Southern England Itinerary

Matt wanted to share a few of his camper van experiences with you, so has compiled an itinerary of selected campsites. Each one has been tried and tested; taking a preference to well situated (for walking and cycling to picturesque villages), smaller farm/family run campsites with good environmental awareness, over swanky touring parks with swimming pools and game rooms.

Use the maps to get an idea of where each campsite is situated, then click on the links if you are interested in finding out more.

Visit the New Forest with Active Kampers

1. The new forest

A short (one and a half hour) drive from Brighton. A delightful area for walks, nature, and relaxation with some excellent (almost wild) campsites. Makes a perfect long weekend, but enough to do for a week.

1.1 Ashurst (Forest Camping), near Lyndhurst
Matt Likes: Walking distance to two pubs; excellent forest cycle trails, proximity to Lyndhurst !

1.2 Holmsley (Forest Camping), near Burley
Matt Likes: The remoteness and large site; great for forest cycle rides & wild pony spotting

1.3 Hurst View Lymington
Matt Likes: Closeness to the sea; big spacious field; Lovely pub (The Gun Inn) at nearby Keyhaven; Lymington sailing town vibe

Visit Cornwall with a California camper van from Active Kampers

2. Dorset, Devon & Cornwall

The West Country is everyone’s favourite, beautiful beaches, coastal walks, pretty villages, relaxed atmosphere and a great range of campsites.

2.1 Britt Valley camp site West Bay, near Bridport, West Dorset
Matt Likes: It’s very close to the river; an easy walk to the pretty fishing village of Westbay and the dramatic Southwest Coast path.

Or alternatively the Bingham Grange campsite is in a similar location to Britt Valley but is Adults only.

2.2 Steamer Quay Caravan Club Site, Totnes, Devon
Matt Likes: Ideally located by the river in the centre of lovely Totnes with its medieval streets and independent shops and cafes. This busy well catered site makes a good base for exploring Dartmoor, South Devon or an overnight stop to Cornwall.

2.3 Heligan Park, Heligan, Near St Austell, Cornwall
Matt Likes: It’s a short walk to one of England’s nicest gardens (The Lost Gardens of Heligan), nearby Mevagissey is a quintessential Cornish touristy fishing village, the campsite is quiet and secluded. Also Eden Project is fairly close by.

2.4 Henry’s Camping, The Lizard, Cornwall
Matt Likes: A real gem, eclectic, arty, basic facilities, a few small walled pitches, in the centre of the village, close to England’s most Southerly point, lovely!

2.5 Trevelgan Touring Park, St Ives, Cornwall
Matt Likes: Lovely farm style campsite a short stroll to the dramatic coastal path or Cornish hills. Nearby St Ives awaits a drive or a good hours walk (daytime only) on the Coastpath. Or, if you want to stay in the centre there is the busy, but well equipped Ayr Holiday Park.

2.6 Presingol Farm, St Agnes, Cornwall
Matt Likes: Nice quiet site, near to lovely St Agnes and its surfing and tin mines, plus beautiful Chapel Porth beach (at low tide!).

2.7 Porth Beach Touring Park, Newquay, Cornwall
Matt Likes: A great surfers and family campsite right on the beautiful Porth Beach and Headland, nearby lovely walks, a choice of pubs, just a few miles from Watergate Bay and just outside of Newquay, but walkable.

2.8 Trethias Farm Caravan Park, Padstow, Cornwall
Matt Likes: A spacious site in stunning remote cliff-top location, metres from Coastpath for stunning walks. A short walk to surfy Constantine Bay and on to beautiful Trevose Head. It takes about 5 hours to walk to Padstow, but well worth it.

2.9 Headland Caravan Park, Tintagel, Cornwall
Matt Likes: It’s all about location, location, minutes from the coast path and Tintagel castle, a stunning ruin; and a stroll to the cute touristy town with a good number of pubs and cafes. Nearby Boscastle is worth seeing too.

2.10 Upper Lynstone, Bude, Cornwall
Matt Likes: This site is close to the town and great surf beaches. Bude has nice beach cafes, it’s quieter and more laid back than other Cornish towns.

2.11 Hook Farm, Uplyme, Lyme Regis, Dorset
Matt Likes: Quiet campsite. Nearby Lyme Regis is a West Country gem, with great independent shops, seafront and pretty Cobb harbour and amazing fossil hunting on the crumbling Jurassic coast (Hannah our web designer also gives this one a thumbs up!).

2.12 Golden Cap Holiday Park, Seatown, Chiddeock, Dorset
Matt Likes: A campsite right on the beach can’t be wrong, with a great pub a few hundred metres away and the South West Coast paths famous Golden Cap cliff (the highest in the South of England).

Visit Sussex in a California VW camper van

3. The Best of Sussex by the sea!

There’s plenty to see in our home county, with historic castles, the dramatic coast, sandy beaches and South Downs National Park.

3.1 Blacklands Farm, Henfield, East Sussex
Matt Likes: Lovely carp lake, good pubs nearby, and a convenient starting or ending point close to Brighton.

3.2 Pleasant Rise Farm, Alfriston, East Sussex
Matt Likes: Pretty, spacious and quiet site in cute village with great cream teas. The perfect base for walking or biking the South Downs Way and Friston Forest.

3.3 Romney Meadows, New Romney, Kent
Matt Likes: Well almost in Sussex! A quiet farm site, a great base for exploring surreal Dungeness, Camber Sands and the prettiest town in Sussex – Rye.

3.4 Bodiam Boating Station, Northiam & Quarry Farm, Bodiam.
Matt Likes: By the river with Kayaks and craft for hire, high class cafe, fire pits, amazing castle a walk or paddle away, one of the best!

Or Quarry Farm, Bodiam motorhome camping, it’s by an Orchard with the amazing Hub Cafe and Castle Inn a 10 min stroll (note bring a toilet).

3.5 WoWo, Chailey, East Sussex
Matt Likes: Set in woodland, it’s all a bit hippieish, with random musicians playing, but you can light a fire nearby which can’t be bad. It’s essential to book weekends.

3.6 Stubcroft Farm, Wittering, West Sussex
Matt Likes: Wittering and nearby Chichester harbour are so relaxed with a feeling of days gone by. It’s an excellent area for easy cycling, it’s also the surf meca of Sussex with good waves if you’re lucky! Stubcroft farm offers fun but basic eco camping with a good pub close by. Nunnington Farm is a busier alternative in West Wittering village.

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