Setthorns Campsite Camping in the Forest

UK England South East England Hampshire Brockenhurst

  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
This site always has something new to reveal: a field hidden behind majestic oak and pine trees, a secret pathway, or a genteel village you never knew existed

Britain’s capital of trees and trails, The New Forest is without doubt one of the finest, most magical places to camp. Spread across a decent portion of Hampshire, the New Forest was established as royal hunting grounds by William the Conquerer back in 1079, who demanded somewhere to kill deer away from the ‘peasants’ of his recently acquired kingdom. One thousand years later, the New Forest is still principally in royal hands, with around 90% belonging to the crown; although Queen Liz is a little more receptive about sharing this wonderful area than her Norman ancestor.

Set amongst the ancient trees that have made the New Forest their home is Setthorns, a secluded and private site which provides campers with a tranquil, back-to-basics camping experience. Back-to-basics indeed, as there are no shower or toilet facilities (your own chemical toilet is essential), and whilst we admit the rugged feel of the site won’t be for everyone, it’ll certainly suit anyone with a sense of adventure or with a yen for nature. Space and privacy come by the bucket loads here; pitches are large, with many carved out of the bushes to form cosy little alcoves, and you’re unlikely to be disturbed by your neighbours – unless they’re shouting through a very powerful megaphone.

The site's picturesque location always seems to have something new to reveal: a hidden field behind majestic oak and pine trees, a secret pathway, or a genteel village you never knew existed. Wild ponies are regularly spotted grazing leisurely around colourful scrublands, paying no attention to the walkers and cyclists that pass on the many marvellous walking and cycling trails. Further afield, there’s a wealth of attractions, from award-winning gardens (Exbury is a must see), museums, wildlife parks and traditional working farms you can visit.

Setthorns is a solid example of what a campsite should be. One of Camping in the Forest’s ten New Forest locations, they seem to understand what campers are looking for. They understand the importance of protecting the local landscape. They understand that visitors don't want to be bombarded with rules and regulations, and just want to relax and go with the flow. And most importantly, they understand that camping is all about reacquainting yourself with nature, and becoming immersed in the experience of the wild. And we couldn't agree more.



237 spaces made up of standard, premium and select pitch types, on which to put your tent, caravan or motorhome and space for one car. Please be aware that there are no toilets or showers at this campsite, therefore your own chemical toilet is essential.

Suitable For

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


Paultons Family Theme Park (02380 814442) is a 25 minute drive away and has over 60 family rides and attractions. The little ones will love Peppa Pig World (023 8081 4442), the first dedicated Peppa Pig Theme Park in the world. Another fun family day out 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. One of the area’s most popular attractions, Beaulieu (01590 612345), has over 250 vehicles from every motoring era and is a must-see for motoring enthusiasts. James Bond fans can view the fascinating exhibition of genuine vehicles and props at the ‘James Bond Experience.‘ For those not interested in motoring there are stately homes, historic buildings and beautiful gardens to explore.

Food & Drink

The Hare & Hounds (01590 682404) is less than two miles from Setthorns. A 200 year old coaching inn set in the village of Sway, this family pub serves a varied menu of freshly prepared homemade specials. 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. 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. Blaireau’s Bistro (01590 623032), situated in the grounds of Careys Manor Hotel and Spa, this bistro offers high quality and authentic French cuisine. Open to residents and non-residents daily for lunch and dinner, this is a great place for a special night out.


1st April - 31st December 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


Contact Setthorns Campsite, Setthorns, New Milton, Hampshire BH25 5WA

Show Map

Getting There

From the West: follow the A31 and approximately two miles after Ringwood, take the exit on the right to Burley. After the Shell Garage, turn right under the bridge. Travel through Burley and after approximately two miles you will see the Station Tea House on the right. Stay on this road until you see a blue and white ‘Setthorns Campsite’ sign. Turn right and the site is 400m on your right.

From the North and East: follow the M27 and exit at J1 on to the A337 to Lyndhurst. Go through Lyndhurst and at the Ferrari garage turn right onto the A337 to Brockenhurst. Get into the left hand lane and stay on the A337. You will pass Hollands Wood Campsite and the Balmer Lawn Hotel on your left. Keep going until you reach the Filley Inn pub on your left. Turn right here and follow this road. You will pass under two railway bridges. Turn right after the second bridge and Setthorns Campsite is approximately one mile on the left.

Sway railway station (1.5 miles) is located on the South Western Main Line, from London Waterloo to Weymouth. The station is served by South West Trains, who operate stopping services from London Waterloo to Poole.


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