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.

Our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Book with complete confidence at The Old Airfield with the Cool Camping Coronavirus Booking Guarantee. We guarantee the following clear policy for your booking:

  • A low deposit of 30% to secure your booking
  • Balance due 30 days before your holiday
  • Complete flexibility to move bookings up to the end of 2021 in the event of Coronavirus restrictions
  • Due to the flexibility provided we are unable to offer refunds
  • This guarantee supersedes any other policies

Click here to read the full terms

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

July and August only.

Why book with Cool Camping?

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

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.

Check Availability

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

Add Your Review

Be the first to leave a review!

Why book with Cool Camping?

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

Related Guides

See Campsites in Brockenhurst

See Campsites in the New Forest

See Campervan Hire in the New Forest

See Campfire-friendly campsites in the New Forest

See Dog-friendly campsites in the New Forest

See Family campsites in the New Forest

See Glamping in the New Forest

Book campsites near The Old Airfield