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Reviews of Downshay Farm Camping And Touring

Campsite Search > UK > England > South West > Dorset > Swanage > Downshay Farm Camping And Touring Reviews

Downshay Farm Camping And Touring
Haycrafts Lane
Swanage
Dorset   (Browse area)
BH19 3EB
Tel: 01929 480316
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Open: 30/03/2021 to 31/10/2021
           30/03/2022 to 31/10/2022

Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 99 Reviews
                9/10 from 99 Reviews


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 Glamping Units   No Statics for Hire   No Statics on Sale   No Seasonal Pitches 
 Electric Hookups   No Hardstandings   No Fully Serviced Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Families Welcome   Not Members Only   No Rallies   Not Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome 
Facilities
 Toilet Facilities   Hot Showers   Washing Up   No Bathroom 
 No Baby Changing   No Laundry   Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 Chemical Disposal   Battery Charging   No Gas Exchange   Recycling Facilities 
 No Kitchen Facilities   Freezer / Fridge   No Motorhome Point   No Wifi Access 
 Shop <1 mile   Bar <5 miles   Restaurant or Cafe or Takeaway <5 miles 
Activities
 No Playground   No TV Room   No Games Room   No Evening Ents 
 Fishing <5 miles   No Wild Swimming   Indoor Pool <5 miles   No Outdoor Pool 
 Horse Riding <5 miles   No Cycle Hire   Golf <5 miles   Tennis <5 miles 
 Beach <5 miles   Watersports <5 miles   No Boat Launch 
Other Features
 No Sea Views   Working Farm   Campfires Allowed 
 No Waterside Pitches   Public Transport <5 miles  No Dog Walk 

Reviews:  99 in total, now showing 71 to 80                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: July 2008 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Sheila9206 6 reviews from this member

 Can I firstly say that the campsite is set in a beautiful location, with the most amazing views and is great for getting the steam train into swanage (station is just 10 mins walk away, down country lane!). It's near to the beaches and there is absolutley loads to do in the surrounding area

The campsite is basic, which is fine if you are happy queuing for the toilets, showers and washing up sinks, unless you get up at 6.30am! The whole campsite is set on a hill, so its a bit of a work out walking back from shower block!

Sadly the weekend we went (this weekend) the camp site was full to bursting and there isn't any control over how many people come onto the field - people just arrive and pitch, even at 11.30 at night. We were surrounded by other tents - so close that their guy ropes over lapped ours - this is not great in my view and something we have never experienced before.

Even when the campsite sign said it was full, loads more people turned up.

On the plus side the farmer and his wife are very friendly, showers, toilets etc cleaned regularly through out the day and showers are free! Also you can freeze your ice blocks for free, the campsite itself is very cheap, the cheapest I've been to! 


Date of Visit: July 2008 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Prob 1 review from this member

 1st time camping in about 6 years.
Read a lot of reviews about different campsites and Downshay Farm came out tops, so we thought we would give it a try.
Great campsite for the kids and toilets and showers were very clean. The views from the campsite are amazing and the steam train can also be seen in the distance. The campsite is situated nearly halfway between Corfe and Swanage. Everyone had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend to others but beware, take an extra pair of legs with you to walk up all the hills!

Unfortunatly the toilets were in one block at the bottom of the hill so as we were situated at the top, it did become a bit of a trek up and down the hill all the time but hey a bit of excersise never did us any harm. 


Date of Visit: July 2008 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Chris, Mal N Aldous 1 review from this member

 This was our first camping trip with our 14 month old son and therefore a little bit special and exciting and we were pleased with our choice of Downshay. The site is spacious and set on a broad slope with the farm house and washing facilities at the bottom of the hill. Some fellow campers moaned about having to slog all the way up the hill from the toilets but that didn't bother us particularly.

The site seemed particularly idyllic for children as there is plenty of space to roam around although I presume that it does get more full up at times.

The views across the valley including Corfe Castle (or Corfu castle as my hilarious husband named it) are fantastic.

The toilets, showers and sinks for washing up were scrupulously clean and a pleasure to use.

All for a very reasonably priced £10 for two adults plus sprog. 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Motorhome
Reviewer: Mrandmrsjones 6 reviews from this member

 We were late booking for the August bank holiday and this was one of the only places we could get in to. However, it was a fantastic find. Very steep, almost (but not quite) impossible for a large motorhome. The farmer/campsite owner was happy for us to get some wood from his barn to prop up the van for the four days that we were there. Facilities were basic, but it all added to the charm of the place. Fantastic view of Corfe Castle from our van - we could watch the sun set over the castle! Day trip to Swanage by steam train for fish and chips and ice cream - just needed lashings of ginger beer to be like an Enid Blyton book. Walk to Corfe Castle across fields - great! Thoroughly recommended and will return. 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: OnSafari 1 review from this member

 This is a lovely site and appreciated more so by the fact that I found it by accident. The site is large with plenty of space for children to run free and play while still leaving adults undisturbed. The owners are friendly and the site very relaxed. It was nice to be able to catch a train from the bottom of the hill in the evening into Swanage to get fish and chips and then catch the train back.

The facilities, while not luxurious are, I suspect, perfectly adequate for the number of visitors the site normally has. I visited Downshay in the week before the August Bank Holiday and was surprised by how few people there were. However on the Friday of the Bank Holiday weekend numbers on the sites welled immensely and I can only imagine that by Saturday evening the facilities would have been stretched to their limits. On Friday evening we experienced our first queues of our stay. The owners did put up Site Full signs on the Friday but I am sure that they still came. As planned I left on Saturday morning. All in all though a good choice. 

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Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Man+Minkey 1 review from this member

 A large site on a large hill with flatter areas towards bottom and top. Spilt into two fields with caravans in a separate area at the bottom.
Minkey and I pitched right at the top up by drystone wall backing on to Downshay Wood. Fantastic views from our pitch up valley to Corfe Castle and over to Purbeck Downs, and great to watch trains puffing along the valley bottom. Disadvantage of pitch was it's a fair walk down a reasonably steep hill to reach the wash block.

Toilets basic with no room for cat swinging but clean. Only two showers each for Males & Females so waiting not unusual. Washing up facilities alfresco outside the toilet blocks - 4 sinks and washing up liquid provided.
For the small people there's a sloping football pitch with goals and trees for climbing. Van arrived every morning with papers, bread, milk, groceries etc. No pubs in immediate vicinity. However Harman's Cross station only 10 minutes away down the hill with regular trains to Corfe and Swanage - even runs till 11pm in high season. A real boon. Some good pubs in Corfe especially The Greyhound. A no frills site but good value and Farmer Pike a lovely chap. 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Bulldog2k0 1 review from this member

 Just arrived back from Downshay Farm - BLISS!
 
I was nervous about just turning up and not being able to book a pitch, so I reserved one nearby just in case. I should have known better and trusted other reviewers, there was plenty of room on the two camping fields.
 
I camped on the lower field near the fir trees, the pitch was just right, not too far from the loo block, next to the tap, in sight of the eldest son playing footie and the youngest climbing the tree.  These are the only things to entertain on site, but I never saw my children or heard them ask for electric gadgets.
 
We all had a relaxing time, getting back to basics with no electricity, I enjoyed more than I thought I would.
 
The site is really well placed to make the most of the nearby steam railway. We bought a day rover, visiting Corfu castle and Swanage Beach during the day and after a refresh back on site, the late night service is worth taking and having a meal at the Greyhound pub in Corfe Castle. Our children thought it was novel having a journey on a steam train.
 
The farmer on the site kept the loos immaculate, he has friendly, helpful and allowed a grocers van on site at 9am selling fresh bread, breakfast bits, papers etc. Try his Cornish pasties!
 
We left on the Friday on the bank holiday and noticed a huge difference on site. The site became full and queues were appearing for the loo's, sinks and showers. I was told by other campers that this only happened on the bank holidays.
 
So, if you want a clean, safe and friendly site  - during the summer holidays, try this site. We will be next year! 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Poppy56 1 review from this member

 We have just returned from 4 days at this site with our 4 year old granddaughter and despite only having one sunny day and the rest cloudy or wet we had a great time.
We reccied this site beforehand and liked what we saw of the site and the toilet block. The toilets are clean at all times, they even hang a bag of loo rolls so they never run out and there is handwash. The (not under cover) washing up has hot water and washing up liquid. The showers were clean and the water always hot, though I think two ladies showers in peak times is not enough as its always the women who shower children. I found it ok as my granddaughter and I went just before most children go to bed or after 10 am. It was a bit strange that the washing up was just outside the ladies loos and the water point just outside the mens, I discovered later there is another water point halfway up the hill so only had to avert my eyes once!.

Criticism over, its a brilliant place, really relaxed, loads of space and with fantastic views of Corfe Castle and the steam train. It seems to attract lovely families and the best thing for us was that other children adopted our grandaughter and took her to play in the "den" a hollow with climbing tree and tyre swing. They introduced her to kite flying, football, rugby, cricket and skipping and we could watch her from our tent.

There is an easy walk to the beautiful station then a 10 minute ride to Swanage or Corfe Castle, for those in the party who want a late night session, the last train in peak season leaves after 11!
The owner comes round to each tent every morning to collect rent and exchange news, he didn't charge for our kitchen tent, which some places do. A van arrives around 9.30 selling bread, papers, chocolate doughnuts and other fresh cakes plus other grocery bits.
There is so much to do in the area, particularly for children. We had to go twice to the Punch and Judy on the beach in Swanage, which is clean, traffic free and with loos near a very good cafe/restaurant. It also has a pier, pedaloe boats and lots of shops and places to eat. It was very wet for us on 2 days so we missed Corfe Castle and experienced the wonderful Monkey World in the rain but we will be back again for sure with more people. 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: The Cales 2 reviews from this member

 We visited over a mid August weekend when the site was clearly busy, but there was still plenty of room around the tents and a feeling of space on the site. Some of the tents field is quite sloping in places, but as the owners don't cram too many tents on to the site, the very sloping places don't generally have to get camped on.  A lovely site with superb views of Corfe Castle in the distance, the Purbeck hills all around and the Swanage steam railway at the foot of the valley immediately down the hill from us!  Owners are very laid back - told us to pitch up and get settled before booking in and paying. A sign even says that you don't need to pay til the day of departure. No time of the day imposed as to by when you need to vacate your pitch, which was handy.

On a working farm with lots of chickens in the barns and a herd of dairy cattle coming in for milking twice a day, which the kids loved to see! A van comes to the site most mornings selling bread, milk, eggs and orange juice etc. The only aspect of this site that really lets it down though are the toilet and shower facilities. For a big site, with probably 100+ tents pitched the weekend we were there, there are only 2 toilets each for males and females and only 2 showers each for males and females. 
I expected peak morning times to be busy for showers, but people were queuing at 10pm at night to get a shower. We went for a shower very early when we woke up at around 7am and still had to queue then. It's a shame as the maintenance of the toilets and showers was good - clean, plenty of hot water, free showers, plentiful supplies of liquid soap, loo roll etc., but there just aren't enough facilities for the number of campers on the site. 

Washing up area was also outside, without any cover whatsoever; this wasn't a problem the weekend we were there as it didn't rain, but would make washing up unpleasant when it does rain.  So a mixed review: a lovely site in terms of views, location ( 5 minute short walk to Harman's Cross steam railway station, just outside Corfe village, a Spa shop at the Total petrol station at the junction with the main A road to Swanage and great beaches all around) and owners' friendliness, but we would think twice about going there again, especially for any length of time due to the insufficient numbers of loos and showers. 


Date of Visit: August 2007 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Mrx9000 2 reviews from this member

 Well what can I say, we are experienced campers and we visited in the first week of August 2007 and we had a great time. We were very apprehensive the first night and the mrs wanted to move location to the new forest, but she soon changed her mind!
The campsite is in a lovely position, with gorgeous views for which I would say are some of the best in the area.
 
Campsite is sloping in most places, but is not much of a problem. Only place I would avoid camping is in front of farm house, as this gets a bit boggy. Apart from that stay away from kids small football pitch at top and small kids play bit near top bit of showers/toilets.
 
Facilities are fine. Showers are good, none of this putting in tokens malarky or pressing buttons every 30 seconds! There are 2 showers for the women and 2 for the men and I can honestly say that I never had to queue at all on my whole stay for a shower. Whether this was due to me missing the rush or that blokes take less time in the shower! There were a few women queing though, but this was eased a bit by some of the women joining their other halfs in their showers anyway.
Toilets seem to be cleaned all the time and were excellent, with anti bacterial soap and loads of toilet rolls. Plenty of washing up facilities.
Best time to arrive would be on a Sunday.
 
Excellent prices. I would actually pay a bit more! (should I be saying this!).
 
Steam train station just a few minutes walk down the hill from the farm. A lovely site indeed. Very relaxing, very friendly campsite.
 
Garage on main road a short distance from station which is quite reasonable actually and very useful, however we used the Somerfield mainly in Wareham.
 
No pre booking required. This is no regimental campsite and there is normally plenty of space. Farmer Pike is wonderful and you will meet him every morning from about 9.30 onwards. Keep it up Martin and family!
 
Here are some things to see and do around the area.
 
You have to visit Worth Matravers and visit the Square and Compass pub and this is only a few miles from the campsite (would recommend cycling). The pub has won many awards and is absolutely brilliant! You can take the coastal walk from here, explore caves etc, etc but you have to sample the home made cider !
 
Take your mountain bikes. The Purbeck Hills area of Dorset is the 'Jewel in the crown' for local mountain bikers. Be prepared for some lung bursting climbs and technical descents, coupled with some stunning views of the coast and countryside.
This is as high as it gets around these parts! A route, I frequent, starts you from the historical Corfe Castle, up onto the edge of the ridge at Swyre Head and along the coast to Kimmeridge Bay. You then make a rutted descent to the small village area of Steeple then climb up onto a second ridge back towards Corfe. Upon reaching the summit, not only are you greeted with breath taking views of the Isle of Purbeck, Poole, its Harbour and beyond, you can start your last decent down towards Corfe . A quite superb ride back down to the Castle.
 
Arne, to the east and bordering Pool harbour, which in wildlife, may get glimpse of the rare Dartford warbler. I spotted a stag and his family up close and caught them on photo, lovely!
 
Tyneham Deserted Village (Following the road from Corfe to Lulworth takes us through Church Knowle and on past turnings to Smedmore & Kimmeridge, Steeple, and up on to Creech Hill where if we are lucky through the MOD Firing Range gates and along to the left turn down to Tyneham village. If you miss the turning the next stop is East Lulworth.)
 
Corfe Castle (2 miles away). In hamlet of Kingston. Excellent views from Houn's Tout.
 
Durlston Country Park, 263 acres, opposite Durlston Castle
You can walk round The Lighthouse and further to Dancing Ledge, Winspit, Seacombe and St Aldhems Head. All of these have footpath routes back inland to both Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers, also Kingston.
 
Can take steam railway to Swanage or Corfe from Harmans Cross Station (short walk away) or bike there (only a few miles)
 
Worbarrow Bay
Take the time to walk from tyneham when it is open to the public, has most beautiful beach in the area
 
Studland, with its wonderful beaches and old harry, a chalk stack, standing a few yards off the coastline.
 
Kimmeridge Bay, clavels tower overlooks the bay
 
Hope this review is good enough and hope you enjoy your stays.  


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Common Questions

Is Downshay Farm Camping And Touring child friendly?  YES, it accepts children  View all facilities

Where is the nearest shop to Downshay Farm Camping And Touring?  There is a shop within 1 mile  View all facilities

Is Downshay Farm Camping And Touring dog friendly?  YES  View all facilities




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