Camping & Caravanning

in

Southwest

Click on a county to view campsites in the area.

Dorset

Somerset

Wiltshire


Other regions in Britain


Three counties between the two coasts facing the Bristol and English Channels make up the Southwest. They include the old counties of Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The widest open space in the region is the breezy plateau of Salisbury Plain in lonely Wiltshire, centred on the 4000 years old stone circle of Stonehenge and bordered on the south by the valley of the Wylye which flows into Salisbury; the city is dominated by the 400ft spire of its ancient cathedral. Beyond the Vale of Pewsey in the north are the Marlborough Downs, covered on the southwest by the Savernake Forest, patterned with ancient tracks and earthworks and dominated by the great Avebury circle. Other sights in the county are the artificial mound of Silbury Hill, the Saxon-Norman site of Old Sarum and the stately home of Wilton House.

Sandwiched between Wiltshire and the Bristol Channel is the ancient seaport of Bristol, with the beautiful Avon Gorge spanned by Brunelís famous suspension bridge to the northwest. A notable sight in Bristol is SS Great Britain, the first ocean going iron ship. There are pleasant valleys in the Cotswold escarpment in the north; Georgian Bath is on the east and the vast sands of Weston super Mare on the west. Worth a detour are the three great houses of Badminton, Dodington and Dyrham.

The rolling green hills of Somerset rise up to the heathlands of the Mendip Hills near the stalactite caves of Cheddar. Between Taunton and the coast, which is at its best between Minehead and Porlock, are the wooded Quantocks. Below them is Exmoor, bounded on the north by great cliffs. Other sights are the charming old town of Dunster, the cathedral at Wells and the ruined Glastonbury Abbey in the Vale of Avalon.

Rural England remains much as it ever was in Dorset, the southernmost county in the region. The chalk downs extending southeast of Shaftesbury are cut by deep valleys and topped by prehistoric earthworks, most important of which is Maiden Castle, covering 115 acres. The coastline stretches from the vast natural harbour of Poole to Chesil Bank, a seventeen miles long line of pebbles which forms a causeway leading to the Isle of Portland, ending in the rock mass of Portland Bill.

All the major centres in the region possess several campsites, the highest densities being along the Dorset coast and the lowest in Wiltshire. Most coastal campsites cater for static as well as mobile caravanners and campers; many of those inland are on farms.

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.