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Simple camping and glamping in an unspoilt location with glorious views of the Dorset Downs

They say “less is more” – a good philosophy, we think, when it comes to camping. Nowhere does this ring truer than Haddon Copse Farm, a 30 acre organic farm where looking after the landscape is second nature and camping meadows feel as at home in the scenery as the grazing fields that surround them.

Life here is about the simple pleasures. Off the beaten track, with dark skies at night and excellent views of the Blackmore Vale by day, the most discerning feature here is the relaxed atmosphere and the plentiful space the farm provides. Large pitches are placed around the edge of a vehicle-free field, populated in the middle by children throwing a frisbee and acquiring more than few grass stains – a souvenir of time spent truly enjoying the countryside. Each pitch has a complimentary fire-pit and kindling, while charcoal and logs can be bought from the farm at a very reasonable price.

The newest addition to the site is the Retreat Hut – a cosy cabin for couples with comfy double bed and outdoor campers kitchen, plus lots of lovely extras like fresh towels, organic cotton bedding, complimentary breakfast for your first morning, and, of course, that all important firepit.

The owner’s attitude, too, is exactly what you would hope for. “Settle yourselves in and we will come and see you at some point”, is the opening gambit of Tom, who has to spread time between running the farm and the campsite. A herd of cattle is ushered into new pastures and a morning check of the lambs is all carried out while campers are still yet to unzip the tent flaps. When they do, the reward is freshly baked bread and the chance to buy the fruits of all this labour; award-winning organic meats and eggs from the freely roaming chickens.

Ablutions here are eco-friendly. A stroll through the newly-planted orchard, leads to the to toilets and the wet-room style solar-powered showers. While there are also washing-up sinks and a freezer for ice-packs, the site is refreshingly underdeveloped. Just the way it seems it should be here. The place is blissfully unspoilt and activities like exploring local footpaths or cooking atop the campfire provide wonderfully authentic camping entertainment.

Beyond the wooden farm gates, continue the back to nature experience by swimming in the nearby River Stour, one of the best wild swimming rivers in the country. Its meandering course through the Blackmore Vale, classic Dorset dairy country, makes for various good walking routes, while historic spots like Hambledon Hill are perfect for a summer stroll and countryside picnic. As at the campsite, it's best to let the setting do the work. Walks, swims, picnics, they all allow you to explore Dorset’s wonderful countryside and, in between, the cosy, picture-perfect rural settlements aren’t half bad either.

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The campsite owner says

We run a small, quiet site where you can enjoy the peace and beauty of the Dorset countryside away from the hurly-burly of everyday life. We hope you'll begin to switch off the moment you arrive whether you are pitching your own tent or settling into one of our three bell tents. That applies to your phone too - there's no electricity, no wifi and patchy mobile reception and we think those are all good things! Instead, you can relax and enjoy some of life's simple pleasures - take in the view, stroll round our farm walk, light a fire, watch the stars. The site has a relaxed atmosphere and with just seven pitches, never feels crowded or full. All the pitches are well spaced out and it's just a short stroll through the orchard to our two private shower rooms/loos. We hope you'll find the personal touches such as advise on where to walk or swim, warm bread delivered to your tent in the morning or help choosing some of the food we produce on the farm for your barbeque will all combine to ensure that a stay at Haddon Copse Farm leaves you feeling refreshed and full of the good things in life!

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