The Old Airfield

UK England South East England Hampshire Brockenhurst

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Staggered showering times
  • Distance markers in shared facilities
  • Contactless check in
  • Extra toilets/showers
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • "We're Good To Go" accredited
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • One-way flow
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
A New Forest airfield that's been overtaken by nature, less than 10 minutes' drive from the coast

This old RAF base in the south eastern corner of the New Forest was so vital to the Second World War it used to operate under a code name. Today the tarmac's been torn up and grass and shrubs have taken over but its main merits as an airfield turn out to be just as convenient as a campsite. It's incredibly flat (great for pitching a tent), it's spacious and open (ideal for enjoying big blue skies) and it's just three miles as the bomber flies from the south coast.

Opening for the first time in 2021, the 30-acre space is reliably run by the family behind two other popular campsites in the New Forest (Harry's Field and Harry's Meadow), so the team know a thing or two about pleasing campers. Everything here is temporary but it's also very thoroughly thought through. There are piping hot gas-powered showers, good eco-friendly loos and a number of food trucks visit the campsite throughout the summer. And though campervans and motorhomes are welcome, the focus here is very much on back-to-basics family camping, with tents dominating the scene and more bicycles about the place than there are cars.

Perhaps the nicest thing about the campsite is the fact that, though it's vast, the make up of the former airfield breaks it all down into a series of small spaces. It's easy to arrive with friends, take off across the heathland and find a place to make your own. At the southern end, for example, there's a copse of beech and oak trees, where manager Vivien has set up a stretch tent and some of the facilities are found. In the middle of the site, meanwhile, there are two small segments drilled by the local farmer and full of standing wheat (or stubble in late August). It's as though there's a tiny patch of farmland within the campsite, framed by the grassy lines of the old runway.

While the campsite is wonderfully open – great for enjoying sunrises and huge summer sunsets – it's not long before you get into the trees if you want to. One of the best ways to get around here is by bike. Route 2 of the National Cycle Network runs directly past the campsite gate and you can venture north along car-free trails in the Holmsley area or cycle south, towards the coast on a series of quiet lanes. There's an easy route to Burley – one of the most quaint and popular villages in the whole national park – that's about four miles long. Take your time and you'll see plenty of New Forest ponies along the way, as well as potentially deer and other wildlife too. Or head off to Highcliffe Beach. There's less wildlife there but plenty of seagulls and a good number of fish and chip shops where you can find some tasty supper.

Details

Facilities

Composting toilets, hand-washing basins and a new shower block with hot showers (and good pressure!). There are designated washing up areas and drinking water points and firepits are available to hire, with seasoned logs for sale. A breakfast truck visits the campsite throughout summer and there is barista-style coffee, too, along with a pizza oven on weekends and other food trucks that visit on different days of the week.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, motorhomes and dogs – yes. Large groups are welcome by prior appointment but rowdy party groups are not.

Nearby

The best way to explore the New Forest is undoubtedly by bike. You can hire bikes from Avon Tyrrell (01425 672347) or just bring your own and ride straight from the campsite – the National Cycle Route 2, which follows the entire south coast of England, passes metres from the campsite. It's only a couple of miles on the route before you hit the old railway station house that was formerly Holmsley Station. It's now a lovely tea rooms (a great place to stop if you're already puffed out). From here, a huge stretch of the former railway line is now a car-free greenway that's great for family cycling. Look out for deer and the famous New Forest ponies as you ride. If you want a quicker way to find the dear, head to Bolderwood (20-minute drive), one of the most beautiful forests in the area, where you can watch the fallow deer being fed (it's has a large picnic area amongst the tall trees, alongside which is a New Forest Information Centre). Perhaps the best thing about choosing a campsite in this southern stretch of the New Forest National Park is that you're also so close to the coast. It's a 10-minute drive to Mudeford Beach, Avon Beach and Highcliffe Beach, backed by magnificent Highcliffe Castle, and, on hot days, it's a great alternative to days inland.

Food & Drink

For pretty village pubs and free-roaming New Forest ponies in the streets, drive the 10 minutes to Burley. For convenience, though, Bransgore is closer and also has plenty of pubs. Try the thatched, 17th-century Three Tuns (01425 672232) – good food, dog and family friendly and cask-ale accredited. The closest supermarket is also in Bransgore, where there's a decent sized CoOp.

Open

Late May half-term, July and August only.

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The Owner Says

The team behind Harry’s Field, one of the New Forest’s most celebrated and established campsites, are pleased to reveal The Old Airfield in the south of The New Forest. We are near Burley and four miles from the sandy beaches at Mudeford and Highcliffe.

If you are desperate for open space and endless skies, The Old Airfield has both in abundance.

Escape the house and venture into the heart of the New Forest. Just a few miles from Burley, an ancient village with a history of local witches and sprightly fairies, The Old Airfield is a vast, 30 acres of well-drained and flat camping ground, but we have chosen to limited the capacity – so you won’t struggle to claim your corner of the countryside.

Overlooked by nothing more than a smart copse of beech and oaks, at The Old Airfield, the only distractions come from the forest’s wild inhabitants, the New Forest ponies and their foals will be watching from the surrounding heathland, as you relish the great outdoors.

But it wasn’t always this way. As the name suggests, in the 1940s The Old Airfield was an RAF airstrip, perfectly situated for reconnaissance missions over continental Europe.

The proximity to the coast brought planes to Burley. They may have gone; mother nature has reclaimed the land and just a short four-mile jaunt from the campsite, some of the New Forest’s best beaches are to be found.

Pitches

Room for up to 80 pitches in an enormous, 20-acre wildflower meadow, so you're never short of space. 

Grass Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 100 Available
Due to the size of The Old Airfield, there are no preallocated pitches, so you can select an area that best suits you.

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Location

Contact The Old Airfield, The Old Airfield Campsite, Forest Road, Burley, Christchurch, Hampshire BH23 8EB

Show Map

Getting There

Leave the A35 at the brown tourist signs for Holmsley Campsite. Follow the road for half a mile and take the first turning on your right (also signed Holmsley Campsite). The campsite is 300 yards along this road on your right hand side (you should be able to see it from the road). The entrance gate is directly opposite the New Forest Caravan Club Centenary Site.

Hinton Admiral Train Station, three miles away, is the closest (direct trains from London Waterloo).

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 33 reviews

★★★★★

Grass pitch

Really lovely atmosphere and just so peaceful! The people were all So helpful and lovely
★★★★★

Lovely long weekend at the old airfield

Just got back from a brilliant weekend at the Old Airfield. The site was well managed and maintained by a friendly bunch of guys and girls with acres of space. So nice that you can choose your own pitch on arrival. Eco loos are good, showers are kept really clean and water was hot and well needed after a few overnight thunderstorms. The whole place was relaxed with a chilled out vibe and the food and ice cream vans were a brilliant addition!
★★★☆☆

It was as expected, basic.

Pleasant welcome. No hot water for washing up. This let them down. Showers were adequate, but timed. Toilets were an experience.
Jul 27, 2021 by Daniel Jesse Verified Review
★★★★☆

A nice quiet campsite in a good location to explore the area

I liked the fact that everyone was nice and spaced out rather than on top of each other like you often are at other campsites. The showers were good and nice and clean. The toilets are a bit basic. All in all a nice site but I thought it was a bit expensive compared to other sites which have more facilities.
★★★★★

Lovely relaxed camping!

Just got back from a lovely weekend at the Old Airfield. The site is excellently managed and maintained with acres of space and so great that you can choose your own spot to pitch up. Eco loos are good, showers are kept really clean and water was hot :) The whole place had a relaxed chilled out vibe and the pizza/ice creams were a brilliant addition! Highly recommend this campsite and we will definitely return:)
Jul 26, 2021 by Tracey Spice Verified Review
★★★★★

Wonderful

The host of this campsite could not have been more helpful. They went above and beyond to make our stay a fantastic one. The toilets were immaculately clean and the location is only a 10 minute drive from the beach.
★★★★★

Very Friendly and Quiet Site

A camp site that was established and managed by a family who are campers themselves and appreciate what makes a good camp site. Plenty of basic facilities that are continuously cleaned and in good working order. A round the clock presence meant that the site was very quiet at night. While acknowledging the efforts made by its owners, this is the site I am reluctant to recommend for fear that it becomes too popular. Thank you for a lovely weekend.
★★★★★

Wonderful

We stayed in a bell tent, comfy beds, gorgeous set up, lovely field, quiet at night. The hosts were amazingly hospitable. Excellent morning coffee, Tuesday night pizzas delicious, fire pits excellent. Good Strong clean showers. Would highly recommend.
Jul 24, 2021 by Katie ash Verified Review
★★★★★

Relaxed friendly site

Relaxed atmosphere and well maintained. Toilets are a bit challenging (Porto cabins and long drops). Showers very good. Fish & chips on Sunday evening were absolutely perfect.
Jul 21, 2021 by Liz Datta Verified Review
★★★★★

Fantastic few days

Relaxed site full of like minded campers all friendly and overall a very enjoyable long weekend! Great loos and showers and really enjoyed the pizza, fish and chips, morning coffee and breakfast baps! Heat was overpowering up in thirties so all in all a wonderful break! I highly recommend.
Jul 21, 2021 by Sian Dear Verified Review
★★★★★

Lovely back to basic campsite.

A very large back to basics site. Nice peaceful setting, very laid back atmosphere, reception very friendly. Great for family’s and groups of friends. Dog friendly, campfires allowed (you can hire a fire pit and buy logs) and a very chilled vibe. This site has plenty of composting toilets that work very well, no smell! Posh wash showers, standpipes and basic washing up facilities. There is a trailer selling coffees and breakfast baps in the mornings. Different food vans arrive in the evenings, we had pizza and fish and chips, both very nice. Definitely a campsite for those that love camping and don’t mind a back to basics site.
Jul 20, 2021 by Beckie Patch Verified Review
★★★★★

Good campsite. Staff friendly.

Loved the little bar and food snack vans. Great for the times you don’t want to cook. A little more choice of drinks would of been better as not everyone drinks ale. Good little social area for people to meet. Nice and spacious, no marked pitches which we prefer. Staff very friendly and happy to help. We will use again.
★★★★☆

Hot showers and great location

Very family friendly site with big open spaces between tents for football etc. other than the odd group talking into the night it was relatively quiet too. Showers were great. Not enough water points though as you had to walk a long way. Loos were stinky when we arrived but were cleaned the next morning. The pizza van was not value for money though - £11 for a burnt pizza no bigger than a big footprint!
★★★★★

AMAZING OUT IN NATURE!!!!

We had such a fantastic wknd a little skeptic about the toilet situation at first and worry if the showers were warm enough but what a great experience we all had never needed to queue for toilets and if you wasn’t at the showers dead on opening you could go straight in one and surprisingly really hot. Loved the idea of no allocated pitches just find where suits your family and pitch up. We had three tents so large group and it was just great being able to choose where we got a great spot near the amenities not to close but close enough not to have accidents with the many kids. Well with a great view of what was fantastic sunsets of an evening. The people were great very happy polite and helped us choose our days out for locations which was a great help. The food trucks were a great touch and the coffee truck too. The pizza’s were so tasty we all ended up having one each even the little ones. The hay play section kids loved. The amount of space the kids had to play was super although cara were driving past there was enough space for the kids to not be interrupted with their games and most cars were very aware of the children playing and kept speed down bar a few silly drivers!! Just overall the space and location was perfect we will definitely be coming back to stay the beaches near by were fantastic we had a day out crabbing lovely seafood lunch and Ice creams. Would definitely recommend this place to stay. Thank you so much.
★★★★★

Great Back To Basics Campsite

Had a great time, friendly staff. The site provided basic amenities via compost toilets and ports loos this was fine and showers were great too. The provided logs for £5 a bucket which is a reasonable price. There was also pizzas available on certain days as well as a nice little pop up bar/coffee stall everything you need for an enjoyable relaxing few days away
★★★★★

Fantastic stay!

We have just returned from a 3 night stay at The Old Airfields. We have camped in lots of different sites across the UK but we had our best stay at this site. It was run extremely well and the facilities were great. It was a wonderful touch having the group area serving food and drink and the live band was a lovely addition. The site itself was easy to pitch on, the ground was great and I love being able to choose where you would like to pitch instead of being allocated somewhere. After 11pm the site goes lovely and quiet and the team did a fantastic job in making sure everyone was sensible with noise evens after 11. Fantastic stay and can’t wait to come and do it all again.
Jun 7, 2021 by Rachel
★★★★★

Great site, fantastic location

Loved this site. There's plenty of space to camp and room for the kids to play. The toilets & showers were kept clean and I never had to queue, although the showers can get a little busy when they first open up in the afternoon. Having food on site was a real bonus - bacon butties and coffee in the morning, then baked potatoes from Tatty McSpudface in the evening. I highly recommend the Haggis option! Live music was great, the staff were friendly and there was generally a lovely relaxed feel to the site. Obviously, good weather helps for any camping trip but I will definitely be going back for the location, facilities and space.
★★★★★

Perfectly simple.

Me and my son had spent just one night here. Loved the simple set up but with everything you could need. Including campfires to hire, clean toilets and showers. The bonus of a cool pop up bar, fresh pizza and a live band made it an amazing little trip. Good vibes and nice, down to earth people running it too. Want to go back already!
Jun 7, 2021 by Sam Scott Verified Review
★★★★★

Camping Happiness!

A magnificent campsite on many levels. The site is huge, it wraps around a large wheat field and is bordered by heath and woodland. You can pitch where you like (plenty of space and isolated areas) Being a pop-up site in a beautiful, natural setting added a sense of nostalgia and a camping spirit (often lacking in more commercial set ups) The expansive sunset brings not only the colouring of the sky but the mellow scent of woodsmoke drifting from the many fire pits on the go. The staff were passionate, the atmosphere friendly and casual, add food trailers, a draught beer horse box bar, a fresh coffee truck to the mix and you have all the ingredients for the perfect camping experience!
★★★★★

Beautiful location, exceptional staff

The Old Airfield was a wonderful choice for a break away from the city, a few minutes from the shops but a truly rural experience with wild ponies in the field right next door! Facilities are fantastic for a campsite - showers are like proper showers and composting loos are incredibly clean. There is an excellent air about the staff - relaxed but never unprofessional. The kids were loving the play area, and the coffees & food available on site were great additions. Would recommend and will return!
Jun 6, 2021 by Molly C
★★★★★

Clean and eco friendly, lovely and informative staff, close to many amenities.

We had a lovely 3 night break at The Old Airfield with our doggy :) On arrival, the staff were friendly and informative, giving us information on the area and the campsite. We liked that they keep up with recycling to contribute to being environmentally friendly. I've never tried a compost toilet so they were a fun experience!! There are also port-a-loos if you'd prefer... There are hot, powerful showers that only require you to turn on and off! The campsite is close to many beautiful towns and long walks. Our favourite places were Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst which are only a short drive away. To see horses and cows wondering on the side of the roads and running free was beautiful!! Will definitely be returning.
★★★★☆

Nice site

Staff really happy and friendly Pizza evening was superb and you didn’t have to wait long and they were great and reasonably priced Kids loved the ice cream van turning up on site. Live music on Saturday night was great and created such a nice atmosphere although wish it had gone on a bit longer. Nice that you could choose your pitch Toilets and facilities were clean Huge area but brought in a nice clientele Great beaches and places close by to visit The only downside - water, toilets and showers were a long walk back and forwards depending where you pitched but otherwise a really nice stay.
Jun 6, 2021 by Shirley Verified Review
★★★★★

Fantastic camp site

I am a regular camper with my dog. My 8 year old nephew Charlie kept saying he wanted to come with us so I booked one night here for a trial trip. What a great spot, back to basics camping with plenty of space, kids and dogs everywhere. Charlie found so many kids to play with. The vans doing hot food and cold drinks were a bonus we knew nothing about previously, and kids all played in a big pile of hay provided. A 10 minute drive to the beach the next morning 🤗. A great trip, we’re coming for 2 nights next time
★★★★★

Great site lots of space

We enjoyed our time at the campsite. It was nice to be able to choose your spot for the tent and the showers were great.
★★★★★

Idyllic!

We had an idyllic 4-night stay over May half term with our kids and dog. We liked the freedom of being able to find our own pitch and ended up in the heart of the flower-scattered field with loads of space around us and a beautiful sunset view. We found the amenities great for a pop up site. The food trucks, beer truck and morning coffees were a fantastic touch. The showers were surprisingly good for being a non-permanent fixture. We didn't ever have to queue for the loos and as long as we didn't turn up for the shower bang on 5pm when they opened for the evening, didn't have to queue there either (we didn't find the shower times inconvenient - they were well advertised and easy to plan around). Beautiful walks straight off the site, and fabulous forest, beaches and pubs nearby too. And we found the staff delightful - super helpful and friendly. All in all, a roaring success and we look forward to returning some day soon.
Jun 4, 2021 by ClaireS Verified Review
★★★★★

Not quite what we expected

As pop up sites go it seemed to be free for all and no rules. Where it could’ve been a lovely stay it was ruined by others. Dogs on leads rule didn’t seem to apply, dogs running into our tent going through our food with no owners in sight. In New Forest you can expect ponies to try this (although not on this site as it’s all fenced). Limited shower opening times and just one washing up area didn’t make it the most relaxing stay either. A lot of money for very little.
Jun 3, 2021 by Charlie
★★★★☆

Great location, needs a bit of tweaking

Really good location, lovely flat field with plenty of space. Easy to get around the New Forest and surrounding locations, would highly recommend Liberty Bird of Prey centre not far away (https://libertysfalconry.com/). Shower cubicle is rally good, as our the toilets. We arrived the weekend they had just opened (28/5/21), and they had some food trucks, plus a beer truck every evening of the weekend. What does need improving is there needs to be toilets doted around the field. It's a big area and the main block is near the entrance. Nothing wrong with the toilet, it's just a walk for little legs (and that middle of the night pee). There are some other portable loos but a couple in each corner of the fields would be a real help. Same could be said for the wash up area, it's over by the showers, and a few standpipes dotted around with a washup area would be great. Final comment would be on the food area, bit of lighting and a bit more hay for the kids to climb on and play with. All of these are minor gripes and we will definitely be back.
Jun 2, 2021 by Grant Verified Review
★★★★★

A Chilled Stay

This is a large, flat area so plenty of room. Surrounded by the New Forest and therefore great for dog walking and exploring nature. No need to actually drive off of the site if you are so inclined but if you do there is so much to see in the area both inland and by the sea. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the loo’s and showers are clean. This is a basic site and is what camping is all about. We had stunning weather and did not leave our little oasis except to walk the dog - very relaxing.
Jun 2, 2021 by Annie
★★☆☆☆

Great potential - but lacking in basic amenities

Well located campsite to the beach and New Forest. A lovely landscape and flat pitches. However, really lacking in terms of basic amenities - not enough toilets or showers for number of campers. There was nowhere apparent for campers to brush teeth etc (we asked and were told to just find a bush)- and no hot water sinks for washing up. Shower bloc was closed from 8pm and between midday and 5pm adding to this problem. We stayed on the opening weekend so hope there are plans to fix these issues as this could be a brilliant site.
Jun 2, 2021 by Rhys Bowen Verified Review
★★★★★

Superb Open Camping

Superb open camping at The Old Airfield. We had a great time and really enjoyed all.
Jun 2, 2021 by Grace O'Mahony
★★★★★

Wood Smoke and Buttercups

Our view was a beautiful meadow full of buttercups and birdsong. In the evenings the nostalgic aroma of wood smoke from countless campfires filled the air as we watched the sun set against myriad peaks and domes of silhouetted canvas. We found The Old Airfield to be full of love for the outdoors, adventure and a return to simpler times. ❤️❤️❤️
Jun 2, 2021 by Elvis Verified Review
★★★☆☆

Entry level campsite

Large open field with temporary facilities. Fire pits were allowed but the wood cost was expensive for what was provided. Definitely recommend sourcing elsewhere. Showers and toilets clean, but shower availability was limited to small time windows which was inconvenient specially as they closed at 8pm. Washing up facilities very basic. Field was well covered with grass and pitches flat. Few deep holes which made night time toilet trips a little challenging.
★★★★☆

Open skies, nature and pizza

The Old Airfield was great, plenty of space to choose from and to play games. Even though it was a bank holiday weekend, it didn't feel at all crowded. There was a food truck the first night, but on Saturday and Sunday there were local beers, pizza and strawberries van, great if you don't fancy cooking! The showers were also excellent. What I would say could be improved are the portaloos and washing up facilities, which were quite basic. However the compostables loos were good and maybe the site could have another set in the furthest field? Would definitely repeat, great location to explore the new forest and local breaches.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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