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Southover Woods and Camping

· Dorchester, Dorset, England
60 acres hosted by Chloe S.
1 glamping pitch · 14 tent pitches
Off-leash friendly
Pets can be off-leash at some sites.
Nearly wild camping in a vast Dorset woodland

All the joy of wild camping is offered at Southover Woods in rural Dorset – with one or two of the rough edges taken away. For one thing, this is a bonafide campsite so there’s no worries over being asked to move on and, for another, there’s the important business of access to a loo. Nonetheless, these small concessions to campsite life can't take away from the back-to-nature experience of camping here in rustic woodland surroundings. You can't drive to your pitch, pop into a clubhouse or pick up supplies from the campsite shop but you can truly immerse yourself in nature. You can sling a hammock between trees, you can have acres of wood to yourself and you can enjoy the simple pleasures of going off grid: campfires, birdsong and breathing easy among the trees.

The choice of pitches at Southover Woods is more like a choice of separate campsites. Biggest of the lot is the enormous Tenders Pitch which offers a yurt, an outdoor kitchen shelter, its own facilities and space for up to 30 people to pitch tents together among the trees. At the other end of the scale are Decanter, Lordship and Villager pitches; these well-spaced clearings in the trees each sleep up to eight and share a loo and shower. And, if you prefer to be bathed in sunshine, the meadow pitches at the edge of Southover Woods will be just right for you.

The whole idea here is to offer people the chance to relax in nature and if you embrace that idea, you could spend your weekend or week right here; the woods stretch to 60 acres after all. But the paths that criss-cross the woodland are a tempting way to explore too. The long-distance Hardy Way and Jubilee Trail offer alluring routes to follow to nearby rivers and villages. Beyond that, if you’re happy to get back in the car, there’s all of Dorset to explore including its Jurassic Coast, just half an hour’s drive away.

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72 Ratings · 35 reviews
Samantha J.recommends
June 9, 2024
Tenders Pitch
Amazing group pitch
Wonderful semi-wild pitch. We have tried the meadow pitch here before (would also recomend) but booked the Tenders pitch as it included a yurt and outdoor kitchen which was perfect for a friend who doesn't enjoy camping experiences too much. The site is huge! Amazing value for money if there is a group of you going. The site has everything you could need. The woods are very close to the Dorset coast. The woods themselves are beautiful and bright pink from Rhododendron's. The children had great fun exploring and playing hide and seek in the woods. Cannot recommend enough.
Yağız O.recommends
June 9, 2024
Lordship Pitch
Really friendly people, amazing place. I'll definitely go back.
Sammy P.recommends
May 12, 2024
Lordship Pitch
Highly recommended
Such a beautiful locations. The forest pitches are amazing and spacious. It was a great all around experience.
Zack B.recommends
May 6, 2024
Meadow Camping 2
Remote camping
What a fantastic location! We turned up with a group of 10 and was met by the owner who was very friendly and helpful. Our pitch had a firepit aswell as some benches surrounding it which we all sat around in the evening. The location is very remote which was lovely, surrounded by woods and open fields. I would highly reccomend anyone to this site, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope to return one day! Thank you
Paul M.recommends
April 21, 2024
DayDreams - Large Groups
Wild camping
Exceptional. It is the 3rd time we use this campsite and we absolutely love it. Access road it is a bit rough tough.
Megan D.recommends
September 11, 2023
Craftsman Pitch - Large Groups
Camping with friends
We stayed at the Craftsman’s pitch and it was absolutely wonderful. You are in the middle of nature and it was just so peaceful. The road to get in is quite a long and bumpy dirt road so just be prepared for that. We will definitely be back to a Hipcamp
Dorchester, Dorset, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Chloe S.Joined in March 2022
From the host
Welcome to Southover Woods and Camping, our Family ran, Wild Woodland Campsite. Nestled within the heart of Dorset's embrace, Southover Woods invites you to an extraordinary location spanning over acres of private woodland. A sanctuary for those seeking solace in the wild, our campsite boasts a unique blend of seclusion and communal spirit. Each campsite, carefully dispersed amidst the Trees, centres around a mesmerising fire pit embraced by rustic seating, offering campers both warmth and connection. Our accommodations cater to a diverse preference of camper, from the adventurous charm of hammocks in Hazel Wood to the serene escape of our Bohemian style Yurt pitch.
Nearby attractions

There are footpaths and bridleways through the trees and beyond. Well-signposted, long-distance routes that pass through the woods include the Hardy Way and the Jubilee Trail. Max Events (0117 950 8080) operate group activities including paintballing, quad biking and archery nearby. Wessex Fly Fishing (01305 848460) is just outside the woods and the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum (01305 848 237) and the National Trust’s Cloud Hill (01929 405616), once a rural hideaway for T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) are attractions within five miles of site. Monkey World (01929 462537) and Bovington Tank Museum (01929 405096) are not much further. Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is about 15 miles south of Southover Woods with seaside Weymouth, pretty Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and fossil-strewn Kimmeridge Bay all about a half-hour drive away.

Food and drink

Cooking on the campfire is all part of the experience at Southover Woods so that is heartily encouraged but if you need supplies, the closest shop is a small convenience store in Puddletown, about three miles away. The nearest pub is also in the village, called The Blue Vinny.

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