Meadow View Bell Tents
Meadow View Camping and Caravan Park, Wigbeth, Horton, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7JH.
There’s long been a successful campsite at Meadow View. Poised as it is between the New Forest and the Dorset coast, the place has a prime location for exploring this part of the UK. The more immediate vicinity is prime territory for history buffs though. Wander a few hundred metres and you bump into the Gothic, red-brick folly in Horton, a five-storey tower built in the 18th century and visible from the campsite itself. Head in the other direction, meanwhile, and you’ll stumble across renowned Knowlton stones, one of the greatest Neolithic relics in southern England.
Yet just as these historic artefacts are now found among the counties more modern attractions – there’s a Go Ape at Moors Valley Country Park and Peppa Pig World just beyond the New Forest – the campsite too has been given a modern-day shot in the arm. Now playing host to Meadow View Bell Tents, this flat, open space boasts four pre-pitched and fully furnished creamy bell tents, all kitted out for the modern day glamper who likes to travel light and enjoy a few 21st-century comforts.
The bell tents come in two different sizes, with the largest accommodating a family of up to five people (parents on a double bed and nippers on the Z-beds). Inside the likes of a games basket, fairy lights and complimentary tea and coffee show that attention has been given to small details, while perhaps the most important furnishing, a log-burning stove, comes with a free basket of logs and kindling, so you can settle straight in. If you need more fuel, it’s an easy stroll across the playing field and past the modern, heated shower block to the reception building where friendly Tim, who lives in the small-holding on site, can sort you out with more logs and any other essentials you may need. Perhaps a fresh ice pack for your cool box? Some eggs from his free range hens? Or a recommendation for the best local pub to walk to?
At the far end of the campsite, a small area is managed as a nature reserve for birds and there is an L-shaped fishing lake with tall trees sheltering its far side. Dragonflies zip across the water and swifts and swallows frequent the campsite in summer, resting in the trees after their long commute from the Southern hemisphere. Follow your own route south and, a little closer, the likes of historic Wimborne Minster is just 7 miles away, home to a 1000-year-old cathedral and a compact collection of cobbled old streets to explore, while the Dorset coast is around 15 miles (a half hour drive). Or stay put and enjoy an afternoon cooking up a storm over the campfire. A tripod and equipment is provided. So, really, there’s no excuse not to.