Tuesday 30 June 2015

Our first trips camping at Ashurst in the New Forest

Several years ago, Ram and I bought a small tent, with the intention of making camping a regular thing. We spent one night in the New Forest in late September, then it was winter. Come spring I was pregnant with Harry and didn't really fancy it, and camping with our up-all-night-screaming-babies-and-toddlers was out of the question. The tent has since been used for nights with Harry in the garden, but with the lovely weather we've been having lately we decided that it was finally time to give family camping ago.

So a few weeks ago we bought a smaller pop up tent and second airbed, loaded up the car, and headed off to Ashurst in the New Forest for a night's camping. It's where we stayed before, one of the closest campsites to us and has good facilities. When we arrived we drove around the site a couple of times looking for the perfect spot, finding a great space at the far edge of the campsite with a view out across the open land behind us and forest in the background.

Pitching a tent in the New Forest camping

We split up with an adult and a child in each tent. The children loved setting their beds up with their pillows and sleeping bags, and getting all their teddies ready. We let them go running off by themselves across the field, and they absolutely loved the freedom.

Children sleeping in a tent

There is a footpath that leads from the campsite, and a short distance away there are fallen trees to play on and walk across. We spent ages here, and also found a geocache.

Child walking along a log in the forest

For dinner we headed to La Pergola in Lyndhurst just down the road. It was perfect for us, pizza to eat and a playground to keep the children entertained. It's very popular though, we arrived soon after six and the only seats were outside, but I can see why, the food was delicious. Then we had a quick drink at the pub next to the campsite while the children played in the playground there, before heading back to our tent.

Family camping selfie

We got the children ready for bed and then headed out for a pyjama walk with our torches. In retrospect it wasn't the best idea as Harry managed to step into a puddle and soak the bottom of his onesie, meaning that he had to sleep in his clothes as I'd only brought one set! They really loved the experience though. Then we finished the evening playing football in the open area behind the tents while the sun set, it really was quite idyllic!

Tents in the New Forest at sunset

The next few weeks we couldn't stop thinking about how much fun we'd had, but we knew that our tent set up wasn't really practical. The airbed didn't really fit into the smaller tent, and it has no inner lining meaning that everything was wet in the morning. Ram is always keeping his eyes open for a bargain, and was delighted to find a family tent at a reasonable price - we snapped it up, and found ourselves the new owners of an Urban Escape Atago 5 man tent. We were a little daunted by its size at first, but we practised putting it up and then chose another weekend when the weather was looking good (I'm afraid that we are fair weather campers!) and headed back to Ashurst. 

Our new family tent

Our new tent is fantastic! It was so nice to be able to stand up inside and there was loads of room for all our things. The tent has two bedrooms inside, and even the smaller one easily fitted the double airbed. Our camping experience was definitely improved! 

We had another pleasant evening watching the children run about, this time very much enhanced by our fold up chairs and some Pimms from the Co-op down the road. It's such a nice time of year with the long summer evenings, camping is a great way to make the most of them. We'll definitely be back, and we already have a few more possible weekends pencilled down in the calendar. Perhaps next time we might even manage to stay for two nights!

Family sitting outside tent

We paid £23.20 each time for a night's camping at Ashurst Campsite in the New Forest. Ashurst Campsite is run by Camping in the Forest - you can find out more information on their website. 


  1. My favourite restaurAnt ever! If you want to venture further hurst view at lymington is a lovely site

    1. Thank you for the recommendation, I shall investigate!


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