“ Address: Sutton Hill, Woodlands, Wimborne Dorset BH21 8NQ / Tel: „
Just after we got married this year we decided to spend some of our wedding money on something we could both get some use out of. We thought about a few different things and eventually opted for a tent as we both enjoyed camping. So having splashed out on our new tent we then took Jen's mum and Dad's advice and joined the Camping and Caravan club, which meant we could use the club's sites cheaper than non members and once we were members we thought it was best to give the tent and the membership a run out.
But Where To Go?
As we'd never put the tent up before we decided that a weekend trip would be a good idea and opted to stay relatively close to home, which is why we choose the Camping and Caravan club site at Verwood on the edge of the New Forest. The site seemed to tick all of the right boxes, it was only an hour and a half from home and also had pitches for caravan's as well as tents, which meant that Jen's parents could tag along for the weekend with their caravan.
Booking & Cost
The booking procedure was very simple and straightforward. There are three ways you can book the site and all of them are very simple. We opted to ring the site direct and having quoted our membership number we were informed that an un-serviced pitch would cost us £36.20 for two nights as we were members. This resulted in a saving of £28.40, which almost paid for or membership to the Camping and Caravan club in one visit. We paid our £25 deposit, with the balance due on arrival. From the start to the end of the phone call was probably 5 minutes at the most and in this time we were all booked up.
The cost broken down works out at £9.05 per adult per night as this stay was during the high season, which runs from 22nd July till 3rd September. The rest of the year is broken into mid and low season and they cost £6.90 and £5.90 respectively. If you wish to add electricity to your booking then this is an extra £3.55 per night.
Having joined the Camping and Caravan club we found the rates for members to be very reasonably, especially if you can find the time outside of the high season to make use of one of the club sites. The site does offer a members family deal for £22.55 per night during the high season, which also seems very reasonable. Should you not be a member of the club there is an additional charge on top of the nightly per adult price of £7.10, which makes membership very worthwhile.
The other booking options are through the clubs website and by phoning the club reservation line on 0845 130 7633.
The site is located on the western side of Verwood on the B3081. We approached the site from Verwood having travelled from the Ringwood direction. It is very easy to find and is located on the right hand side. The site is conveniently located for both the New Forest and trips down into Dorset to attractions such as Monkey World and the Tank Museum, both of which are around a 45 minute drive from the site. It is also a convenient location for shopping trips to Poole and Bournemouth as they are only a 16 mile trip away in the car.
Once we had found the site the reception area is very easy to find. The site operates a one way system, which starts at the reception area and loops around the site back to the entrance/exit. The entrance and exit to the site is controlled by a barrier system which is locked between 11pm and 7am. There is a car park outside of the gates should you need a car outside of these times.
Having entered the site there is a designated check in parking area and the main reception area is located over to the right hand side. Once inside the staff greeted us and booked us in, checking our membership numbers to make sure we are members and taking the final payment. Like the booking process this was very quick and simple. The staff explained the layout of the site including the toilet blocks, water points and where we would be pitching our tent. This was all done in a very clear and easy to understand manor, especially as we had never been to the site before.
We were then asked to follow one of the warden's to our pitch. As this was during the school holidays they had taken into consideration the fact that we didn't have kids and gave us a pitch well away from the playground.
All of the pitches on the site have access to the main roads that run through the site with tents and caravans only being at the most one row away from this central rode. Our pitch was on the second row meaning we had a row of tents in front of us but this really helped to keep the noise down from any traffic passing on the internal road.
As this was the first time we had erected our tent we weren't exactly sure of the dimensions but the pitch was more than adequate to fit our tent, which turned out to be 6.9 x 4.2, and out car to the side of it. The pitch was a very good size and the site had done a good job of getting it as level as possible, especially as there was a slight incline on this part of the site.
Regardless of where you are on the site the main toilet block is at most a 3 minute walk and a water point is within a minute of your pitch. The site is reasonably big and at full occupancy there are 150 pitches available. As a result the site has two blocks of male and female toilets, although both of these blocks are centrally located next to reception in the middle of the site. Within these blocks are showers and toilets as well as wash hand basins, dish and cloth washing facilities and a chemical disposal for the caravans.
Despite our visit being high season the facilities didn't seem to be stretched and in fact the staff did an excellent job of keeping them clean. During the weekend the site wasn't totally full but it was busy and the toilet block seemed to be able to cope easily with the number of people. During our two night stay there were no queues for toilets or showers and they were very well maintained by the staff.
Included within the reception area is a small shop selling essentials such as food, matches and drinks as well as providing a DVD rental service should you have the capabilities to play it. The prices of everything within the shop seemed very reasonable and should it not be an emergency item you are after they have directions to the local Morrisions as well as details of discounts at the local butcher and one of the local pubs. We opted to try the local pub, the Swann Inn, and received a 10% discount off our meals when we presented our membership cards, another good perk of membership.
On a Saturday and Tuesday night the site also has a takeaway fan come in for a couple of hours to do fish and chips etc, however we didn't get a chance to try this during our stay but again the prices were very reasonable. As already mentioned the site also caters for Children and offers not only a play park with a slide and a couple of swings but also a football area and a games room with 2 pool tables, a dart board and various arcade machines.
We have now paid two visits to this site in Verwood since joining the club back in July and think it is an excellent site. The location is perfect for trips into the New Forest and to places such as Dorchester and Bournemouth. The site is run by a very friendly and helpful team who are doing a excellent job keeping this site as one of the best I've been on in the UK. As we were staying in a tent with the basics everything we needed was either on site or a short drive away and for the price it was all very reasonable.
If you are a member of the Camping and Caravan club then I would thoroughly recommend booking Verwood for a visit to the New Forest. It is slightly cheaper than the club sites in the Forest and is equally well located for trips into the Forest. As a member the site is very good value and the savings make membership worthwhile and I can be certain we will be returning to Verwood in the future.
Contact 01202 822763
Site Address: Verwood Camping and Caravan Club Site, Sutton Hill, Woodlands, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 8NQ
Annual Club Membership: £37