On arrival at the campsite, we pitched a tent conveniently in the shelter of the huge trees, which offered perfect shade during daylight hours, a factor that was ideal due to the gloriously sunny weather experienced during our stay, but also from possible nocturnal showers.

Immensely helpful, the staff offered advice, the most vital of which was to keep our tent zipped-up to deter curious visitors (specifically the New Forest ponies) searching for food. There was an immediate and pleasurable impression of a ‘return to nature’ about the camping experience.

We found the campsite to be exceptionally family-friendly and it offered ample facilities, including three toilet and shower blocks, disabled amenities, baby wash and changing areas, laundry rooms and even a dog shower. An amiable, chilled-out atmosphere enhanced our visit and it became clear that many campers return to this particular location annually.

There were plenty of activities on offer. We tried a nature walk and our two youngsters revelled in finding various species of
butterfly, insects and an abundance of woodland flowers.

Later in the day, we joined the bush craft activities and made ‘woodland’ pencils out of twigs. We also enjoyed building a small fire, upon which to bake our own homemade chocolate bread. A wild food medicinal plant tasting session proved fascinating. Even now, our son is proud of his ability to pick and eat his own nettles.

Evenings were spent relaxing outside our tent, chatting to neighbours and enjoying the peaceful woodland environment. After a decent night’s rest, we joined a trek to explore the forest on horseback.

This was a delightful way to take in the wonderful surroundings of the New Forest. It was reassuring to find that the stablehands were not only experienced but also patient with our children, who had never ridden before. All too soon ourvisit was over and we packed up the tent to head back to domestic Surrey.

As its combination of magic surroundings and sheer costeffectiveness are so beguiling, we intend to indulge in an annual camping trip at Hollands Wood.


Standout feature:

its wonderful, woodland location