Campsites in Hampshire

66 bookable campsites in Hampshire

Why go camping in Hampshire?

Two national parks

Holidays in Hampshire mean double the walks, wildlife and scenery, as this splendid south-eastern county is home to two unique national parks. 

Tucked away in the south-western corner of Hampshire, the New Forest National Park is small in scale but big on campsites, pubs and biodiversity – and what could be more important than that? Whether you’re mountain biking in and around Brockenhurst or looking to pull up somewhere near Lyndhurst, you can expect treats like heather-covered heaths, wonderful woodland walks and close-up encounters with New Forest ponies. 

Further to the east, The South Downs National Park straddles the border with West Sussex, stretching all the way down to Eastbourne on the East Sussex coast. A gentle landscape of rolling farmland, woodlands and rare chalk streams, it’s home to vineyards, zoos, historic houses and some of South East England’s best beaches. 

Hampshire’s cliffs and coves 

Another stand-out reason to camp in Hampshire is its cracking coastline. Pitch up within striking distance of Southampton or Calshot if you fancy a spot of navigation on the Solent, or find Hampshire sites close to sailing spots, canoeing and kayaking opportunities or other watersports.

For more nautical action, find somewhere close to the Lymington ferry so you can easily pop over to the Isle of Wight for the day or overnight. You could also zip across from Portsmouth to Ryde by hovercraft; stick around in the former to see Hamphsire’s premier historic ships like HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose. 

Town and country

Although camping in Hampshire most likely means settling down somewhere rural, when it’s time to stroll around cobbled streets or browse for bargains at local markets there’s plenty of choice on offer. 

On the coast, top picks include the well-preserved small ports like Emsworth and Lymington, while the Hampshire countryside has a good range of handsome market towns like Alresford and Whitchurch.

Finally, the small city of Winchester, the county town, really is a must-see for those looking to understand what Hampshire is all about: its gorgeous architecture, well-preserved water meadows and Britain’s largest farmers’ market are not to be missed.

The best things to do when camping or glamping in Hampshire

  • Paultons Park near Romsey home of Peppa Pig World and other ever-popular kid-pleasing attractions 

  • Highclere Castle near Newbury – an exceptional stately home of Downton Abbey fame

  • Moors Valley Country Park, Ringwood – for family-friendly days out on segways, Go Ape or a miniature railway

  • Make a day of it at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to see the Spinnaker Tower and The Mary Rose, King Henry VIII’s flagship

  • Beat a retreat to the flowers and foliage at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Mottisfont Abbey, both of which are a short drive from Romsey 

  • Get your taste buds tingling over a perfect G and T at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch  

Unexplored Hampshire

Animal explores

As well as bigger family-friendly attractions like Marwell Zoo near Owslebury, Hampshire is home to a range of smaller-scale wildlife parks where you can arrange close-up encounters with animal life. Top picks include: 

  • The Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover

  • The New Forest Reptile Centre, a free attraction just outside Lyndhurst 

A sinking cathedral 

The Norman newcomers who erected Winchester’s stunning cathedral in 1079 didn’t do much research before picking a spot to start building. The structure overlapped the prehistoric bed of the Itchen river, with subsidence becoming so bad by the early 1900s that a deep-sea diver, William Walker, had to be sent in to shore it up with concrete. 

The plan worked, and today the cathedral’s foundations are safe and sound. The crypt still floods in the rainy months, though, when the mix of water and Gothic arches becomes a stunning backdrop for Anthony Gormley’s Sound II sculpture. 

Test Valley Way

The Test Way is a 44-mile car-free trail that runs from chalk downs in Berkshire all the way down to the marshes that skirt Southampton Water. The section between Romsey and Stockbridge is particularly scenic – following the level route of an old railway line and with several excellent birdwatching spots along the way, this part of the walk also has good access to public transport.

Hidden gem trails on the eastern edge of Hampshire

Head to Emsworth and cross over into West Sussex for a circular walk around Thorney Island, an MOD-owned wildlife haven with spectacular views over Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

A few miles to the west on Hayling Island, the Hayling Billy Trail is a slightly shorter route where cyclists and pedestrians can look forward to similarly varied scenery. 

Here's how 

Starting to look for Hampshire camping breaks? Have a play with the filters on this page to find what you’re looking for, from New Forest caravan sites to wild-style campsites in the South DownsKeep reading for the criteria our guests often seek out for their Hampshire holidays:

All set? In the run-up to your Hampshire camping trip, have a browse of our handy travel guide for the low-down on campfires, how to choose the right tent, the best sites for stargazing and more.  

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