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 6 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 / tripod grill / kettle & cafetiere / crockery & cutlery / solar fairy lights inside and out. No dogs permitted.

Blank Canvas 5m Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 6 6 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 15 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 6 Available
Scenic, grass pitches under the treeline of the wildflower meadow. You'l have beautiful views of both the sunrise and sunset, the bell tents and the village in the distance. Each comes with its own fire pit and grill and sleeps up to 4 people in one, self contained vehicle.

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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.

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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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