We arrived on a Sunday afternoon not expecting much choice of pitches but were pleasantly surprised and ended up with a hardstanding on the 'raised' area of the site. A good choice as it made the most of the late evening sun. The toilet block here is very different to normal CC offerings with mostly individual rooms containing shower, toilet and washbasin supplemented by small toilet and shower rooms for males and females. It's an odd system but the wardens keep it all tip top and running smoothly. (I did hear one member being particularly rude to a warden over cleaning times, I would have banned him instantly and thought the wardens were very restrained considering!)
The site is beautifully kept and a credit to the staff for this. The site shop sells the essentials and a fish & chip van visits twice a week although we didn't try it. (For fish & chips you won't do better then Mr Pinks on the village green at Milford on Sea, but expect large queues! Then take them to the sea front to eat and watch the boats)
For the most part the site was very quiet even though it was full. All of the occupants were very well behaved and it made for a really good relaxing holiday. It's worth noting that there's no playground although there's plenty of space just off site for football, kite flying and any other play activities. The only slight downside to the site access is the driveway with the ridiculously large speed bumps. Our 4x4 was fine but you could see many grooves where cars and caravans had bottomed out, so beware.
We took our bikes, expecting to do a lot of riding, but were surprised how restricted cycling is in the New Forest. There are cycle routes but none of them seem to join up without going onto the (very busy) roads which we found put us off.
Brockenhurst is a 40 minute walk or 10 minute cycle ride away. It has a great variety of shops including a very good local baker, butcher and grocer, many tea rooms (we loved the Rosie Lea Tea House) and pubs, with the added attraction of donkeys visiting the cashpoint! It also has the obligatory Tesco which we tried not to use. There are fords for the kids (and donkeys) to splash in throughout the village, you need to hunt for them.
Lyndhurst is a short drive away but has the worst traffic I've seen for a long time. We went once then avoided it at all costs for the rest of our holiday - a town completely spoiled by traffic and vehicles, something drastic needs to be done!
We also went to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, expensive but your ticket lasts for a year so we'll go back at some stage: a thoroughly good day out for anyone interested in boats, subs etc with the added attraction of the Gunwharf Quays shopping and eating complex virtually next door. Calshot Castle and Activity Centre deserves a mention: you can ski, climb and use a Velodrome all under one massive roof and it has a cafe with fantastic views over the Solent. There are also many water sports on site.
Easy check in from lovely staff, although as there were only a handful of pitches left it would have been easier for them to tell us what was available, save us driving around several times. Toilet block dated but clean, 1st shower I had was just a trickle (cubicle #1) tried number 10 the next day which was better. I hear they will be getting new facilities ??, very much needed. We did find it off putting by how many campers just sat outside watching people visit the facilities ! These pitches are on grass bank around loo's. Great for cycling, many routes to try from short to 20+ miles, great walks too. We cycled to Burley on old train track had lunch in The Burley Inn, didn't go much on it, Breaded Haddock was like something you'd buy cheap from Icelands store!. Cycled to Lyndhurst, lovely town not much changed since we visited many years ago. Took our bird feeder which was very popular, especially with the family of Greenfinches, lots of birds around and dawn chorus was lovely but that resident cuckoo never stopped ! The glorious weather made our 3 night stay even better and it was nice to see such jolly wardens, would like to go back
What a wonderful site, situated in the forest, very clean toilets and showers in cubicles together but very clean and well maintained, Wardens very helpful and friendly. Within easy reach of lots of places of interest, several shops in Brockenhurst, so many different walks to go on, will certainly go again but for longer, only slight disappointment was that we always like a grass pitch but it was too wet, will know to ring beforehand next time.
We had a great fortnight on this site. It was very hot so we were glad to get a pitch beside the hedge, so there was some shade, as opposed to the middle area which is very open. Small shop on site, where you can order newspapers.
Facilities a bit unusual, because there are cubicles each with a loo, sink and a shower which were very busy in the mornings, but there are also separate loos, so at least you could use those without waiting for folk to finish in the cubicles. All kept nice and clean with plenty of hot water.
There is no children’s playground or area so probably not as easy for kids to mingle as on other sites.
Once we arrived, we had no need to take the car out as we cycled everywhere, either on forest tracks or on the roads. The forest tracks are mainly good compacted ground and gravel, so OK for mountain bikes, probably not great for road bikes. There are lots of gates to open but they are all very nicely weighted so that they nearly always swing and latch shut without much effort. The roads are mainly 40mph because of the ponies, but they can be narrow at times. We cycled to all the surrounding picturesque villages and the seaside.
We love Black Knowl and will keep returning again and again!
Easy to find if you follow the CC instructions and not your sat nav! The road down to the site into the forest is OK apart from a few high speed bumps (careful not to catch your exhaust!).
Lovely, friendly wardens who book you in quickly and tell you to choose your own pitch. It's a very busy, popluar site but we had plenty of choice of either hardstanding (large) or grass pitches.
Love their quirky shower rooms, dated but always clean. Water, waste, bins and recycling pointed dotted all around the site and 3 sinks under cover for washing up.
The walks and biking from the site are just fabulous. We biked to Burley via the forest tracks and back (21. 5 miles all in) and were lucky enough to see (and photograph) baby deer deep in the forest! Brockenhurst was also a short bike ride from the site (or 40/50 minute walk) and has all you need. Plenty of pubs, restaurants, takeaways, etc. , etc.
We had fabulous weather and spent most of our time at Black Knowl outside enjoying the wildlife.
Follow the site directions carefully and you will find the site, sat nav would take you you down some unsuitable roads. The site is located well into the forest and gives some great opportunity to appreciate the stars at night and the sounds of the wildlife. The wardens are very friendly and approachable which makes this a site with a good welcome.
The site is open plan and contains some good size hardstandings and many grass pitches. Some of the grass pitches were a little packed in for my liking(obviously the mandatory distance apart - this is a CC site after all!). We chose a well presented hardstanding, and as expected you cant really fault the quality of Caravan Club sites. Phone signal for O2 and 3 was fine and we didn't have a problem finding a TV signal.
There are 12 self contained cubicles (toilet, shower and sink) accessed via a key lock which has its pros and cons. Generally it was a good idea so you could share/help your kids with enough space and privacy. However first thing in the morning they were often all busy with people showering etc - not so good if you only required the toilet. They were not the newest but were freshly painted, warm and well maintained - so I would say that they do what's required nicely.
We were there over the early May bank holiday so the site did get quite busy, but again this did not cause any issues. The site does not have a children's play area, or anywhere on site where ball games are allowed. The common outside the main gate could be used for this but there is quite a lot of animal droppings (they do roam the forest after all!) so this is not ideal. I would suggest that for this reason kids have nowhere to meet or hang out and make new friends so this is best for only short visits if you have kids that like to mingle with their own peers. There is ample space outside for dog walks.
Situated right in the forest makes it ideal for long dog walks and a nice stream/river for the mutt to splash around. Cycling is also well catered for throughout the forest. You can cycle into Brokenhurst in about 20 minutes, although some of it is on the road, but the road is not that busy so it is OK for competent cyclists. There are some small shops and convenience stores (including a small Tesco) if you need to top up your supplies.
This is a great site for a short visit to the forest and gives you the chance to get up close to the wildlife (horses, cattle, deer, owls, birds etc) if you are patient and quiet. The dog loved it and the kids thought it was great for a long weekend but if the weather was not so good I think they would have lost interest a bit. The roads in and out of the New Forest are very busy on weekends when the sun shines so it can be a challenge using your car to visit anywhere.
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