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Woodfrys Farm
32 reviews
· Dorset Sp7 0 Db, England
6 acres
10 units
1 Glamping
7 Tent
A sustainable, family-run smallholding in rural Dorset with a small lakeside campsite
The lake, the cows, the chalk stream… Woodfrys Farm isn’t just a campsite, it’s a taste of rural Dorset. This 25-acre smallholding, nestled below Melbury Hill in Melbury Abbas, is home to Liam, Hannah, their children and herds of pedigree rare breeds like Hereford cattle and British Lop pigs. Tawny owls and Soprano Pipistrelle bats can be spotted in the sky at night, while ducks, herons and the occasional egret take the dayshift. There’s room on the farm for campers too, of course. But only a few, and only if you book early enough to bag a space in the hundred-year-old shepherd's hut or one of the small handful of pitches available. Surrounded by mature trees, Woodfrys is an easy place to relax. There are two camping areas, the Water Meadow and the Ridge. The former is just for tents and is set between the campsite’s one-acre lake – crowned by a beautiful willow on an island – and a clear chalk stream that’s ideal for dipping your toes in on a hot summers day. The Ridge, meanwhile, is on a raised bank overlooking the meadow and valley and can accommodate a couple of campervans as well as tents. All pitches have their own picnic table and fire pit and are each individually mown into the grass. You can’t choose your exact spot in advance, since Hannah and Liam rotate the pitches to protect the ground, but if you choose the meadow you’ll always get a waterfront patch. From the recycling and the composting loos, to the ‘Shower Shack’ made out of locally sourced waney edge larch, everything here is done with sustainability in mind. The dedication to the place's history and sustainability is best seen in the shepherd's hut, an original herdsman's hut built in Shaftesbury over 100 years ago and beautifully restored with a bed and wood-burner whilst also kept humble without mod cons. It comes with a separate 'field kitchen' alongside, the timber finish fitting perfectly amongst the agricultural surroundings, which includes Liam and Hannah's productive market garden a short stroll away – in the last few years, the couple have begun planting up areas with orchards and soft fruits so that they can provide fruit and veg to campers and locals alike. Free range eggs from their chickens are also up for grabs at the gates, fresh from the farm hens. If you want to get fully immersed in nature, the farm’s well located on the western edge of the Cranborne Chase AONB, with Melbury Beacon across the other side of the valley (a scenic walk from the campsite) and Fontmell Down just beyond. Swathes of this land are owned by the National Trust and the area is also within a Dark Sky Reserve, meaning there is just as much to enjoy here on a clear starry night as there is on a sunny day. The pretty hilltop town of Shaftesbury is within walking distance too, with streets that are (literally) out of a Hovis advert and, for a long day out, it’s a 40-minute drive to the Jurassic Coast.
Wildlife watching
Natural features
River, stream, or creek
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Dorset Sp7 0 Db, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Hannah J.Joined in January 2021
30 Ratings · 32 reviews
Lucy S.recommends
August 6, 2022
The Water Meadow
The ca,psite was quiet and picturesque. Pitches were really large and we could choose the one we liked. We were able to walk up the lane onto a couple of footpaths so it was easy to walk from the site. We enjoyed having a campfire each night. Saw and heard lots of wildlife
Dominic B.recommends
August 1, 2022
The Water Meadow
Favourite campsite
Amazing location, so peaceful and the hosts, Hannah and Liam, are exceptional!
Matt W.recommends
July 31, 2022
The Water Meadow
Really beautiful campsite! Kids loved the stream and facilities and location were amazing.
Kyle K.recommends
July 27, 2022
The Water Meadow
Such a awesome camping spot. Everything was perfectly set up. Highly recommended. Thank you
Gerard M.recommends
July 25, 2022
The Ridge
We loved the site and the way it was carefully thought out. Hannah was very helpful without being intrusive. We liked it so much, we booked a few more days later in the summer.
Warren P.recommends
July 19, 2022
The Water Meadow
Perfect, peaceful and beautiful.
Absolutely stunning. Beautiful location, each pitch was perfectly located. The additional little personal touches made our stay even better, freezer, charging points, logs available to purchase, bench on each pitch, well located toilets etc. Liam and Hannah were there on hand whenever needed. A peaceful getaway - even with a 4 year old - the stream was certainly an excellent little find for our little one to paddle in the heat. Just a beautiful perfect place. We can't wait to return.
From the host
Woodfrys Farm is a wild-ish campsite in the most scenic of settings. If you want to get back to nature in fantastic surroundings, then this campsite is for you. Nestled in the North Dorset countryside in easy striking distance of Shaftesbury, you can decide whether to go out or relax onsite watching the birdlife on the lake, paddling in the stream, or walking the meadow. We're in the Cranbourne Chase AONB, which is a Dark Sky Reserve, with dark nights and starry skies. Torches are a must There's two camping areas - the Water Meadow or the Ridge. The Water Meadow is just for tents and is set in between the lake and the chalk stream, whilst the Ridge is on a raised bank looking down over the Water Meadow and the valley. Ridge Pitches are suitable for tents or campervans, and electric hook up is available if you want it. All pitches are mown into the meadow and are generous in size, approximately 10m by 10m. Facilities Each pitch is supplied with a picnic table and fire pit with logs available to purchase. A large tub with kindling and lightings is £5, all sustainably harvested on the farm. In the Water Meadow there are two compost toilets, spread around the camping areas so you never have far to walk. There's also a washing up station with hot water. ​On the Ridge, there are two hot showers, wash basins, compost toilets and hot wash up area. The showers are well sized with ample room for getting changed. Faith in Nature hair products and shower gels supplied. Recycling, composting and rubbish facilities are available in designated areas, and we ask everyone to recycle and compost as much as you can and give you a composting caddy on arrival to help you get started.
Nearby attractions
The National Trust’s Melbury Beacon and Fontmell Down are both a short walk (and a big hill) away from Woodfrys Farm. In particular, there’s a nice circular loop from the farm taking you past the nearby Mill and along the stream, before climbing to the heights of Melbury Beacon, with stunning views over Shaftesbury and the Cranborne Chase. Archaeology is right on your doorstep with some exceptional hillforts a short drive away, like Hambledon, just fifteen minutes by car. Hambledon Hill is covered with rare flowers in the spring – you’ll need to park in the village of Child Okeford, a lovely village with a couple of pubs if you need refreshment after climbing the hill. Another fifteen-minute drive from the farm will take you to the Woodland Trust’s Duncliffe Wood, a great place away from crowds for shady dog walks in the summer. If you fancy something a little up market, try a visit to the Newt (01963 577777), a magnificent estate near Castle Carey. Though it takes a little longer to get here (half an hours drive from Woodfrys Farm), its newly created garden, cider tours and history of gardening museum make it well worth the journey.
Food and drink
The Compton Abbas airfield café (01747 811767), five minutes by car, is a great place to grab a bite to eat whilst spotting the planes. There are plenty of local pubs but the hilltop town of Shaftesbury (less than 10 minutes drive from the farm) has a particularly good selection. The 18th-century inn, Ye Olde Two Brewers (01747 854211), serves modern and classic pub fare and real ales to accompany the sweeping views of the local fields from its garden. Mitre Shaftesbury (01747 853002) serves up a great brunch and dinner as well as cocktail menu that will have you spoilt for choice.
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