Merrist Wood Camping Sun & Moon

UK England South East England Surrey Guildford

  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
Simple summer camping close to the Surrey Hills and just 30 miles from London

The Surrey Hills are a tempting playground for people looking for an escape from the city. And this summer they are turning into a tempting camping ground too. On a good run it’ll take little more than the duration of a free Zoom meeting to travel from London to the area’s newest campsite in Worplesdon, just 33 miles away. Merrist Wood is a temporary campsite that’s been set up in the grounds of a rural college to cater for people looking to get a breath of fresh air in the summer of 2020.

It’s one of two temporary campsites being operated under the Sun and Moon Holidays banner in 2020; the brainchild of Scott Doane who is a dab hand at campsite logistics having run a well-being festival for the last five years. In fact, it was the necessary cancellation of a festival this year that gave him both the idea and the opportunity for Merrist Wood campsite. The set-up is a simple one with toilets provided by the college, and spacious, grassy pitches. And if pitching a tent is not your idea of fun, you can hire one of the site’s 20 bell tents which are set up with beds to help ensure a comfy night’s sleep in the countryside.

This part of Surrey certainly lives up to its leafy reputation. If the idea of camping in college grounds has you in mind of pitching on the football ground in the shadow of an unattractive multistorey building – think again. Merrist College is an agricultural college with grounds to suit; a 400-acre “outdoor classroom” offering courses in animal care, tree surgery and the like. The views from your pitch are a soothing combination of greens and there’s a footpath from site into the trees after which the place is named, Merrist Wood itself.

It’s also a short walk out of the college grounds to the local pub, The White Lyon, and a farmhouse cafe. For more than that, riverside Guildford is just four miles away. But the chief attraction here, apart from the site itself, is the nearby Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The undulating terrain and the beautiful scenery make it ideal for road cycling, as seen (and never forgotten by the area’s tourism champions) in the 2012 Olympics. It’s also ideal for walkers and runners who can make their way to the North Down’s Way for views so good they attract day-trippers from the city. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy the Surrey Hills on a day trip but we recommend taking a leaf out of Scott’s book this year and making the most of Merrist Wood.

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Facilities are basic and there are no showers of washing up sinks. Six toilets, stand pipes (taps) for drinking water and washing up. Campfires are not allowed but off-ground barbecues are.

Suitable For

Campers, glampers – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, dogs, large groups – no.


You can walk from site into Merrist Woods itself, part of the college’s 400-acre estate. The campsite is close to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is particularly popular for walking, running, horse riding and cycling. The North Downs Way is not far away and can be joined at either Guildford (four miles away) or at Farnham (seven miles away). Both towns have plenty of shops and eateries. Other nearby places to visit include Watt’s Gallery Artists’ Village, Loseley Park, and the historic and picturesque villages of Ripley and West Horsley, all within 10 miles.

Food & Drink

The nearest local shop is just over a mile away in Fairlands but it’s even closer to go for a meal out. Try The Farmhouse Cafe (01483 330057), just over the road from the campsite or, perhaps, The White Lyon pub (01483 920373), also within walking distance. Guildford (four miles away) has a good selection of places to eat out or pick up supplies.

Opening Times

Selected dates in August only.

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The Owner Says

The campsite is surrounded by woodlands and fields, and is set in the heart of Surrey, which is rightly famous for its rolling hills and beautiful landscapes.  The "Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" starts just 6 miles away, and the Olympic cycling races were held in Surrey, so for cyclists it has become a mecca. Walkers will love the hills too, and there are lots of historic villages and towns to see, including Guildford, which is just 3 miles from the site.

We offer "Pitch Only" camping on grass pitches, or "glamping" in our 5m Bell Tents, complete with 4 camp beds and other items. All pitches are 15m by 10m to allow plenty of space for each group.

The site also offers the following facilities:

Toilets / Grass Pitches / Drinking water taps / SORRY NO DOGS / No CDP provided


200 grassy pitches and 20 bell tents.

Grass Camping Pitch, Non-Electric

Grass pitch Sleeps 8 100 Available
Large grass pitch (15m by 10m) in a spacious field. Car parking is allowed by your tent (1 car only), and you may have 1 pup tent, awning, or gazeebo per pitch

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Contact Merrist Wood Camping, Merrist Wood College, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PE

Show Map

Getting There

From London, follow the A3 towards Guildford. Take the exit signposted Guildford/A322/ Horsham/A281/Bagshot. Use the middle lane to turn left on to Woking Road (A320). Use the right two lanes to turn right on to Ladymead (A25). At Dennis Roundabout, take the third exit on to Worplesdon Road (A322). Turn left on to Aldershot Road (A323). Continue until you see signs for Merrist Wood College. Turn in to the college and follow signs to the campsite.

There is a train station at Worplesdon, with a direct line to London Waterloo, which takes just 33 minutes but it is almost the same distance from the campsite as Guildford Station (four miles away) which is better serviced by buses and taxis.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 5 reviews


Great bank holiday

My friends and I had a great time during our Bank Holiday bike trip, and our stay in this camping couldn't have been better. The rain didn't last long and we were able to enjoy our barbecueing. Comfy and nice area.

Great pop up camping spot

Friendly greeting, clean facilities, pretty view. Win win!

Hideaway in the Surrey countryside

Thanks Scott for being a great host. It was a lovely pop-up camping spot in the Surrey countryside with friendly fellow campers - a perfectly located hideaway. In walking distance of local shops, pubs and picturesque walks in the woods and fields close by. Would definitely revisit!

Simple & Lovely

-Easy to get to (only 15/20 min Uber from Guildford station) -Basic layout, big open field next to a college, families sleep on one end of field closer to toilets with others on opposite end. -Clean toilets (there was an issue with them flushing but that got fixed within the hour!) -No showers which was fine for our 2 nights stay -Nice forest walks, can find very easy to follow routes with a quick google search that will lead you to a pub! -Recommend a dinner at the Worplesdon Place (very lovely and warm with good vegan options!) about a 15 min walk down coombe lane

Basic but clean & peaceful

Just 5 tents when we stayed - very quiet and the kids loved it. Loos are a walk & no showers might put some off, but for 2 nights it was perfect. Swifts, hawks + bats at dusk!
Aug 24, 2020 by ed king Verified Review

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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