Matley Wood Campsite Camping in the Forest

UK England South East England Hampshire Lyndhurst

  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Good walks nearby
This really is forest camping at its finest, and is the ideal spot for campers wishing to let loose on a bike or fancy getting lost on one of the New Forest's countless walking trails

When was the last time you saw the stars illuminate the night sky? Or had no signal on your mobile? In this remote corner of the New Forest, Matley Wood feels like a million miles from the glow of street lamps, frustration of traffic jams and the buzz of ringtones. After a wonderful day exploring the New Forest’s wealth of walking trails, most campers relax by their tent, marvelling at that clear night sky. If you watch for long enough you’re bound to see a shooting star or three, and if you listen carefully enough, you’ll hear absolutely nothing at all. Fabulous.

Matley Wood is a small, secluded campsite that blends seamlessly into its stunning surroundings of ancient oak trees and grazing wild ponies. As with many campsites round these parts, there are no marked pitches, so visitors have the freedom to pitch where they like. However, Matley Wood won’t be for everyone. Modern-day campers seeking even the most basic facilities may wish to look elsewhere, as there are no showers, toilets or cooking facilities to be found. But what you do get is a unique, back-to-basics camping experience, set amongst some of England’s most inspiring scenery.

The New Forest has long been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the diverse mix of habitats that support the area's animal and plant life. Not only home to the UK’s largest breeding population of the rare Dartford Warbler, The New Forest also plays host to all three native species of snake; adder, grass, and smooth snake. The forest's plant life is equally varied. Around 700 species of wildflower is said to grow in the forest, (that’s a third of the total found in Britain), while rare species such as the ‘Blue Marsh Gentian’ and the unfortunately named ‘Bog Orchid’ can be found flourishing in the New Forest’s mires.

Matley Wood is the type of site that attracts those looking to ‘get away from it all’. This really is forest camping at its finest, and is the ideal spot for campers wishing to let loose on a bike or fancy getting lost (hopefully not literally) on one of the forest's countless walking trails. Or, you could always chill by your tent, amid greenery and pure peace and quite. We suppose that’s not the worst decision to have to make.



70 undefined 8m x 5m spaces on which to put your tent, caravan or motorhome and space for one car. Please be aware that there are no toilets, showers or electricity at this campsite, therefore your own chemical toilet is essential.

Suitable For

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


For those campers interested in activity courses, Calshot Activity Centre (02380 892077) is the place to be. Activities on offer include: windsurfing, canoeing, dinghy sailing and powerboating. Cyclists will be impressed by the Velodrome, the only indoor cycling track in the south of England. The centre also offers Snowflex slopes for skiing and snowboarding and a climbing wall for rock climbing. Lyndhurst is a half-hour walk from Matley Wood, with a good range of restaurants, shops and pubs. Here you can find the Verderers Hall, the official meeting place of the Verderers Court (02380 282052), which was established in 1877, and is responsible for the protection and conservation of the New Forest. One of the area’s most popular attractions, Beaulieu National Motor Museum (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 Crown Stirrup (02380 282339) is set in a fantastic location, offering a comprehensive menu with quality homemade food and a good range of beers, wines and spirits. The pub's name relates to the king’s law regarding the size of dogs. During Tudor times only the king and his entourage could hunt in the New Forest; commoners were only allowed to hunt if their dogs were small enough to fit through the ‘Verderer’s Stirrup’. The Imperial China (02380 283398) is undoubtedly one of the New Forest’s best kept secrets, offering delicious Chinese and Szechuan cuisine. La Pergola (02380 284184) is a traditional Italian pizzeria, offering a friendly, relaxed atmosphere in a delightful building with a pergola covered in wisteria and vines. For a special dining experience, the Lime Wood Hotel (02380 287177) is an excellent choice. Local produce and traditional menus are combined with an imaginative approach to designing delicious dishes. Finally. each dish at Passage to India (02380 282099) promises to have its own distinctive flavour and aroma which cannot be created with simple curry powder. For this reason, spices are prepared each day for each individual dish, in order to create an authentic taste of India.


2nd April - 28th Sep 2020

The Owner Says

Now taking Bookings for 2021

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Contact Matley Wood Campsite, Matley Wood, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7FZ

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Getting There

From Lyndhurst: take the Beaulieu Road (B3056) towards Beaulieu Road train station, and follow for approximately 2 miles. Matley Wood will be on your right hand side.

The closest rail station is at Beaulieu Road on the B3056, ¾ mile south of Matley Wood, or ½ mile using the Forest footpath. The station is a request stop on the Weymouth - London Waterloo. However, there is no bus service from here. Call & Go (0845 6024326 or 01420 475759) is a bookable bus service using vehicles that have easy access entrances for passengers. The buses are capable of carrying people in their wheelchairs or with scooters and are easily accessible to parents with buggies. Matley Wood's nearest bus stop is Beaulieu Road Station (under 1 mile) whilst the New Forest Tour Bus (02380 282269) runs in June, July and August.


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