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Frome Meadow Campsite

· Dorchester, Dorset, England
14 acres hosted by Sam C.
49 tent pitches
Recent Hipcampers say this Hipcamp is great for families and kids.
A magical riverside retreat near Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Few outdoors experiences satisfy our appetite for adventure like a spot of wild swimming. On a balmy summer’s day, there’s nothing quite like a cooling dip in a tranquil lake or sun-dappled swimming hole. Waterside campsites – amongst the most magical of settings for a night under canvas – are rarer than you might expect in the UK. So on first hearing about this East Dorset campsite in 2018, right beside a river, we knew we had to dive straight in. A few years on it’s become a go-to destination for a summer camp and ‘dip-nic’.

Set on a dairy farm just outside the historic village of Moreton, Frome Meadow Campsite spans some 12 spectacular acres bordered by wildlife-rich woodland. Like all things beautifully ephemeral, it only pops-up for the month of August, so be sure to book well in advance. Campers lucky enough to secure one of the privileged pitches in this sprawling space enjoy unparalleled access to the River Frome. Exclusively accessed by patrons of the campsite, this private stretch of river is perfect for paddling and swimming for the more able (and more cold-hardy). The current can be quite strong in places and campers are reminded to take the usual common-sense precautions (particularly in the deeper areas), with children needing to be supervised at all times. But with a bit of food packed and jelly shoes on feet, the little ones will be content for hours splashing about and spotting minnows and frogs beneath the surface.

The camping experience, itself, is what you may expect of a rural site that only opens for one month each year. It’s simple, off-grid and off-the-beaten-track but highly suited to the sort of character that likes swimming in rivers rather than swimming pools. Facilities-wise, you’ll find eco-friendly compost loos, hot showers and a washing-up area but little else besides. Owner Catherine’s encouraging attitude to wild swimming extends to her general outlook on camping too. Campfires are more than allowed, so you can spend evenings toasting marshmallows and regaling friends with tales from the riverbank, and there’s a relaxed ‘pitch-where-you-like’ policy. She does, however, draw the line at a certain number of tents tents, being careful to avoid any danger of overcrowding despite all the space.

Follow one of the many bridleways emanating from the campsite and you’ll soon end up at Moreton. This charming village is steeped in history, with its most famous son T.E. Lawrence (more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia) commemorated in the heritage trail that takes in his rural retreat and grave at St Nicholas’ church. And if you haven’t sated your watery desires back at camp, the Jurassic Coast – including Lulworth Cove and iconic Durdle Door – is just 20 minutes’ away by car.

We invite you to camp in the meadows alongside the beautiful River Frome, where you can go wild swimming in this private stretch of the river and cook over a campfire in a peaceful green space normally only enjoyed by local wildlife and the cows.  We regret the campsite is only open in August each year. The campsite is a safe distance from the river, so children can run about, fly kites or play Frisbee while you relax by your tent. The site has woods and hedges all around so you can choose a pitch in the sun or shade. The river is just around the corner and there are grassy banks with lots of shade, where you can paddle or take a dip on a hot summer day. Children must always be accompanied by an adult by the riverside as some areas are deep and fast flowing. We do allow campfires, wood is available for sale. There are 7 compost loos, 5 showers and a washing-up sink and draining board to make your stay more comfortable. You may get a mobile signal, but no Wi-Fi on site, we encourage you to switch off and relax whilst you are here. Well behaved dogs are welcome, but please be considerate of other campers, keep them under control and clean up after them. Dogs should be kept on a lead around cattle. You may have to make more then one booking on different grass pitches in order to book all the dates you want but you will not need to move your tent to a different pitch. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Dorchester, 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 C.Joined in July 2018
137 Ratings · 141 reviews
Dean W.doesn't recommend
September 5, 2023
Grass Pitch
Was not what we expected, big open piece of land. Toilets are terrible. River was really clean and nice and enjoyed a swim . Fire wood was a hit . 6/10
Angharad B.recommends
September 1, 2023
Grass Pitch
Really quiet and clean campsite. My only complaint is that the grass was a bit long in places but it wasn’t a big deal.
Richard M.recommends
August 29, 2023
Grass Pitch
Can't wait until next August!!
I loved camping here! It is a beautiful location. Excellent facilities! Hot showers, Toilets, Washing up station etc. The Field is good and level in most places! Everyone is well spaced for privacy! The river is beautiful and great for swimming! Lots of things to do locally! Museums, Walled Gardens, Falconry Centre, etc. Dorchester is only 15 mins away in the car and is a lovely town with plenty to see and do. The little shop sells wood for campfires as well as locally produced honey and jam! Only thing i would say is buy more wood for your camp fire than you think you will need, as it is very dry and burns fast! Great to have a lovely warm camp fire!! We will definitly be back next year! Thank you again!
Lyle A.recommends
August 28, 2023
Grass Pitch
It was a lovely campsite with excellent facilities and plenty of space. The shop was well stocked with anything you might need, and the river was a nice spot to swim.
Liz K.recommends
August 25, 2023
Grass Pitch
Wow what a brilliant find! Really good location for exploring the area. The facilities were really good, lots of space too. They have a handy shop where you can hire fire pits and buy wood and marshmallows! We will be back! The kids loved the hay bales too
Poppy B.recommends
August 24, 2023
Grass Pitch
Star Gazing perfection!
We had a wonderful stay at Frome Meadows! The river was a beautiful added extra to an already great campsite. The facilities were great, cleaned daily and maintained well. The stars were so so clear, I’ve never seen them like that before! Defo recommends bringing a spare blanket so you can make the most of the star gazing opportunities. We saw countless shooting stars and constellations - it was truly magical :) We were able to buy plenty firewood and kindling for our fire pit at the little store which was perfect. the store also had lots of helpful info of local things to do and other bits and bobs. The only issue we had was the lane leading up to the site was very bumpy and was a bit of a pain coming in and out. But this is a seriously minimal issue - we would love to come back to Frome Meadows - thank you so much for letting us enjoy your land :)
From the host
We invite you to camp in the meadows near the beautiful River Frome. You can go wild swimming in this private stretch of the river, however it is not suitable for kayaks or paddleboards due to shallow areas. Cook over your own campfire in a peaceful green space normally only enjoyed by local wildlife and the cows. Please bring a firepit for your campfire in the hot dry weather. ​You may pitch where you like, and set up camp with your friends. This unspoiled site provides the essentials; compost loos, hot showers, a washing up area and a small shop selling logs, charcoal and marshmallows. We offer nearly wild camping where you can enjoy the simple life - swimming, paddling, stargazing, and seeing wildlife in a natural setting. ​Moreton is a popular destination for visitors, it is a 15 minute walk from the meadow and there are miles of walks and cycle paths nearby. There are many local attractions including Lulworth Cove, the Tank Museum, Monkey World, the seaside towns of Weymouth and Swanage, and lots of pretty Dorset villages to explore. ​Although when you are settled in this quiet field in the middle of our family- run dairy farm, you may not want to leave.
Nearby attractions

Moreton village is 15 mins walk way. This charming village is synonymous with T.E. Lawrence, more commonly know as Lawrence of Arabia. Visit his rural cottage Clouds Hill (01929 405616), now maintained by the National Trust, and his grave at St Nicholas’ Church where you can also view the ornately stencilled windows. The churchyard backs on to The Walled Garden (01929 462243) a lovely spot for a stroll or a spot of afternoon tea. Also nearby, Sculpture by the Lakes (07720637808) is a tranquil art-filled haven that hosts regular events and courses. For a day out with the kids, Bovington Tank Museum (01929 462359) and Monkey World (01929 462537) are both within 3 miles of the campsite. For a day at the beach, Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and the Jurassic Coast are about 6 miles away, while Weymouth is a little further along.

Food and drink

There are plenty of pubs within easy reach of camp. The nearest local is The Frampton Arms (01305 852253) a 2-minute drive away. The Countryman Inn (01305 852666) at East Knighton is famed locally for its Sunday carvery, while The Blue Vinny (01305 848228) serves an array of dishes including wood-fired pizzas. The Wise Man (01305 261970) serves an inventive menu of locally sourced dishes, and for a slice of a cream tea or a spot of lunch head to The Dovecote Café (01929 462243) in Moreton’s Walled Garden.

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