a beautiful location under the Purbeck Hills, Ulwell Cottage is surrounded by countryside and close to a coastline of dramatic cliffs and clean, safe beaches. Facilities on site include hardstanding and grass pitches with electric, with some fully serviced ones available.
For touring customers there are toilets, showers, an indoor pool, a shop, play area and WiFi. There’s also The Village Inn restaurant and bar, that was refitted in 2018, along with a takeaway in high season.
The Victorian seaside town of Swanage offers many attractions including a Blue Flag beach, restored pier and railway.
There are also plenty of walking trails and cycle paths around Purbeck’s countryside and the Jurassic Coast to explore. Just a 10-minute drive away is the National Trust’s Corfe Castle. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the village, there are stunning views to be enjoyed.
3. Bagwell Farm Touring Park
Chickerell, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4EA
T 01305 782575
OPEN All year
PRICE From £16.50
This family-run park is set in a quiet valley within five miles of Weymouth’s sandy beach and busy harbour. It’s just a short walk to the South West Coast Path and the Fleet Lagoon that sits on the stunning Jurassic coastline.
Pitches on site include super pitches with double-width hardstanding, 16A electric hook-up, water and drainage point. The heated facilities include bathrooms and wet rooms along with regular toilets and showers. There is also the Red Barn bar and takeaway that is open at weekends in mid-season and nightly in high season.
If you decide to venture off site there is a pub within half a mile of Bagwell Farm and there’s also a bus stop at this pub so you can easily explore the many attractions of the area without moving the car. These include Abbotsbury Swannery (a sanctuary for 600 mute swans) at Fleet Lagoon, and the popular seaside resort of Weymouth.
4. Durdle Door Holiday Park
West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5PU
T 01929 400200
OPEN March to October
PRICE From £18
Think of Dorset and several things may spring to mind. One of the most iconic being the limestone rock arch of Durdle Door and the sweeping turquoise waters of Lulworth Cove. For a site with great access to both of these beautiful attractions, it has to be Durdle Door Holiday Park.
Part of the family-owned Lulworth Estate, that stretches for 20 miles over the Dorset countryside and has been owned by the same family for over 400 years, the holiday park backs straight onto the South West Coast Path. You can easily walk from the park to the Jurassic Coast and explore the dramatic cliffs and secluded coves. The village is just a 30-minute walk with restaurants, coffee shops, cafés, pubs and an information centre.
There’s a choice of pitch locations on site, from shaded, to an open field, sea view pitches and country view pitches. Facilities include electric and grey waste hook-up if needed, children’s play areas, toilets and showers, a laundry and WiFi. There’s also a shop on site and café bar.
5. Norden Farm Campsite
Corfe Castle, Dorset BH20 5DS
T 01929 480098
OPEN 1 March to 30 October
PRICE From £17
Set on a working farm just ¾ of a mile outside Corfe Castle, Norden Farm is a top site due to its location and ease of exploring. With bus stops at the site entrance and the steam train to Swanage just a short walk away you don’t even need the car! There is a footpath leading directly to the village of Corfe where you can visit the castle and there are a few pubs, shops and a bakery.
This is an all-grass site, within a valley setting, with three camping and touring fields, all with electric. There are two large facilities blocks on site with toilets and showers, a disabled toilet and wet room, a laundry and dog shower. There’s also a terrific farm shop on site offering a wide range of groceries, local fresh produce, plus camping goods and accessories along with a mini garden centre.
If you fancy some time by the sea then it’s only 30 minutes’ drive to beautiful Lulworth Cove where there’s parking, shops and cafés. The sea here is a stunning blue and you can access the South West Coast Path.
6. Harrow Wood Farm Caravan Park
Poplar Lane, Bransgore, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 8JE
T 01425 672487
OPEN 1 March – 6 January
PRICE From £20
Set in 80 acres of farmland on the edge of the New Forest National Park, Harrow Wood Farm is located in the village of Bransgore. Exploring the National Park is easy with the open forest being just two miles away.
It’s also only five miles to Christchurch where you’ll find picturesque rivers, a natural harbour and great beaches to choose from. Also worth a visit is the village of Milford-on-Sea where you can walk along Hurst Spit to the castle. Hurst Spit is a one-mile long shingle bank leading out into the sea.
The site has 60 pitches with hardstanding and electric hook-up. There is an on-site fishing lake that is great for fans of the sport but also makes for a nice spot to relax. A one-mile circular walk leads around the farm, meaning guests can enjoy the animals and surroundings.
The facilities on site include toilets, showers, dishwashing, laundry and also facilities for the disabled. Please note that dogs are not accepted at Harrow Wood Farm Caravan Park.
7. Back of Beyond Touring & Camping Park
234a Ringwood Road, St Leonards, East Moors Lane, Dorset BH24 2SB
T 01202 876968
OPEN March to October
PRICE From £20
Back of Beyond Touring Park provides an adults only oasis within a 30-acre park of woodland, heathland and lakes. The site is a haven for wildlife and located within a short drive of beaches and the New Forest.
Pitches on site are all spacious and on firm grass, with 10A electric hook-up. Toilets and showers have recently been refurbished to offer modern comforts such as power showers. There’s also a warm water dog wash and a wildlife lake that makes for a relaxing place to take a walk or to sit and watch the world go by. Recreation facilities include a pitch and putt course and also a boules pitch – clubs and balls are provided.
Moors Valley Country Park and Hurn Forest are close to the site, with New Forest villages and Ringwood just a cycle ride or short drive away. Major coastal resorts such as Bournemouth and Poole are within 30 minutes’ drive.
8. Monkton Wyld Caravanning & Camping Park
Scotts Lane, Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6DB
T 01297 631131
OPEN 16 March to 11 November
PRICE From £21.70
Monkton Wyld in West Dorset combines the rural feel of the countryside while still being close to the coast. It’s only three miles to the famous towns of Lyme Regis and Charmouth and all that the scenic Jurassic Coast has to offer.
All pitches on site are level and every pitch backs up against a hedge or shrub bed in order to add an air of privacy for every guest, along with native woodland planting that divides the grounds up into separate small paddocks.
The park lies in 25 acres of landscaped grounds with plenty of wildlife. Facilities on the site include toilets and showers, two children’s play areas, and a small shop. There’s also access to the 80 acres of Monkton Wyld Woods just a short walk from the site.
9. The Inside Park
Fairmile Road, Blandford, Dorset DT11 9AD
T 01258 453719
OPEN 1 April to 3 November
PRICE From £25
Set on the family farm, the pitches at The Inside Park are located amid specimen trees within ancient parkland. There are over six miles of marked routes for walking and cycling, all on private land. There’s abundant wildlife to look out for including deer, foxes, badgers and woodpeckers.
The pitches have electric hook-up and the washrooms are located within eighteenth century stables and coach houses. Other site facilities include a well-stocked shop, a laundry, dish washing and adventure playground. Dogs are welcome and there are on-site day kennels available if needed.
Attractions within an hour’s drive include Poole, the New Forest and Salisbury. The cathedral at Salisbury is a stunning place to visit and is home to one of the four original Magna Carta manuscripts.
10. Wood Farm Caravan & Camping Park
Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6BT
T 01297 560697
OPEN 28 March – 3 November
PRICE From £18.50
Wood Farm is set among mature trees and rolling Dorset countryside in the Char Valley. Pitches have views over Lyme Bay or the Marshwood Vale and all are all-weather hardstandings with electric.
There are also some fully serviced pitches available. For leisure time the site has a fishing lake and an indoor pool, along with a tennis court and fully licensed café. For children there is a play area and a games room, and if you are bringing pets along there are two dog walking areas and a dog shower.
If you head off site there are lots of places to visit, especially along the coast. These include Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Seatown. Slightly further along the coastline is West Bay with its sandstone cliffs and harbour area. The seafront has two piers and is lined with old cottages. If you enjoy walking you can also pick up the South West Coast Path here.