Airstreams in Wareham Forest with campfires

Walk, cycle, and camp in these ancient Dorset woodlands.

93% (7 reviews)
93% (7 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Wareham Forest

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Airstreams in Wareham Forest with campfires guide

Overview

With more than 1,500 hectares of woodlands and heathlands to explore, Wareham Forest provides plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds. Hike the 13-mile Wareham Forest Way through the heart of the forest, or choose from several short walks and circuits such as the Woodlark Trail, a favourite for families. Cyclists won’t want to miss the tree-lined Sika Trail, after which you can picnic among the trees or enjoy lunch at a country pub. The forest is well known for its wildlife, so keep a lookout for Sika deer, rare birds, and sand lizards.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for a 5-star camping experience: Wareham Forest Tourist Park has grass pitching for tents and powered hard-standing sites for caravans and motorhomes. There’s also a heated swimming pool and children’s playground on-site and a country pub within walking distance.
  • Best for caravans and motorhomes: Birchwood Touring Park has a choice of grass, hard-standing, and gravel pitches, all with direct access to the forest trails. Electric hook-ups and TV aerials are available too.
  • Best for peace and quiet: Wooders Campsite has spacious grass pitches, bell tents for hire, and fire-pits, set on a rural working farm.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Holiday parks and caravan sites can book up quickly, especially in July and August, and during school holidays. Book at least three months in advance if you plan to visit at this time. 
  2. You will need to pay a deposit to secure your campsite reservation; some sites ask for the full payment prior to arrival. 
  3. Be sure to check seasonal opening and closing dates, which vary by campsite. Some campsites open from Easter through October, while others stay open year-round.

When to go

Summer is peak season in Wareham Forest, and parking can fill up quickly—make an early start to snag a spot. Outdoor activities are possible year-round, but the woodlands are particularly photogenic in the autumn months, with their ever-changing canopy of fall foliage. Wildlife watching is often most rewarding in the early morning and early evening.

Know before you go

  • Wareham Forest is located in central Dorset, about a 20-minute drive west of Poole. Trains run from Poole to Wareham (a 10-minute journey), from where it’s a half-mile walk to the forest. 
  • There is free parking at Sika Trail, Woolsbarrow, Stroud Bridge, and Sugar Hill, all with direct access to Wareham Forest.
  • Many trails at Wareham Forest are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

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