Sponsored Post in collaboration with Camping in the Forest
If you go down to the woods today… you might just find the perfect campsite. Get back to nature with a stay at Camping in the Forest‘s wonderful Hollands Wood site and follow my guided walk around the New Forest.
A weekend in the woods
Forest dweller at heart? Escape to the trees at one of Camping in the Forest‘s campsites. CITF work in partnership with Forestry England and have 15 campsites dotted around Britain, all in idyllic forest spots where you can pitch your tent, explore the woods and feel at home in nature.
Back in May I set up my tent at Hollands Wood, in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire. I’d heard of this much-loved campsite from friends, many of whom had come here as children and had happy memories of playing in the trees and meeting the local wild ponies.
The site has 600 pitches spread over 22 hectares of oak woodland and hosts both campervans and tents from April to September each year. It might sound like a big campsite, but at Hollands Wood each generously-sized pitch is in its own grassy glade, often surrounded by trees, giving a feeling of privacy, space and the connection to nature I always look for when camping. Hollands Wood has all the amenities you’d expect from a great campsite, too – there’s a reception staffed by friendly and helpful staff who have great ideas for walks and cycles in the area, and for a regular wild camper, posh toilet blocks with hot showers are a real treat! I pitched my tent in the shade of tall oak trees, surrounded by bluebells and ferns, and felt like I had the whole forest to myself. Staying here is a real breath of fresh air, both physically and mentally.
And there’s plenty to explore further afield, too. Just past the woods you’ll find open moorland where the wild ponies of the New Forest gallop and graze – they’ll even wander around the campsite sometimes, as I discovered when I zipped open my tent one morning and came face to face with an inquisitive bay foal.
Nature and photography ramble in the New Forest
One of the best things about the site is that the glorious New Forest is right on your doorstep, with 143 miles of walking and cycling trails to follow from Hollands Wood. I packed my rucksack and set out to create my own nature and photography-themed walk for Camping in the Forest, which you can download and follow on their website.
My five mile route takes 2-3 hours to walk and is perfect for families and groups of friends alike. It’s the perfect introduction to the charms of the forest, passing picture-perfect villages, deep woods, the rushing river at Ober Water and shady woodlands at Aldridge Hill. Don’t forget to bring your camera and keep your eyes peeled for wild donkeys, ponies and Highland cows.
I also created a video during my weekend in the woods to introduce you to this wonderful campsite and guide you along my nature and photography trail. See you in the forest!