Holmsley Campsite Camping in the Forest

UK England

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Steeped in history, Holmsley occupies what used to be Holmsley Airfield, one of 12 wartime advanced landing grounds that scatter the magical New Forest

It’s not often you can pitch so somewhere steeped in history. Holmsley occupies what used to be Holmsley Airfield, one of 12 wartime advanced landing grounds and airfields that scatter the New Forest. Today, the taxiways and aircraft hard standings have been transformed into roads and parking spots, keeping the landscape's working history very much alive. On the southern edge of the New Forest, Holmsley is perfectly positioned to explore not only Britain’s most densely populated national park, but the numerous nearby beaches, including Barton-on-Sea, Poole and Bournemouth. With enchanting forests, stunning beaches and a dramatic history – what more could you possibly want from a campsite?

Holmsley is big, very big, but even though there may be a couple of hundred campers onsite at any one time, it never feels overcrowded. Most of the site's 600 undefined pitches are flat, secluded and come with lovely views, although rock pegs are advised, but that's quite the norm for the New Forest.

Ablution facilities are clean and modern with three huge blocks, each containing showers, toilets, a family shower room, washbasins and electric shaving sockets. There’s also a well-stocked shop with all the things you may have forgotten (groceries & camping essentials), whilst the onsite takeaway is very popular with visitors, peckish after a wonderful day exploring the forest.

Whilst most campers head for the New Forest's intricate maze of walks and cycle paths, you can also visit several sandy beaches, all of which are only a short drive away. Buzzing Bournemouth is popular, whilst its reserved, more attractive neighbour Poole is an altogether more peaceful place to spend your day. The quay is littered (in a good way!) with restaurants and old fisherman’s pubs, whilst the small peninsula of Sandbanks has a jaw-dropping beach and plenty of activities to keep you busy, from windsurfing and powerboating to kayaking and kitesurfing.



600 pitches of undefined 8m x 5m spaces on which to put your tent, caravan or motorhome and space for one car. Some premium pitches available, which included electric hook-up and/or hardstanding. Toilets, showers, family shower room, washbasins, electric shaving sockets, chemical disposal point, laundry, battery charging and drinking water taps all onsite. Also, a fully equipped shop that sells a wide range of groceries, camping essentials and games to ensure that your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

Suitable For

Tents, caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents and dogs - yes.


Nature lovers can take in the wonderful sight of the woodland floor carpeted with English bluebells during spring. For the very best places to see bluebells in the New Forest, take a walk on the Bluebells & Breakfast Trails. Enjoy a locally produced New Forest breakfast before following the trail by foot or bike. If you fancy a round of golf whilst on your break, visit Brokenhurst Manor (01590 623332), for an excellent course, stunning scenery and a warm welcome. Family fun can be found at Longdown Activity Farm (023 8029 2837.) Visitors can bottle-feed the calves and goats, feed the ducks, meet the pigs and cuddle the baby rabbits. After meeting the animals, the kids can explore the farmyard buildings and enjoy plenty of indoor and outdoor play areas including trampolines, a ball pool and the straw bale barn. Holidays in the New Forest are perfect for animal lovers. Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre (01425 476487) can be found approximately 6 miles from site. Visitors to the centre can enjoy daily flying displays, see a wide range of birds of prey on display and visit the reptile house with snakes, lizards and more. For more things to do in the New Forest, click here.

Food & Drink

Holmsley is located within convenient driving distance of both Brockenhurst and the southern coastal town of Christchurch, with both towns offering a fantastic range of eateries, including Boathouse River Cafe & Restaurant (01202 480033). Situated in Christchurch, it boasts stunning views across Christchurch Quay, the River Stour and the marshes. The Boathouse offers everything from fresh coffee to a 3 course meal. Cliffhanger Cafe (01425 278058) is perfect for breakfast, lunch and evening meals with breathtaking views from the cliffs at Highcliffe-on-Sea. In Brockenhurst, Careys Manor Hotel & Spa (01590 624467), offers simple, authentic French cuisine. Open to residents and non-residents daily for lunch and dinner, this is a great place for a special night out. After a busy day out in the forest, give yourself the night off from cooking and treat yourself to a bag of good quality fish and chips at Rainbow Fish & Chips (015906 22747) on Brookley Road. Particularly recommended are the mushy pea fritters! Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery (01590 622797) uses locally produced New Forest ingredients to create mouth watering delicacies. Throughout the day visitors can drop in for breakfast, light lunches, sumptuous afternoon teas, plus a wide variety of delicious pastries and baked goodies. Onsite, there’s the fully equipped shop selling groceries and a take away; perfect after a busy day exploring the forest and when you want to put your feet up in your tent and relax.


1st April - 1st November 2021

The Owner Says

Please be aware that our Camping in the Forest sites are closed until further notice. Please refer to the Camping in the Forest website for more details.

Video Tour

Virtual Tour


Contact Holmsley Campsite, Forest Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 7EQ

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Getting There

From London, the East, East Midlands and East Anglia: take the M3 westbound on to the M27 west. At J1 join the A31. Continue on A31 as far as Picket Post and turn left (signposted to Burley Street and Burley). Follow the road over the heath through Burley Street and into Burley. Turn right opposite the cycle hire shop (signposted to Bransgore). After about 1.5 miles at the cross roads, just before Thorny Hill, turn left. The site is signposted from here. After 1 mile, at the sign, turn left up the entrance road to the site.

From Bristol, the West, Wales and the West Midlands: from the M4 at J15 take the A346 south and then the A338 as far as Ringwood. At Ringwood turn left onto A31 east (signposted Southampton). At Picket Post turn right (signposted to Burley Street and Burley). Follow the road over the heath through Burley Street and into Burley, turn right opposite the cycle hire shop (signposted to Bransgore). After about 1.5 miles at cross roads, just before Thorny Hill, turn left. The site is signposted from here. After 1 mile, at the sign, turn left up the entrance road to the site.

Train: the closest station is Hinton Admiral (4 miles) which is operated by South West Trains. The station is part of the Poole - London Waterloo route and also Weymouth - London Waterloo. From the station you can walk, cycle or phone a local taxi service.

Bus: Wilts & Dorset offers 2 services around the site; the 175 & 176. Both are part of the route Christchurch - Ringwood that also passes through New Milton and Lymington. The bus stop is by the crossroads in Thorney Hill, about 1.5 miles from the site.

Coach: Transdev Yellow Buses offer 4 different services to Christchurch; 1a, 1b, 1c and 21 that connects to Bournemouth, Boscombe, Poole and Somerford. Christchurch is about 6 miles from site, but there are bus and taxi services available.


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