Wildlife-watching campsites in Hainault Forest

A super-handy Essex escape for nature-hungry Londoners, with shady trails through ancient woodlands and spring bursts of bluebells.

95% (445 reviews)
95% (445 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Hainault Forest

Under £50

Star Hosts in Hainault Forest

12 top campsites in Hainault Forest with wildlife watching

78%
(55)

Daisy May’s Farm

10 units · Motorhomes, Tents20 acres · Bishop's Stortford, England
Our pop up campsite is set in 20 acres on a not for profit community farm. Come and join us in the great outdoors! Help collect the eggs, feed the chickens and milk the goat! There is always lots going on at Daisy May’s Farm! Children’s play areas, paddle stream, woodland walks and lots more! PITCH FEE INCLUDES ENTRY TO THE FARM & ALL ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS! Open 7 days a week. Coffee Cabin and Ollie’s Food Hut also serving hot food (Weekends & school holiday 10-3pm) Local pub - 5 mins walk Golf Course (crazy golf, top golf, 9 hole course, bar and food) - 5 mins walk Shop/post office/chip shop - 10 mins walk Toilets & shower ; hot gas shower available but we are a basic wild, mostly off grid site. No concrete heated toilet blocks I’m afraid! (Showers unavailable in Winter months) There will be mud. Bring your wellies! Drinking water and bins available. Bring a torch for walking around the site at night. The site is off grid and the toilet lights are solar operated! CARAVANS - ONLY BOOKABLE MAY - SEPTEMBERTENTS - CAMPER VANS - MOTORHOMES WELCOME ALL YEAR (all pitches are the same. No need to specify which type of unit you are booking) We look forwards to welcoming you soon!
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£25
 / night
97%
(116)

The Barn KT9

21 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents3 acres · Greater London, South East England
A unique rural campsite in Surrey, a stone's throw from London's Zone 6
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£12
 / night
96%
(42)

Thamesview Camping

25 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents12 acres · Essex, East Anglia
Meadow camping in a riverside village – 45 minutes from central London
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£20
 / night
95%
(11)

Holistic Woods Campsite WILD

24 units · Motorhomes, Tents20 acres · Woodbridge, England
We are a WILD campsite with character and history. Our most popular pitch is our beautiful SSSI woodland. There are only 25 pitches available. We have a mid wild pitch on the outskirts of the woods, lovely grassed area between trees. Our top field is perfect for motorhomes & caravans. Plenty of space to breath and relax. Located on the stunning heathlands of the Sutton Heath. We are surrounded by beautiful woodland walks, including the Sandlings walk and just 10 minutes from the river Deben. We have a bus stop at the top of the track and Melton train station is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive. There are access points onto public footpaths, leading to Rendlesham Forest. A famous site for UFOs! Sutton Hoo is a stone's throw away. Bring your bikes and explore the area on wheels. There is water access and portaloos. We do not have showers yet. Blue/grey waste must be taken away. LEAVE NO TRACE
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£13
 / night
75%
(4)

The Hop Farm

109 units · Motorhomes, Tents500 acres · Brenchley, England
The Hop Farm is set in 500 acres of unspoilt Kent countryside, known as the Garden of England. Flat grass fields and surrounded by private woodland and also fields abut the River Medway, ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking. Campers have access to newly refurbished facilities, state of the art showers, toilets and washing facilities. Raised BBQ's and raised firepits are permitted. It's the ideal location for a peaceful escape with endless skies providing memorable sunsets and stars unhindered by artificial light.
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£27
 / night
94%
(76)

Chigborough Farm

48 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents130 acres · Essex, East Anglia
Boating, biking and bell tent glamping on a farm near the Blackwater Estuary, where good food and walkable pubs are also on the menu.
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£13
 / night
Booked 15 times

Painters Farm Campsite

46 units · Motorhomes, Tents3 acres · Whitstable, England
Nestled beside the village of Painters Forstal, Faversham, Kent. Our two acre orchard site with grass pitches. The campsite lies within seventeen acres on the slope of The Kent Downs, a designated area of natural beauty. The Alma ale house at the edge of the farm serves Shepherds Neame and hot meals all year round. Two acre quiet cherry orchard site based around a Tudor Manor house 1547 that gives its name to our village. Surrounded by orchards and open countryside but within easy reach of Faversham, Whitstable and Canterbury. Pitches for tents, campervans, motorhomes and touring caravans with or without electric hook up on a level grassy site. Pets are welcome and a crew member is always around the reception or farm to help out. The Campsite is open from 1st march until 31st October. The local area is awash with things to do. Faversham once the busiest port in 17th century England for its wool trade has the longest complete medieval street in the country. A wealth of little shops, cafes and pubs as well as the country’s oldest family owned brewery Shepherd Neame. Whitstable sitting just along the coast, famed for its Oysters and Sunsets is a fun beachside community bustling in the summer months and hauntingly bleak in the winter ones. The World Heritage sites of Canterbury are just a fifteen minute trip away with all its well documented history and plentiful shops and eateries.
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£24
 / night
98%
(82)

Mad Hatters Campsite

20 units · Glamping, Tents12 acres · Ely, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia
Cosy year-round glamping and seasonal camping in a fenland meadow with views of Ely cathedral
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£19.50
 / night
97%
(132)

Beech Estate Campsite

55 units · Glamping, Tents25 acres · Battle, England
Tent pitch camping and wild glamping in a Sussex woodland hideaway
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£24
 / night
93%
(36)

The Nut Plat Retreat

3 units · Glamping1 acre · Kent, South East England
Antique living wagons on the banks of the River Bourne, with a charming orchard setting, a pub down the lane and a history unlike anywhere else
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£110
 / night
98%
(42)

Woodlands Camping

8 units · Motorhomes, Tents200 acres · Ropley, England
A back-to-basics campsite in the South Downs National Park
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£25
 / night
95%
(66)

Cattlestone Farm

36 units · Glamping, Motorhomes, Tents60 acres · West Sussex, South East England
Friendly camping and glamping on a Sussex farm, with animals to meet, a pond to swim in, and the South Downs nearby.
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£35
 / night

Dog-friendly getaways

Available this weekend

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Wildlife-watching campsites in Hainault Forest guide

Overview

Once part of the Forest of Essex, this age-old 280-acre expanse sprawling northeast from London has been protected since back in the 12th century. Dive into its horse-riding, cycling and walking routes, keeping an eye out for some of the 130 bird species among the trickling streams, whispering oak trees and wide-open heathland. A ‘monster trail’ keeps kids busy, and the whole area is dog-friendly. Autumn is a delightful season to explore Hainault Forest, with foliage slipping into rust-red clothes, while spring is perfect for vibrant blooms. You’ll want to book nearby campsites well ahead, especially in July and August when things get busy.

Where to go

Lee Valley Country Park

Beyond Hainault Forest itself, campers can explore the nearby Lee Valley, which stretches along the River Lea northeast from London into Buckinghamshire and Essex. Some of it was transformed into London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 games, bringing a welcome green lung to the capital’s east. Its handful of campsites take in tent spots, caravan parks, cosy lodges and pre-pitched safari tents, while adventure activities swing from white-water rafting to rowing along the river to leisurely horse riding.

Epping Forest

Another favourite nature spot on London’s fringes, Epping Forest sits just north of Hainault on the Essex-Hertfordshire border. With endless hiking paths, cycling routes, horseback trails and everything from paintball to windsurfing, you’ll be spoilt for entertainment. And while you can’t pitch up in the forest itself, there are wild-camping and caravanning sites on its edges.

Kent Coast

Kent’s beach-strung northern coastline awaits within a two-hour drive of Hainault Forest, offering up lively, bohemian beach towns such as Whitstable and Margate alongside miles of seaside walks, plenty of watersports and tempting ocean-view camping spots.

Suffolk Coast

Trundle less than two hours east from Hainault Forest to reach the pretty villages, Tudor mansions and pastel-painted resorts dotted around Suffolk’s sleepy littoral, not to mention the unmissable Algo-Saxon burial mounds at Sutton Hoo. Rewarding hikes lead along the 96-km Suffolk Coast Path, with tempting stops including Aldeburgh. There’s also fabulous coastal cycling, along with sunset horse rides along the golden beaches.

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