Knaveswell Farm

UK England South West England Dorset Swanage & Isle of Purbeck

  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Family glamping on a 156-acre dairy farm with woodland that's as beautiful as it is fun to explore

Dorset has a wealth of fantastic camping locations but for the glamping gaggle, few sites can match the comfort, quality and authentic rural experience of Knaveswell Farm. Early bookings are highly recommended at this 156-acre dairy farm – some dates in the school holidays get booked up to a year in advance. Being just a short way from the beaches at Studland, Swanage and Durdle Door, it's easy to see why this is one of the South West’s most popular glampsites.

Making your way to the site, you’ll have barely parked the car before the kids are practising their cartwheels and giving each other wheelbarrow rides across the farm’s lush green fields.

Four luxurious safari tents are scattered across the spacious field, making this an ideal base for large groups of families. Sat atop decking on a grass bank that overlooks acres of seemingly endless Dorset countryside, the tents come kitted out with all the usual kit and caboodle plus several neat creature comforts such as a comfy sofas, proper beds ready-made for your arrival, and a shower room on the back porch.

The wood-burning stove-cum-oven is just what you need for heating and eating. Save your veggie scraps for the pigs and try your best not to think about the Knaveswell-reared sausages waiting for you in your pre-ordered welcome pack.

Once settled into the new quarters, the little ones will soon be following friendly owners Jo and Paul to meet the farm animals. Jo is keen to pass on her knowledge of farm life and encourages guests to get involved with the lamb-feeding, egg-collecting and, of course, petting the two Shetland ponies Issy and Lana. Since no cars are allowed on site, this is a safe haven for kids of all ages. It's a great chance for them to develop a sense of independence and get stuck in to making friends, building dens and exploring the surrounding woodland.

With so much to discover onsite, it's easy to forget that this is a great base for unlocking the delights of Dorset. Perching high above Corfe village on a hill in a gap in the chalk ridge lies Corfe Castle. Not only was it one of the country's great strongholds during the civil war, but it also formed the inspiration for Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, so best enjoyed with a packed lunch of ham sandwiches and lashings of ginger beer. Once you've foiled any evil plans, take the steam train to Swanage, where you can toast to Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy over a beer from the Corfe Castle Brewery. And as the cloak of dusk descends, back at your off-grid tent, fire up the the stove and light a few candles to create a homely glow before bedtime.

Details

Facilities

4 tents spread across 2 fields. Each tent sleeps up to 6 (with a maximum of 5 adults) and comes equipped with a wood-burning stove/oven, large living area and comfortable beds. All tents are en suite with their own private toilet, basin and gas-powered shower. This is an off-grid site which means no electricity – candles and oil lamps provide the lighting.

Suitable For

Families, groups, dogs – yes. Hen & stag groups can also hire the entire site exclusively.

Nearby

No holiday in Dorset would be complete without seeing Corfe Castle (01929 481294); a fortification standing above the village of the same name, and a mere stones' throw from the campsite. There is an abundance of local footpaths and cycle trails to explore in an around Purbeck, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Lulworth and East Dorset boast some stunning beaches – Kimmeridge Bay, Studland Bay and Lulworth Cove are among the nearest. Swanage is 2½ miles away, and is best reached by a magical steam train (01929 425800). Take your own little monkeys to Monkey World (01929 462537) near Wareham to get to know the gibbons. The historic market town of Dorchester is within a half hour drive from the site. But the real attraction here is the Jurassic Coast, England's first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, where 185 million years of history is exposed as imposing cliffs, secluded coves and barrier beaches.

Food & Drink

The Greyhound Inn (01929 480205) in Corfe Castle is perhaps the quintessential English pubs. Check ahead to see whether they are hosting one of their regular food or beer festivals. For traditional pub grub and friendly service, you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere more welcoming than the Castle Inn (01929 400311), which is a quick five-minute stroll from the campsite. For special occasions, head to Mortons House (01929 480988); a 16th-century Elizabethan manor house serving modern British cuisine in its elegant award-winning restaurant. Purbeck Vineyard (01929 481525) is the place to go to sample some fine English wine. Phone ahead for a spot on one of their grape to glass tours.

Opening Times

Mid March to end October (also open specially for New Year and February half term).

Accommodation

4 luxury safari tents sleeping up to 6 guests There is also a self-catering farm cottage sleeping up to 6 guests.

No availability showing at Knaveswell Farm.

Location

Contact Knaveswell Farm, Knaveswell Farm, Knitson Lane, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5JB

Show Map

Getting There

Via Wareham: From the Wareham bypass, follow the A351 through Corfe Castle village and Harmans Cross towards Swanage. After the BP garage, take a left towards Knitson. Bear left when you see the signpost for Corfe Castle. Knaveswell Farm is on your right – look for the name plate on the fence at the entrance.

Via Poole/Sandbanks: Follow the signs to Swanage. Upon entering the outskirts of Swanage, turn right just past Ullwell Caravan Park. Take the next right, then another right at the end of the lane. Stay on this lane until you come to a grass mound with signposts to Corfe Castle. Carry straight on and you'll shortly see the nameplate for Knaveswell Farm on the fence at the entrance.

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