Lovely New Forest setting among the trees where ponies roam. For motorhome owners the only downsides are that pitches are grass and no electric hookup. Drainage seems to be good so should not get stuck on pitch in summer months. Shower block is great but busy at peak times with queues.
In late June I decided to head to the New Forest and my campsite of choice was Hollands Wood campsite. It is one of a number of campsites across the UK set within forests and woods operated by Camping in the Forest which is a partnership between The Camping and Caravanning Club and the Forestry Commission.
Like most Camping in the Forest campsites, Hollands Wood campsite provides showers and toilets but not electric hookups. As a result of this I decided to break my journey at Carron Caravan and Camping Site, a small site within the New Forest with no showers but electric hookups for £12.00 a night. While there I charged up the leisure batteries, my Ring Professional PowerPack and my thumbsUp! Dual Power Bank.
Hollands Wood campsite – An overview
I arrived at Hollands Wood campsite at about 1:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon and was greeted and shown to my pitch. The fee was £15.00 and whilst there were a number of motorhomes and caravans around this campsite attracts more tents than anything else. Hollands Wood campsite is a huge site with a total of 600 pitches but it was not very busy the day I arrived. Facilities included showers, toilets, laundry and dish washing area. Since I had laundry to do I was pleased to discover that a wash was £3.00, 50p cheaper than club sites and the machines were huge, allowing me to clean everything in just one load. Driers were 20p for 8 minutes. On the downside there don’t seem to be enough showers for such a large site with queues at peak times, so I used my own shower.
The staff at Hollands Wood campsite are known as Rangers rather than wardens and there are a number of Ranger led activities including Young Explorers, Dusk Watch and Tour de Forest. Open fires are not allowed but Barbecues are, provided they are off the ground and in a suitable container.
What attracts most to Hollands Wood campsite is the sense of getting away from it all. You are surrounded by nature, whether that’s the mature trees or the wildlife which includes the famous ponies. New Forest ponies are owned by commoners who have rights to allow their ponies to roam freely and graze. It’s a common sight to see ponies next to your tent or motorhome or even wandering the local high street! Signs tell you not to feed the ponies and you are also advised not to stroke them in case they bite or kick but my fellow campers were ‘cuddling’ new born ponies who seemed to love human contact.
Hollands Wood campsite – What to see locally
The campsite is a 10-15 minute walk from Brockenhurst village centre. The village has a selection of shops including a Tesco Express. For the tourist there are a number of attractions close to Hollands Wood campsite. The New Forest itself makes a great place to walk or cycle. Beaulieu Motor Museum is a short drive away, popular with school parties and families. If beaches are your thing then the long sandy beach at Bournemouth is not too far away.