Chettle Campsite

UK England South West England Dorset Blandford Forum

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Rustic, quirky back-to-basics camping beside a Dorset village that time forgot

The first thing you learn about the Dorset village of Chettle is that its village store has a good line in award-winning pies. There’s a sign announcing as much on the A354. But, before you reach the little tin-clad shop that’s selling these lauded pastry goods, there’s another sign funnelling campers off the country lane, onto a farm track and into a tree-lined meadow. This is where you’ll pitch your tent,  in the grassy surrounds of Chettle Campsite. Pitch first, pies later.

“The best way to describe Chettle,” says the man behind the first campsite in the village, “is to say it’s quirky and it’s rustic.” This, coming from a man whose idea of a hot tub is an iron bath set over a fire beneath the stars, means you can’t help but be curious about the place. His campsite is several acres in size, with cars parked away from tents and simple facilities that suit a summer-only site reached by mown pathway through the grass. There are a couple of compost loos, a couple of open-air washing-up sinks and a pair of rustic showers with water warmed only by the sun (finger’s crossed). The central focus of the place is the communal campfire and a little field shelter for protection from whichever element might prove a bit too much.

Along with seasoned campers who arrive with their own family tents, the site has a fairly even mix of pre-pitched bell tents too, whose cream-coloured canvas adds to the field's rustic appeal. Bell tents can be rented, furnished or unfurnished; there are six of each available and a handful of campervan pitches too. The thing that’s common to them all is a dug-out fire pit and plenty of room for sunbathing, stargazing and generally enjoying yourself. Rustic it may be, but rough around the edges it is not. The whole thing is carefully planned and when you find out that Paul (‘the man’ behind the site) has 20 years in events planning, it’ll come as no surprise.

And what of 'quirky' Chettle village? It’s a five-minute walk across the fields past “the big house”, a Grade I listed country manor whose estate includes, not only the camping field, but the whole of settlement beyond. There’s a 13th-century church, an eccentric and popular restaurant that's like something out of a Hardy novel and the time-forgotten village store, of course, with it’s award-winning pies. If you want to continue walking, meanwhile, the village sits on the Jubilee Way, a 90-mile footpath through the Dorset countryside. This is the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a great place to explore that feels a million miles away from the Dorset most of us know. In truth the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and the like are only a 40-minute drive. Likewise Salisbury and Stonehenge. All close enough to visit but far enough to forget if you want to stay away from summer crowds.

Details

Facilities

There are two well-kept compost loos and two homemade freshwater camping showers. There's a washing-up station and drinking water taps too but there's no hot running water on site. Campfires are encouraged in the fire pits provided with each pitch or bell tent. Bell tents can be booked furnished or unfurnished. Choose the furnished option and your tent will be kitted out with a made-up double bed and two singles with fairy lights, cushions, rugs and cooking kit too. There's also a communal campfire three times a week, a pizza oven and a sheltered space, The Library, where you can relax under cover. Open-air yoga classes are available to be booked in the mornings and evenings and there's a bookable secluded hot bath for two in an iron-cast tub under the stars.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs in campers' own tents – yes. Motorhomes, caravans, dogs in the bell tents – no.

Nearby

Chettle Campsite is a five-minute walk from Chettle Village, which sits on the Jubilee Trail, a 90-mile walking route that links Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the Chalke Valleys and beyond. There are endless opportunities for ambling, rambling, hiking, cycling, wild swimming, or pulling up a hay bale and relaxing in the sun but the site is also just a short distance from some of the best Dorset has to offer. The Jurassic Coast, including the world-famous Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, and Kimmeridge Bay, is within 40 minutes' drive and Paul can suggest a few lesser-known gems too. Tisbury is 13 miles from site and home to Messums Museum and Art Gallery (01747 445042), cafes, pubs, and river walks. Salisbury, Stonehenge (0370 333 1181), and Woodhenge, Bournemouth and Poole and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are all within 40 minutes drive. The area is studded with natural history sites, nature reserves like RSPB Arne (01929 553360), castles like Corfe Castle (01929 477060) and proper country pubs.

Food & Drink

A few local goodies will be for sale on site when availability allows and in Chettle itself, a five minute walk away, you'll find a well-stocked shop selling everything you will need and specialising in local produce. The village is also home to The Castleman Restaurant (01258 830096; make sure you book in advance). The award-winning Museum Inn (01725 516 261) is approximately a 25-minute walk from the site and The Drover's Inn (01258 840550 ) is within a 10-minute (five mile) drive.

Open

July–September.

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The Owner Says

Chettle Campsite is an opportunity for a genuine camping experience. The site sits in a tree-lined meadow that opens out into the rolling Dorset Downlands. The meadow, its wildflowers, and our carefully curated pitches allow for a comfy chic meets wild camping feel. The emphasis here is on relaxing, a retreat into the great outdoors, and avoiding the crowds.

Our pitches include fire pits where campfires are thoroughly encouraged. We consider a star-lit evening with a flame-grilled hearty meal and a cool drink an essential part of the experience. We light a large communal fire at the center of the site twice a week for people to gather around and share their day's adventures. If it's rainy (or hopefully too sunny!) you can get comfortable in our on-site 'library' a sheltered space where you can relax in a hammock, pull up a sofa, or a hay bale with a book.

Everything here is geared towards simplicity, a rustic feel, and making a minimal impact on the land. We will recommend the best kept local secrets for you, we arrange morning and evening yoga classes and you can book a secluded, fire-heated open-air bath in an iron cast tub under the stars. Follow us on Instagram @chettle_campsite

Pitches

21 grassy pitches and 12 bell tents

Fully Furnished 5m Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 5 3 Available
Our fully furnished 5 meter Bell Tents sit in their own private mowed pitches and include one double bed / two single beds / carpets / rugs / cushions & blankets / Additional beds on request / a large awning / hay bales / fire pit / grill / cookware / kettle & cafetiere / crockery & cutlery / solar fairy lights inside and out. No dogs permitted.

Blank Canvas 5m Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 6 4 Available
Our blank canvas 5 meter Bell Tents sit in their own private mowed pitches in the tree lined meadow. Each is fully carpeted, and has its own private fire pit and grill and sit in a prime location in the meadow. These blank canvasses are perfect for those who come prepared with their own creature comforts. Make it your own space, a home from home.

Grass Camping Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 12 Available
Our grass pitches sit in pre mowed areas in the tree lined meadow with their own private fire pit. You are just a stones throw from the village and the bell tents but in a quiet and secluded spot. You can see Chettle Manor through the trees in this beautiful, often shady part of the site.

Grass pitch for campervan or caravan

Grass pitch Sleeps 4 4 Available
Scenic, grass pitches under the treeline. You'l have beautiful views of both the sunrise and sunset, the bell tents and the rolling hills. Each comes with its own fire pit and grill and sleeps up to 4 people in one self contained vehicle. Additional guests are welcome for a small fee.

Furnished 5m Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 5 3 Available
For this furnished Bell Tent please bring your own bedding. Tents sit in private mowed pitches and include one double bed/two single beds/carpets/rugs/cushions & blankets/additional beds on request/a large awning/hay bales/fire pit/grill/cookware/kettle & cafetiere/crockery & cutlery/solar fairy lights inside and out. No dogs permitted.

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Extras

Location

Contact Chettle Campsite, Chettle, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 8DB

Show Map

Getting There

Approaching Chettle via the A354, you will see large road signs advertising Chettle's shop. Turn off the A354 and onto the village road towards Chettle. Within quarter of a mile, you will see the sign for the campsite. Turn right onto the lane (suitable for all vehicles) and follow it to the entrance of the campsite. Please only park in the allocated areas and drive slowly at all times.

Approaching Chettle from the north via Common Drove, Royal Tollard, or Farnham you will find yourselves on Millers Lane. Follow this to the A354 and turn right. Take the very next right in approximately 300 yards, heading towards Chettle, then follow the instructions above.

The nearest train station is in Tisbury, which is approximately 25 minutes away by taxi. Buses are available but limited and will require some research of your own. If you contact the site directly, well in advance, they may be able to arrange a car for you.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 14 reviews

★★★★★

Relaxed, peaceful, restorative

Super chilled campsite, very friendly owners, fab fire pit with every well spaced out pitch, ace outdoor showers. Chettle village is a gem too.
Sep 7, 2021 by Jo Woodley Verified Review
★★★★★

Stunning and peaceful

A beautiful campsite. Super friendly and relaxed, great facilities and stunning surroundings. It was a great location for exploring Dorset. We loved it.
Sep 5, 2021 by Ellie Rix Verified Review
★★★★★

Beautiful location and friendly faces

Our stay here was amazing, we stayed in the furnished bell tent, Which was comfortable and well done out with attention to detail. The campsite gave the perfect rustic experience without the stress of putting a tent up. There is plenty to do in Dorset and around the campsite areas, we walked some of the jubilee trail which really showed how beautiful the area was. They were great hosts and very friendly, they gave us some great places to go to explore and we had a lovely long weekend break! I would highly recommend staying here. Thank you for having us!
★★★★★

Fantastic place

Total gem, really well stocked bell tent, friendly and helpful hosts, lovely family break!
Aug 24, 2021 by Whelan
★★★★★

Fantastic for our group

Gem of a campsite. Lovely clamping, friendly staff, picturesque surroundings, spacious pitches, communal fire and outdoor covered “library” space. Local shop nearby has everything you need. Perfect for our purposes.
★★★★★

Such a great escape!

This is a dreamy little spot, off the beaten path and away from the crowds! The site is designed to enable social time while allowing for tonnes of space and privacy. It never feels crowded even when it was full. We loved the back to basics feel, simple compost loos, and amazing alfresco (but private!) showers. There's endless countryside to explore, an incredibly unique little village on the doorstep and tonnes of space for the kids to run free in. We loved pulling up a book and chilling on a hay bale in the field library. This site is the perfect alternative to the now-standard commercial campsites and offers a genuine touch of the countryside. Not to be missed.
Aug 23, 2021 by Jordans Wakelin
★★★★★

Sublime, quiet, quirky

The site is well managed and well laid out. Easy for those not so familiar with outdoor living. There was always help at hand from friendly folk who really know the area and can share their love of finding off grid spots to fill you up with Dorset love. We enjoyed the village; an amazing shop with excellent products (try the pies/pasties), gorgeous church (untouched peace of a time gone by), really stunning buildings to feast your eyes upon (Chettle House, small thatched studios, red brick workshops, old hotel, countryside cottages tucked away), quirky play area which kept our younger people amused and in their own small world. Honestly I would recommend this spot of peaceful escape; away from the madding crowds.
Aug 23, 2021 by SoniaP Verified Review
★★★★★

Back to basics camping

We had planned to camp in our tent but seeing the great value for bell tents we upgraded to one of those. The bell tent was great and the campsite is in a Beautiful location... very quiet and idyllic. Just be prepared for the compost toilets if you haven't use one before. There's a great park down the road for the kids and plenty of space on the campsite for them to run. As you cannot park next to your tent it incredibly safe to let the children roam around. The couple running the site were welcoming and friendly. Overall a great site and even better that's its eco friendly.
Aug 19, 2021 by Alicia Verified Review
★★★★★

Chettle camp site

We have just enjoyed a fantastic couple of days camping down on Chettle campsite .. The owners were a delight , and made it very easy , with their relaxed attitude. A friend booked the bell tent, my self and 3 sons had a campervan pitch .. The campervan pitch was in a great location , with a fire pit and views looking across the landscape.. a great location for stargazing at the dark skies!! No road noise and a peaceful location… If your looking for a basic /rustic campsite where you can relax , unwind and let your mind escape the every day life scenario , then this place is a must … the showers are nice and warm and outdoors ( obviously no one can see you) but it’s nice to look up at the trees whilst showering … it all adds up to the outdoor experience.. It’s a great location to enable you to drive off to various places to explore , or just nice local walks if you do not want to drive … The boys enjoyed the basics of being outdoors and we spent some good quality time together … So all in all , a great experience, and am looking forward to returning soon .. All the best with the campsite guys …. Keep up the good work .. Andy
Aug 16, 2021 by Andrew Smith Verified Review
★★★★★

The best campsite in Dorset!

Absolutely loved our stay at Chettle. A beautiful site with a environmentally conscious approach, loved the eco friendly toilets and showers! Everyone was super friendly and provided some brilliant insider knowledge for places to eat and visit. Would definitely stay here again.
Aug 9, 2021 by Levi Verified Review
★★★★★

Simplicity meets chic

We spent two nights in a fully furnished 5m bell tent in August. The accomodation was comfortable and reasonably equipped for cooking on the fire pits and adorned with picnic benches and hay bales. The site is simplistically but stylishly maintained keeping its meadow character. The off grid facilities are basic but more than sufficient for the current size of the site. Unfortunately the described communal firepit, pizza oven and hammocks were unavailable when we stayed. Paul is a very friendly and hard working host with great local knowledge. Chettle itself is a lovely community within an estate with an interesting modern story. The very well stocked and reasonably priced village store is the central point of the village and a must visit. It's well situated for accessing Dorset attractions, however the site is surrounded by beautiful landscape and plenty of easy-moderate walking trails are on the doorstep. We will likely be back again next year!
★★★★★

A hidden gem

We stayed for night with our four young boys aged 5-8, we wanted to escape from the world around us and all the electronics. Chettle was just the thing, just perfect! Paulie & Jordana made us very welcome and their dogs Chase and Kali played with ours. Well kept site and the fire pit in every pitch is an added bonus! Absolutely loved it 👏🏻
Aug 2, 2021 by Kelli Verified Review
★★★★★

Fantastic alternative to 'commercial' sites

We spent two wonderful nights here in a camper van. This is a large field with spaced out bell tents and pitches with beautiful views over rolling downland. The camper van pitches are nice and shaded and we slept with the doors open and stepped out to watch the dawn unfold over the downs. It has a lovely relaxed vibe and great staff. Its rustic but it all works really well. Not for those that want a modern loo block and manicured grass but we loved the back to nature experience. All the local facilities you need just a walk away. We loved it.
Jul 25, 2021 by Guy Gregory Verified Review
★★★★★

Living the dream!

A very friendly welcome from Paulie, who showed me to a mowed pitch with a fire pit for my own tipi. At least 4 clean composting loos, and 2 free hot showers plus a fantastic outdoor covered library for lounging in. Quite possibly the biggest fire bowl in the world in the middle of the field with mowed paths spreading out to circles of Bell Tents like spokes on a wheel. The site attracted very friendly guests and a communal atmosphere, especially when that fire bowl is alight! The nearby Chettle village store is an absolute goldmine of delicious local produce, from pies to cheeses to cider, I can vouch for all! I would not hesitate to recommend or return to Chettle Campsite, and what Paulie and his team of brilliantly talented friends have created.
Jul 19, 2021 by MarkR 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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