Sea Barn Farm
Fleet, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4ED
Tucked down single-track country roads, shaded with tall trees on either side, this little tenters’ campsite is perfectly pitched atop Fleet Lagoon, Lyme Bay and the Jurassic Coast. Many of the pitches have countryside or sea views, and a low-key ambience thrives.
This is a traditional site with a well-stocked shop and facilities that include the two most impressive family bathrooms we’ve seen at any UK campsite, with a self-contained WC, shower, sink and even a bath. It is actually part of a larger operation that includes an adjacent campsite; guests can use their facilities too, including an outdoor heated pool and a bar. So, it’s the best of both worlds – quiet camping, with extra entertainment just next door.
Regulars to Sea Barn tend to be visitors who travel from afar on long breaks. Parents like to pitch near the small children’s playground. Older families enjoy all the grassy space for ball games. Climbers come to be near Portland’s cliffs and quarries; and walkers just love the Fleet Lagoon – a unique nature reserve that attracts migrating waterfowl in spring and autumn. It’s just a 500-metre stroll down private, scenic farm trails to the South West Coast Path, which runs along the shore of the lagoon. Take binoculars and a good bird book and you can tick the breeds off one by one.
The Owner Says
Sea Barn Farm is one of the most beautiful licensed camping parks in Dorset. We offer a mixture of standard grass pitches and electric hook-ups with a modern facilities block including family bathrooms and laundry room. Ours is a quiet park for families and outdoor pursuits enthusiasts who enjoy and appreciate great scenery, a good night's sleep and peaceful enjoyment of this uniquely stunning stretch of the Jurassic Coast.
A site to avoid
The reception we received upon arriving was certainly cool! Unfriendly staff with a very authoritarian manner. A little courtesy and friendliness costs nothing but this was in short supply in the camp shop and reception. Everything is extra it seems and the rules made me feel very uneasy. I have this vision of the owner that is not printable. A poor welcome and poor customer service. My wife and I felt they acted as though by allowing us to give them our money they were doing us a favour! We were given two pages of rules written with a lot of block capitals, underlines and negative comments; not a friendly start to our holiday. There were numerous signs around the place. A site to avoid. Cool camping please delist this campsite. We cannot not endorse this campsite. It is not cool. Again a site to avoid at all costs. Additionally, look at the response to bad reviews by the owner and you will get a real flavour of the site.
We have just returned from a weeks stay at Seabarn. We found the staff very nice and helpfull especially in regard to recommending dog friendly beaches. On arrival we didn't like the pitch we had been allocated so the staff allowed us to choose another with no problems so we were very happy.
The site itself has lovely views , my little girl loved the swings with sea view!
The facilities were spotless and the cleaners always seemed to be around cleaning.
The swimming pool at the adjacent site was also lovely and clean and we used it several times. The only thing I can think of to improve would be that it would be nice if the children could visit the chicken enclosure near the pool instead of a 'private keep out' sign .
Thank you for an enjoyable stay
I was nearly put off booking this site by some of these negative reviews. Glad that we did stay, it's a simple, nice site - toilets & showers super clean. Didn't feel hounded by the rules!!
Ice cold camping
We found this site via the book but I now wish i had read the reviews!
Without doubt the view is spectacular and the wash block was clean...... but the reception we received upon arriving was more akin to the arctic than a sunny Dorset day. You get charged for everything ( so it ended up costing us almost £50 a night for a family of 5 with a dog!)and the rules somewhat put us on edge for fear of incurring the wrath of the owner.
We ended up leaving early after a 2 nights disturbed sleep by 3 rowdy families staying together. No action was taken against these unless their bond was with held ......
So to conclude, if you want to go to a site with great views but are willing to but up with appalling customer service and the "rules" then this is the place for you
Response from campsite owner:
Our price schedule is published on the website. Customers are informed, usually in writing, when booking what their stay will cost, assuming they declare correctly who will be staying. Guests should not “invite” friends on to the camping park without first agreeing this with the owners. The balance of all fees is payable on arrival.
At 2015 prices, the peak season cost for an electric pitch is £27 per night, inclusive of one vehicle, two adults, hot water and use of other facilities. Each additional child is £2.50 per night, adults £6, vehicles £4 and dogs £3. Standard pitches cost less.
It is difficult to reconcile a reviewer’s concerns that the park’s code of orderly conduct is too strict, with a complaint from the same reviewer that it is not enforced strictly enough! The park is patrolled every night and guests not respecting the code are reminded of their obligations. Last Friday, one family group was spoken to by the park’s night manager at 23.40 hours because they were still talking and playing music. When asked they responded positively and were quiet thereafter. Later patrols gave no cause for concern and the park was very quiet.
In wet weather it is not uncommon for some campers to leave early. Park staff do all they can to make sure guests do not disturb each other. But can do nothing to prevent the weather throwing cold water on everyone. Only well-prepared campers with a good tent, properly pitched can stop that.
Arrived after booking via email and telephone. No issues with grumpy staff, and had a warm welcome. Campsite was awesome and the views were fab. Pitch where ever you wanted, but not on the electric hook ups, which were pre booked. Plenty of space for everyone. Showers etc were fab, in fact the whole site was clean and tidy. A simple set of rules given out on arrival, which everyone understood as, at night it was so peaceful, bliss.
Would stay again, however, they don't allow certain breeds of dogs, which would restrict us.
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I have stayed on this site several times and have to say what a cracking site,with great views and good facilities,the only let down is the staff on reception ! I have never had any problems with having bonds etc repaid however a little courtesy and friendliness costs nothing , this is something that's in short supply on reception here.
So not Cool!
Oh dear such a lovely location but such a poor welcome and poor customer service. Felt they acted as though by allowing us to give them our money they were doing us a favour! A downright rude woman gave us 2 pages of A4 rules written with a lot of block capitals, underlines and bold negative comments. There were numerous signs around the place to ensure that we exercised our dogs correctly and knew where our children were in case they were spreading faeces around the bathroom (I kid you not!) . A friendly approach, with rules worded in a less authoritarian manner and perhaps even some common courtesy would have made our stay a pleasant one. A site to avoid.
Response from campsite owner:
Thanks for your comments. Sea Barn Farm is a popular family camping park in a stunning location. It attracts a wide range of customers from families with young children to outdoor pursuits enthusiasts and couples young and old. Over many years of operation, we’ve found that making clear what we and the vast majority of our customers expect helps avoid problems. The park’s rules for orderly conduct are deliberately unambiguous in their wording so that there is no confusion. The rules are freely available and publicised on the park web site and are also made available to all guests on arrival along with other useful information about the private walks around the farm that customers are allowed to use and that link into the magnificent South West Coast Path along the Fleet Lagoon.
Children of all ages are the responsibility of their parents whilst they are on the park, and should be supervised at all times, including when using the amenities blocks. This ensures that any avoidable mess or damage, whether for reasons of mischief or inexperience, is prevented. The park’s cleaning team works long and hard to keep the facilities blocks spotless for all users, but they should not have to clear mess that could be avoided.
Dogs are permitted on the camping park and the signed, private walks around the farm, but only if owners stick to some straightforward rules – dogs must be on a lead at all times and mess must be bagged and binned. Sea Barn Farm is a working farm with crops, machinery, horses and cattle with calves at foot grazing in summer. It also joins on to a wildfowl reserve of international importance. It is therefore essential for the safety of other customers and their children, farm animals, wildlife, horse riders and the dogs themselves that owners stick to these fairly standard rules at all times, day or night. Unleashed dogs have been known to find their way out of tents at night without the knowledge of their owners. This is clearly unacceptable.
These well-publicised, common sense rules help to ensure that all visitors have a safe and enjoyable holiday without damaging what they’ve come to see. The rules are part of the terms and conditions of all bookings and so where customers fail to observe them, they will be reminded, politely of their obligations. Repeated reminders of reasonable requests may seem brusque, but may also result in visitors being required to leave the premises.
Sea Barn Farm may or may not be “Cool”. That’s for others to say depending on their own definition of what’s hot and what’s not. But having and enforcing a few simple rules ensures the vast majority of customers can have a safe and enjoyable stay in a truly breath-taking, peaceful and natural environment. We think that’s pretty cool! And not something we’ll be looking to change any time soon!
Sea Barn Farm
We stayed at Sea Barn Farm during the early May Bank Holiday Weekend in 2013. We arrived a little later than we would've preferred and unfortunately didn't explore the site fully, so pitched close to the toilet and shower facilities for convenience.
As we soon discovered, if we were a little more patient and drove further into the site, we could've had a lovely view overlooking Chesil Beach (argh).
On the upside we were close to toilet facilities that made an early May camping experience quiet pleasant, as they were warm with hot water and great for young children (also a disabled bathroom with bath, which we could use for the little ones).
As it was early May it wasn't that busy, but I can image that this part of the world gets pretty crazy in the summer months. All in all, it was a nice stay. Would I go back? Probably not, but only because it's a case of 'been there, done that'.
As avid campers we reguarly refer to the cool camping books to find our next campsite ......through recomendation on cool camping we decided to stay at Sea Barn for a chilled weekend away. It also happened that a friend was staying with her family also that weekend so it seemed a no brainer ! However on calling to book and after the payment had been processed, we were asked how we had found them, on explaining that it was through cool camping and that a friend was staying that weekend, the lady on the phone then decided to tell us that we had to pay a bond !!! (for behaviour) on explaining that we were not part of their group and were not planning on camping near them at all (as they are a family with young children and we are a couple without children ..... hence the distance) she was extremely rude !!!! We will never ever stay at this campsite until there is new ownership or they learn lessons in PR and manners.
Cool camping I would not endorse this campsite !!!!! it is definately not cool !
Response from campsite owner (and to the review below):
Sea Barn Farm has operated a “quiet nights” policy for many years. As part of this, and as published on our website and sent out to all customers on booking, we ask for a £20 bond from people who are coming as part of a group or who intend to meet up with friends when they get here. This bond is refundable on departure, provided the park’s policies on noise and behaviour have been adhered to. Most of our customers, especially those with young children, welcome this system as it helps to ensure they get an undisturbed sleep and that everyone can enjoy their holiday.
The bond is a gesture of good faith on the part of the customer and indicates that they have understood and are willing to accept the expectations of our other guests. All our customers are asked, on booking, whether they are coming as part of a group or intend to meet up with friends; regardless of whether they will be pitched together or not.
If someone refuses to pay the bond or fails to tell us that they are part of a group, we take this as an indication that they do not accept the same code of conduct that our other customers expect or that they feel they are likely to behave in a way which will cost them their bond. In such circumstances it is our policy to decline the booking. That may seem harsh or rude to a very small minority, but we have thousands of visitors each year who willing pay the bond and have no problem at all reclaiming it at the end of an enjoyable, relaxing and peaceful stay.
As this customer made clear when trying to book over the phone that they would not pay a bond, it was not possible to proceed with the booking. No payment was processed. Nor did they visit Sea Barn Farm and so didn't get to enjoy the views!
A Rural Retreat
Super campsite that sits above Chesil Beach and provides a relaxing retreat. We saw the site at its fullest - Jubilee Weekend. Although the site was full and the site’s own 10m distance between tents was not adhered to, it was fine. The plus points are: 1. Quiet, especially at night 2. It is a family site and there was still space for games of french cricket, football, etc. 3. Shower and toilet block near shop/reception is excellent - hairdryers a real treat 4. Nice walk to Fleet Lagoon 5. Facilities - swimming pool at sister site 6. Great sunset over Jurassic Coast Hmmm items 1. The "grumpy" staff in shop - not a bit of it - they were helpful - just had to be patient with them (they were very busy) 2. The shop sells lots of bits and pieces and we did use and it is ok 3. Cab be breezy - it is above the sea 4. There were no real downsides - it is good place to stay The weather was better on the Dorset Coast than much of the country and we were dry during the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the weekend. Worth a visit is the Sealife Adventure - much better than other SLCentres and the Tank Museum. Whole family wants to go back to Sea Barn and see more of the area.
Sea Barn Farm
Beautiful campsite. The layout (path winding round and tree hedges) makes it feel quite intimate, slight slope to the ground. Great views of Chesil beach. We tried both toilet/shower blocks and the one nearest reception is much better than the old one. Old block is very basic - no shelf for toiletries in shower and no way to change temperature. New block is great, includes hair drying facilities and according to OH great shaving light. As a result, this one had more of a queue on this busy bank holiday weekend. Both were very clean. Very relaxing and quiet as away from all traffic. We did not try the shop or other facilities so can’t comment on those. And as regards to the grumpy staff, I only had a 5 minute chat when checking in so no time to see if they were really grumpy or just busy. I really enjoyed the fact that there were a lot of rules which kept the campsite quiet and enjoyable for everyone. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a peaceful stay with clean facilities.
Sea Barn Farm
Absolutely shocking!!!! Our friends booked the campsite over the phone and upon arrival they paid a security bond and paid their own fees for the two nights stay. Unfortunately we arrived very late Friday and due our late arising and a walk on the Saturday we didn’t pay for our two nights stay. Naively we thought that as the bond (£40) was much higher than the fee for two nights stay (£24) they wouldn’t mind us paying on the Sunday morning when we collected the bond back. Anyway, at 10:05 the manager of the campsite drove round and demanded that we pay and that we were being charged an extra £10 because we hadn’t paid, basically accusing us of trying to stay for free. I walked up to the shop straight away to pay and spoke with the owner to try and reason with her. The only answer I received about being charged an extra £10 was because “those were the rules on the shop door” (not the same rules as on the website), but printed on the door of the shop which we hadn’t yet visited – if we had of visited the shop we’d have paid. The bond is for behaviour only. The owner basically accused us of trying to get away without paying when in fact she had more money off our group of four than the total two nights stay cost?!? In fairness, the facilities were new and clean but for the simple fact that the people who run this place and the other two adjacent campsites obviously have no personal skills, I would score this a 1 out of 5 and recommend you try somewhere else first (RoseWall Farm in Osmington). We would definitely not go back again.
Sea Barn Farm
This is a great campsite if you want (really, really) great views, no road noise and direct access to great walks. It is also not far from Weymouth Beach and a short walk from an outdoor swimming pool at the next door campsite. The views are stunning and the many of the pitches are located right next to open fields and have the most stunning views over the Fleet Lagoon and Chesil Beach, sunsets and setting you can imagine. There is plenty of sea breeze too, which has the added benefit of drying out your tent nice and quickly each morning and which explains the fairly early leaving time. The lack of road noise is really important for me as so many campsites are hampered by being within hearing distance of cars. It makes the place feel quite cut off and away from hectic normal life. Two shower/toilet blocks. One brand new and one quite old but clean and in reasonable condition. The new block has some family bathrooms which are great but unfortunately are closed at about 6 each evening! I have seen comments about grumpy staff and this does seem to be the case at times but they did the job and are not who I am going to be spending my holiday with. The small on site shop was useful for food and essentials. Would have been nice to see more of the farms own beef on sale (was only in the other campsite shop when we were there). Go for VIEWS, VIEWS and more VIEWS!
Sea Barn Farm
Not a "cool" campsite at all. Would not recommend that you stay here. Not particularly pleasant or helpful staff. Er, the view is OP and thats about it.