3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today click here

Ideas for camping holidays in Hampshire

PUBLISHED: 11:13 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 10 July 2018

Two Hoots Glamping Pod

Two Hoots Glamping Pod

Archant

Pitch up, get off-grid and enjoy the peace and quiet; We explore Hampshire camping holidays

In a life filled with smartphones, endless to-do-lists and frenetic schedules, the therapeutic qualities of camping should not be underestimated. Pitching up in the middle of nature, sleeping under a sky full of stars and waking up to the sound of bird song can do wonders for a stressed out soul. And for the kids it’s a taste of fresh air and freedom; a chance to climb trees, build dens and collect and examine a multitude of bugs (and life experiences).

So it’s no surprise that campsite bookings are on the up. According to figures from Visit Britain, there were 15.2 million domestic overnight trips that involved camping or caravanning in 2017; the majority of which were Brits heading to the countryside in search of some elusive calm.

But what is it that today’s campers are looking for? Outdoor accommodation specialist, Pitchup.com, which has over 3,000 bookable camping, glamping and caravan sites in the UK and Europe, has always found that basic tent pitches attract the highest number of searches – proving that the trusty tent is still a popular choice. However, over the last year, searches for touring caravans and motorhome pitches grew 25% quicker. Data from the European Caravan Federation backs this up with 54% growth in UK motorhome registrations between 2009 and 2016.

Glamping (posh camping) is also highly desirable – with searches for lodges, cabins, pods or huts growing faster than any other type of search on Pitchup. Camping and luxury haven’t always gone hand-in-hand, but fixed accommodation has enjoyed tremendous innovation in recent years, with central heating, double glazing and even hot tubs now commonplace. Forget your standard two-man tent; luxury campers want the glamour of safari tents and yurts adorned with sheepskin rugs, fairy lights and a wood-burning stove.

On a local level, Pitchup’s most popular campsites in the county are all, unsurprisingly, in and around the New Forest - these include: Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre – a peaceful site surrounded by lakes in Bransgore; Hill Cottage Farm Touring Caravan Park – a 40-acre site on the Hampshire/Dorset border in Alderholt; two Fordingbridge sites - Sandy Balls Holiday Village and Folds Farm Camping and Lytton Lawn Touring Park in Milford on Sea.


Adults only

Whilst there’s a sentimental nostalgia about family camping, Two Hoots Campsite in Bighton near Alresford, is strictly for grown-ups. Owners Caz and Dave Parham decided to opt for an adults-only site for just six couples, for many reasons, explains Caz: “we wanted to fit nicely within our surroundings, keeping it as natural as possible, so as not to spoil the countryside and be thoughtful to our neighbours.

“We were the first in Hampshire to have the Eco Pods and are so glad we did, but the two Shepherds huts have the best vantage point as they have more inside. All our units have heating, lighting, tv/dvd player and a small porch way with bistro table and chairs. One pod even has a toilet and washroom. The Shepherds huts have extras including a toilet and washroom, kitchenette, cosy log burner and a full size private veranda directly facing the open views, what more could anyone want.

“We wanted to offer something different from the norm and this place is nestled in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, with amazing starlit skies and very little traffic noise or light pollution. We are surrounded by woodland too so great for walks - we get carpets of bluebells and spring lambs in the field next to the Shepherds hut paddock. Not forgetting the distant hoots from the steam railway at the bottom of our lane.”

With the beautiful Georgian town of Alresford, a short drive away, guests can still enjoy boutique shops, riverside walks and amazing eateries such as: Pulpo Negro Tapas restaurant. “Two Hoots lends itself nicely for a romantic getaway, great for those looking to escape the larger more populated sites and just relax, unwind, switch off recharge and leave totally refreshed,” says Caz.

Caz explains that many guests return time and time again – from school teachers to city-dwellers.

“Some come with big telescopes and love the dark sky, whilst others come because of the wildlife and many are walkers and cyclists. We welcome everyone from honeymooners to pensioners!

“For us, this is not about cramming hordes of people in to make money, it’s about giving something to those that want to escape and have some quality together alone time and switch off from the bonkers world we all live in. It’s about experiences, people, friends and family, giving, sharing and most of all fun and laughter!”


Secret camping

Another new breed of laid back weekend getaway is Secret Camping Weekend (SCW). “We takeover private campsites across the UK and provide organised experiences and workshops during the day, with fun themed entertainment at night - even the odd party!” explains Organiser, Richard Holt.

“At SCW HQ we wanted to redefine the way people enjoy camping”, continues Richard, “we wanted to position our secret getaways somewhere between traditional camping and festivals, but with the main objective of delivering old fashioned fun for everyone. Our experiences include: group yoga, outdoor campfire cooking lessons, cocktail making classes, organised nature walks and photography workshops, trips to local beauty spots, an outdoor cinema, mountain bike hire, sea kayaking, street food market, sports day games, acoustic music sets and themed evening entertainment.”

Whilst Secret Camping weekend has not yet made it to Hampshire, Richard advises: “we absolutely intend on doing so! We’re quite selective with the sites we choose though, so it’s just about making sure we find the right spot.” Keep an eye on secretcampingweekend.com for updates.


3 of the best camping accessories

1. Elephas LED Camping Projector - A hit with kids and adults alike and has rainy days covered! Connect to a phone and it can project a film on to your tent – inside if it’s raining, outside if it’s not. £66.99, amazon.co.uk.

2. Vango Galaxy Eco Rechargeable 60 Lantern - Set on the ground or hang from the ceiling – this lantern will light up your whole tent. Not only is it solar-powered, but you can also wind it up if it runs out during the night, or it has a rechargeable battery with in car adaptor. £30, vango.co.uk.

3. Minipresso GR - Just because you’re camping, doesn’t mean you can’t drink good coffee! The Minipresso GR is the perfect portable espresso machine that’s electricity-free. Compact, lightweight and versatile, you can use any variety of coffee bean/roast. So you can wake up to bird song and quality espresso in good measures. £49.99, amazon.co.uk.

More from Out & About

Fri, 10:31

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Tue, 09:55

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Mon, 15:30

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

New Forest ponies are an iconic sight, yet modern-day pressures pose a constant threat to the traditional landscape. Viv Micklefield heads to Lyndhurst to take stock of what happens inside England’s oldest forest court

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Austen’s treasures to castles built by Henry VIII, Heritage Open Days (6-9 and 13-16 September 2018) allow you to step behind the doors of some of the county’s most iconic but hidden premises.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If there’s one thing we love to do here at Hampshire Life, it’s to celebrate local produce! So here are a selection of some of the best farm shops across the county where you’ll find just that

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With a vibrant local community, this is a shining example of a true Hampshire village

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people, and many more are seeing the health benefits after waving goodbye to gluten. Here are just a few of the county’s cafes, pubs and producers who are embracing the gluten free way

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking for some peace and tranquility this summer? Lose yourself in one of these wonderful gardens

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The castles and forts around the county make for a fascinating ghost hunt by night, and a fun family trip by day

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When Southsea’s South Parade Pier closed in 2012, derelict and a shadow of its former glory days, who’d have thought that six years on it would be Pier of the Year

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search