National Trust sets up camp in Worth Matravers

Within a short walking distance of the legendary Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers in Dorset, the National Trust has opened a family friendly campsite for the summer.

There’s been a campsite at Weston Farm in the Purbeck village in the past, but it stopped operating when the farm went up for sale. Now the National Trust which bought the land from the Strange family in 2022, has reopened the site to campers.

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Weston farm campsite

At the start of the season the field was marked out for bell tents and camping pitches, with views across the fields

Orientated towards families and walkers

The campsite field is open for 28 days from Monday 31st July to Sunday 27th August 2023. It’s orientated towards families and walkers and bookings can be just for one night which is suitable for those walking the South West Coast Path

There’s a number of bell tents to book with wooden floors or people can erect their own tent within an eight by eight metre allocated pitch.

Mindful that in the past, the campsite could be extremely popular, there’s a limit of 50 pitches to prevent the site from feeling too crowded. The basic price is for two adults, one child and a dog, with an additional charge for more people.

The bell tents are for up to four people and include beds, bedding, seating, an ice cooler and the essential lanterns and fairy lights!

Facilities include toilets and showers, a cooking area, a communal space to socialise and a van with food and drink available to buy, including pizzas, crisps, snacks and hot drinks.

Weston farm campsite
National Trust

Inside one of the bell tents

Weston farm campsite

Hot food and drinks are available

Weston farm campsite

Food preparation area with running water with the former radar station in the background

Weston farm campsite

The loos and showers with accessible toilets

There’s plenty to explore

Running the campsite on a day to day basis is National Trust outdoor holidays operations assistant Jack Woodrow, ably assisted by his dog, a border collie called Tuk. He said:

“It’s an amazing place to stay with beautiful views, so close to the sea and surrounded by wildlife. There’s plenty to explore, so we’re organising walks twice a week led by National Trust rangers where there’s a chance of spotting things like hares and glowworms.

“There’s also the well known Square and Compass pub to visit, which can be reached by walking across the fields from the campsite, avoiding the country lanes.”

Weston farm campsite

Jack Woodrow with his dog called Tuk is living on the site for the summer

Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers

The Square and Compass in Worth Matravers is a walk across fields from the campsite

Bats, rare orchids, butterflies and migrating birds

The National Trust purchased Weston Farm – one of the last along the Purbeck coastline in private ownership – with the aim of returning the fields to wildlife-friendly grassland and protecting the wildlife.

The 350 acre farm extends from the village down to the Jurassic Coast, including Winspit Quarry. To the east, it adjoins the land already owned by the National Trust which includes Dancing Ledge.

It’s populated with 15 species of bats, rare orchids, butterflies and migrating birds and the plan is for that to be boosted.

Weston farm campsite

Tuk enjoying the surroundings

Cathy Lewis at Weston farm campsite

Cathy Lewis from the National Trust with information about the local wildlife

“Income will be invested back into Weston Farm”

National Trust senior marketing and communications officer for Purbeck Cathy Lewis said:

“The National Trust is about people and nature and having access to wildlife and this is a way for people to immerse themselves, listening to the barn owls and skylarks.

“The more people who enjoy our countryside, the more they will care about nature. It’s all about education and our nature walks are part of that. Our rangers can get you excited about the tiniest of spiders!

“We’ll keep the numbers on the campsite small so that everyone can enjoy the countryside and the income will be invested back into Weston Farm and the restoration of the local environment.”

Weston farm campsite
Weston farm campsite

Across the road from the campsite is the old farmyard that will be opening soon for campervan parking

Campervan parking with seaviews

Alongside reopening the campsite, the National Trust is looking at utilising the old farmyard for campervan parking. The plan is to start taking bookings for this autumn for this hardstanding area with beautiful sea views.

The National Trust is also working out a future plan about what to do with the rest of the farm buildings – essentially a brownfield site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and have started local consultations on the best way forward.

Further information

  • Weston Farm Campsite is at Renscombe Road, Worth Matravers, Dorset BH19 3LL. More about how to book

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