Friar Waddon House

UK England South West England Dorset Dorchester

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
A peaceful back-to-basics camping field in the Dorset AONB, six miles from Chesil Beach

It’s no great secret that Dorset is a fantastic place for a holiday. Its Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site, vast swathes of its countryside are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its beaches and seaside towns have been immortalised in books and films for years. The only secret is knowing where to pitch your tent in this endlessly attractive county. Lean in and we’ll give you one good option: Friar Waddon House. The campsite here manages to be both in the middle of nowhere and slap-bang in the middle of the action. It’s a quiet camping field, six miles north of Chesil Beach with prime fossil-hunting spots Lyme Regis and Kimmeridge Bay equidistant east and west.

All who can fit in the spacious 10m by 10m pitches are welcome here: tents, campervans, small caravans and motorhomes. And while this type of all inclusivity is often associated with the neat rows of a holiday park, this place is more casual than that. It’s a couple of fields with 30 loosely-marked out pitches and a gravel track running through. Elisa, who runs the show, will meet you on arrival and let you choose your spot. Campfires are welcome as long as they are kept in off-ground fire pits and if you haven’t got one, you can hire one on site. Facilities are more simple than the utilitarian blocks of a holiday park too; just a couple of compost loos, hot shower cabins and an outdoor sink for washing up. Low-key and eco-friendly, some may be put off by the simplicity while others will think it part of the attraction.

The site is in a sheltered dip in the hills of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the fields of a working farm all around. It’s a peaceful place to hang out and you can head out on foot for bracing walks – up one side of the valley is the Jubilee Way, while up the other is the South Dorset Ridgeway, which offers a popular hiking route to Hardy’s Monument starting with a steep climb. If that’s too energetic take a trip to Upwey Wishing Well Tea Rooms and Water Gardens for a gentle meander and a Dorset cream tea or spend the day at Abbotsbury Swannery, just six miles down the road. While the countryside alone is worth travelling for, the coast is surely the main draw. The seaside town of Weymouth and unique, dramatic and historic Chesil beach are the closest choices but all of the Jurassic Coast is perfectly accessible from this central spot, in the middle of nowhere.



There are eco-friendly toilet blocks, showers, fresh drinking water taps and outside sink washing-up facilities. Campfires are allowed and firepits and barbecues are available for hire with wood, kindling and firelighters for sale.

Suitable For

Tent campers, campervans, trailer tents, small caravans, dogs (on leads) – yes. Large caravans and motorhomes – no.


Friar Waddon is five minutes' drive away from Portesham village where there's a pub and a shop. Standing above the village (about three miles from site) is Hardy's Monument, keen walkers might like to hike up to see it. The whole area is within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with lots of great walking and cycling. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is six miles from site and just along the road from the Abbotsbury Swannery, buy a ticket for both for a discount. Weymouth Sealife centre (01305 761070) is about the same distance and the gently shelving beach is the closest to site. Unusual Chesil Beach is also nearby and connects with Portland Bill where a visitor centre explains the life of a lighthouse keeper. The site is positioned in the middle of Dorset's Jurassic Coast with Charmouth and Lyme Regis 25 miles to the west and Kimmeridge Bay 25 miles to the west, all excellent places for fossil hunting. The stone arch of Durdle Door and pretty Lulworth Cove are 17 miles from site with Monkey World (01929 462537), Puddletown Forest, Hardy's Birthplace and Visitor Centre, and  Bovington Tank Museum (01929 405096) both within 20 miles.

Food & Drink

Friar Waddon is a five-minute drive (three miles) from the village of Portesham where there's a country pub, The King's Arms (01305 871342) and the Duck Farm shop and cafe (01305 534111). The Upwey Wishing Well (01305 814470) tea rooms and water garden are a pretty place for afternoon tea about two miles from site. There's a milk vending machine at Eweleaze, a small organic dairy farm is just up the road in Martinstown and for more supplies, head to Weymouth or Dorchester, both around six miles away. For a meal out with great views try the 16th-century Manor House Restaurant (01308-897660) which looks out to the stunning views over Chesil beach.


July and August only.

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The Owner Says

Friar Waddon House is located in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with stunning panoramic countryside and only a twenty-minute drive to the breathtaking fossil-packed Jurassic Coast. 

Friar Waddon is the perfect location to lose yourself in nature exploring miles of beautiful footpaths that have picturesque views and are rich with wildlife.  There are a vast number of beautiful local footpaths and cycling routes in particular, the Dorset Ridgeway and the famous Hardy’s Monument.

Not only is Friar Waddon only a twenty-minute drive to the stunning Jurassic Coast we are also only a short drive away from Dorset’s famous natural landmarks Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Weymouth Bay, Chesil beach, Puddletown Forest, Ringstead, Isle of Portland and Abbotsbury are also local places that are certainly worth exploring.


30 grassy camping pitches.

Grass Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 30 Available
Grass pitch 10m x 10m

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Contact Friar Waddon House, Friar Waddon House, Friar Waddon Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4EP

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Getting There

From the A354 between Dorchester and Weymouth, head west on the B3159 towards Friar Waddon and Portesham. After half a mile, turn left on to the Friar Waddon Road. Approximately a mile-and-a-half up the Friar Waddon Road, the campsite is on the right.

Upwey Train station is only three miles away from the campsite and Dorchester Train Station is five miles from site. The closest bus stop is in Upwey so a taxi is advisable for the last part of the journey.


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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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