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 45 Available
Grass pitch 10m x 10m

Check Availability


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

Show Map

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.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 18 reviews


Great camping site

Really nice, small and friendly camping site. Great if you're not a fan of huge caravan parks. The facilities are basic but you have all you need. The two negatives are only two showers for the whole campsite so when busy you have to queue and there's no hot water at the outside sink to wash your dishes. Staff is friendly, approachable and always there to to help. They do pizza nights which is nice alternative to BBQ. You can also hire a firepit with wood, kindling and firelighters to complete you camping experience :) Perfect location to explore the Jurassic coast. Would definitely recommend!
Sep 4, 2021 by Lenka Verified Review

Lovely Site

Lovely little site. Not too crowded, ideally situated close to Weymouth and surrounding area. Toilets and showers were clean and regularly attended. They did pizzas on Saturday which made a great alternative to another bbq. Couldn’t fault the site really.

Lovely camping site

We only spent one night on our way through but it’s a lovely area, the owners are super friendly. Amenities on site are really convenient- fresh drinking water, clean toilets and showers, etc. So happy we happened upon this little gem!

Realy nice and relaxed camp site

We camped here for 4 nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although very basic they have loads of extra small touches that make all the difference. You can rent bbq's and fire pits, buy fire wood, charcoal and eggs. The young lady who attended to us was rely nice and helpful! The camp site is perfectly located that you get the beautiful countryside yet only 10mins from Weymouth beach. I predict this place will be a hot spot in the future.

Amazing host

Very spacious, owners were friendly and helpful. Only short drive from the beach and local amenities, price was excellent. Well treated grass, toilets and shower very clean. I took the kids camping for the first time and we all love it the space the animals near by. Thanks for being a lovely host for the past 5 days. We will be back next holiday☺️

Very good

Me and my family went to this campsite as a holiday. It is very spacious and eco-friendly. The staff are nice, and everyone there is friendly and respectful. They also make lovely home-made pizzas at the weekend

Local to nearby places to visit like Lyre regis. Relaxed campsite with lovely owners.
Aug 22, 2021 by Daniel Ings Verified Review

Amazing experience

Me and my partner decided to go camping as it was her first time. She loved it as they give you a great experience ,they are very nice people always there if you need anything. It’s amazing for children and it’s very environment friendly. Amazing to go as couples or just with family. Very nice for dogs. Amazing place to visit, we will take our family there next year so they can experience how amazing it is.

Amazing location and fantastic host

The campsite is in an area of outstanding beauty and amazing! Surrounded by fields, some with animals, this was a perfect location to camp. The toilets and showers were kept very clean and Elie, who ran the campsite was super helpful. Would thoroughly recommend this campsite.

Basic but beautiful

Despite some strong winds and a lot of rain we had a brilliant long weekend camping on this farm. The team were extremely helpful and regularly visited the site to clean the compost toilets and ensure there were always toilet rolls. Showers weren’t hot but bearable and toilets smelt of fresh wood shavings over anything else. Fire pit and bbq starter packs are perfect and so reasonably priced. Would definitely go back!
Aug 10, 2021 by Nicola Breen Verified Review

Relaxing, quiet site.

Description of site is very accurate. Lovely, back to basics site with very friendly, helpful people running it. Generous sized pitches are mixture of flat and sloped, pick which you want on arrival. Car required.

Quiet and Peaceful Site Near the Sea

We loved our two nights at Friar Waddon House. The site was very quiet on a weekend in July, which was nice. Our two girls loved the designated play area and the field of animals next to the camp. It is in a great location close to the sea but still feels like a quiet refuge. Staff is very friendly. We booked at the last minute and so didn't quite know what to expect, but we'd definitely return. Lovely experience!

Great spot, lovely people

It was a wonderful little private campsite, not a far drive from all the spots you would want to be visiting. The people who run it are lovely also, very accommodating and have fire pit hire. The spots are extremely spacious and the site feels very private and quiet.
Jul 28, 2021 by Siobhan Luff Verified Review

Awesome place

We wanted to get back to basic/ nature rather than a site like Butlin’s. At this site you get clean water, clean composting toilet which gets cleaned several times a day and hot clean showers (when you get back from the nearby beach). You can buy fresh free range eggs, logs for the fire milk etc.. Price is very reasonable compared to other similar sites. Most of all Elle is very friendly and welcoming. They are very understanding and will do their best to help you. We would definitely be going back there..

Amazing campsite, brilliant staff!

We visited as a small group recently and couldn't have asked for a better campsite. It has a nice relaxing atmosphere in a beautiful setting. Fire pit and bbq rental were a particular highlight. Plenty of space per pitch, not too close to other campers. Facilities were better than we expected (lovely warm shower), and clean compost toilets. The woman who welcomed us was charming and helpful. Would definitely come back.

Cycling weekend

Basic campsite that we love, although not for anyone that likes traditional toilets and showers. We liked the rustic amenities and the cycling and walking were great. Well managed and friendly site. Whilst fire pits are nice, the amount of them was a bit smoky and the flies were a bit pesky. All in all a great weekend though.
Jul 19, 2021 by kelly lycett Verified Review

Great Experience!

Would recommend! Nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by animals. Super helpful staff, even though we got stuck in traffic and arrived late on a Friday night there was someone there to welcome us & direct us to our pitch. Clean, basic toilet/shower facilities. Would go again! Thanks
Jul 19, 2021 by Lizzy

Basic, but excellent

Basic site, but excellent. Elly (who welcomed us) is brilliant!

Response from Friar Waddon House

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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