Camping at Roundhill

The New Forest is a really beautiful area with its sleepy villages, small towns and vast areas of wild countryside in which New Forest ponies, donkeys and cattle are free to roam and generally get in the way of passing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. It is a super place to camp as there are numerous forest campsites, many of which have some of the every day necessities such as showers and toilets. We chose to book a couple of nights at Roundhill which has showers and toilets but no electric hook up and no motorhome service area for waste water disposal and we duly arrived there on the afternoon of Sunday 5th June during the mini heatwave.
The campsite is located equidistant between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu and was marvellously deserted and quiet throughout our stay. It had been built adjacent to the disused war time airfield of RAF Beaulieu, very little of which survives today as it has been almost entirely taken back by nature but you can cycle or walk around its perimeter which is now bridleway and some rough tracks.
Many of the roads around Roundhill and Brockenhurst are quiet and fine for cycling, although the A337 between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst was rather busy.
Roundhill got its name from the circular bronze age burial mound, Round Barrow, located on its periphery. Ah, the marvellous things on your very doorstep!

Here we are parked in the forest, awning extended to provide shade from the hot sun, cooker and bottle of wine at the ready. The wine is courtesy of Maryanne and Chris – many thanks to you both.

And here you see me finishing off my 3rd glass of wine before dinner. We had an apple each, which attracted a nosy Pony right into our living space. Thankfully he didn’t try and get into the ‘van.

Ah, bliss. Temperatures were in the high 20’s and despite the BBC (which lies like a carpet) forecasting rain we didn’t have a drop. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we extended our stay by an extra night to take advantage of the good weather. We made good use of our bikes and spent many hours cycling, including excursions to Beaulieu, Buckers Hard, Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst. We will be going back again, but not in the school holidays.

Camping in the New Forest

We have lived in Hampshire for the past 27 years but have never really spent any time exploring the New Forest which is on our doorstep, however last weekend we decided to change this. Fiona and I booked a 2 night stay at the Holmsley site in the Forest, loaded up the van with everything we might need for 2 nights away, and headed off to Ashurst and beyond. On arrival at Holmsley on the Sunday afternoon we booked in, filled the fresh water tank and found a decent level hardstanding pitch for our stay. Within a few minutes we had connected up to the site electric supply, unloaded and setup the BBQ and picnic stuff; we unwound the awning then relaxed, opened the bottle of wine and cooked our dinner.

Holmsley is a nice quiet and relaxing place. A large number of New Forest ponies loitered outside of the campsite, being kept out by the cattle grids and fences. There were a quite a number of very young ponies which were cute.

The campsite is an ex-RAF wartime airbase and quite a lot of the concrete aircraft ‘parking’ spots continue to be used, although today they are the ‘hardstanding’ pitches.

On the Monday of our first full day at Holsley we used our bikes to explore the surrounding area, stopping for a pub lunch at the Crown in Bransgore before cycling (and walking) back to the campsite in the late afternoon sun. Another bottle of wine was consumed during dinner, which comprised of Kangaroo steaks cooked on the BBQ, followed by relaxation out of doors until it became too cold to stay outside.

Much to our relief there were cattle grids and fences protecting the campsite from the numerous ponies and cattle, the ponies seemed to have a desire to stampede around in the early mornings.