Maple Field Camping

UK England South East England Hampshire Fordingbridge

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
Wildflowers, birds and butterflies abound at this traditional tent camping pop-up on the Hampshire-Dorset border

Straddling the Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire borders, Martin Down is a wild, chalky grassland that stretches for almost 1000 acres across Cranborne Chase AONB. Birds and butterflies of various song and shade can be found here, attracted to the profusion of wildflowers that pepper the sprawling meadows and scrub. It’s an ancient landscape, and while it might lack the dramatic contours and undulating slopes of the South Downs, the hand of history seems to touch the very air here, from its Bronze Age barrows to its Second World War firing range.

Set amidst this captivating backdrop lies Maple Field Camping, a three-and-a-half acre farm hosting camping for a few privileged pitches throughout the summer. Helmed by affable host Nick, this simple yet charming spot offers up to 40 informally laid-out camping pitches with scenic views towards the surrounding hills of Cranborne Chase. Children will love the spacious meadow to run themselves ragged in, while parents will be equally pleased at the safety of it all, with just one entrance it the bottom corner and therefore no secret escape routes for curious kids. Rustic facilities are housed in the farm’s L-shaped barn with a basic washing-up facilities, hot shower and proper loo (supplemented by a couple of other portable varieties onsite). This cosy communal space also makes a decent refuge from the rain (enjoy a warming cuppa, a game of table tennis or hang up your wet clothes), but when the warm summer evenings draw in, most campers congregate around the central fire pit that serves the whole site, gazing upward in awe at the pristine star-studded night sky.

Nick is a wellspring of local knowledge, and a veritable Wikipedia of the resident flora and fauna. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for blackcaps, buzzards, hawks, robins, red kites, wrens, thrushes, jackdaws, starlings, turtle doves and finches (both bull and gold) to name but a few, not to mention the vibrant Chalk Hill Blue and Adonis Blue butterflies. Nick can point you in the direction of the best walking routes and Neolithic burial mounds. Lying just outside Fordingbridge – the gateway to the New Forest – and with medieval Salisbury, Stonehenge and the sandy beaches of the South Coast lying close by, there’s enough in the region to keep you entertained. One local little gem is Damerham, the pretty nearby village set beside the River Allen (a tributary of the Avon) with thatched cottages, a Norman church, riverside mill and a lovely pub overlooking the cricket green.

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Details

Facilities

Portable-style toilets and basic shower facilities. Communal washing-up facilities (hot and cold running water) with communal fridge. A large barn is on hand for bad weather. 1 electric hook-up available. BBQs permitted and communal campfire lit in the evenings.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs – yes. No loud music please, this is a family-friendly site. 

Nearby

There’s plenty to enjoy in the New Forest. Pack a map, pick up a trail and explore the national park’s myriad woodland walks. Keep an eye out for iconic New Forest wild ponies and Goshawks circling overhead. Cranborne Chase AONB isn’t far and the campsite lies within the Martin Down Nature Reserve an almost 1000-acre chalk grassland filled with wildflowers and all manner of downland flora and fauna. Christchurch and the sandy beaches of Mudeford and Bournemouth are just 25 mins away, while the Jurassic Coast wonders of Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and the Isle of Purbeck lie less than an hour away a little further along the coast. For a history-filled excursion, the cathedral city of Salisbury, Iron Age hill fort Old Sarum, and Stonehenge are all less than half an hour’s drive away.

Food & Drink

The nearest pub is The Compasses Inn (01725 518231) in Damerham – a stylish country inn with an equally refined menu of locally-sourced dishes. Its sprawling beer garden makes an ideal setting to while away the day when not at camp. Check their events calendar for live music. The Inn at Cranborne (01725 551249) lies 4 miles from Maple Farm – this dog-friendly local serves up pub grub favourites, Hampshire ales, cocktails and and a welcoming fireside in winter. Further afield in Fordingbridge, The George (01425 652040) is a charming riverside spot that dates back to the 1700s. Booking is recommended for dining in the conservatory with views over the River Avon. There are several supermarkets places to eat in the town – ask Nick for recommendations.

Opening Times

Selected dates throughout the season. Search by date to check availabilITY. 

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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The Owner Says

You will share the beautiful field with hedge sparrows and woodpidgeons and blackcaps that will sing you into wakefulness: with long tailed tits, robins, wrens and bullfinches: with goldfinches on the thistle flowers and wagtails on the barn roof: with rooks, rabbits and Renard the fox: with goldcrests, blackbirds and mistle thrushes: tawny owls and spotted flycatchers and jet black jackdaws: with crowds of starlings that arrive like American tourists all eager for knowledge: and overhead you will hear the cry and meow of the buzzard: watch the fork tailed red kyte and marvel at the deadly approach of a sparrow hawk: hear, perhaps for the first time, the ‘woo-wooh’ of the shy little turtle dove. The hedges that surround you were planted before 1780 and are solid examples of early Enclosure Act barriers. Next to you is the giant Longbarrow up a sweet curving lane. Within your temporary Parish are 3 other major Neolithic burial sites – King’s Barrow; Knapp Barrow and Hanham’s Barrow. The Dorset ‘Cursus’ pulls up just short of Martin Down to the south: you can walk along the magnificent earth work of Bokerly Dyke. You can follow a perfect Roman Road along the north boundary of the Parish for 2 miles, lined on both sides with wild garlic probably brought here in the clefts of the soldier’s sandals. You can go home with your head ringing with pre-history.

You are going to count your blessings in murmuring song birds and satisfying full-english breakfasts looking over Martin Down from your tent door.

Pitches

Space for up to 40 tent camping pitches.
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Location

Contact Maple Field Camping, Martin, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 3LR

Show Map

Getting There

From Salisbury (12 miles away), take A354 towards Blandford. After passing through Coombe Bissett, turn left down Martin Drove. After 1 mile you will see 30mph sign. Take the next left after the sign to reach the campsite. From Fordingbridge (6 miles away), follow the road out of town towards Sandleheath and then Damerham. In Damerham, take the second right signposted for Martin. Pass right through Martin heading north until you come to the Martin Club on your left. Turn immediately right into the campsite.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 7 reviews

★★★★☆

Relaxing, peaceful and clean

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay - having the car parked next to our tent was a bonus and the facilities were clean. Great hospitality, chill vibes and cute location
Aug 28, 2019 by Louiza Lambrianide
★★★★★

Great one night stay !

Owner was very friendly Facilities were great Will recommend to anyone!
Aug 27, 2019 by Lacea Forde
★★★★★

Tranquility with great access to Hampshire and Wiltshire

Arriving on Maple field farm, I immediately felt away from the bustle and pressure of regular routine. This quiet spot offers private space, deep in Hampshire’s ancient country side. It is one of Hampshire undiscovered spots offering an escape from larger bustling sites too. We pitched and then played in the field before listening to the evening birdsong. There is plenty of drinking water available and Nick our host made us very welcome. The campsite is a stones throw from Fordingbridge and the new Forest and as such an ideal spot for those looking to enjoy access to nature. We camped and enjoyed a fire under the full moon.
Jun 2, 2019 by Ben West
★★★★★

Peaceful, picturesque, charming

With a quiet, tucked away feel and a beautiful vista of rolling landscape, this was a wonderful rural antidote to urban life. With a relaxed ‘pitch anywhere’ attitude this unfussy campsite also has several useful facilities in the old dairy building at bottom of the field. Evidence of the old dairy added to the charm. Nick was friendly, welcoming and armed with local knowledge. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen and the beaches of the south coast can be easily reached within an hour. Highly recommended.
May 28, 2019 by Alison
★★★★☆

Great place to stay for a few days

We stayed at Maple Field for a couple of days at the end of May. The host (Nick?) was at the site when we arrived and showed us around. He was also very keen knowledgeable of the area and explaining the surrounding area. On site there is an inside toilet and shower. There's a barn where you can seek shelter when it rains. There's a kettle and a shared fridge with fresh milk. There are sinks for your washing up and also a dishwasher. This is a new camping site and we were one of the first people to stay there but would quite happily stay there again. They have a couple of water stands and they are hoping to install some more in the near future. There is a fire pit and they will be also be bringing some more to the site shortly. They are also going to be building up a log pile for use on the site but I'm unsure if there will be any additional charge for them. Opposite the site is a social club which is only open on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday but if there is enough demand they could possibly open more. About 5 minutes drive is a community shop run by volunteers. I'm sure Nick can give you the times that it will be open. There is a pub about a 10 minute drive which we were told serves very good food. Fordingbridge is about 15 minutes drive and that's where you'll find quite a few shops, restaurants banks etc. If you want to go to the larger shopping centre then that's about 20 minutes away. Maple Field is well worth a visit and hopefully more and more people will give it a try. The more people use it will only help in new facilities and improvements implemented. This is only my opinion of our couple of days there but we will definitely be going back.
May 28, 2019 by Clive
★★★★★

A relaxing, enjoyable and fascinating week in a beautiful, peaceful landscape

It was quiet and peaceful in a stunningly beautiful and fascinating landscape. The hosts were charming and helpful but unobtrusive.
Mar 30, 2019 by PETER AND LYNDALL DAVEY
★★★★★

Beautiful site with peace and tranquility

I am looking forward to doing some COOL CAMPING here later on in the season. Nick, the owner, is a complete dictionary of the locality and has great personal knowledge of the local history, it’s workings, not to mention the all important flora and fauna. He has a full depth of recognition of gardens, landscaping and rearing the wonderful Dexter cattle. My experience is yet to come, but having visited the site, talked to the owners, I know the family are going to have a unique and fulfilling experience. Roll on the warm weather! Let’s hope it’s like last year! Happy ‘Cool Camping’ everyone!!!
Mar 15, 2019 by CELIA BALFOUR

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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