Snelling Farm Campsite

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
An amazingly green natural feel and care-free atmosphere, only around a few weekends a year!
The Snelling Farm owners describes the campsite as ‘off the beaten track’ but not just because it’s so secluded – follow your SatNav and you end up with your engine bubbling in the River Frome, you have been warned! No, ‘off the beaten track’ is meant in a far more metaphorical sense. The delights of Dorset’s stony beaches and charming thatched villages, are actually relatively accessible and close at hand, but it’s the atmosphere that provides the real middle-of-nowhere feel they’re referring to. Hidden, tranquil and seemingly immersed in all things green and natural, Snelling Farm is a truly tucked away camping space. Road, track, lane, footpath... however you chose to find it, once you do you'll be glad you made the effort!

Enclosed by flanks of mature oaks, Snelling Farm Campsite is a vast 23-acre field, crowned in its centre with another small cluster of trees. Beyond these essentials of grass, trees and ample open space, the campsite really boasts very little. There is a shower block, with surprisingly brilliant showers ­– pumping out toasty hot water – and a few fresh water taps dotted around. Yet other than these (and the eco toilets) there’s little to sing and dance about – no electrical hook ups, no playground and certainly no onsite shop. The resulting vibe is not one of neglect but rather a sense of sheer space and freedom. Campers can pitch where they like, kids can run wild and picture perfect wisps of white smoke drift softly into the air, a sign that campfires are a care-free fact of life here.

At certain times of year the site is shared with various critters. Roe Deer are regular (if rather elusive) visitors, grey squirrels to and fro from tree to tree and sheep from the farm’s 250-strong herd graze the field and river edges. Follow their lead down to the water's edge and the wide, lazy waters of the Frome are as appealing to those on two legs as four. Kids will love dabbling in the shingley silt of the riverbed down by the ford (a 10 minute walk) and the sense of nature and tranquillity the spot affords is perfect for a care-free afternoon picnic.

Offsite the picturesque little town of Moreton has a tea rooms and a historic church where T.E Lawrence (of Arabia fame) was laid to rest. His name has consequently been put to the Lawrence of Arabia Trail that runs past the campsite and through the countryside – an excellent family route for both walking and cycling. It’s also possible to reach his house Clouds Hill in Bovington, which is now maintained by the National Trust. What with these, the local Tank Museum, an intriguing Ape Rescue Centre and the joys of the Jurrasic Coast just a half hours drive away, Snelling Farm Campsite certainly has a world to discover on it’s doorstep. What a shame it is only open for a few fleeting weekends each summer – we could happily stay for a whole year!

Details

Facilities

Hot electric showers, eco-friendly loos (bring you own loo roll), drinking water taps, washing up sinks and space – lots of space! Campfires permitted with wood available to purchase.

Suitable For

Tents, dogs (on leads and under control at all times), groups (by prior arrangement) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes – no.

Nearby

Snelling Farm sits beside the Lawrence of Arabia Trail, offering over 6 miles of cycling and walking through Moreton and Bovington Forest and suitable for families and children. Keen cyclists and walkers can head into neighbouring Affpuddle Forest for a longer excursion. Moreton Ford is a 10 minute walk away – unique for its width and shallowness, the ford is perfect for a picnic by the shore, while paddling and swimming. The Bovington Tank Museum (3 miles; 01929 405096) and Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre (5 miles; 01929 462537) are great family spots nearby, while the Jurassic Coast, including Durdle Door, Swanage and Lulworth Cove is around half an hour (10 miles) away.

Food & Drink

It's a 10 minute walk to Moreton Tea Rooms (Open Mon–Sun; 10am–5pm; 01929 463647), highly recommended. They do lunches and light bites, plus traditional cream teas that are the real winner. Pub-wise the nearest are The Martyrs Inn (01305 848249) in Tolpuddle, and the excellent Countryman (01305 852666) in East Knighton. For basic supplies there is also Briantspuddle Community Village Shop (open all week 10am–12pm) and a Co-Op Local Store 3 miles away in Crossways.

Opening Times

Spring Bank Holiday (25th–30th May).

Tankfest (open to all; 28th June - 2nd July).

School summer holiday weekends (20th July–29th August).

Family Friendly

The owners are a laid-back bunch, and while they can't guarantee no noise from fellow campers (ie. chatting and laughing round a campfire), they do insist there is no music on site. This is not a place for party types!

The Owner Says

Snelling Farm is over a mile from the nearest road, down a long farm track, in an unspoiled location where you feel connected to the countryside and nature around you. It is for this reason that we wanted to set up a campsite to enable campers to go back to basics (with a little bit of luxury - loos, sinks and hot showers!) and enjoy the magnificent ancient oak trees and the abundance of wildlife that visits the farm. We cannot guarantee no noise from a snuffling hedgehog, a singing bird or a few campers having a laugh round a campfire but we do have a no music rule and a noise curfew of 11.30pm as we want all our campers to enjoy to their stay. Make sure you follow the directions closely and when you arrive choose a spot, pitch up and we come round early evening to take payment and offer logs for sale.

Pitches

Around 50 undesignated grass pitches.

No availability showing at Snelling Farm Campsite.

Location

Contact Snelling Farm Campsite, Snelling Farm, Clouds Hill, Wareham, Dorset

Show Map

Getting There

The campsite is located in the middle of no-where, with no recognisable postcode, so directions are important. Do not follow your Sat Nav anywhere near Moreton, this will attempt to take you through a deep river. Mobile phone signal is hit and miss so print off these directions and map and you will be sure to find us.

Directions: Head to Bere Regis, Dorset and then for Wool, Monkey World, Tank Museum and Bovington Camp. Continue, following the road around to the left past the Royal Oak pub. After 2.5 miles, turn right for Bovington, Tincleton and Tank Museum. Continue for just over a mile, drive past the left hand turn for Clouds Hill/Bovington Tank Museum. You are taking the next left in 100 yards so start to slow down. Take the left hand turn down the forest track and continue down the track for approx 1 mile. Take the only turning left (footpath signposted Bovington), which takes you between 2 fields. On the bend continue straight through the farm gate.

The nearest train station is in Moreton, Dorset (3 miles; 0845 7484950). It's on the main Weymouth  - London Waterloo line.

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