Situated on a road between two National Nature Reserves, it is difficult to compete with the countryside credentials of Camp Hartland. Blissfully rural and wonderfully quiet, the greens of the ancient Dorset heathland are dotted throughout the year with the ever-changing colour of wildflowers. In winter it’s the brown and white of crispy morning frosts, overlooked by circling hen harriers. Then, when summer comes, the purple haze of bell heather spreads into the grey waters of the nearby moors. Nestled in the midst of this wild and natural landscape is the 28 day pop-up site itself, a destination that clearly received Mother Nature’s memo: "Keep it simple, keep it green and keep it peaceful".
Three miles from Wareham and only a little further to the coast, Hartland Farm is a historic smallholding that is now a working stables. While horses frolic in the fields, a grassy heathland stretch is set aside for hardy campers and a couple of rustic family bathrooms have been readied for their arrival. Hot showers inside a wooden hut are accompanied by a washing up area. But beyond this there's very little onsite – just the way it should be. There are no electric hook-ups or chemical points, a positive approach by the owners to encourage only campers looking for that back-to-basics, authentic experience. And authentic it is, with the working farm on the doorstep and sheep grazing in the next-door field. Chickens scratch as they please, supplying eggs to the farmhouse, where you can also collect a morning croissant, perfect for breakfast.
While the site merits attention for its simplicity and welcoming atmosphere, Camp Hartland’s location dusts the icy on the cake. The nearest neighbour is a beautiful thatched pub that has a large summer garden, while the market town of Wareham, 5 minutes by car, boasts a 10th-century wall that give views over the medieval settlement and across the waterfields beyond. It is the dynamic heritage coast, however, that draws the crowds, with rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, secluded coves and unique formations like Old Harry Rocks. For all of these costal attractions Camp Hartland is well located and walkers can join fabulous sea-front footpaths just a stones throw from the site.
This is a campsite of old; an easy-going, peaceful place that boasts little more than what is required. Good, well-maintained sanitary facilities, a grassy patch to pop the tent and a welcome spot to kindle the campfire. While the less observant flock to their road map’s designated motorhome compound, this little gem retains its quiet charm and unpretentious beauty – a 28 day hideout in Dorset’s best position.
2 family washrooms with hot showers. A gaggle of hens onsite which supply eggs, while there are also fresh baked croissants and pain au chocolat to collect from the kitchen door in the morning - orders taken for those the evening before. The farm is a working livery yard so there are often horses being trained and campers can watch them schooled by their owners each morning. A barn offers some sanctuary from bad weather.
Tents, campervans, couples, families and kids welcome.
The nearest sizeable settlement is the traditional market town of Wareham sandwiched between the rivers Piddle and Frome. Each summer it plays host to the Purbeck Film Festival (07939 968238), with films projected against the old city walls. In the other direction lays hilltop Corfe Castle (01929 481294), reminiscent of a fairy tale, something accentuated when the steam train (01929 425800) chugs past bound for Swanage (08704 420680). It is here that you'll find Durlston Country Park (01929 424443), an area of grass and woodland strung across the dramatic coastline. Walk to Dancing Ledge in the west, Old Harry Rocks in the east, or back inland to Kingston. Kimmeridge Bay (01929 481044), Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are all a short drive away, unique coastal formations that epitomise the beauty of the Jurassic Coast. Closer to home, nature lovers should wander to Stoborough Heath Nature Reserve (08456 003078) and Hartland Moor Nature Reserve (08456 003078), either side of the campsite.
Food & Drink
It's a 10 minute walk to The Halfway Inn (01929 480402), a beautiful and historic pub with a thatched roof, accommodating owners, good food and fine ales. Chickens onsite supply (hopefully) enough eggs and you can order croissants and pain au chocolat to collect from the kitchen door each morning.
A 28 day pop-up site open in August. Other times available on request.
The Owner Says
Camp Hartland offers you a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of your busy lives and sample the great outdoors exactly as it should be. A choice of beautiful beaches just a short drive away for you to brace yourself for an invigorating sea swim, lie on the silky sand, take country walks or sit by your tent reading a good book. Whatever your pasttime ... we look forward to seeing you soon.
Basic grassy pitches with no electric hook-ups.Check Availability
Camp Hartland is based at Hartland Stud. Turn left into Soldiers Rd off A351 (between Wareham and Corfe) opposite the Halfway Inn. Carry on for half a mile, Hartland Stud sign on left. Camp Hartland is signposted in August.
Excellent train service into Wareham (0845 600 0650) on the London, Waterloo to Weymouth, line. (2.5 hours from Waterloo).
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