Thorncombe Farm

UK England South West England Dorset Dorchester

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
This family-run (and family-friendly) campsite is a wonderful place to pitch

There are three types of campsites: those that disappoint, those you want to tell the world about and those you tell no one and keep all for yourself. Located in the heart of Thomas Hardy country, and just a stone's throw from the great man's birthplace, Thorncombe Farm defiantly falls into the latter category. With woodland views across the sites 43 acres, this family-run (and family-friendly) campsite is a wonderful place to pitch, in a region with more holiday memories than a flickering 1950s home movie. So, can you keep a secret? Good, lets begin…

The camping area at Thorncombe Farm is a small, perfectly formed oasis, home to the welcoming Hughes family and their pedigree Dorper sheep and Boer goats. Not forgetting the family horses, chickens and abundance of Roe deer, buzzards and nesting ravens, that ensures the local landscape buzzes with wildlife all year round. As well as flat, spacious pitches for traditional campers, the site also caters for those wanting to take the hassle out of camping, with four bell tents, each with an allotted dining tent with seating for at least six adults. As for facilities, they are modest but more than adequate, with toilets and showers operated by a fancy pre-paid card system.

If you wish to get reacquainted with Mother Nature, then Thorncombe Farm’s location takes some beating. Adjacent to the farm are the open woods of Puddletown and Thorncombe, with endless miles of traffic-free cycling, walking trails and horse riding paths. Also close by (14 miles) is the stunning Jurassic Coast. Here you can trek, kayak or go for a swim beside rock archways and sea-sculpted bays, then hunt fossil-filled beaches for your own prehistoric memento.

Thorncombe Farm’s main draw is its simplicity – no playground, no shop, and no eight foot purple dinosaur “entertaining” the kids; just panoramic views across the mature oaks, sweet chestnut and beeches of Thorncombe Wood. While it may be part of the mammoth Camping and Caravanning Club, Thorncombe Farm keeps a cosy, friendly atmosphere and is the ideal place to lose yourself for a few days, zone out from the urban bustle you left behind and tune into the wonderful wildlife that surrounds you. But ssshhh, it’s a secret!



Space for numerous traditional campers, 5 electric hook-up pitches for visiting caravans and motorhomes. 4 bell tents, with an allotted second separate dining tent (with seating for at least 6 adults.) Toilets, showers (on a prepaid card system) and wash-up facilities all onsite.

Suitable For

Tents, glampers, caravans, motorhomes, groups (by prior arrangement) and dogs (on a lead) – yes.


In 1789 King George III took a spontaneous skinny dip in Weymouth (10 miles) prompting the start of a classic English seaside resort. Today, the town remains popular with visitors enticed by a golden beach and revitalised harbour. Also on the to-do list: the Sea Life Tower (0871 423 2110) and for all you adrenaline junkies, take a high-speed ride around the bay with Weymouth White Water (01789 989 2317.) The farm is only a 10 minute drive from the market town of Dorchester. Home to an eclectic mix of museums including: The Teddy Bear Museum (01305 266040), The Dinosaur Museum (01305 269880) and the fascinating Tutankhamun Exhibition (01305 269571.) The son of a stonemason, Thomas Hardy was born near Dorchester in 1840 and became a local architect. After the success of his fourth novel, 'Far From the Madding Crowd', Hardy was able give up the architect game and concentrate on his writing. Nearby towns are recognisable in his novels, although given different names: Dorchester became Casterbridge, Lulworth became Lulstead, Tolpuddle became Tolchurch and Sherborne became Sherton Abbas. A life-size statue of Hardy stands in The Grove.

Food & Drink

Dochester, Puddletown and Bockhampton offer many different pubs, cafes and restaurants that cater for all tastes. Yalbury Cottage (01305 262382) produce creative yet classical French dishes using only the finest seasonal British fish, meat, vegetables and dairy products. The Wise Man Public House (01305 261970) is a 400 year old thatched pub in a quiet village. The food, presentation and service are all excellent, and dogs are welcome too. The Blue Vinny Public House (01305 848228) has a warm, friendly country ambience with a cool, airy modern interior. The food is home cooked, and where possible the ingredients are seasonal and sourced locally from friends or trusted specialist suppliers. For something extra special, book a table at Dorset’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Sienna (01305 250022.) This tiny restaurant serves up a six course tasting menu, featuring accomplished, carefully crafted dishes. Booking the Sienna is essential and meal prices range from £25-£65.

Opening Times

March to October.


Plenty of room for tents across the sites well-manicured, flat field. 5 electric hook-up pitches for visiting caravans & motorhomes.

No availability showing at Thorncombe Farm.


Contact Thorncombe Farm, Thorncombe Farm, Higher Bockhampton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8QH

Show Map

Getting There

From the East: at the end of the A35 dual carriageway, before the bridge, turn left up the hill towards Higher Bockhampton. Go through the village towards Lower Bockhampton and the campsite is approximately 500 metres on the left.

From the North: on the A37 from Yeovil, approach Dorchester, go around the town and bypass to the A35 (towards Poole.) At the roundabout turn right in the direction of Kingston Maurward and Bockhampton. In approximately 1 mile (at the crossroads) turn left for Higher Bockhampton. Thorncombe Farm is in 0.1 miles on the right hand side.

Buses do run to Kingston Maurward but no further, so unfortunately there’s no bus route that passes the farm. That said, its only a short walk to the town, either by the road or the footpath through the water meadows (next to the River Frome.) Rail links are to either Dorchester West or South. We have many taxi services in Dorchester as well.


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