The New Forest in Hampshire, United Kingdom is a favourite caravanning spot for many locals and tourists. Every year, thousands of people roll into the National Park with their mobile homes and caravan spots to experience absolute tranquillity and the stunning beauty of these rolling hills.
But how do you decide on a caravan spot? And what should you keep in mind when researching caravan spots?
I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that will help you choose your favourite caravan spot in The New Forest.
I have also written a blog post on the 10 best camping spots in The New Forest. You can read this in-depth guide here.
1. Decide on what city or village you want to be close to
When looking for a perfect camping spot, you will want to consider what village you want to be close to. Most people choose camping spots near Brockenhurst as this is considered to be the capital of the New Forest.
Brockenhurst has a train station, two supermarkets, a chippy and lots of small little shops, pubs and cafes where you can enjoy a fresh pint or a nice cuppa. Brockenhurst is also known for the many horses roaming around in the little village and its pack of sassy little donkeys.
Another village you might consider is Lyndhurst. Lyndhurst is the closest big village to Southampton and the first New Forest Exit you can take from the A31/M27. Just like Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst has all amenities one can wish for.
I would add, however, that due to the fact that Southampton Road A35 goes straight through Lyndhurst (and their high street) it is often busy and walking through the village would not be very well suited for campers with kids.
Are you looking for a cosy typically English honey pot village? Spend your time close to Beaulieu! Beaulieu is known as the pearl of The New Forest. This village is part of the estate of Lord Montagu and is very well-preserved. Great for a little walk and drinking a glass of wine by the water. In Beaulieu you can also visit the Motor Museum – a must see for all gearheads!
And last but not least campers can also park their caravan near Burley. Burley is a beautiful little honey pot village with many candy shops, two pubs and even a cider shop selling local produce. I would recommend camping near Burley for caravaners who love walking and hiking. It is no secret that The Forest near Burley is prettiest.
2. Would you rather make beach walks or forest walks
Although not many people realise this, The New Forest national park is actually located directly by the sea. This means you are never more than half an hour drive away from a beach!
When choosing a caravan spot in The New Forest you can opt for a caravan spot closer to the beach rather than in the middle of the Forest. Although camping spots such as Lepe Beach do not allow camper vans and caravans, there are a couple of great spots that are not too far from a nice, clean, deserted sandy beach.
If you prefer a camping spot close to the beach, make sure to reserve your spot in time as these caravan parks tend to fill up quite quickly.
3. Are you just passing through
Due to the large amount of great caravan spots and pitches, many tourists travelling to Cornwall, Dartmoor and Exmoor make a pit stop in The New Forest to spend the night. If you decide to just pass through The New Forest, your best bet will be to choose a caravan spot near Lyndhurst or Burley.
Both villages have all amenities such as pubs, restaurants and shops – but they are sufficiently close to the motorway for you to make an early start or be on your way in good time.
4. How much comfort do you need
When choosing a perfect caravan spot or pitch, it is important to consider how much comfort you will nee when camping.
There are camping and caravan spots where there are no toilet, shower and washing facilities. This means you will need to take a chemical toilet and water to shower with, with you.
Obviously there equally are camping spots that have all amenities – from great showers and toilets to even a laundry place and a local shop where you can buy beer, milk, bread, eggs and other food and camping items you might need.
Please go over the amenities available at the camping spots before you decide to book a caravan pitch. This will help you to make an informed decision when it comes to comfort and amenities.
When booking a caravan pitch, also check the location of the caravan park or camping grounds on Google Maps. Due to the vast distances in The New Forest, it is not uncommon to be 4 to 5 miles from the nearest village when camping – even for camping sites with no local shop available or pub within walking distance.
If you enjoy walking into the village to buy bread, cheese or even grab a pint, then you will need to check the location of the camping site before you reserve a pitch.
5. Are you taking kids
Another consideration to make when camping in The New Forest is whether or not you are bringing kids. Some camping and caravan spots are better suited for kids than others.
I would highly recommend the camping spots near Brockenhurst as they have little streams and rivers running through them or within walking distance. These little streams are perfect for kids to play at or to cool down in.
When you are bringing kids you might want to be closer to a village in case of emergencies or just to keep them excited through change of scenery. As mentioned before: I do not particularly rate Lyndhurst very high for families with kids due to the constant hustle and bustle of cars through the picturesque village. Brockenhurst and Burley are much better suited for families due to their location (Burley has a Mc Donald’s within a 5 minute drive) and the amenities available in the village such as bike hire.