Family Camping at East Creech Farm in Dorset
This past summer we went camping at the lovely East Creech Farm in Dorset with a large group of family and friends – there were 21 of us in total. In spite of the nasty wind that kept us awake and threatened to blow our tent away on the last night, we thoroughly enjoyed staying at the campsite. I have decided to write about East Creech Farm, not as a paid promotion or ad, but simply because it genuinely is a fabulous spot to camp as a family.
Arriving at East Creech Farm
We have camped in France a couple of times, but because my French consists of two years of after school French club in a South African primary school, you can imagine that after ‘bonjour’, and ‘come on Arley Voo’, I get a bit lost.
So our arrivals at a campsite where they speak the same language, albeit in a different accent, is a huge relief. We met Debbie, the owner/manager of the campsite and she is friendly and accommodating. At short notice (the previous week) we had asked if we could arrive one night early and it had not been a problem.
We had booked a non electrical pitch without electricity and paid £22 per night for a large family tent (cash only accepted). If we had wanted to put up a gazebo that would have been an extra £3 per night. Showers required a 50p token and last for 6 minutes which was plenty of time to wash my head of long hair as well as the rest of me.
There are about 7 fields on the farm that are used for camping, each with a slightly different topography but all with lovely views down across the valley. We were placed at the top of the second field – I think that would be my favourite spot if I were to pick myself. It was a relatively flat site with a slope on the other side of the hedge which meant that it was quiet behind us as nobody could pitch a tent there.
Our site was spacious, we never felt crowded in by our neighbours. As the sites aren’t marked out on the fields for tents, it’s a first come first served situation. This could pose a problem if the campsite is fuller and people pitch their tents just too far apart to fit more on the fields, but just too close not to allow space in between for another tent.
We had one large family tent without electrical hook-up. There are electrial hook-up sites available but these are tricky to book from what I was told by others who had requested one. There are many families on this campsite who return year after year and have already booked the eletrical hookups well in advance.
There are also sites for caravans in the fields situated closest to the ablution block.
Our site wasn’t too far from the ablution block, about a 20 second bike ride or a minute’s walk. We brought bikes for the kids as it makes it easier for them to dash up and down to the toilets and to explore the campsite.
On this field there was plenty of open and flat space in front of the tents for games on the grass which was well utilised by all the kids around us as well as our own.
The only problem with this field was there are no mature trees, only a hedge, so there was no shelter from the wind or shade from the sun. Sun wasn’t a problem the week we were there but wind definitely was! However, there are a number of trees that have been planted in the hedge so I would imagine that in a few years these will be well matured.
Some of the fields slope down hill, I wouldn’t recommend you camp at the bottom of one of these fields. My sister did one year when it rained heavily and as a result a river of water that had collected all the way down the field ended up flowing underneath their tent.
East Creech Farm Campsite facilities
- There is one ablution block containing: washing-up, laundry (£5 per washing load), shower and toilet facilities, which are kept adequately clean. There are plenty of shower and toilet stalls, I never had to queue, in fact the other stalls were usually empty when I showered. However, due to the weather the campsite wasn’t running at full occupancy.
- There is a Tea Room with a pretty garden which is open from the end of March ot the end of October. It offers traditional cream teas and other light meals as well as a special Desserts night on Saturday nights. Sadly we didn’t try the Tea Room but our friends did and they raved over the cakes.
- This is a working farm filled with a variety of animals including cows, sheep, pigs, horses, duck and chickens, all of which children enjoy visiting. I enjoyed hearing the sounds of the cows in the barn when they came in in the evening.
- There are two playgrounds hidden in a small wooded area, one has a large climbing frame and a wood chip surface, the other contains a small football pitch and basketball net.
- Chicken and ducks eggs are available to buy from the farm house.
- The next campsite, Norden Farm has a handy shop and is about a mile away through the woods within easy cycling distance.
- There was a small washing-up hut containing two basins in the field adjacent to us which was very convenient. I would have loved there to be a toilet in there too.
- There was also a water tap in our field next to the hedge.
I would highly recommend this campsite if you are camping with children. It feels safe, you are surrounded by other families and there are plenty of activities to do with kids in the area.
Places we visited in the area:
- Woods and hills surround the campsite which are ideal for walks. A loop walk from the campsite to Corfe Castle through the woods and back up along the hill takes approximately two hours.
- Wareham – a very quaint town situated on a river, has a market on Saturday mornings, river walk, boating and swimming, has a small supermarket.
- Swanage – long sandy beach, penny arcade, icecream and coffee shops, Punch and Judy show.
- Durdle Door – iconic Dorset landmark, beautiful beaches, coastal path.
- Lullworth Cove – picturesque and popular, coastal path.
- Corfe Castle – National Trust owned, ultimate picturesque village, easy walking distance from the campsite.
- Studland – quirky town on the sea near Studland Nature Reserve and bay (also National Trust). Lovely for walks and bird watching.
- Purbeck Hills – walks with magnificent views across the countryside and seaside.
- Seacombe Cove – secluded cove, lovely for swiming and a picnic, not recommended for very small children, long downhill walk.
- Poole – large tranquil bay great for watersports like parasailing, kayaking and windsurfing. Nearest city for large supermarkets.
A few other sights and activites in the area:
- Wareham Wednesdays – free family events running throughout July and August on Wednesday evenings, we could see the fireworks from the campsite.
- Lullworth Castle
- Sherborne Castle and gardens
- Bennetts Water Gardens
- Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
- Royal Signals Museum
- Stonehenge (a bit further away) we did try to visit, however, not only was it extremely crowded, but a family ticket would have taken £60 out of our budget.