The New Forest was the location of mine and Dan’s first camping trip together. I hadn’t been camping since I last visited Reading Festival and Dan’s last camping stint was when he was in the Scouts. We opted for Ashurst Campsite and swapped the crowds of London for the wild ponies of the New Forest. Ashurst Campsite is run by Camping in the Forest and made for the perfect backdrop to our weekend away. If you’re considering a trip to the New Forest or want to know a little more about what our stay was like at the Ashurst Campsite, keep reading. This review will provide more information on the campsites facilities, what’s nearby and of course the wild ponies.
About Camping in the Forest
Image credit: Dan Moore
I discovered Camping in the Forest whilst searching for a campsite for this trip to the New Forest. They run 15 campsites in forest locations across the UK. The New Forest is their biggest offering, with ten campsites of various types available. But if the New Forest is not for you they also have other locations in England, including the Forest of Dean and Savernake Forest. In Scotland, they have just three sites. Two of which in the stunning Loch Lomond and one in Aviemore. All of their sites have direct access to the forests they are located in, making it ideal for those looking for a little relaxation in the countryside during their trip.
Their website is so easy to use as you can search by location, pitch type and what facilities are available. So if you’re looking for pet-friendly sites just search for that and all sites which will allow you to take your dog will appear. Simple. They also have a number of offers on-site, such as 10% off mid-week pitches and 15% off grass pitches. The only thing you are not able to do on their website is to book a backpackers pitch. So for those travelling on public transport with a small tent, you are entitled to a backpacker rate on your stay. You don’t need to book, you can just turn up. We were told their policy is to never turn a backpacker away, so don’t panic about not having somewhere to stay.
About Ashurst Campsite
Image credit: Dan Moore
Ashurst Campsite is located, very handily for us, about a five minutes walk away from Ashurst train station. You can get from London Waterloo direct to Ashurst in just 90 minutes. The site has around 280 pitches. So whether you want a view of the wide-open spaces from your tent, or enjoy a more secluded spot under the trees, there’s a pitch for everyone. As soon as you’re settled you can begin exploring the New Forest on one of the many waymarked routes.
For just two nights, at a backpacker rate, we paid £28.55 between the two of us. This was because we travelled to the campsite on public transport, plus we had a small pop-up three-man tent. So if you plan on visiting with a car, the price may be a little more.
Ashurst Campsite Facilities
Image credit: Dan Moore
Despite how little we paid, the facilities on the site were excellent. There’s a large shower block, open 24-hours. As well as laundry and dish-washing facilities. Bins are scattered all over the site, keeping it clean and tidy, and the rubbish out of the wild ponies mouths! There are also drinking water taps throughout the campsite and also concrete bricks for those who wish to do a BBQ during their stay.
The staff were really helpful when we arrived and their Reception desk is open for a reasonable amount of hours. Here you can hire a BBQ, get hot water for tea and coffee, as well as purchasing some small food items. There are also handy maps of the New Forest area available for those who need it. We read some reviews that the staff were a little busy when it came to rules. We didn’t really find this too much. They were fairly stern about the feeding and stroking of the cattle and horses on the site. But considering they bite and can also cause havoc to a tent we stuck to these rules pretty firmly.
One of the main reasons we picked Ashurst Campsite was its proximity to the station, as well as local shops and pubs. Only a short walk from the site is The New Forest pub. It has a great choice of food and drinks, plus the Sunday Roast looked delicious. The outside area is massive, the ideal spot for spending a sunny day. There’s also a Co-Op about one mile away, perfect for grabbing those last-minute food items you may have forgotten. There is also a bus stop right outside the campsite, which takes you into the bigger town of Lyndhurst. It took us around an hour to walk this journey, but we were stopping on the way to admire the view. Once in Lyndhurst there are plenty of places to eat, grab an afternoon tea, shop and hire a bicycle.
So would you consider a trip to Ashurst Campsite in the New forest after reading my review? If you have any questions please do let me know in the comments!
Until next time.