Donkey Down Camping at Culliford Tree

UK England South West England Dorset Weymouth

  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Relaxed, summer-only campsite with panoramic views of the Dorset countryside

If swallows are the first sign of summer, second must be pop-up campsites – and here’s another from the team behind laid-back Donkey Down, high above the Dorset coast. Less than a mile away from the original campsite, Donkey Down Camping at Culliford Tree forms part of a working farm and is spread across two rolling fields totalling 16 acres, meaning plenty of space to choose your pitch.

There’s a similar free-and-easy vibe to this site, where it's tents and campervans only. The gently sloping western field is for groups who may stay up a little later – not a party scene, but expect campfire chatting into the night. Families, couples, and early-to-bedders can use the extremely flat eastern field. Both fields have panoramic views over the north Dorset countryside and, at the southern ends, crane your neck and you’ll get glimpses of Weymouth Bay and the Isle of Portland. It’s a summer-only set-up, with the emphasis on saying ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ – so bring the kids, bring the family dog, light the barbecue, and build a campfire (just make sure they’re raised off the ground).

Facilities are temporary but perfectly serviceable, including shower blocks in each field, plus compostable toilets, washing-up facilities, and drinking water points. If you don’t want the faff of putting up your own tent, you can hire one of their pre-erected, unfurnished bell tents, which come with a fire pit included in the price. Food and drink are courtesy of the on-site pop-ups – ‘Kuka’ for coffee, beers, drinks, and hay-bale cocktails, ‘Found and Fine’ for locally sourced breakfasts, plus meals on selected nights.

A footpath from the western field leads into the majestic Came Woods, with its ancient Culliford Tree. There are Neolithic tumuli scattered across the site, too — people have been gathering here for thousands of years — while footpaths and bridleways reach out across the chalk downs and down to the nearby coast. Bring a bike if you like — the local B-roads are ideal for cycling — though if you’re planning on hitting the beaches of the Jurassic Coast, a car is the best bet as it’s further than it looks to the sea (25 minutes by bike, maybe 90 on foot). Beyond the local diversions, there’s plenty to see and do, but you might just find that kicking back with a Mojito in a grassy field while the sun sets over the Dorset coast is exactly what you had in mind for the summer all along.

Details

Facilities

Compostable toilets blocks. A shower block with six hot-water showers, and a smaller unit with two eco-showers and a gas-powered shower. Drinking water, hand-sanitising stations, and washing-up facilities with hot water. Campfires are allowed provided they are raised off the ground; there are logs for sale and firepits for hire. There's also a bar and catering facilities on site for coffee, drinks, breakfast, and dinners.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, children, dogs, bikes and motorbikes – yes. Caravans, motorhomes, hen and stag parties, fireworks – no.

Nearby

It's terrific walking country, rich in atmospheric locations. Five minutes' walk from the site and you're on the South Dorset Ridgeway, an ancient ceremonial route, while another 20 minutes on foot leads you to the famous Osmington White Horse, with the farm shop and tearoom in the small village of Osmington another 30 minutes beyond. Following a path west through the site instead will eventually lead you to the highest point in Dorset, the Hardy Monument – the surrounding countryside was the backdrop for many of Thomas Hardy's novels.

It's a 10-minute drive to the coast at Weymouth, where there's a long, sandy beach and boat trips from the harbour. The Jurassic Coast, east of town, offers any number of other fabulous beaches, coves, walks, and views – don't miss the stunning rock formations and circular bay at Lulworth Cove, under half an hour's drive from the site. Inland, it's 10 minutes by car to the country town of Dorchester, for Roman villa remains, a castle, museums, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Further afield, it's around a 30-minute drive to the beautiful National Trust site of Corfe Castle, and from here you can jump on the steam trains of the Swanage Railway, for a yesteryear jaunt down to the coast to the resort of Swanage.

Food & Drink

There's a bar and pop-up restaurant on the site for proper coffee and beers, wine and cocktails, and locally sourced food – think bacon-and-egg rolls for breakfast (vegan alternatives available), locally foraged mushrooms, and pizza and burger nights. You can walk to Osmington village (up to an hour's stroll), where there's a small farm shop and tearoom, Craig's Farm Dairy (01305 834591), with grazing cows on farm paddocks that look out over the coast. Or it's a five-minute drive to either Broadmayne or Preston for village stores and pubs (plus two fish-and-chip shops in Preston). Local pub favourites are the Black Dog (01305 854021) at Broadmayne – a village inn with an inventive bistro menu – or the Springhead (01305 832117) in the village of Sutton Poyntz, which is also really good for locally sourced food and a bunch of real ales. In Weymouth, you can take your pick, but the child- and dog-friendly Dorset Burger Company (01305 780888) and the Italian fine-dining place Al Molo (01305 839888) are well regarded. At Ferrybridge on the road to Portland, the Crab House Cafe (01305 788867) is a real treat; oysters from their own beds, fresh crab platters, and fish and seafood all landed with 40 miles.

Open

End July–first week September.

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The Owner Says

Culliford Tree forms part of a working farm and is situated less than a mile away from the original Donkey Down Campsite. Spread across two fields totalling 16 acres in size, there is plenty of space to choose your pitch. The gently sloping western field is dedicated to the groups who may stay up a little later. Others will be encouraged to use the extremely flat eastern field for a quieter night.
Both sites enjoy panoramic views over the north Dorset countryside and at the southern ends, there are glimpses of Weymouth Bay and Portland. The majestic Came Woods adjoins the western field and a foot path runs through the site and into the woods.
In the medieval period, one of two tumuli located in the western field was referred to as a "moot", the main meeting point for the area. The eastern field boasts four Neolithic tumuli, orientated across the middle of the site. It is also within close proximity to many other footpaths and bridleways.
Compostable toilets, showers, washing up facilities and drinking water points are available in both fields. There is also a bar and catering providers on site but no electricity. Culliford Tree is served by a network of B-roads which are ideal for cycling.

Accommodation

Pitch where you like in two fields with plenty of space. Also, 13 unfurnished bell tents, sleeping up to six people each.

Unfurnished Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 6 10 Available
Sleeps up to 6 people with use of firepit and one vehicle included in hire price.

Non-electric grass and earth pitch.

Grass pitch Sleeps 8 90 Available
Spectacular views, choose your own pitch with no restrictions on tent size.

Check Availability

Location

Contact Donkey Down Camping at Culliford Tree, Chalky Road, Whitcombe, Dorset DT2 8NL

Show Map

Getting There

From the east, travelling along the A353, pass through the village of Osmington and go down White Horse Hill into Preston (the White Horse is to your right and Weymouth Bay to the left). Once you've entered the 30mph zone, take the first turning on your right, onto Sutton Road. Follow the road and fork to the left when you reach Plaisters Lane. Continue up the hill along the narrow road until you reach the top of Coombe Valley Road. Turn right and follow the road up to the crossroads. Continue straight ahead and, immediately, you will see the entrances to the camping fields on the left and right.

From the Weymouth Relief Road (the A354 – the main route between Dorchester and Weymouth), take the first exit onto the A353 Littlemoor Road. Remain on the A353 for a mile and a half, passing Goulds Garden Centre on the left. Head towards Chalbury Corner and take the last exit on the left, Coombe Valley Road, before reaching the roundabout. Continue on this road for just over a mile until a crossroads is reached. Pass straight across and the camping fields can be seen on the left and right.

From Weymouth train station, make the short walk to the bus stops at King's Statue, and take a bus to Chalbury Corner, which is the closest bus stop to the site. From there, it's a five-minute taxi drive along Coombe Valley road or a 45-minute walk to the site.

Reviews

Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 10 reviews

★★★★★

Great place

Everything you read is true. Fantastic place, great views, great pitches, totally relaxed. Facilities and staff are great- catering tent is a lovely touch. All round great getaway- wish we had found you years ago!
Aug 31, 2021 by Karen Weeks Verified Review
★★★★★

Fantastic camping with my boys

The facilities on the campsite were great. Kids really enjoyed the walks and open space. Fantastic views and the night sky was so clear for star gazing with the family. The campsite was easy to find and only a short distance from where we planned to explore. We will be back!
Aug 31, 2021 by Zoe Parsons Verified Review
★★★★★

Lovely campsite in a great location

Spent bank holiday weekend camping here and had a lovely time. We made use of the onsite bar and food vans which were great. Relaxed atmosphere. We would definitely stay again.
Aug 31, 2021 by Sarah Clarke Verified Review
★★★★★

Best campsite on the Dorset coastline

We loved our stay at Donkey Down, upon arrival we were told all the useful information regarding food (tasty), pitches and amenities. Even though it was a busy weekend there was plenty of space for us to not feel cramped at all. We were shown the certain areas of the site where people tend to stay up later into the night, and also a quieter end of the field so there’s either option whichever suits you best! The shower blocks are brilliant, and the compost loos were really well maintained. There’s a separate field with a bar and the staff are real friendly. Overall the best campsite experience I’ve had and will be coming back again next time I’m in Dorset!
Aug 30, 2021 by Ben
★★★★★

Lovely campsite

A lovely spacious campsite, so able to have plenty of space between neighboring tents. Shower and toilet facilities very clean. Showers lovely and hot, and also plenty of hot water available for washing up if required. The pop up bar was an added bonus. We enjoyed our stay. A big thankyou to the owners and staff.
Aug 28, 2021 by Roger Wright Verified Review
★★★★★

The best campground in Dorset

I loved everything about this campground: location, super friendly staff, great facilities! I’m going to be back. Big thank you to the great people who run the site and keep it well maintained.
Aug 15, 2021 by igor Verified Review
★★★★☆

Beautiful views over the countryside and a great location

Beautiful views over the countryside and a great location, close to many walks/beaches/attractions. Campsite itself was great, plenty of space, facilities clean and great condition, pop up bar a nice touch. Owners were very friendly and helpful. Would definitely book again!
★★★★★

Just Perfect

If your looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of life then this is the place for you while trying to be environmentally friendly. The greeting when I arrived was lovely, the views were stunning, zero light pollution and under the stars on a clear night. The showers were excellent along with the washing up facilities. Great location for Weymouth, Chisel Beach and Lulworth Cove plus much more. I will be returning for sure, absolutely loved the simplicity of the site.
Aug 13, 2021 by Andrew Verified Review
★★★★★

Fabulous site,with great attention to detail.

Loved - everything!! The showers were amazing - loads of room ,hot,very clean & free shampoo. The compost toilets were fab,immaculately clean. It was a lovely,chilled,quiet campsite which we would highly recommend. Disliked - unfortunately the onsite pop up bar was track & traced,so was shut while we were there,but that wasn't the campsites fault.
Aug 7, 2021 by Bex White Verified Review
★★★★★

Brilliant, comfortable site, with eco friendly facilities

Spent a great two nights on this campsite.The friendly staff strike an effective balance between being attentive to anything you need and giving you space to enjoy your trip. Lots of flat ground and freedom given to pitch where you like- they have a good policy of welcoming all and encouraging big (louder) groups to pitch at one end and smaller/ family groups on the other. On the weekend we visited this system worked well. Facilities were kept very clean(even the composting loos). Conveniently located for coastline and walks.Would definitely visit again

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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