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“Avoid this site like the plague.”
Review of Holmsley Campsite

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Holmsley Campsite
Reviewed April 25, 2012

We are booked for ten day stay been here three.its awful,flooded been rainin non stop but worst is its so isolated miles from anywhere.
The staff are indifferent and not too friendly and when we complained about floodin total indifference and oh well its not like this normally ,didn't help us in anyway.
Its miles from nearest shops and camp shop is extortionate 4 pounds for a small box of cereal.
We will probably leave early as were so miserable wet and disgusted we weren't told that we would be in the backwaters miles from anywhere

  • Stayed: April 2012
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4  Thank annosmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 - 303 of 337 reviews

Reviewed January 11, 2012

Although i had pre booked, I was made to wait on arrival, the rest of the very long queue seemed to get in just fine though. After considerable time the rude man told me he couldn't help and I needed to go to the shop, where they had my booking to hand. Apparently I should have just gone straight there.
There is no way 600 sites here. Much of it looked like a bog and what was dry was surrounded by concrete. Felt like we were camping in a car park. The only space we could find was right next to a toilet block, so yes, we listened to hand driers all night and some nasty woman having a breakdown. Guess she was just as fed up as me.
On the second night we were told to move our car as we were pitched in a no car area. There was no indication of this on the site map.
Oh, and they like to empty the industrial size wheelie bins at stupid o'clock so just incase you have managed to fall asleep, it won't be for long.
There were lots of kids, big and small, riding their bikes across all the concrete and weaving in and out of moving cars. I don't even have kids but it was scarring the hell out of me.
All in all a horrific experience, one which I certainly don't wish to relive.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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2  Thank Lizlee1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

I stayed in july 2011 for 1 week with a large group of us ( 6 adults, 3 under 5 and a baby). I had no quibbles about the site. It had everything we needed, working showers, of space tclean toilets, power and a shop basic needs. My kids loved the surrounding area, the amount of space off site to play is immense, both field and large forests with a cheeky little stream running through it. The only downside was booking in advance, given a pitch designation to meet our needs then arriving on the day to be told 'go and find a pitch'. Other than this, really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank dngtiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2011

Just back from Homesley campsite having spent a fantastic weekend. We were 2 very unseasoned campers who arrived late on the Friday just as it was getting dark. We borrowed a tent so the chances of us getting it up with our little or no experience was now dashed. I went to reception to see if someone could help. I was not expecting the amazing friendly response I had from a staff member (his name is Bob). Without hesitation he came to the our rescue. Meanwhile my partner Sandra was joined by our neighbours lady Marion and her husband Stefan who also came to our rescue.

Throughout the weekend Bob and all the other staff continued to be helpful and so friendly. They really seem to be happy in their work and it transfers across to us campers. I would defininetly return as campsite set in a fantastic part to the New Forest - so much to see in the surrounding areas.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SorrentoSun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

terrible. charged £20 per person deposit for not having children which we were not informed of until we arrived which meant that we had to go and find a cash machine before they would let us pitch up even though it was going dark. There were screaming kids all over the place. Too many people on the site. Not enough toilets of which they were filthy dirty stinking toilets that seemed like they weren't cleaned for the whole bank holiday weekend we were there. Rude inefficient staff who were very unhelpful to the point that other campers were more use in giving directions to local attractions. do not go here on a bank holiday. it is obvious the owners just want to milk their customers and do not have a care in the world for their satisfaction. Never again!!!!!

Room Tip: do not go here, choose some where else.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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5  Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2011

I have just come back from a 2 night stay at Holmsley with my husband and my two children (2 and 4 months) and we had a fantastic time... I should mention it is the first time we have ever been camping!

I had doubts about staying at Holmsley after reading such bad reviews but as it was the only place with electric hook up and my 2 year old was desperate to go camping I decided to book anyway.....I am so please I ignored the reviews!

I was expecting miserable and unhelpful staff and that couldn't be further from the truth! The lady who checked me in at reception was extremely friendly, smiley and helpful especially after I discovered I had stupidly got my dates wrong and booked online for the following day not the day we arrived! The reception lady was more than happy to help me and answer questions and her and her manager even offered to let us pitch on a spot where a member of staff was so we could have electricity (unforunately our tent wouldn't fit there!).

As for cleanliness the toilets/showers/washing up room were extremely clean.... there was a mop in the showers so people could clean the floor after themselves. Okay there was a small amount of mud on the floor in the toilets but what do you expect when people are constantly in and out and the outdoors is muddy? In order to keep it immaculate (which it sounds like some people were expecting!!) they would need to employ a 24 hour cleaner to literally walk behind people and mop which is ridiculous!

We as a family had a fantastic stay and would reccommend Holmsley to anyone!

The only downside was that the onsite shop had completely run out of all BBQ food and all ice-creams- we were told this was because they were so busy over bank holiday weekend that they had sold everything. It was a shame as bank holiday was over a week ago so you would have thought they would have received a delivery within that time!

I can only presume that the negative reviews apply to people who stayed at the park over bank holiday weekend- but surely you would expect it to be busy then anyway?! We didn't have to queue for the toilets or washing up room once.... and anyway we were camping so it wasn't important to have a shower at a set time of the day as we would at home!

To anyone worried about whether or not to go to Holmsley after reading negative reviews I would say go you will have a great time!!!!!!

Hope this helps :)

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank family f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2011

(Our group consisted of our family (my wife and 3 children aged 8, 6 and 3), another family of parents and 4 children from 10 to 3 and a friend and his 6 year old son so we were not a small group.)

To say that I had trepidations about spending bank holiday weekend at Holmsley after reading all the reviews is an understatement. I expected a filthy, cramped site with rude staff and a lack of organisation but I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes it was busy - it is probably one of the busiest weekends of the year - but if you are prepared to venture away from the toilet blocks then there was adequate space for our 8 man tent and two other families to create our own little area. It was pretty evident that a lot of people tried to stay close to the toilets - even late comers on Saturday afternoon - so that those areas were very cramped.

The toilets and showers were as expected for a large campsite - I have seen a lot worse - and apart from the odd piece of toilet paper on the floor, I thought the toilets were pretty clean. I was surprised to see toilet paper provided actually and so did not have to take my own as I did on my first visit! I think the "paper on the floor" issue is actually caused by the dispensers as the paper tears very easy as you pull it out of the centre of a ring so little pieces fall loose regularly. I also chose to shower outside of rush hour so I didn't have to queue. For me camping is a bit of "going back to nature" and if you feel obliged to shower morning and evening then maybe you should be in a hotel.

For the amount of people, the site was pretty quiet and we, as a group, thought everyone was pretty courteous. Our children were up at 7 and so were a lot of people around us. If you want to lie in in the morning then again, camping on a family site is probably a bad choice. We were also told when the gates would be locked so for those people who got locked out - learn to tell the time!

We mostly cooked for ourselves using disposable bbqs and camping stoves but we did buy croissants and coffee from the shop which were very good and on the last night we had some pizzas which were also pretty good and reasonably priced. The shop had a good selection of camping stuff for those "oops we forgot the..." moments and the daily newspapers were very welcome.

We opted to stay an extra night on Bank Holiday Monday to avoid the traffic and when we got back from a wonderful afternoon on the beach at Lymington, the site was a different place. 90% of the people had left and we had a portion of the site all to ourselves. The kids thought it was great to run free on the grass that had been occupied.

For local amenities, we had a great afternoon at The Three Tuns on the Sunday afternoon as they had put on bouncy castles and a hog roast so we just hung out in the very large beer garden and let the kids run free. We also spent the day at the beach near Christchurch where we had a pleasant lunch at the Cliffhanger Cafe before hanging out on the sandy beach below the cliff. (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=cliffhanger&hl=en&ll=50.741072,-1.694341&spn=0.015046,0.027165&sll=50.740149,-1.56641&sspn=0.060183,0.108662&vpsrc=6&z=15&iwloc=A)

All in all, it was a pretty pleasant August bank holiday camping trip. I doubt I will go back as I prefer to be able to have an open fire and get a bit more basic but it was certainly one of the better sites I have been to in the UK.

My last comment would be this - I believe that the majority of the negative reviews regarding Holmsley are from people with the wrong expectations or who would be better off in a B&B where they are not exposed to their fellow man. Just my 2 cents.

Enjoy!

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to put a bit of distance between you and the toilet block - you will get a much...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank GDA1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holmsley Campsite

Address: off A35 Lyndhurst-Christchurch Road | 8 miles SW of Lyndhurst, Southampton BH23 7EQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Southampton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Southampton
Number of rooms: 600
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holmsley is a campsite steeped in history. Occupying part of what used to be Holmsley Airfield in the Second World War, it is one of 12 wartime airfields and Advanced Landing Grounds in the New Forest. Indeed, the aircraft hard standings and taxiways are now the campsite roads and parking spots! The campsite is close to the rural villages of Burley and Bransgore, with shops including a bakery, chemist, and chip shop. The site is predominantly grass, meaning there is a lot of space for the children to play. It also offers direct access to forest walks and safe cycling tracks; ideal for exploring the local flora and fauna with the whole family. Onsite there is a fully equipped shop that sells a wide range of groceries, camping essentials and games to ensure that your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. There is also an excellent take away; perfect after a busy day exploring the forest and when you want to put your feet up in your tent and relax. Opening time will vary throughout the season. This campsite offers both hardstanding and grass pitches with the opportunity for electric hook-up. There are also toilets and wash facilities available on site. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Holmsley Campsite Hotel Southampton

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