Campsites in the New Forest - Top camping sites in the New Forest National Park – Cool Camping

Campsites in the New Forest

Find the best campsites and glamping sites in the New Forest here. Covering swathes of south west Hampshire, the New Forest – despite its name – is almost a thousand years old. Miles of open heath and thick woodland are the ideal backdrop to any holiday and if you dream of camping in a peaceful hideaway, the New Forest is the perfect escape. Campsites here range from tent only camping, tucked amid the trees, to glamping in grassy clearings, with luxury yurts, tipis and bell tents. So whether you’ve got a caravan, tent or nothing at all, there’s a campsite for you. Browse through our selection of the best sites in the New Forest below.

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The best campsites in the New Forest

Once a royal hunting ground, Hampshire’s New Forest is now a perfect camping ground and a national park. Its ancient woodland and heather moorland make an almost magical landscape with added enchantment from free-roaming New Forest ponies and deer. With amazing walking and wildlife-watching, quaint towns and great country pubs as well as a stretch of seaside, the New Forest has something to appeal to just about everyone. Bluebells in spring, cool shade in summer, crunchy leaves in autumn and a wonderland in winter, this place manages to be a genuine year-round destination. What’s more it’s found slap bang in the middle of the south coast and just a 90-minute train ride from London; making a week or weekend of glamping or camping in the New Forest easy for city and suburbia escapees.

Tucked away in the forest are some great New Forest glamping sites and camping sites; places where you can really immerse yourself in this special landscape and perhaps wake up to a pony on the tent step! We’ve carefully selected our favourites to help you find your perfect pitch, whether that’s a cosy cabin among the trees or a grassy pitch in an open field.

Tent camping in the New Forest

There are lots of traditional New Forest campsites where you can pull up, pitch up and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. The joy of classic under-canvas tent camping (apart from being a great-value way to holiday) is your proximity to nature; you can wake up to birdsong and only need to unzip the tent to see what the day has in store. Lots of people love the sociable side of a classic camping holiday too – where else can you trade tips for walks while washing up?

There are New Forest campsites in woodland, in meadows and on the coast. There are places where the nearest pub is a short walk away and places that are miles from anywhere, pitches where you can plug in and hook-up to the mains and pitches where the only light will be from a crackling campfire. Whichever type of camping you prefer, you can use our “Refine Search” feature to pick and choose the things that are important to you to get a personalised list of cool campsites in the New Forest.

Glamping in the New Forest

If the thought of setting up your own tent does not fit in with your idea of a holiday, why not opt for the easy option and book in for a spot of glamping in the New Forest instead? With the rise and rise of glamping, the Cool Camping team now spend just as much time checking out treehouses, tipis and luxury tents as we do traditional campsites and there are plenty of New Forest glamping sites that we think offer something special. We’ve sought out and selected from the geodesic domes, gypsy caravans, shepherd’s huts, bell tents, yurts and safari tents so we can bring you our pick of the best glamping sites in the New Forest and beyond.

If you’re a first-time camper, glamping can be a great way to test the water without having to buy all the camping gear. Parents with young families also often find glamping offers a great half-way point between more traditional self-catering accommodation and camping. If it’s a real camping experience you want, you might like to stick to the canvas cover of a simple bell tent, tipi or yurt but if you fancy more luxury, perhaps try a shepherd’s hut with all mod cons.

Family camping in the New Forest

Whether you opt for glamping or camping in the New Forest, your kids will probably thank you. Okay, so they may not actually say thank you (without a prompt) but they are almost guaranteed a good time. Being outside all day long, cooking on the barbecue and toasting marshmallows on the campfire are all new adventures for children. Add to that the chance to hang out with parents undistracted by work and chores, the freedom to go exploring and the opportunity of making campsite friends; and you are likely to have some happy children. The novelty and excitement of sleeping in a tent or shepherd’s hut means even bed times can be fun and, after all that fresh air, it may not be long before they fall in to a contented sleep leaving the adults to enjoy the campfire for just a little longer.

So how to choose where is best for family camping in the New Forest? If you have young children or babies you’ll probably be used to checking out whether there are changing facilities but you might also like to choose a pitch that’s a little closer to the toilets in case of night-time wake-up calls! And if you’re glamping, try to find out what provisions are made for little ones – you may be able to leave that travel cot and high chair at home. Bigger sites often have play equipment and activities for children laid on, but don’t discount the places that don’t have these as you might find that watching the New Forest ponies and playing games in the field or woodland are enough to keep your kids entertained anyway.

Popular places in the New Forest

In the wide open heathland and pony-dotted woods of the New Forest, there are certain locations that still stand out as focal points. In particular, central Lyndhurst, home of the New Forest Heritage Centre Museum, is right in the centre of the national park and a good place to get your bearings. Here we've picked out just a handful of popular towns and villages that are synonymous with the New Forest area. It might help you narrow down your search for the perfect campsite...

New Forest camping tips & blogs

Perhaps your on the hunt for the very best campsite for toddlers? Or you want recommendations on what to do in the New Forest on a cold and rainy day? Our growing list of New Forest blogs and articles gives you the latest information and inspiration for your camping trip in the Hampshire countryside.
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