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Maple Field Camping
47 reviews
· Hampshire Sp6 3 Lr, England
1 acre
30 units
30 Tent
Wildflowers, birds and butterflies abound at this traditional tent camping pop-up on the Hampshire-Dorset border
Straddling the Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire borders, Martin Down is a wild, chalky grassland that stretches for almost 1000 acres across Cranborne Chase AONB. Birds and butterflies of various song and shade can be found here, attracted to the profusion of wildflowers that pepper the sprawling meadows and scrub. It’s an ancient landscape, and while it might lack the dramatic contours and undulating slopes of the South Downs, the hand of history seems to touch the very air here, from its Bronze Age barrows to its First World War firing range. Set amidst this captivating backdrop lies Maple Field Camping, a three-and-a-half acre field hosting camping for a few privileged pitches throughout the summer. Helmed by affable host Nick, this simple yet charming spot offers up to 30 informally laid-out camping pitches with scenic views towards the surrounding hills of Cranborne Chase. Children will love the spacious meadow to run themselves ragged in, while parents will be equally pleased at the safety of it all, with just one entrance it the bottom corner and therefore no secret escape routes for curious kids. Bushcraft courses are an exciting new addition for the 2020 season, including campfire cooking, whittling, animal tracking and spear-throwing. Rustic facilities are housed in the farm’s L-shaped barn with a basic washing-up facilities, hot shower and proper loo. This cosy communal space also makes a decent refuge from the rain (enjoy a warming cuppa, a game of table tennis or hang up your wet clothes). Nick is a wellspring of local knowledge, and a veritable Wikipedia of the resident flora and fauna. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for blackcaps, buzzards, hawks, robins, red kites, wrens, thrushes, jackdaws, starlings, turtle doves and finches (both bull and gold) to name but a few, not to mention the unusual Chalk Hill Blue and Adonis Blue butterflies. Nick can point you in the direction of the best walking routes and Neolithic burial mounds. Lying just outside Fordingbridge – the gateway to the New Forest – and with medieval Salisbury, Stonehenge and the sandy beaches of the South Coast lying close by, there’s enough in the region to keep you entertained. One local little gem is Damerham, the pretty nearby village set beside the River Allen (a tributary of the Avon) with thatched cottages, a Norman church, riverside mill and a lovely pub overlooking the cricket green.
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Hampshire Sp6 3 Lr, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Nick S.Joined in March 2022
23 Ratings · 47 reviews
Lucy F.
July 18, 2022
Grass pitch
No frills camping
Very basic campsite but perfect for quiet get away. Hot showers, washing facilities basic but functional. Fridge/freezer was a godsend on a hot weekend. No frills camping but nice spot and fordingbridge river/play park is fantastic for a day. Nick was super helpful and friendly.
Melissa S.recommends
July 11, 2022
Grass pitch
Family groups camping
What a beautiful setting to camp in. We were incredibly fortunate in that it was just our group on the site the weekend we stayed but it was a great spot and we’d definitely consider coming back. The communal facilities were clean with all your need including hot showers, kettles and a fridge freezer. The children on one of the days also had an hrs “bush craft” lesson which they thoroughly enjoyed
Alice ?.
March 28, 2022
I stayed here early September 2021, the campsite has a beautiful, secluded location. My kids and friends kids absolutely loved the big open field, and games room! The amenities were just what we needed, nothing too fancy but perfect for a weekend away! We will be returning this year!
Christoff K.
August 22, 2021
Grass pitch
Let's start of the host did not know I was arriving. Booked 17 days before my arrival date. Did not receive everything I paid for. The field was over grown so made insects more than usual. It is not really that secluded as its in a village and had one of the residents stop me on a walk complaining that I'm there camping and it's not alowed by the council. To be fair don't wast your time on this site, tgere is more and better ones I have seen on my travels around the area.
Jessica C.recommends
August 16, 2021
Grass pitch
We really enjoyed our stay at Maple Field Camping. It was peaceful, relaxed and just what we needed for a catch up with friends. Fire pits and logs are available which was great fun on an evening. The kids loved the space which was safe for them to play in. There is also a table tennis table set up in the block at the bottom of the field which became a real hit with all the children. The owner was welcoming and helpful.
Tim P.
August 7, 2021
What a lovely site - very peaceful, lovely views, no noise from traffic, good facilities, and easy to get to lots of places. Highly recommended. Thanks Nick - you were a super host!!!
From the host
You will share the beautiful field with hedge sparrows and woodpidgeons and blackcaps that will sing you into wakefulness: with long tailed tits, robins, wrens and bullfinches: with goldfinches on the thistle flowers and wagtails on the barn roof: with rooks, rabbits and Renard the fox: with goldcrests, blackbirds and mistle thrushes: tawny owls and spotted flycatchers and jet black jackdaws: with crowds of starlings that arrive like American tourists all eager for knowledge: and overhead you will hear the cry and meow of the buzzard: watch the fork tailed red kyte and marvel at the deadly approach of a sparrow hawk: hear, perhaps for the first time, the ‘woo-wooh’ of the shy little turtle dove. The hedges that surround you were planted before 1780 and are solid examples of early Enclosure Act barriers. Next to you is the giant Longbarrow up a sweet curving lane. Within your temporary Parish are 3 other major Neolithic burial sites – King’s Barrow; Knapp Barrow and Hanham’s Barrow. The Dorset ‘Cursus’ pulls up just short of Martin Down to the south: you can walk along the magnificent earth work of Bokerly Dyke. You can follow a perfect Roman Road along the north boundary of the Parish for 2 miles, lined on both sides with wild garlic probably brought here in the clefts of the soldier’s sandals. You can go home with your head ringing with pre-history. You are going to count your blessings in murmuring song birds and satisfying full-english breakfasts looking over Martin Down from your tent door.
Nearby attractions
There’s plenty to enjoy in the New Forest. Pack a map, pick up a trail and explore the national park’s myriad woodland walks. Keep an eye out for iconic New Forest wild ponies and Goshawks circling overhead. Cranborne Chase AONB isn’t far and the campsite lies within the Martin Down Nature Reserve an almost 1000-acre chalk grassland filled with wildflowers and all manner of downland flora and fauna. Christchurch and the sandy beaches of Mudeford and Bournemouth are just 25 mins away, while the Jurassic Coast wonders of Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and the Isle of Purbeck lie less than an hour away a little further along the coast. For a history-filled excursion, the cathedral city of Salisbury, Iron Age hill fort Old Sarum, and Stonehenge are all less than half an hour’s drive away.
Food and drink
The nearest pub is The Compasses Inn (01725 518231) in Damerham – a stylish country inn with an equally refined menu of locally-sourced dishes. Its sprawling beer garden makes an ideal setting to while away the day when not at camp. Check their events calendar for live music. The Inn at Cranborne (01725 551249) lies 4 miles from Maple Farm – this friendly local serves up pub grub favourites, Hampshire ales, cocktails and and a welcoming fireside in winter. Further afield in Fordingbridge, The George (01425 652040) is a charming riverside spot that dates back to the 1700s. Booking is recommended for dining in the conservatory with views over the River Avon. There are several supermarkets places to eat in the town – ask Nick for recommendations.
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