Sandwiched between the gentle villages of Brockenhurst and Beaulieu is Roundhill – a glorious green campsite speckled with glistening lakes, fuzzy ferns, zig-zagging nature paths, and titanic pine trees. It’s a space that’s sweeter than a spoonful of syrup, encapsulating everything that’s just so wonderful about the New Forest.
If you’re seeking a soul-boosting break in the wild, we’ve compiled an itinerary that’s worth a look-in. Read on, and pack in as much as possible for three truly unforgettable days.
After pitching up at Roundhill and scouting the surrounding area, you’ll be torn between chilling out at camp for the day or heading out to discover what New Forest has to offer.
As exquisite as the campsite might be, you can’t pass up the chance to witness deer prancing and dancing before your very eyes. Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary is situated just 20 minutes’ drive away from camp and is well worth a visit. A superb viewing platform is set up exclusively for guests, allowing you to gawp at the wonderful sight of fallow deer springing across the grass banks and curling up for a quick nap in the summer sun.
But Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary isn’t the only place boasting a sense of local splendour. Positioned a few miles south of this animal habitat is Whitefield Moor – a picturesque park that’s perfect for a picnic. This plot is also frequented by ponies and cattle, who often trot by to gobble on the long green grass and accompany tourists enjoying the sunshine.
Naturally, creature spotting and picnic grazing isn’t always possible when the heavens open, so if you’ve picked a rainy day to start your camping trip, you might be best off hitting the nearby New Forest Centre Museum. It’s scattered with insightful exhibits about the New Forest National Park.
The second day on a camping holiday is often the busiest and usually the best. There’s no tent tidying required; no pitching up or packing away. It’s just you, your loved ones, and a full day of adventure on the cards from sunrise ‘til dusk.
The nearby New Forest Activity Centre is one way to spend your Saturday, with a multitude of white-knuckle, mud-smothering, lung-busting activities to enjoy. However, if you’re looking for a blend of diverse experiences, we recommend heading over to Southampton for the day.
There’s a lot to love about this southern city and it’s easy to access from Roundhill, taking roughly 30 minutes by car or just over 20 minutes if you board a train at Brockenhurst.
If you do decide to venture over to Southampton by rail, don’t make it your only train trip of the day. Before heading up to the city, be sure to check out Exbury Gardens – a grand, gorgeous park with its very own classic steam railway. A guaranteed fun-filled trip for all the family, Exbury Gardens glows with colours in the summertime and is sprinkled with crunchy brown leaves in Autumn – a steam train chugging across the greenery three times a day.
On the east side of Southampton is Manor Farm Country Park – a traditional working farm populated by committed, authentically dressed actors and a gaggle of friendly creatures. Both adults and kids are sure to find something to love about Manor Farm, with creative crafts classes, animal feeding sessions, and sizzling barbecue sessions held throughout the week.
If it’s a little too wet and windy to wander around big green gardens or interact with furry friends in a farmyard, the Solent Sky Museum just outside the city centre is stuffed wall to wall with fascinating indoor exhibits, from the first ever flying models to helicopters and space flight vehicles.
If it’s your final day at Roundhill, you’ll be just about set to bid farewell. But before you shoot off and leave the campsite for the foreseeable future, why not take the plunge and cosy up to some sea creatures for the day? You’ve seen plenty of land animals during your visit, and now seems as good a time as any to feast your eyes on some beasts from the deep.
There are two terrific places to watch sea creatures floating, weaving, and bobbing through vast pools of water – Oceanarium Bournemouth and Fort Victoria on the Isle of Wight.
Both places promise a thrilling time, and whilst you probably wouldn’t be able to tackle both in a single day, it’s certainly worth picking one to visit before your holiday ultimately winds down.
Oceanarium Bournemouth takes about 50 minutes to reach from Roundhill campsite, and waiting for you at the destination is a full lagoon’s worth of fun – including a colourful selection of creatures (penguins, sharks, lobsters, water dragons, mud turtles), access to live feeding sessions, various animal-themed bits and bobs for the kiddies, and a great little café to grab a bite to eat whenever you’re feeling peckish.
Fort Victoria, on the other hand, is a world of its own. Proudly propped up on the Isle of Wight (which requires a short ferry ride from Milford and Hurst Castle to reach), this interactive experience has pools of seahorses, pufferfish, stingrays, and spider crabs to goggle at, along with a wonderful model railway and Sea Bed Archaeology Exhibition.
A holiday at Roundhill campsite isn’t just a holiday well spent – it’s an opportunity to gain heart-warming memories to last a lifetime. Book a pitch at Roundhill or one of our other New Forest campsites if you haven’t already, to enjoy a spectacular trip away.
Planning a longer camping trip? There are plenty more activity ideas and places to visit for you to discover throughout our blog.
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