There are those rare occasions when you arrive at a site and within minutes know that you’d like to stay all season. Burnbake is one of these instantaneous hits. Its many plus points quickly add up to create a vibe so agreeable that, before you know it, you’re down at the office negotiating a second week’s stay. Children in particular will love being able to run free through the woods, swing on the rope tyre, climb in wooden boats or build dams in the stream.
There are no designated pitches among Burnbake’s woodland site – 12 acres of secluded, level ground, complete with burbling stream – so have a nose around to find a suitable nook or cranny. During high summer it can be busy, and as a result it’s not the quietest site, but there are some more peaceful places to pitch away from the main circuit.
In low season it’s quieter and at any time of year it’s a prime location for the National Trust Studland beaches and for exploring the Isle of Purbeck, particularly on bike or foot.You can also cycle to Swanage or Wareham avoiding the main roads, or indeed to Corfe Castle itself, which is an iconic and uplifting old ruin.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
Visited here as a couple and on driving in almost turned around and left. It looked very run down and untidy and it was quite crowded. But after driving around we found a lovely spot in amongst the trees and decided to give it a go.
I'm glad we did as the site had a lovely feel to it and we thoroughly enjoyed our weekend camping here. We were sat outside the tent on Saturday night, with a small fire (allowed if off the ground in a container), a carpet of stars above us and the sound of a steam train in the background.
The toilet block is generous and was better than some I have used and given that you are camping amongst trees and in a field the amount of mud on the floor was acceptable. The showers are roomy and the water was hot. The ladies facilities were apparently a mess but that was only because there was a school on the events field and the girls had treated the facilities with less respect than they should have.
If you want tarmaced roads, shower and toilet blocks with spotless floors and a warden dashing round hushing you off to bed at 10pm then pay over £20 per night and go to a Forest Holidays campsite. If you want a relaxed site, with more than acceptable facilities and to be treated like grownups by the site owners then pay your £10 per night and come here instead.
We will be going back.
We have been going to the this campsite for 6 years and every year we return hoping that the facilities have been updated. The setting is lovely, as is the freedom that the children have, but the facilities are not good.
The cleanliness of the showers and toilets is poor and the lottery of whether you are going to get scalding or feezing cold water when you do shower make it difficult to spend more than a few days. We stay on an adjoining field as we are in a large group, porterloos are provided, but are unusable within a day or two as they are only cleaned half way through the weak. It is a shame, the site it always jam packed, if a little of the money was spent on updating the facilities it would make all the difference.
We love this place, open woods, swings for the kids, walks for the dogs in the adjacent woods and all set in one of the most beautiful areas in the country. No marked pitches, just turn up and camp, sounds idillic but the reality is somewhat different. The site operates an answerphone service which you ring on the day you are arriving, they then tell you if the site is full or not. So there you are all packed and ready to go, call and find out they are fully booked. It is only then that you find out that every other site for 100miles around is fully booked as well.
It is a fantastic place though, a cycle ride from the beach and a fantastic ridge walk to the village of Corfe Castle or, for the more adventureous, Swanage in the other direction. Wareham is a 10 minute drive away with a supermarket and the usual small high street shops.
After years of visiting this site we are calling it a day, at least during the high season. Such a shame because the place is so wonderfull. Great for an off season short break but really not suitable for a summer holiday due to the sites refusal to accept bookings. Would have given it 5 stars but if going there is not possible then even the three I have given it is generous.
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By train or coach to Wareham, then a taxi to the site (12 minutes).
Campfires allowed in containers off the ground. 130 pitches. 2 large wooden huts house showers (free), plus a baby changing room, 2 washing machines and outside washing-up sinks. A shop opens for 2 hours each morning and evening, selling sweets, breakfast buns, camping food and equipment. Woodland play area with slide and swings.
Studland Bay is an hour’s walk or a 20-minute cycle. Hire bikes from Cyclexperience in Wareham (01929 556601).
Click here for activities, sights & attractions to see and do in Dorset.
Nothing within walking distance; The Square & Compass and The Scott Arms (p89) are both a short drive. There’s a handful of pubs with food in Corfe Castle village.
If it rains
The Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre (01929 462537) near Wareham makes for a fun day out. Bring a banana or two.
If it's full
The on-site yurt café is open 9–11am and 6–9pm and serves breakfasts, pizza, vegetarian food and other wholesome options, all at reasonable prices. Onsite café open mornings and evenings for cream teas, burgers, etc. The Greyhound Inn at Corfe Castle (01929 480205) is a good spot, with sharing plates and Purbeck ice cream.
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Tents, campervans, groups, hikers, cyclists, dogs – yes. Caravans – no.