Best Campsites in Dorset
When it comes to dramatic coastline and green farmland, Dorset has earned a fierce reputation – and with good reason. Not only does Dorset’s Jurassic Coast have landmarks such as limestone cliffs and beaches concealing fossils from the dinosaur age, but it’s also backed by miles of farmland, chalk downlands and clay valleys.
Whether you’re visiting Dorset to unwind in the countryside, take up watersports on the coast or tick views of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove off your bucket list, you’ll need somewhere relaxing as a base.
There are campsites all across the Dorset countryside and coast, catering for families, dog owners, couples and groups of adults – to find out what options are available, view all sites in Dorset or continue reading to see where you could set down.
10 of the Best Campsites in Dorset
Golden Cap Holiday Park
Bridport, Dorset DT6 6JX
Why here? If your top priority is being close to the Dorset coast, you’ve struck gold with Golden Cap Holiday Park. This hilltop site is just 150 metres from the beach, where sea angling, swimming and fossil hunting are some of the options for activities. Being based in the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is one big appeal, but to top things off, Golden Cap Holiday Park is also part of a National Trust estate with 2000 acres of peaceful countryside and wildlife. There are plenty of creature comforts across the site, including a well-stocked shop and a launderette. Guests are welcome to pay extra to use the facilities at the nearby holiday park, including a heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room.
Key facilities: Shop, fishing lake, launderette, play area, showers, toilets, washing-up area, dogs allowed
One last thing… Golden Cap Holiday Park has a fishing lake, so don’t forget to bring along your fishing gear.
Donkey Down Campsite
Plaisters Lane, Sutton Poyntz
Preston, Dorset DT3 6LQ
Why here? Getting your Dorset coastal fix is easy from Donkey Down Campsite, on the South Dorset Ridgeway. This dog-friendly site has access to the South West Coast Path for days of hiking and it’s also a short drive from the beaches at Overcombe and Ringstead Bay. When you’re not exploring bits of the coast, there are 10 acres to explore around the site, including neolithic tumulus (ancient burial mounds). For activities like dog walks, ball games, picnics and flying kites, the site is also adjacent to a seven-acre stretch of open-access land. On the main site, the views over Weymouth Bay are a spectacular setting for grilling burgers or sausages over the barbecue and watching the sunset over the coast.
Key facilities: Space for games, firepits and barbecues permitted, showers, washing-up area, dogs allowed
One last thing… The village of Preston is only five minutes’ drive from the site for guests who want to source supplies for a picnic or barbecue.
Holyrood Farm Campsite
Gascoignes Lane, St James
Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 0NA
Why here? In the Blackmore Vale, Holyrood Farm Campsite is a wild camping site with a few added comforts. The grassy pitches are part of a farm surrounded by pleasant sloping countryside, and they have access to flushing toilets, a shower and a washing-up area. Nevertheless, the site’s vibe is very much back-to-basics. There’s wood for sale for those of you who’d like to rustle up a firepit after the sun has set behind the sloping fields, and farm food is available to order from the farmer Jason. One of the best bits about this location is that it has access to a footpath leading to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, a cobbled street that’s made many appearances on British screens (including that famous Hovis advert…)
Key facilities: Farm food available, firewood for sale, washing-up area, toilets, shower, dogs allowed
One last thing… For a real rural boost, take time to seek out the farm’s animals, which include alpacas, rare-breed pigs and Dexter cattle, plus wilder beasts like badgers.
Bridport, Dorset DT6 6RJ
Why here? Searching for a site for some adults-only peaceful time? Hobby Farm is free from kids, but welcomes adults and their canine companions with open arms. Based in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Dorset countryside, there are plenty of walks in the surrounding area. If you’re willing to go the distance, one of the trails will take you to the coast in an hour and a quarter. Otherwise, jump in the car and ready yourself for fossil hunting around two of the Jurassic Coast’s richest fossil spots, Charmouth and Lyme Regis, both 10 minutes’ drive from the site.
Key facilities: Chemical disposal, showers, toilets, washing-up area, charging facilities, dogs allowed
One last thing… Hobby Farm is just five minutes’ walk from the closest pub, meaning that there’s always somewhere to get a drink at the end of a day out.
Lyons Gate Holiday Park
Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7AZ
Why here? Whether you’re a keen angler or simply searching for somewhere to stay in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Lyons Gate Holiday Park is an attractive choice. The dog-friendly site has four fishing lakes to its name, as well as a café and a selection of peaceful woodland trails. It’s half an hour’s drive to get to the Jurassic Coast for those who are looking to see if they can dig up any dinosaur fossils. Meanwhile, a productive day on the site might include reeling in fish such as roach, tench or carp, with the latter weighing up to 20 pounds. With a food shop, launderette and bathrooms available, there are plenty of facilities scattered around the site too.
Key facilities: Fishing lakes, launderette, food shop, showers, toilets, washing-up area, chemical disposal, dogs allowed
One last thing… A head torch might come in handy if you’d like to join in with the night fishing, an activity that the site runs according to request. It’s suitable for both beginners and experts.
Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4BT
Why here? Peaceful, simple and dog-friendly are some of the key attritbues of family-run Buckland Campsite. The grassy pitches are surrounded by open, green countryside and they’re only a 15-minute drive from Chesil Beach, a stretch of sand that runs for 18 miles along the Dorset coast. When you’re not heading there for sandy strolls or mackerel fishing, it's handy to know that the site is 20 minutes’ drive from Dorchester and half an hour from Lulworth Cove. There are plenty of ways to unwind on site too, whether it’s laying back on the grass, starting a barbecue or playing ball games. When you’d like to have food served to you, there’s a pub within five minutes’ drive of the site.
Key facilities: Showers, toilets, washing-up area, dogs allowed
One last thing… Following the South West Coast Path from Chesil Beach towards Portland is particularly scenic, with castles and forts to spot along the route as well as some splendid sea views.
Dorset BH20 7PD
Why here? With pitches in the grounds of a private farm estate and views of the manor house and ancient oaks, Trigon Farm is a splendid setting for holidays in rural Dorset. The farm’s herd of beef cattle lives here, and there's also plenty of wildlife to spot, including deer, woodpeckers and buzzards. Firepits and barbecues both have the green light on site, so there are plenty of ways to unwind in the evening. Location-wise, Trigon Farm is half an hour’s drive from Swanage and Studland, for beaches, watersports, boat trips and a steam railway. Facilities around the site are well maintained and include four huts with flushing toilets, a washing-up station and drinking water taps.
Key facilities: Showers, toilets, washing-up facilities, dogs allowed
One last thing… If you’re wondering where to grab supplies and snacks, the closest shop is only two miles from Trigon Farm. There’s also phone signal with 4G reception on the site for those who are keen to keep in contact with the folk back home or maintain their social media.
The Gaggle of Geese
Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7BS
Why here? The Gaggle of Geese isn’t just any old pub. The country pub has five acres of quiet grassy fields, an orchard and a dog-friendly campsite. It’s a great choice for those who want the convenience of eating homemade meals or sipping on local ciders and beers in the beer garden on site, as well as anyone searching for a rural base half an hour’s drive from the Jurassic Coast. In the summertime, the site opens up its woodfired pizza oven and barbecue shack. You’re also welcome to strike up your own barbecue or firepit and tuck into your food with countryside views all around.
Key facilities: Pub meals and takeaways, play area, showers, toilets, dogs allowed
One last thing… The pub often schedules events such as quiz nights, wine tasting or live music for guests to socialise.
Revels Farm, Cosmore
Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7TW
Why here? If you’ve been dreaming of peaceful fishing days and plenty of walks in the countryside, Revels Fishery should be on your radar. Just a quick look at an aerial view of the site will tell you that there’s plenty of scope for angling. The fishery has seven different fishing spots where you can try your luck with stock including perch, carp, catfish, barbel, bream and chub. Surrounded by the Dorset Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, rambles are just as splendid – footpaths and bridleways can be followed directly from the site. If you want some sustenance first, the site sells fresh chicken and duck eggs in the mornings for a breakfast fry-up, and there are shops accessible along local bus routes.
Key facilities: Fishing lakes, tackle shop, eggs for sale, showers, toilets, washing-up area, chemical disposal point
One last thing… Anyone missing any angling supplies will be pleased to discover that there’s a large tackle shop at the fishery.
Knoll Farm Campsite
Soldiers Road, Norden
Wareham, Dorset BH20 5DU
Why here? With green fields, a communal firepit and live entertainment, Knoll Farm Campsite has plenty to entertain guests. The dog-friendly grassy pitches are in a farm field in the Hartland Moor National Nature Reserve, 10 minutes’ drive from trails in Wareham Forest or the Purbeck Hills and 25 minutes’ drive from many bucket-list Jurassic Coast attractions such Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Man O’War Beach. In terms of activities on site, there are yoga classes available upon request and you can buy wood and kindling for campfires or barbecues. If you’d rather let someone else do the hard work, the site also sets up a communal firepit on Friday and Saturday evenings or there’s a pub 10 minutes’ stroll from the site for meals out.
Key facilities: Simple shower, toilets, washing-up area, dogs allowed
One last thing… Once you’ve parked up in the farm’s car park, there are trolleys and staff on hand to help you transport your things to the pitches.
More campsites in Dorset
Pitchup has an excellent selection of campsites across the Dorset coast and countryside, whether you're looking for a simple campsite, a motorhome site or a fancy glamping break. Just click on the button below to see where else is available as a base for beach days, country walks and fabulous family days out.