Campsites, family campervan hire tips, Inspiration, Journeys
10 Great Woodland Campsites in reach of Bath / Bristol
Woodland campsites can be so enchanting. Think dappled glades, babbling brooks and campfire cooking. It’s a kids paradise, tree climbing and den building, bug hunting and fishing nets.
These are the ingredients for an old school camping holiday where the digital world can be forgotten for a while.
But getting back to basics round the camp fire doesn’t mean you have to leave your luxury behind. Our VW California Ocean campers will keep your rosé chilled perfectly and the heating will keep the chill off your bones at night completely off grid. There is plenty of electricity in the huge leisure batteries to keep your phones and tablets powered for when you really need to get back in touch with the world or the kids need a quick fix of tv.
We have compiled a list of our favourite woodland campsites within easy reach of our base. Bristol and Bath are amazing cities to start a woodland camping holiday and are well served by airport, mainline rail and motorways. Once you have collected your camper van hire all you need do is choose a destination. We have found choice woodland campsites in every direction!
We have (mostly) stuck with in an 150 mile radius of our base on the western edge of Bath, so the maximum you can expect to drive is just about two and half hours. This takes us from the waterfalls of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales to the calm open spaces of East Devon.
Our criteria for woodland campsites to make the shortlist is simple. They need to be in a woodland or have direct access to woodland. Fire pits are essential, but toilets and showers aren’t (We can supply you with an eco toilet and we even have an outside power shower available! You have to boil a kettle for hot water though). We don’t worry about electric hook up facilities either as our campers are fine touring off grid.
Woodland Campsites: Otter Vale Wild Camping.
Monkton Barton Farm, Monkton, Honiton, Devon, EX14 9QW
Description: Otter Vale Wild Camping pride themselves in offering a traditional relaxed campsite, you choose where to pitch up, tucked away into the wood or out in the meadow. They don’t do times either for arrival or departure, keeping it chilled and relaxed. They are based in 8 acres of mixed broadleaf woodland and 11 acres of meadow, which is predominantly untouched. The idea of wild camping is to be able to see, hear and be at one with mother nature at her best.
The wood is a bluebell wood with many different residents – Badgers, Foxes, Deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, many different Birds and Bugs, all make this beautiful part of Devon their home. Nestled in the Otter Valley which is part of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the site offers some stunning views and spectular sunsets to sit back and enjoy. There is space and freedom for children to explore and enjoy the environment around them. Within walking distance local villages have play areas and wonderful local public houses.
Cooking on an open fire has to be one of the best parts of wild camping. You can build your own camp fire in the woodland or off the ground in the meadow. Kindling and logs are available.
The standard rule that it is left how you found it and fires must be put out and under control at all times.
Please read the natural layout of the wood and meadow, if the flower got there first then you have to pitch somewhere else.
Facilities: A kitchen area for washing up, a small fridge and access to electrical sockets, a flush loo and a shower.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07880 714767
Distance from Bath: 61.5 miles (1 hour 37 mins drive)
Woodland Campsites: Ashbourne Woods Camping.
Ashbourne Farm House, Rattery, South Brent, South Devon. TQ10 9JZ
Description: Ashbourne Woods is a beautiful woodland camping site catering for all types of camping and overnight stays but which specialises in wild and semi wild camping within the 68 acres of woods. Gravel pitches are provided for campervans. Firepits are available on all pitches so you can enjoy a safe but atmospheric evening around an open fire.
Facilities: Toilets, Shower, fresh water. Washing up area and laundry
Booking: email@example.com Tel.07562 532101
Distance from Bath: 123 miles (2 hour drive)
Woodland Campsites: Bunbake Forest Campsite
Burnbake, Rempstone, Corfe Castle
Dorset BH20 5JH
Description: Burnbake offers a back-to-nature camping experience that’s relaxed, rustic and charming. Campfires crackle and fairy lights twinkle. We are a turn-up-and-pitch kind of site for tents and small campervans. You won’t find restricting marked pitches here. Simply check in at reception, then go and choose your ideal spot, open and sunny or shaded under the trees. Camping field is bordered on one side by woodland and a stream and provides the perfect base for young explorers. Wood campfires in fire boxes off the ground add to the atmosphere. You can buy marshmallows to toast from their on site shop which also stocks logs, fine local produce, pastries, groceries, treats, ice creams, toys and camping goods.
Facilities: toilet and shower facilities (with plenty of free hot water) have been refurbished in 2017, along with sparkling new washing up sinks. There is a baby changing and wash room and a laundry room.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org tel. 01929 480 570
Distance from Bath: 69 miles (1 hour 50 mins drive)
Woodland Campsites: Camping at Melbury Vale Farm
Redmans Ln, Shaftesbury SP7 0DB
Description: There is plenty of space and privacy to camp at Melbury Vale Farm. People say that it is a unique campsite, where you have complete privacy, complete peace and quiet with amazing views. You can choose to camp next to the resident Horses or high up on the hillside with beautiful views of the rolling hills, close to the outdoor facilities or by the pond or in the new woodland. There are plenty of spaces to choose from. Campers are free to have an outdoor fire in the firepit. There are lovely walks amongst the hills, along bridleways and public footpaths. With the lack of light pollution here it means that on a clear sky at night you can see thousands of stars. It is a romantic setting, with space to breath, take time out and relax.
Facilities: There are 2 outdoor toilets with sinks and running water (outdoor pitched trailer). There are also 2 warm showers.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: Tel: 01747 850773 / 07834 871548 – email@example.com
Distance from Bath: 37 miles (59 mins drive)
South Wales – Brecon Beacons
Woodland Campsites: Cwmnanthir – Brecon Beacons Camping
Banwen, Powys. SA10 9LU
Description: Cwmnanthir is a small, family run camp site on the western borders of the Brecon Beacons. The field based site is situated alongside the Nant Hir river adjacent to coppiced woodlands. Buzzards, herons, red kites and other wildlife complement their free range poultry, sheep and waterfowl. There is a relaxed non commercial atmosphere and space for you to have a campfire. The owners have several acres of woodland to collect firewood from. Walking is good with several dramatic waterfall walks on their doorstep. Being in our own secluded valley we are sheltered from light pollution and can take full advantage of being part of the Brecon Beacons dark skies reserve.
Facilities: a clean private wash room/toilet. A shower room with extra toilet. There is a campers kitchen with a sink for washing up with pots and pans, a kettle, toaster, a big fridge freezer, and even a microwave. Fresh free range eggs are usually available from the farm poultry (foxes permitting!!).
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01639 722322
Distance from Bath: 90 miles (2 hour drive)
West Wales – Pembrokeshire
Woodland Campsites: Trellyn Woodland Camping
Abercastle Pembrokeshire SA62 5HJ
Description: Trellyn Woodland Campsite is set in 16 acres of our 80 acre farm, just yards from the harbour of Abercastle, Pembrokeshire,Wales. Situated on the St Davids Peninsula they enjoy the same sort of weather as Cornwall but without the crowds.
There are just 5 secluded pitches here at Trellyn, each with their own covered campfire area, a picnic table and grill. You can really enjoy the peace and tranquility of your own space in the countryside, confident that when you return from the day out, you’ll be on your own pitch without new neighbours. This what we are all about, a space of your own just yards from the sea to chill out and relax.
A word of warning though you have to play the long game if you want a chance of staying here during the summer holidays. Best off starting out with an off season stay first!
Facilities: two family wash rooms with showers, separate toilets. Wood fired Sauna, wood fired pizza nights and a whole host of activities kit free to borrow.
Dogs welcome: no
Distance from Bath:160 miles (3 hour drive)
North West Wales – South Snowdonia National Park
Woodland Campsites: Hafod Dywyll Campsite
Hafod Dywyll Farm, Hafod Olau, Islawrdref, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1TR
Description: Nestled in an Oak woodland valley, this riverside campsite is a great place to kick back and relax, around the campfire after exploring the hill farm and ancient woodland.
Facilities: This is most definitely back to basics. Shower and toilets are housed in a portacabin by the farm house. While clean they are dated. If you choose to camp in the lower field by the river it is quite a scramble to get to the loo.
Dogs welcome: Yes, on a lead.
Booking: email@example.com 01341 423444
Distance from Bath: 162 miles (3 hour 45 mins drive)
Somerset – Exmoor
Woodland Campsites: Westermill Farm House,
Exford, Nr Minehead, Somerset. TA24 7NJ
Description: Beautiful, secluded valley site in the Centre of Exmoor National Park. Camp in mown meadows beside the River Exe. The campsite consists of 15 acres divided into 4 fields, All the fields are in the valley and follow the river, The 1st field is fenced off from the river. All the others are open to the river. About 1/2 a mile of river frontage. This is a secluded valley site in the centre of Exmoor National Park. Most of visitors who come here, come for the peace and quiet, they like to relax and unwind. If you can hear your own radio that’s fine, but if your neighbour can hear it it’s not! The same at night. Most people like to retire to bed before 11pm so expect a quiet site at night. BBQ’s as long as they are placed off the ground so they don’t burn the grass. Campfires are allowed in the 4th field.
The Farm is split between grass fields and rough grazing ground and with no arable. We have Less Favoured Area Status and are in the Environmentally Sensitive Area of Exmoor. There are 4 Somerset Wildlife Sites on the farm, so we try very hard to farm with the environment in mind not against it, but to maintain this it does need a helping hand. Visitors will have the whole farm to explore and to enjoy the amazing Exmoor ladscape.
A small shop is situated in the barn opposite the farmhouse. It is called Shippon as it was once used to milk house cows by hand. It is open daily for an hour each morning and evening from Whitson bank holiday (end of may) to early September.
Facilities: Toilets, showers, natural spring drinking water, laundry and washing up area.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01643 831 238 Mob: 07970 594808
Distance from Bath: 77 miles (2 hour 26 mins drive)
Woodland Campsites: Pool Bridge Camp Site,
Nr Porlock, Minehead, Exmoor National Park, Somerset, TA24 8LX
Description: This campsite is on a quiet level site at the top of Horner valley, very sheltered with an abundance of wildlife. Ideal for walking and riding and just 2.5 miles from Porlock. The Horner River runs next to the camping fields, beside which you can have open camp fires, and the owners bring their own farm produce for sale on site.
“stay[ed] here in the most terrible weather. We had rain, wind and snow but it failed to dampen our spirits. This place is beautiful, with stunning walks on your doorstep well away from civilisation. If you like a bar, club house and manicured sites then this is not the place for you but if you want somewhere to relax, soak in nature, walk the dog and let kids be kids then this is the perfect site.” TripAdvisor review.
Facilities: Toilets, Showers, wash up area, drinking water.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: Phone: 01643 862502
Distance from Bath: 73 miles (2 hour 20 mins drive)
Woodland Campsite: Sconner Down, Polbathic, Cornwall, Nr Torpoint PL11 3ES
Description: Sconner Down is a tranquil hillside site boasting spectacular views towards Plymouth and the sea. Despite the hill there are flat areas ideal for camping along with spaces amongst the trees if you wish.
Facilities: The campsite has free shower and toilet facilities. There is also an oak barn which provides wet weather shelter where there are also kitchen facilities.
Dogs welcome: yes
Booking: email@example.com (01503) 230897
Distance from Bath: 137 miles (2 hour 44 mins drive)
If you liked these campsites check out our Beach Campsites.