Taking time in the woods to live life well

wild camping in Dorset


Read about our 'Winter Day Pitches' - getting outside and into the woods during winter 


Welcome to Southover Woods - discover wild camping in Dorset

Southover Woods offers a unique holiday experience in beautiful woods and meadows, with nearly wild camping and a range of different experiences and activities aimed at enhancing your wellbeing through connecting with nature. Keeping life simple and looking after the environment are central to the ethos of the woods. 

You will find that the pitches are well spaced and set into natural hollows and glades, allowing space for you to relax and breathe and children to play and explore. The amenities are simple and wherever possible made on site from local wood and materials. There are six wild woodland camping sites, eight meadow camping pitches and a hammock area called hammock hill. On offer is an incredible range of activities and adventures, so you can create the perfect holiday for all the family, with something for everyone. 

The woodlands extend to over 60 acres of woodland, with 2 adjoining meadows, nestled in the South Dorset countryside. Only 20 minutes from the Jurassic coast, and connected by numerous bridleways and footpaths to both local and national walks, it is perfectly positioned for a wonderful break. Animals are welcome, and there is a  pony paddock if you want to bring your ponies or horses to enjoy the fantastic hacking that can be reached from the gate. 

Winter Day Pitches

 Available from November 1st to March 31st. Come and spend the day in the woods at one of our 3 winter pitches in either Tenders, Villager or hammock hill. Have full access to the woods to walk and explore, and use of the pitch including firepit, kettle and composting loo. Bring food and cook outside, and use our kettle for hot drinks.
Access is via a rutted track, so you will need a 4 x 4 or suitable vehicle, or to walk from Tolpuddle (about 15 mins). We offer a serviced day pitch as well, where we supply water, a sack of logs and kindling to your pitch. Prices below, dogs are welcome, but please dispose of their messes responsibly.



our Wild woodland CampSITES


There are six wild woodland camping sites, spaced throughout Southover Woods. Each site has plenty space to for you to pitch your tent and create your own natural home for the night. The sites have their own fire pits, wild showers that can be filled with hot or cold water and composting loos. We will also provide you with a kettle and grill to cook and heat water.

Wild woodland camping in Lordship, Villager, Decanter and Hammock Hill

Camp in our beautiful woodland sites

Read More  

Wild woodland camping in Tenders

Wonderful wild camping in your own 12 acre site, with yurt and outdoor cooking area

Read More  

Wild woodland camping in Greyhound

Relax in total privacy in the most tucked away site in wonderful light birch woodland.

Read More  

Wild woodland camping in Craftsmen

An uplifting site with open spaces and beech, fir and birch woodland.

Read More  

MEADOW Camping, EVENTS & PONIES


Camping in the meadow

Camp in the peaceful meadow

Read More  

Southover woods event hire - all or part of site

Planning an event? why not hire the whole of Southover woods

Read More  

Pony meadow

Bring your own horse or pony and keep them in our pony paddock

Read More  

Prices




Pitch

Cost per night for each pitch

Lordship, decanter, villager  

£10 per adult, £5 per child aged 5-16

Meadow pitches

£10 per adult, £5 per child aged 5-16

Craftsmen and greyhound

£40 for the wild site + £10 per adult, £5 per child aged 5-16

Tenders including yurt and field kitchen

£100 for the wild site + £10 per adult, £5 per child aged 5-16

Winter day pitches - Tenders, villager and hammock hill

£20 per day for a group of up to 6 people (including children)

£50 for a serviced pitch per day for a group of up to 6 people (including children)


Children under 5 and dogs are free of charge for camping 

Camping is available from 1st April to 31st October - the site is closed for camping over winter

Booking enquiry


Please fill in your details below to find out availability of the campsites and we will get back to you in 24 hours to confirm your booking.
Arrival Date
 
Departure Date
 











Activities


Need to know


Our ethos is simplicity, and our aim is to help people connect with nature in whichever way is right for them. We want to help people  improve their wellbeing through spending time in our woods and meadows - taking time in nature to live life well.  Whenever we can we make things using our own resources and employing our family members or close friends. This means that things will be homemade, and we hope you enjoy this element of our amenities. It can also sometimes mean that there are some rougher finishes and that our amenities are, while adequate, basic. 

We ask that everyone who comes to Southover woods respects our simple rules to ensure that they can spend their time in harmony with the other people who are staying

  • There is a no vehicles policy in Southover woods, we ask people to park outside the woods in our parking area and use the wheelbarrows provided to transport their kit to their pitches. If people have mobility issues then we have pitches that are accessible by vehicle, and this can be agreed on a person by person basis. 
  • We ask you to respect the other campers privacy and not walk through other pitches, and keep music and noise to a minimum during the day with no music played after 9pm. 
  • We are happy for you to bring dogs into the woodland and wild sites, but there are no dogs in the meadow camping sites. Please keep your dogs under control and in sight at all times and make sure that dog waste is buried or disposed of in thick undergrowth - please do not use plastic bags. 
  • Please take your rubbish home, or take it to the local municipal sites. 
  • Don' t leave fires unattended without covers on them. There are fire pits for everyone, please be responsible with this as we run our site on a trust basis. 
  • PLEASE DO NOT USE DISPOSABLE BBQs


General information and health and safety:

We have built our own composting loos with pits below them. Please use these loos for your poos, but whenever possible go for wild wees. To help with the composting process please put ash from your fires on top of your waste in the drop below the loo. If you have run out of ash then use mulch from the wood floor or sawdust provided in the welcome hut or found on the quarry floor. 

Water is available at 3 standpipes. We provide one aquaroll of water at Craftsmen, Greyhound and Tenders, but we don't provide water containers to any other pitches so please bring your own.

Logs are available at a cost of £5 per bag, and are to be found in the service areas where there is an honesty box or you can use the southover woods pay pal account. 

There are grills on each firepit for cooking on, but we don't supply leather gloves or BBQ tools, or equipment for cutting wood and kindling.

Our showers are wild and can be filled with warm or cold water, and then pulled up and tilted. We provide a shower enclosure made by ourselves with a rubber mat on the ground for keeping your feet out of the mud. If you want a warm shower we encourage you to heat the water on your fire pit and fill your shower from this to your desired temperature.  A kettle is provided by each shower, please return it to the shower after use. 

Safety in Southover woods - our woods are wild natural places full of badger and fox dens, shake holes and branches, trees and puddles and ponds. There are many ways that people can fall or hurt themselves and we cannot take any responsibility for this. Of note in our woodland are the numerous shake or sink holes. These are scattered throughout and make the terrain very unpredictable and very interesting. Branches can fall from trees in high winds and we reserve the right to close the site if the weather forecast is very severe. Fires are the sole responsibility of those who light them. There are often deer in the woods in the early part of the season. Where deer are present there are also sometimes ticks present, particularly in long grass. For advice in regard to tick management please refer to Public Health England advice.

If you book a pitch in Southover woods you are taking full responsibility for your safety and for the safety of those in your party.  


Contact


*
*

F.A.Q


You are welcome to bring your dog or dogs onto the site. We do ask that you supervise your dog and have a lead to hand in case you come across other dogs. We also ask that you make sure that any dog waste is dug into the ground or hidden in deep undergrowth. Please do not use plastic bags. If you have a very energetic or unruly dog, please take extra care to make sure it doesn't cause trouble for the others in the woods. 
At present we don't take deposits for bookings. However, if you need to cancel please provide us with as much advance warning as possible so we can hire out your pitch if you no longer need it.
We do allow fires and BBQ although we ask that you use the fire pits provided which have a BBQ grill for your use. During the summer months the woods become very dry and there is an increased risk of forest fires. Our firepits are positioned above a stone/brick plinth and are raised off the ground to minimize the risk of a fire starting. Please take great care with your fire, so that campers can continue to benefit from the happiness of having a fire when camping. 
We do supply and sell fire wood although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. We charge £5 for a small crate of firewood.
Just contact us on the contact us form, or email, message, whatsapp or phone. The camp site is open from April to the end of September, but we can accommodate campers in the winter by special arrangement.
Activities are available throughout the school holidays, and at weekends in June, July and September.

  •  07727 184293
  •  info@southoverwoods.co.uk

Testimonials


 Just stayed at Southover for 3 days with my partner and our dog and it was perfect. Lucy was super accommodating in finding us a spot that would enable us to stay in our camper. It was beautiful - in a meadow/field at the edge of the woods. We didn't move for the 3 days, except for local walks. We had everything we needed - fire pit, saw for wood, water etc. Our spot was sheltered by the woods behind us but with an open view in front and plenty of space to lie in the sun, when it came out. Lucy and all members of her family that we interacted with with warm and helpful. We'll definitely be back!"

Lizzie Kelly

 Amazing site in a beautiful woodland setting and Casper was lovely and very helpful. We couldn’t have had a better experience!"

Ali Hares

 We had such a great time here! great spot to hang out around the campfire and enjoy the serenity of the woods. will definitely be back"

Louise Burn

 Stayed for two nights and I can honestly say that I've never had a better experience camping. A very friendly guy named Casper helped us with everything we needed to get started, including wood, water and a firepit and then we got left to do as we pleased. The woods are some of the most beautiful I've been to and the seclusion, scenery and abundance of wildlife made it an incredibly relaxing stay. Not only that, but the site is situated perfectly to explore the surrounding areas of Dorset and the Jurassic coast. Truly spectacular and we're already planning our next visit. Justin Heames | August 3, 2020"

 We stayed for 3 nights with 3 kids and dog in what felt like our own beautiful, cool, private pine forest with jungly ferns. V helpful Casper met us on arrival, with stacks of wood and 40l fresh water and, with Lucy, was always just a text away. Loads of space, no-one else around and plenty of exploring to do. We found part of the Hardy Way one day and paddled off Ringstead beach another. Great location, accessible but quiet. A real gem – we’ll definitely be back! Thank you. | August 1, 2020"

     

 Myself, partner and dog stayed at Southover for 3 nights last week. We wanted to stay in our campervan and Lucy sorted out a meadow/field for us on the edge of the woods with a beautiful view. We had the pitch to ourselves and Alex brought us a fire pit and some water. The spot was ideal for us as we had the shelter of the woods behind us and the open space in front of us, which allowed us to lounge around in the sun all day. We chose to collect fire wood ourselves for the fire and we didn't move for 3 days except for local walks. The area is beautiful. Lucy's communication with us was excellent and she replied to all messages and questions promptly. We had interactions with Lucy's family when we arrived and they showed its to the site. Everyone was super warm, friendly and really helpful. It was a perfect few days. We'll definitely be back again. Lizzie Kelly | July 27, 2020"

     

 Great campsite and great way to go camping. Lucy met us and helped us locate the site which was a dirt road but navigable in my Peugeot 308. The final 200m to the site is 4wd only, but they took us in their 4wd along with our stuff. At the campsite they also provided chairs, fireplace and some essential bits and pieces for camping for us to use. It is a great place to stay to get away or as a base to easily explore the area, we will be going back. Scott Rowlandson | July 12, 2020"

     

 Dear Michael Just wanted to say how amazing our time was at your woods. Truly a magical environment to stay in, was a much needed oasis from city life. We’ll definitely come stay again. And ringstead beach was a great suggestion, wasn’t even that busy. Kind regards Will June, 2021"

Find us


Southover woods are marked as Southover heath on OS maps, as historically this land was heath land, being planted as woods in the early 20th century

By vehicle, Southover woods are accessed via Max Events along a track that runs from the B3390 just south of Affpuddle. This track starts at a cross roads  with the road opposite signed to Briantspuddle. The track is unpaved and uneven, but is be passable by ordinary car, it is marked in red on the map below. On entering the activity centre please follow the signs to the Southover woods car park.  

Please do not access the woods through Tolpuddle. 


Wild Camping - Southover Woods on campsites.co.uk