One of the main reasons for us choosing Holmsley camping and caravanning club site was its location. Neither Mark or I had experienced forest camping and it was something we were both eager to try. Based within the new forest national park Holmsley had all the amenities we needed; toilet and shower being the 2 important ones. But is also a shop, take away, playpark as well as dishwashing, laundry and waste points. Another major plus of choosing Holmsley Camping and Caravanning Club Site is the new forest animals. During our stay, we made the most of it and had a walk every evening. The ponies and cows were most definitely a must see sight.
When checking in to the site we were given a map as well as the sites rules and a magazine about the new forest. We were also given 2 tickets; one to attach to our tent and another for the car. If you chose electric hook up there are several hard standing and grass pitches throughout the site, if like us you choose not to use electric then you are given pretty much free roam where to pitch. Unlike Scarborough and Cambridge, the pitches are not marked. We wanted to stay near the playpark but also wanted to be tucked away so we set up the pitch in one of the little turn offs and camped within the trees.
Our first night we thought we would try the takeaway. We spent just under £25 for fish, 2xcheeseburgers and 2 lots of 3x chicken nuggets plus 3 portions of large chips. the takeaway was lovely especially the chips. Mark loved the cheeseburger and Oliver seemed to enjoy the chicken nuggets. The fish was pretty much batter and for £4 it wasn’t as big as I was expecting either. The fish was still really tasty though.
I was surprised with how well priced the shop was too! Although not very well stocked for the first couple of days once the delivery came it had pretty much everything you need. From selling bacon (£1), drinks (from 35p) and bread (from £1) it also had a pretty well stocked camping section as well as toys and games. Everything seemed reasonably priced.
Toilets and Family Room
Holmsley C&C has family rooms in their toilet blocks. For the first time since staying at a club site, we had to leave a £10 cash deposit in exchange for a key. If you have more than 2 children I probably wouldn’t bother using it though. There was no way the 5 of us could fit in there and take it in turns for showers and drying/changing. It also didn’t help that on a few occasions I saw the family room being used by single people who could have quite easily used the other facilities.
We visited the campsite during may half term, so we expected the facilities to not always be up to scratch. It certainly didn’t help that some kids felt the need to block toilets/ continuously knock on shower and toilet doors and generally run amuck. I really felt sorry for the staff who all did what they could to keep everything clean. Even at 10.30pm, I saw members of staff unblocking toilets that children had blocked with endless amounts of loo roll.
Things to do
The boys loved playing at the park and there was certainly enough to keep them occupied. Even when it seemed really busy there was still plenty of equipment to play with.
There is also plenty of free activities to do around the campsite too! All within driving distance of the campsite. Whilst we were camping we made a visit to the New Forest Reptile Centre and Bolderwood. Both of which we can highly recommend. Bolderwood has a large enclosed picnic area with plenty of BBQ stands aswell as a deer viewing platform. The New Forest Reptile Centre is home to some of England’s rarest animals such as the Smooth Snake. if you visit during the school holidays then Wednesday is their “wild Wednesday” event. The RSPB were there with activities and things to do. When we visited we were able to make clay woodland animals and badges.
We are looking forward to making another visit to Holmsley in the future!
*We were given a 4 night stay in exchange for an honest and open review. All photos and opinions are my own