On the eastern side of the legendary New Forest National Park sits Ashurst. Boasting great facilities including toilets, showers, wash basins, and its very own laundrette, Ashurst is a great all round site and a favourite amongst families and couples alike.
An eclectic mix of campers descend upon Ashurst every year – but it’s not just the impressive amenities that keep people coming back. The real appeal of this campsite lies in its inescapable beauty, with a ring of handsome oak trees ruling over the region. All sorts of animals scamper around during the daytime, including the wonderful New Forest Ponies.
There are more than 280 superb spots to pitch your tent at Ashurst, and almost as many things to see and do in the surrounding area. We’ve put together a selection of just a few below however there are endless adventures to be had when camping in the New Forest.
As the name suggests, the enchanting village of Ashurst is right on the doorstep of the campsite. It’s well worth taking a stroll to the village and enjoying the pubs on offer.
Heading a little further, towards Ringwood is an option if you’re looking for more to do and of course, one of the best ways to explore the New Forest is by bike! Forest Leisure Cycling in Burley is around a 20 minute drive from the site. Pick up a set of wheels, learn about the best routes to take and you’ll be set to weave down the winding paths of the forest. Stop off and explore Burleys neighbouring villages (The Oak Inn and The New Forest near Lyndhurst are great pub pit stops) along the way.
Ringwood is around a 20 minute drive by car away from the site. There’s plenty to do including a brewery, an owl and reptile centre and even a tree top adventure for the true explorers among you. Moors Valley Country Park and Forest sits alongside the prehistoric town, the stunning stretch of grassland is home to cycling trails, fishing lakes, golf courses and even a steam railway.
Whatever you’re in the mood for at the beginning of your stay, you’re sure to find it within a half-hour drive from Ashurst.
Just south of Ashurst, you’ll find the village of Brockenhurst. The largest village in the New Forest, this quaint, pleasant part of Hampshire will take you around 10 minutes to reach by car, or 30 minutes by bike.
There are a number of things worth seeing whilst you’re in the Brockenhurst area, but if you’re seeking exhilaration, the New Forest Activity Centre ought to be top of your agenda. Here you can try your hand at kayaking, archery, bushcraft, or family combat games, and, if the weather is nice, drift over to Beaulieu River Nature Reserve on a canoe.
The same facility can also cater for your needs if you simply want to sit back and relax whilst the kids go crazy. With a spa on site, you can take your pick from wallowing in a Jacuzzi, enjoying a professional massage, or detoxing your body with a series of soothing beauty treatments. Bliss.
But that’s not all you’ll find at Brockenhurst. It’s also home to various food and ale festivals throughout the year, as well as a golf course, numerous pubs and restaurants, and a little further afield, the New Forest Reptile Centre. So no matter what takes your fancy, this village is a great way to spend a day or two.
Lymington Sea Water Baths is only a 30-minute drive away (12 miles south of camp). Far more than just a swimming pool, this family-friendly leisure centre accommodates open stretches of water, inflatable obstacle courses, water zorbs, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, aqua jousting and child splash zones. It’s the perfect way to see out a weekend, giving you and the little ones an opportunity to have some splishy-splashy fun whilst tiring out the kids for the ride home.
It’s also worth journeying westwards from Lymington to see the famous Christchurch Priory in the flesh. This magnificent Dorset landmark has stood for the best part of a thousand years, and continues to attract floods of visitors to this day. You’ll find a gift shop and café bar on site, meaning you can grab a memento and a bite to eat.
If you’re looking to escape the city and explore somewhere new, Ashurst in The New Forest is the perfect base.
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