This review is based on our visit during the half-term week at the end of May 2018 when we stayed for one week. The site is open from March until October and is for club members only, however you can join on arrival. They don’t accept tents.
Firstly, as always, getting there. We followed the route recommended by the club, leaving the M27 at junction 1 and joining the A35 after Lyndhurst. It’s straightforward enough with no country lanes to worry about although do be prepared to queue through Lyndhurst in busier times. Check out our Site Arrival video below.
The site is a large one with 275 pitches but there is plenty of room to queue up during busy periods and late night arrivals are accommodated as are day visitors to the site with two parking areas. The reception area is very well stocked with both food and non-food items. Newspapers can be ordered too. In the same block but around the side is the Information room with an impressive range of leaflets for local attractions alongside folders compiled with menus for hostelries, walking routes and caravan service engineers should the need arise. It is one of the best I have seen and clearly a lot of work has gone into it.
Moving on to the site itself, pitches are divided into four areas, the first of which is ‘Mustang’ immediately to the right after the barriers and this is where we were pitched. It has a combination of grass and hardstanding pitches with a service point and a path through to one of the two facilities blocks. Being the furthest from the children’s play area it is probably the quietest part of the site.
Talking of facilities, the block we used (Block B) was always clean and tidy and, sporting the club’s new colours, has recently been refurbished. The shower cubicles seemed bigger than on some club sites but water pressure could have been better. Block A was laid out similarly and looked equally well kept.
Washers and driers are available and there is a wash-up area too in both blocks. The usual club service points (Water/waste water/loo emptying/ rubbish & recycling) are dotted around the site and strategically placed paths mean they are never far away. Motorhome Waste Points are located adjacent to both facilities blocks and there is a dog/bike wash too. Talking of dogs a fenced dog walking area runs next to the site entrance road.
In the north western corner of the site is the children’s play area, playing field, a larger dog exercise area and a developing wildlife sanctuary too. Check out the Site plan here.
For those that like to keep in touch with the outside world, we managed to pick up a plethora of TV channels without the help of our booster, however there are aerial hook up points on the EHU bollards. The club’s WiFi is available and we found it fine for general surfing, social media and email but don’t expect the sort of speeds you may be used to at home – you’ll struggle with streaming TV and film services. Mobile wise, Vodafone and O2 are ok, others are very weak. There is a payphone on site but it does not accept incoming calls.
There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy whilst you’re staying in the New Forest. We barely scratched the surface during our week there but here’s what we got up to, all of which I’d recommend:
Christchurch Quay at the confluence of Rivers’ Avon & Stour is a delightful and charming place for a stroll along the riverside perhaps taking tea in one of the many tea rooms. Take in a river cruise perhaps or even hire your own motorboat. There’s a great water based kids play area that’s sure to keep the little ones entertained.
Smell the money in the waterside Priory Quays development then had into town along the riverbank by the priory.
A drive to the coast emerging at Barton-on-sea will not disappoint with the opportunity to stretch the legs along the coastal walk for the more energetic. Keyhaven was one of our stopping off points and is a gateway to Hurst Castle. You can catch a ferry from the harbour or walk along the shingle spit.
A little further on is bustling Lymington. Join in those crabbing on the quayside or take a day trip over to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.
Buckler’s Hard (https://www.bucklershard.co.uk/) near Beaulieu is well worth at least a morning or afternoon of your time. an 18th century village where Nelson’s warships were once built. Learn the story in the museum and then check out the shipwright’s cottage and the tiny chapel before taking in the lovely view of the Beaulieu River from the old launchways. There’s also the option of a 30 minute river cruise which I’m told is excellent. A café by the entrance and a bar in the village will keep you fed and watered but you could always bring your own picnic.
Beaulieu village is a couple of miles away via the riverside walkway and home to the Beaulieu Estate where you’ll find the National Motor Museum including the World of Top Gear. There’s also the mansion, Abbey and extensive gardens – definitely on our list for next time.
Place’s to visit under the stewardship of the National Trust include Northern Commons and Corfe Castle a little further afield whilst English Heritage can offer the aforementioned Hurst Castle and Netley Abbey amongst others.
The excellent New Forest Essential Guide can be found in many information stands or here and is a great resource for the newcomer to the area with maps, walks, things to do and what’s on listings as well.
After a days busy sightseeing you’re going to need to refuel. As well as the on site shop there’s the Co-Op in Bransgore village around three miles away. Easily found down the A35 towards Christchurch is a Sainsbury’s and a little further on an Aldi and Lidl.
For dining out options, a Toby carvery can also be found on the A35 and is handy to for fuelling up on their buffet breakfast before a day out. The village of Bransgore offers two pubs – The Crown where both the real ale and food was very well received – or the Three Tuns and The Carpenters Arms which we didn’t sadly get to try. Takeaways are limited to the chippy but a chip van does visit the site on Saturday evenings.
For full details of the site click here.
Site Arrival Video