Camping & Caravanning


Southern England

Click on a county to view campsites in the area.

East Sussex

West Sussex




Isle of Wight

Other regions in Britain

Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight form the extensive region of Southern England.

The most striking geographical feature of Kent is the North Downs, extending from Greater London to the white cliffs of Dover and broken only by the rivers Medway, Darent and the Stour. The silted-up shore of the Thames Estuary on the north gives Way to the sandy beaches of North Foreland, fronted on one side by Margate and on the other by Ramsgate. Along the south coast, high cliffs alternate with sandbanks and reclaimed saltings like flat and secretive Romney Marsh. Places of interest include the walled city of Canterbury, historic Rochester, the stately home of Knole, Dover Castle and the smugglers’ prison of Dymchurch, from which a miniature railway operates as far as Romney.

Romney Marsh crosses the boundary into East Sussex, where the coast is strung with resorts. Stretching across the northern part of the county is the Weald, covered by the great Ashdown Forest southwest of East Grinstead. Backing the western half of the coast between Eastbourne and Brighton are the South Downs, cut by the sea into tall cliffs.

An unusual feature of the coast of West Sussex is the headland of Selsey Bill, south of Chichester. At this point the South Downs are well inland, the coast west of Chichester being indented by tidal creeks and inlets forming a natural harbour. Near Chichester is the Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton, the Roman palace of Fishbourne and the Kingsley Vale Nature Reserve. Historical buildings include the castles of Arundel, Bodlam and ruined Pevensey and the fanciful Regency Pavilion at Brighton.

Green belt Surrey retains miles of chalk downs and woodlands cut by rich valleys. The North Downs extend east and west, with Box Hill and Leith Hill and the Hog’s Back forming the heights. Some of Surrey’s most charming villages are Ripley, Shere, Farnham and Brockham Green. Other important sights are the gardens of Wisley, and Polesden Lacey.

The best known natural feature of Hampshire is the New Forest, centred on Lyndhurst, with its chalk uplands, deep woods and sandy wastelands. Guarding the entrance to Southampton Water is the Isle of Wight, twenty-two miles wide and thirteen miles from north to south, wooded down to the water’s edge in many places and rising to an east-west ridge of chalk downs. The rural west around Freshwater is probably the most inviting, being less populated. Ferries carrying passengers operate from Portsmouth to Ryde, and carrying cars and passengers from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, Lymington to Yarmouth and Southampton to Cowes. Bus services are comprehensive but the only railway runs between Ryde and Shanklin. Major sights in Hampshire include Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, the castle and magnificent cathedral of Winchester, the maritime museum at Buckler’s Hard and Nelson’s Victory in Portsmouth Dockyard.

Campsites in Southern England are usually well equipped. Biggest concentrations are around Chichester, Lymington and Sandown in the south and Whitstable in the north. Many cater for campers and caravanners going to and from the cross-Channel ports, though few exist at the ports themselves.

For full details of all parks listed on our website, see the latest edition of Camping Caravanning Britain. Priced at £8.50, the book is available from WHSmith, Waterstone's, Blackwell's and other bookshops; alternatively, to order a copy directly click here.

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions. Always phone a park before visiting to check facilities and prices.