Book campsites near Milborne Wood

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Milborne Wood

UK England South West England Dorset Bere Regis

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Proper, back-to-basics tent camping with campfires in an ancient Dorset woodland

It’s testament to how beautiful this part of Dorset is that you can go less than 100 metres from a convenient A-road and you’ll find yourself amongst a setting as richly green, natural and bio-diverse as Milborne Wood. The sun-flecked leaves of the canopy and the soft tapping of the branches as they clatter together in the breeze, cloak the woods from the outside world and the perimeter trees have long absorbed the sound of traffic by the time you reach your tent pitch. It’s no surprise this ancient woodland is still home to all sorts of rare wildlife. Roe deer frequent the place, though elusive to even the quietest of campers, and species of moth and butterfly thrive. How lucky that today us humans, too, are allowed to share the space.

On the edge of Dorset’s designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 180-acre Milborne Wood is a small campsite that keeps nature at the fore. Don’t expect shiny facilities and adventure playgrounds; it’s the 1000-year-old oaks and the charming chirp of morning birdsong that offer the real appeal here. That and the space. In total, the campsite has provisions for no more than 15 tent pitches at any one time, meaning that, mathematically speaking, there’s over 12-acres per tent! In reality, of course, the pitches occupy a collection of clearings right in the heart of the wood, with the trees spreading out in all directions like a vast arboreal wilderness. Even so, space is hardly at a premium.

While adults test their lumberjack skills, stockpiling firewood for that essential evening campfire, children set off to challenge the Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest stick den. If they haven’t finished before it rains, there’s a handy hanging parachute for campers to shelter under – one of the few simple facilities, which include a makeshift kitchen shelter, heat-your-own-showers and loos crafted from Milborne Wood’s own oak, ash and sweet chestnut. Wheelbarrows are also provided to help you cart your camping equipment from the car park beyond the trees. Sadly they can’t be used to wheel home bottles of wine from the neighbouring vineyard (a pleasant 15-minute walk away). Perhaps that, too, helps preserve the quietness of the campsite!

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Details

Facilities

Luxury compost loos all made out from the wood’s oak, ash and sweet chestnut. There is also a basic shelter which doubles up as a camp kitchen, plus a washing-up station, a parachute shelter hung from a large oak tree and an honesty shop selling basic camping provisions and local goodies. Campfires are permitted but must be in firepits or raised off the grass (firepits available for hire; logs and kindling for sale). You can wash outdoors in the off-grid 'Wash Shack' – heat your water in a giant kettle over the campfire, then take it to the shack and use the bucket shower. The Shack has earth friendly shampoo, conditioner and body wash for you to use. There's also a large tub to bathe young campers in. The car parking area is a 5 minute walk from the clearing (wheelbarrows provided to move your gear).

Suitable For

Tents, families, couples – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, big groups, and dogs – no.

Nearby

This area is a real treasure trove, with the designated Dorset AONB on the doorstep and the Dorset coast just a short drive away, with famous spots like Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Old Harry Rocks to enjoy. You needn't go that far though. Right next door to the campsite there is a farm that now runs its own vineyard – Langham Wine Estate (01258 839095) – and do wine tasting and tours. You can walk there easily (it's a 15-minute stroll through the woods and across a field). Other local attractions include Thomas Hardy’s Cottage (01305 262366) and the picturesque village of Milton Abbas.

Food & Drink

The Royal Oak (01258 837352) in Dewlish is the nearest pub – a pleasant 30-minute walk and a proper old pub, serving good food and using local produce. Other good pubs close by include The Blue Vinney (01305 848228) in Puddletown and The Hambro Arms (01258 880233) in the picturesque village of Milton Abbas (great food). There is a village shop in Milborne St Andrew and another in Puddletown – the latter also has a post office and butcher. The closest farm shop is in Milton Abbas at Steeplton Bill Farm.

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Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews

★★★★★

Gorgeous, small and proper

Having not been camping for years, I wanted to go again and experience proper camping - not hundreds of people in a field. Milborne woods offered exactly the opposite of my previous awful camping experiences! We were met by Eve who was helpful, friendly and immediately relaxed my panic of another nightmare camping experience. The site is in woods so peaceful, secluded and private. Running water, compost loos and recycling bins were all available, as was the hot shower - highly recommended! It was just perfect - you could choose to sit by the communal fire and cook/ chart with fellow campers, or if you preferred you could stay by your own tent and cook. We also walked to the pub nearby as there is an OS map on site. It was a truly lovely camping experience and one I want to experience again next year! Thanks Eve.
Sep 27, 2017 by NoodleDoodle
★★★★★

A wonderful find - all campsites should be like this!

Peaceful, back to basics camping with every detail thought through. Eve got a fire going every morning and it was lovely to be able to start the day chatting with fellow campers over breakfast. A large kettle heated up the water for the brilliantly designed watering can shower and even when the weather wasn't kind, the shack provided plenty of shelter. The site is small, but there seemed to be lots of secluded spots among the trees.If you want to spend time close to nature with minimum impact, this is the perfect site.
Aug 9, 2017 by janeS
★★★★★

This is how camping should be!

What a gem of a site! Eva gave us a wonderful welcome to her sure set in a tranquil ancient woodlands. The site had all the facilities for off-grid camping, plus there were some extras: the fire tripod and kettle were a bonus, and the camp shelter is genius - we were able to store our food, prepare our meals and eat under this shelter - we felt thoroughly spoiled. We'll definitely be coming back!
Jun 13, 2017 by Emma Macfarlame

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