A peaceful, adult-only campsite 10 minutes' from the Jurassic Coast
In the height of the school holidays, when seaside campsites bulge and spread and ice-cream vans jangle their tune down on the waterfront, places like Hobby Farm can become true sanctuaries. Equidistant from Dorset’s highest point, Lewesdon Hill (three miles north), and it’s lowest, the beaches or the Jurassic Coast (three miles south), this rural retreat in Marshwood Vale is a thoroughly peaceful slice of the Dorset pie. It’s both a secluded backwater and a well-located rambler’s paradise – dogs are welcome, there’s a good pub down the lane and every local footpath leads somewhere scenic, but when you simply want to stay put and relax, there are few quieter spots to be.
Hobby Farm is an adults-only campsite, which is undoubtedly the main reason that there’s such a notable sense of calm. But the general setting plays an obvious role too. The camping meadow is bound by mature trees and hedgerows, for example, and centres around a large pond, beside which alders and willows grow. There are just nine pitches in total, ensuring there’s never a crowd, and no electrical hook-ups, so old-fashioned tent campers reign supreme. A pair of traditional shepherd’s huts have been kitted out for glampers, too, and parked up in their own space – a handy option for walkers who don’t want to carry a tent.
If you’re open to ideas, amiable hosts Tom and Gaby are happy to recommend local pubs or walking routes. They also run the stables a few yards up the lane from the campsite and are happy to offer livery to campers who want to bring their horses along too. If you’ve got the time you can walk all the way to the beach – the nearest being at Seatown, where the Anchor Inn makes and excellent viewpoint-cum-watering-hole – or hop in the car and drive. It’s 15 minutes to Bridport, 15 minutes to Charmouth, 20 to West Bay and 20 to Lyme Regis, each one being worth several hours of your time. Though be careful not to eat into your camping time too much – it’s tough to put a limit on chilling around the campfire, fishing in the pond or paddling around in the small white row boat that waits invitingly on the waters’ edge.
Whitchurch Canonicorum, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Hobby F.Joined in July 2019
From the host
Hobby Farm is a countryside campsite retreat in the heart of the Dorset Marshwood Vale, West Dorset, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are numerous footpaths leading to the nearby coastal beach at Charmouth and it is just a 10 minute drive to the bustling seaside town of Lyme Regis.
There’s also an abundance of wildlife all around the site with otters and ducklings to be found on the pond, horses grazing nearby and even a badgers set on the hill. There’s also a lovely country pub serving great food and ale just a 500 yard walk down the lane too!
Choose from our 9 non-electric grass pitches for tents, trailer tents, campervans or, if you are looking for ‘posh camping’ why not try one of our 2 well-equipped glamping Shepherd’s Huts. Otter's Nest and Fox's Den. both situated at each end of our fishing pond.
You're a matter of minutes from the Jurassic Coast: Head south-west for Charmouth, one of the best places for fossil-hunting, and south-east for the small fishing town of West Bay, where you can join family-friendly mackerel-fishing trips with West Bay Charters (01308 421800). Bustling and historic Lyme Regis is a few miles further than Charmouth with The Cobb, the 13th century harbour arm, a Dorset must-see. Lyme Regis is also home to Dinosaurland Fossil Museum (01297 443541), which helps you dip into the history of the coastline, explaining its geology and why it is now so famous. Back inland, the market town of Bridport is just under six miles from Hobby Farm Campsite, with a regular market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a leisure centre, cinema and its own brewery, Palmers, which offers tours (01308 422396). The former Cistercian monastery, Forde Abbey, is around seven miles (a 20-minute drive), meanwhile, with beautiful gardens to explore.
Food and drink
It's a 10-minute walk to The Five Bells (01297 489262), with an excellent beer garden in summer and Palmers Ales on tap. Further afield, The Anchor (01297 489215), overlooking the sea at Seatown is a 10-minute drive, while West Bay’s Rise (01308 422011) café/bar is a recommended all-rounder with harbour views. For seafood, you might like to try The Watch House Café, which is right on the beach (01308 459330). Bridport has a wide range of good quality eateries to choose from and there’s also a farmers’ market in the town on the second Saturday of the month. At Beaminster, Brassica (01308 538100) and Ollerod (01308 862200) are particular highlights.