Wild camping in the New Forest or overnight parking in Forestry England car parks is not permitted and contravenes the byelaws.
However, there are ten official campsites in idyllic locations right in the heart of the New Forest on the Crown land which are operated by “Camping in the Forest” – a partnership between the Forestry England and The Camping and Caravanning Club. These campsites are ideal for families and nature lovers who wish to spend a holiday in a unique landscape in close proximity to the iconic New Forest ponies and wild deer that often roam through or near to these sites.
The New Forest has plenty of natural attractions, cycle routes and way marked walks for all the family to enjoy. In fact, you are free to roam anywhere in the Forest but a good map is strongly recommended if you venture off the signposted routes. There is also an arboretum at Blackwater, deer feeding at Bolderwood plus the Reptile Centre near Lyndhurst. If you want to learn more about Forest history, customs and wildlife there is a guided walk programme on most of the sites mentioned here where you can join a Volunteer ranger to learn more about this largest remaining heritage forest in the UK.
The New Forest is a great place for a holiday especially if you want to get back to nature and enjoy the area’s totally unique landscape which encompasses woodland, lowland heath and 26 miles of coastline. It’s a great place for nature lovers – check out New Forest Nature Photiography to discover some of the sights of nature you can encounter in different areas of the National Park
COVID 19 – all these campsites are closed and will remain so for the whole of 2020 despite the further easing announced and effective from 4 July .
WILD CAMPING is prohibited under the Forest byelaws at any time as is overnight parking in Forest car parks and lay-bys. BBQs and camp fires are currently banned because of high fire risk. There are no public toilets open at present and no chemical disposal facilities. Do not travel to the New Forest if you intend to camp as no facilities are open at present. Most privately owned sites are now open – check their respective websites.
The facilities vary from site to site – click on the links below for more details:-
Sites for Family campers – Toilets & Showers facilities on site
Sites for “Back to Nature” campers – Toilets but no showers on site
Sites for Experienced campers – No Toilet or Shower facilities on site (own chemical toilet essential)
There also several privately operated campsites situated within the New Forest National Park details can be found on the New Fortest Tourism website.
Camping in the New Forest is a great way of getting back to nature and exploring the National Park’s unique landscapes and biodiversity