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Clayford Field Campsite

· Wimborne, Dorset, England
6 acres hosted by Sam T.
30 tent pitches
A low-key pop-up campsite next to the woods and National Trust-owned Holt Heath

A few hundred metres from a National Trust nature reserve and on the edge of a vast woodland, Clayford Field is both a hidden gem and a rambler’s dream. Footpaths lead north on to Holt Heath, home to rare plant species and reptiles, or south in to Uddens Plantation and through the trees to the Forest Inn pub. Friendly, laid back and with few frills, it's the ideal campsite for exploring Dorset away from the more crowded coastal campsites.

Despite its low-key location, Clayford Field is secured behind electric gates and campers are given an access code for contactless entry, so you can simply arrive, thumb your way in and find a spot in the six-acre field that's right for you. Choose between sunny pitches on the right-hand side of the meadow or shady spots under the oak trees to set up your tents or park your campervan. Though the site isn’t huge, even when it’s fully booked on the hottest bank holiday of the summer, there's still plenty of room between pitches and there’s always space for games. As the dark skies set in, you’ll see the benefits of being surrounded by so many trees, with minimal light pollution, there's superb stargazing (and bat watching) to be had before bed.

Clayford is a pop-up, summer-only campsite so the facilities are all temporary. Washblocks are in cabins on the edge of the meadow (one for the ladies, one for the gents) and there's an additional drinking water tap in the field but, for the most part, it's a simple campsite that's about space and freedom. Campfires are allowed. Bring your bikes, meanwhile, and it's less than half a mile down the track until you reach the Castleman Trailway cycle route (number 256 on the Sustrans National Cycle Network), that takes you west through the Stour Valley to Wimborne Minster or east towards the New Forest National Park. The initial part is a 17-mile stretch of disused railway line that makes for flat, easy riding that's great for families. By car, meanwhile, it's a half-hour drive to Bournemouth beach and 45 minutes to the Isle of Purbeck and the best of the Jurassic Coast.

Located in the hamlet of Clayford and surrounded by 1500 acres of forest and heathland & accessed from a bridleway, you will feel very remote yet only a short walk or drive from the picturesque town of Wimborne or Ferndown. Pick your own grass pitch, roughly 10x20 metres. on our large 6 acre field.  Once set up the local dog friendly pub is a short stroll or ride through the forest. we are located on the castleman trailway which is a 16.5 mile long stretch of gravelled walking and cycling route along the old railway, linking Ringwood to Poole and Dorchester. all vehicle free. We allow fires but don't forget, you must bring a fire pit to keep it off the ground. or half barrel firepits are available to rent*.(unless a temporary ban is in place). We have hot showers in the morning and flushing toilets.
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Wimborne, Dorset, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Sam T.Joined in March 2021
26 Ratings · 19 reviews
Natalie R.
September 4, 2023
Clayford field grass pitch
Lovely area but facility issues
Lovely area and plenty of walks to go on. Nice, quiet but busy campsite. Facilities were in a clean condition but at one point there was no running water in the toilets/sinks and the shower was cold.
Michelle I.
August 15, 2023
Clayford field grass pitch
Nice but could be improved
What could be improved ? Topping up the toilet facilities early morning or even night before and Sell logs - not treated fence posts which smell dreadful on a fire and are not likely to be very good for you to be breathing in
Deborah W.doesn't recommend
August 13, 2023
Clayford field grass pitch
Lovely site re size and location, however Ladies had no out of loo paper sun morning, the bag of wood for £10 consisted of treated posts so unhealthy and many visitors founds ticks on them (I know that’s nature)
Paul E.recommends
September 5, 2022
Clayford field grass pitch
Nice Campsite - dog friendly
Nice basic camp site. Dogs welcome which was great.
Colin H.
September 5, 2022
Clayford field grass pitch
Lovely spot
Rather noisy on one evening as there was a party adjacent to the camp until late at night,this spoilt what was otherwise a very good stay
Chris B.recommends
August 31, 2022
Clayford field grass pitch
Husband & wife away with dogs.
Host very helpful and pleasant. We could set up anywhere we liked with no limit to space. Lovely remote quit place to stay. Back to basic, but ideal for our needs. Would definitely stay again….
From the host
A rural back to nature campsite with hot showers and flushing toilets, only 10 miles from Bournemouth, Sandbanks or Christchurch beaches and surrounded by forest and heathland. A ten minute stroll will take you the 800 metres to the pub, serving great food and which has live bands on many weekends. There is also a great Chinese restaurant next door for take away or eat in dining. Bring your dogs and your bicycles to enjoy direct access straight into the forest and onto the Castleman Trailway cycle route, a 17-mile stretch of disused railway line that leads all the way to Poole or the New Forest depending on which way you angle your sights. Clayford Field Campsite is a cracking spot for those who like a bit of rural roaming on foot, as the site is surrounded by places to get out and stretch your legs. It is reached via two miles of gravel bridleway and encircled by the woods and fields of the Holt Heath National Nature Reserve, Uddens Park and Ferndown Forest. Ferndown and Wimborne Minster are both about 10 minutes’ drive away for urban bits like supermarkets, restaurants and banks. For nature enthusiasts, there is Holt Heath, which is one of the largest National Trust areas of its type in Dorset. Acquired by Sir John Bankes in the 1630s as part of Kingston Lacy's estate. Local plants include common heather, bell heather, cross-leaved heath, bog asphodel, sundews and marsh gentian. Birds include large populations of Dartford warbler, stonechat, curlew and nightjar. All six of Britain's reptile species are found here.
Nearby attractions

The campsite is just on the edge of Holt Heath, one of the largest National Trust heathlands in Dorset and easily accessed on foot from the campsite. The heath is one of the few places where all six native British reptile species are found and it's a boon for plant and wildlife. Go for a gentle walk spotting plants that range from bell heather to sundews, while listening out for birds like the Dartford warbler, stonechat or nightjar. Around 15 minutes away is Wimborne, home to a grand Minster and pleasant market square but also a good place to enjoy the River Stour (try swimming or paddleboarding from Eye Bridge). Just beyond the town (15–20 minutes by car) is the National Trust's Kingston Lacy Estate (01202 840630). Most people who come here will spend at least one day at the beach. It's a half-hour drive to Bournemouth (home to a lively pier and a beach voted 'best in the UK' in 2020) and a little more to Hengistbury Head. It's 40+ minutes to Corfe Castle, Lulworth Cove and the beaches around the Isle of Portland.

Food and drink

The Forest Inn (01202 894990) is a leisurely 10–15-minute stroll away, the cosy restaurant overlooks the 18th hole of their golf course and they have regular live music, tribute acts and quiz nights, always guaranteeing a fun night out. The Cross Keys Inn (01202 822555) is also a great option, less than 10 minutes away in the car, the 16th-century building is home to the friendly pub that serves lunch and evening meals alongside real ales and a real fire. A little further afield is The English Oak Vineyard (01258858205), located 20 minutes from Clayford Field, the vineyard is open for tasting tours for you to enjoy Dorset’s finest sparkling wines. You can soak up the surroundings, from the vineyard itself (some 23,000 vines) to the 18th-century farmhouse, finishing with a vineyard picnic.

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