Croft Cottage Camping

UK England South East England Hampshire Fordingbridge

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Small-time camping with a family-friendly buzz, a walk away from the beautiful New Forest

A good campsite often comes down to good campsite owners, and Helen and Bill Waygood are no exception to this rule. Living in the 16th-century thatched cottage that overlooks their field, they can proudly claim to have one of the most unique little campsites around — and they seem just as thrilled about that as we are.

Only open 56 days of the year, it is a fleeting experience that doesn’t last long enough to lose its spontaneous feel and fall into the hum-drum regularity of a day-to-day outfit. Instead, Bill and Helen open up the gates as excited about the season as their visitors. First to pick up the volleyball? It's Bill. Singing “chick, chick, chickens” with the kids as they collect a basket of eggs? Yes, it’s Bill again. Rallying the troops for an evening around the campfire? Yes, you guessed it… Bill. The energy of the owners helps bring a liveliness to the site and creates a mini-community of happy Hampshire campers. It’s the same reason you’ll see them all again the next year — as Bill proudly notes, the grandchildren of those who first stayed at the site when it opened 23 years ago now pitch their tents here, too. 

Aside from the brilliant family atmosphere, Croft Cottage Camping is a small and humble spot. It is a campsite in keeping with its attachment to the oldest cottage in the village — simple yet beautiful. There is room for just 12 spacious pitches, each with an electric hook-up, and space in the centre of the field for the famous volleyball games and kid-friendly fun. Facilities are relatively basic — two units each housing a flushing toilet and hot shower, along with a sink and chemical waste disposal — but all are well looked after and immaculately clean. Together it creates a rustic, traditional campsite without many frills but with a captivating ambiance, providing a safe and welcoming environment for families and couples alike, where the kids can wake up and feed the alpacas or collect eggs from the chickens.

We kindly ask you to bring your own 20m lead with a camping connector.

The best part is, while you may bask in your discovery of a small-time, countryside gem, you don’t actually have to miss out on the guilty pleasures that a more commercial campsite can afford. Directly next door to the campsite, Sandy Balls Holiday Village (stop sniggering) has all the thrills and spills of a pre-organised holiday park but conveniently acts as a handy place to use the cash machine, dip in the swimming pool, or stock up on camping gas (it should be noted that it does get particularly busy around August and facilities are not always available for campers to use during these peak periods). Back at camp, its presence goes largely unnoticed, with just the odd infrequent bit of noise. You can also walk directly from the site into the beautiful New Forest and be surrounded by ponies and wildlife.

Down the road, the Fighting Cocks pub (now seriously, do grow up) provides a proper local where you can enjoy a pint — now competing with the pair of restaurants at Sandy Balls, also a decent spot to grab some food. It’s worth heading a little further though and delving into the wonders of the New Forest, a wooded landscape with openings of rugged heathland. Wild ponies and deer rule the roost around these parts and make it best explored by foot or bike, where you can stealthily amble through the trees keeping an eye out for the wildlife. The Fordingbridge Visitor Centre, a mile and a half from the campsite, has some maps and leaflets to help you discover local routes, as well as recommendations for pubs and eateries in the surrounding villages.

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12 pitches around the edge of a field with play equipment in the centre (badminton, volleyball and football goal).  2 toilets, 2 showers, 1 washing up sink and a chemical waste disposal unit. There is also a self-contained lodge that sleeps 6. Raised camp fires are allowed (wheel-barrow of wood around £5). There are 3 friendly alpacas and 4 chickens and the children are invited every morning to feed the chickens and alpacas and collect the eggs.

Suitable For

The site is suitable for tents, camper vans, dogs (one per pitch, well behaved and on a lead at all times (not pitches 8, 9 or 10),  groups (4 pitches max. arranged by phone). No caravans, no under 21 year olds (unless part of a family group) and no groups of adults.


Beautiful walks across the New Forest, stopping off in the many lovely pubs that sit in the small villages. Go to the Arniss Stables (01425 654114) with horses for all ages and abilities or take a bike and ride along one of the many cycle routes nearby. Sandyballs Holiday Centre (08442 491193) is next door where you can sometimes visit their swimming pool or join footpaths down to the river Avon and along its banks towards Fordingbridge (01425 654560). Fishing and many other facilities can also be used by the general public. It is a 20 minute drive to Paultons Park (02380 814442) home to hugely popular Peppa Pig World for the kids.  The New Forest Water Park is a 5 minute drive away and is very popular.  Bournemouth beach is about 30 minutes drive and the historic Cities of Salisbury and Southampton are about 30 minutes drive.

Food & Drink

The Fighting Cocks pub (01425 652462) is an eight minute walk and serves decent food at a reasonable price. A cross country walk will take you to The Royal Oak (02380 812606) at Fritham (1.5 hours), The Royal Oak (01425 652244) at North Gorley (1 hour walk) and The Foresters (01425 652294) at Frogham (40 minutes walk) all lovely spots on pleasant New Forest routes.


Open 56 days of the year: one week during the late May school holiday and 6 weeks from the start of the summer school holidays.

Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
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The Owner Says

Our campsite consists of nearly an acre of flat well drained short mown grass and is well sheltered.  It has 12 pitches around the edge of the field, measuring approximately 12m x 7m, ALL WITH ELECTRIC HOOK-UP, if required, the centre being left as a play area with volleyball net, badminton net, football goal etc.  We have 2 toilets and 2 showers, also a washing up sink and a chemical waste disposal unit. Our site is especially suitable for couples and  families, as it is small and enclosed children are able to all play together in the centre and never be far away from their parent’s watchful eye!  Every morning the children can help feed the chickens, collect the eggs and feed the alpacas.  Volleyball is often played in the evening which can be organized by Bill.

We are only permitted to open for 56 days of the year and tend to open for the late May Bank Holiday week and the 6  weeks School Summer Holiday (look on our website for exact dates).   We never open for the early  May Bank Holiday weekend. We also have a self contained lodge for those who prefer their home comforts!

We are in a beautiful part of the New Forest National Park, so is excellent locally for walking, cycling and horse riding with Arnis Stable nearby, it is also about 30 minutes drive from the sandy beaches of Bournemouth and the historic City of Southampton and Salisbury.

If you are not into open air cooking, then there is the Fighting Cocks Pub walking distance about 10 minutes, or just pop round to Sandy Balls Holiday Centre where they have a take-away and restaurants that are normally open to the public.

Away from the campsite, children love Paultons Park, Moors Valley Country Park, Longdown Dairy Farm and a host of other activities in the area including a lovely playground next to the River Avon in Fordingbridge.  The New Forest Water Park is a 5 minute drive away and is very popular.  For further details please visit our website

Offers & Deals

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12 camping pitches with electrical hook-ups. Check Availability


Contact Croft Cottage Camping, Croft Cottage, Godshill, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 2LE

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Getting There

Exit at Junction 1 on the M27 and take the third exit. Follow signs to Fordingbridge. The campsite is on the B3078 about 100 metres East of the entrance to Sandy Balls Holiday Village on the same side of the road. Nearest station: Salisbury with regular buses to Fordingbridge - Croft Cottage is 1.5 miles from Fordingbridge.


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Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • 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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