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Meadow View Glamping
There’s long been a successful campsite at Meadow View. Poised as it is between the New Forest and the Dorset coast, the place has a prime location for exploring this part of the UK. The more immediate vicinity is prime territory for history buffs though. Wander a few hundred metres and you bump into the Gothic, red-brick folly in Horton, a five-storey tower built in the 18th century and visible from the campsite itself. Head in the other direction, meanwhile, and you’ll stumble across renowned Knowlton stones, one of the greatest Neolithic relics in southern England.
Yet just as these historic artefacts are now found among the counties more modern attractions – there’s a Go Ape at Moors Valley Country Park and Peppa Pig World just beyond the New Forest – the campsite too has been given a modern-day shot in the arm. Now playing host to Meadow View Bell Tents, this flat, open space boasts four pre-pitched and fully furnished creamy bell tents, all kitted out for the modern day glamper who likes to travel light and enjoy a few 21st-century comforts.
The bell tents come in two different sizes, with the largest accommodating a family of up to five people (parents on a double bed and nippers on the Z-beds). Inside the likes of a games basket, fairy lights and complimentary tea and coffee show that attention has been given to small details, while perhaps the most important furnishing, a log-burning stove, comes with a free basket of logs and kindling, so you can settle straight in. If you need more fuel, it’s an easy stroll across the playing field and past the modern, heated shower block to the reception building where friendly Tim, who lives in the small-holding on site, can sort you out with more logs and any other essentials you may need. Perhaps a fresh ice pack for your cool box? Some eggs from his free range hens? Or a recommendation for the best local pub to walk to?
At the far end of the campsite, a small area is managed as a nature reserve for birds and there is an L-shaped fishing lake with tall trees sheltering its far side. Dragonflies zip across the water and swifts and swallows frequent the campsite in summer, resting in the trees after their long commute from the Southern hemisphere. Follow your own route south and, a little closer, the likes of historic Wimborne Minster is just 7 miles away, home to a 1000-year-old cathedral and a compact collection of cobbled old streets to explore, while the Dorset coast is around 15 miles (a half hour drive). Or stay put and enjoy an afternoon cooking up a storm over the campfire. A tripod and equipment is provided. So, really, there’s no excuse not to.
The bell tents and yurts are pitched on flat wooden decks with a picnic table and BBQ/firepit outside. Inside each carpeted tent there is coir mats, rugs, solar lighting, a double futon bed (bedding and linen provided), single Z-beds, a wood-burning stove (*only in bell tents), with first bag of fuel and firelighters provided; coffee table, and a basket with books and games. There is a kitchen stand with a dual hob camp stove and grill, a cool-box, water butt, washing up bowl and scrubbers and a kitchen utensils box containing cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery. Complimentary tea, sugar and coffee provided. The site has 2 large communal heated shower/toilet blocks with gents and ladies toilets and washing up sinks. There is a small reception/site shop where ice packs can be refrozen for a small charge, bags of briquettes and bbq charcoal, camping essentials, toys and outdoor games can be bought.
Glamping only. Couples, families, family groups – yes. Adult-only groups, hen/stag dos, your own tent, campervan or caravan, – no. Dogs – by prior arrangement only.
There are several footpaths and bridleways nearby, including a pleasant route through the woods and up to Horton Tower, the local folly. Knowlton Circle, a neolithic henge monument, and the Norman ruins of Knowlton Church are also within walking range (a longer loop, around 4 miles). Elsewhere, try the forest trail at Moors Valley Country Park (01425 470721; 10 mins drive) or simply hop on the miniature steam railway to rest your feet, or clamber into the trees for hire-wire adventures at the Go Ape centre (0845 094 9602) there. Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park and Rescue Centre (01202 824040) is less than 15 minutes' drive away and the beautiful, riverside market town of Wimborne Minster is around the same distance – home to hidden courtyards, an elegant square and a wonderful selection of independent shops and cafés. Slightly further afield, younger children will love Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park, and the new Dinosaur Theme Park ‘Lost Kingdom’ at the same venue. It's a half hour drive to the Dorset coast, Bournemouth and Poole.
Food & Drink
Drusilla’s Inn (01258 840297) is the nearest pub with a friendly landlord and good grub, a minute’s drive if you turn right out of the campsite (it's ½ mile away). Continue a little further down the road from Drusilla’s and The Horton Inn (01258 840252) is opposite the junction as you come to the main road (2 miles away). There's also an excellent Indian takeaway that delivers to the campsite – The Cinnamon Lounge (01202 820620) – and a chinese (01202 877116), 4¼ miles away in West Moors. The nearest big supermarkets are all approximately 10–15 minutes drive from the campsite. Ringwood has a Waitrose and Sainsburys and is en route if coming from London direction (A31). For basic groceries there’s a Londis nearby.
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