The South Downs National Park is the newest member of the UK National Parks, made official in 2010. But the concept of a national park in the South Downs can be traced as far back as 1929, so you could say that it was a long time coming! It’s home to many important habitats, such as lowland heath, which is considered rarer than rainforest.
The South Downs Way is one of 15 National Trails but is the only one to lie entirely within a National Park, making it the perfect challenge for your next motorhome holiday. Here are the campsites you’ll need for the duration of your stay.
Alternatively, you could also visit the South Downs for a relaxing and straightforward motorhome stay. These South Downs motorhome sites all fulfil different needs and trip styles, so there is truly something for everyone!
Find a nearby campervan, pick one of the motorhome campsites in the South Downs and let the adventure begin.
1. Most charitable - Southdown Way Caravan & Camping Park
Starting with the campsite with a great cause, we find ourselves at Southdown Way Caravan & Camping Park! At the foot of the South Downs National Park, it is situated just north of Brighton and alongside the historical villages of Keymer, Hassocks and Ditchling. This campsite site is flat and open, offering incredible panoramic views of the South Downs.
This South Downs campsite differs from others in its focus on accessibility. They aim to ensure that the campsite and facilities are accessible to disabled, blind or partially sighted guests so that everyone gets the chance to enjoy this stunning area.
This is the ideal starting point for exploring the South Downs National Park by foot, bicycle or horseback. Within ten miles of the campsite, you’ll find facilities for indoor and outdoor swimming, fishing, horse riding and golf.
But the reason why this campsite is our most charitable option is that all profits are allocated to the Sussex Lantern charity organisation! They aim to develop a planned centre for the life enhancement of blind, partially sighted and disabled people of all ages, including facilities for therapy, sports, recreation, play, education and training. So you know that your campsite fee is going to a great place!
Price: from £16 per night
Location: Lodge Ln, Keymer, Clayton, Hassocks BN6 8LX, United Kingdom
2. Best facilities - Marwell Resort
At the edge of the South Downs National Park, you’ll find Marwell Resort. This lakeside site is a mere 15-minute drive from central Winchester and only 1.5 miles from Marwell zoo. This campsite differs from other motorhome sites in the South Downs by the sheer number of things to do! This is definitely an excellent destination for active holidaymakers. From fishing to archery, quad biking to clay pigeon shooting, you’ll certainly never be bored in Marwell.
You can take a drive deeper into the South Downs or just head out for a lovely walk. Maybe you’ll even stop at the renowned Marwell Activity Centre or Marwell Zoo on your way back. If you’re looking for tranquillity, spend a morning fishing at the site lake, and maybe you’ll find one of their whopper carps for your dinner!
All of these activities will be sure to tire you out, and so you might not feel up to cooking upon return. Have no fear, the on-site bistro is here! Open seven days a week with nourishing meals and cool drinks. If you can manage cooking, then why not enjoy a lovely summer evening barbecue? You’ll find all the fresh meat and vegetables you need at the Westlands Farm Shop, only fifteen minutes away.
This South Downs motorhome site offers both electric and non-electric pitches, all standing on grass. If you’re travelling with too many people for your motorhome, you could always book one of their exotic safari tents!
Price: from £35 per night
Location: Hurst Ln, Owslebury, Winchester SO21 1EZ, United Kingdom
3. Best for C&C members - Slindon Camping and Caravanning Club Site
If your motorhome features a toilet and shower, then Slindon Camping and Caravanning Club Site may be the right place for you! Pets are welcomed on this well-sheltered site, where they can enjoy the grassy pitches as much as you do.
This campsite offers discounts for Club members, as well as for motorhome travellers over the age of 60. The secluded location is perfect for a relaxing stay, with days spent walking the numerous routes surrounding the site and travelling to nearby villages.
Many who visit Slindon Camping and Caravanning Club Site end up returning, as it is difficult to beat this nature-focused site with tree-lined pitches. Staff are known to be welcoming and give great tips on the local area! Not too bad for a South Downs National Park camping site!
Price: from £8 per night (members) / £14 per night (non-members)
Location: Slindon Park Nr, Arundel BN18 0RG, United Kingdom
4. Best located - Meonside Camping
It’s hard to beat the location of this peaceful working farm site! Located on the banks of the River Meon, Meonside Camping is a 15-minute walk to the South Downs Way and a 10-minute drive from Petersfield. Expect to enjoy your morning coffee with an insatiable view of rolling hills, a gently sloping valet, a chalk-bed river and grazing cows. This view can also be appreciated for lunch, dinner and an evening glass of wine.
If you manage to tear yourself away from this incredible view, you’ll find that this South Downs National Park camping site is well situated for walkers and cyclists. It is right next to the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty cycle route, which we definitely recommend taking a day for and packing a lovely picnic to be enjoyed on the way. If you somehow manage to explore the entire area, you can then head to Queen Elizabeth Country Park or beacon Hill Nature Reserve next!
Kids often love staying at a working farm, as there is plenty of animal and plant life to witness throughout the year. In addition, the site offers well-kept facilities, including toilets, drinking water, a washing-up area, communal seating and a firepit - better pick up some marshmallows on the way!
For your evening meal, you can set up your barbecue and even use one of their barbecue meat packs on offer. Or, if you’d like to stretch your legs and leave the site, it’s a peaceful fifteen-minute stroll to East Meon, home to great pubs.
Price: from £16 per night
Location: Lower Farm, Petersfield GU32 1EZ, United Kingdom
5. Most peaceful - Cedar Valley
To round off our list of South Downs National Park camping sites, we find ourselves at Cedar Valley. This family-friendly campsite is six miles from Petersfield and easily reached from both London and the south coast. This site differs from the others listed in its simplicity, describing itself as “for those who like camping deep in countryside but who still like their comforts”.
Pitches are spread across two fields on the Bereleigh Estate, and guests are encouraged to choose their own perfect pitch. This will allow you to choose if you’d like to cluster near others and hopefully meet new people or find a quiet corner to rest in. One meadow allows children, and the other doesn’t, which has two-fold benefits. Firstly, it allows children to be near one another and hopefully play together. Secondly, it allows adult-only groups the peace they may be searching for.
This campsite aims to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible, a worthy focus when it comes to camping in a national park. They have creature comforts such as warm showers, flushing looks and washing up areas, but also restrict the size of groups permitted and have rules for camping there.
In high season, aim to book for the weekend to enjoy their unique treat! A double-decker bus, Boycie, comes to serve wood-fired pizzas, nachos and a large selection of local wines, ciders and beers. Precisely what you’ll be craving after a day of hiking around this gorgeous campsite.
Price: From £28 per night
Location: Bereleigh Estate, Cedar Valley, East Meon, Nr Petersfield GU32 1PH, United Kingdom
When it comes to motorhome campsites, the South Downs National Park is certainly not lacking options! Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a tranquil getaway, a chance to break in your walking boots, or a stopover to a further destination, there is a motorhome site in the South Downs for you. You could make this a stop on the London to Cornwall road trip, or use this as a chance to go motorhome camping with your kids! Whatever your plans, or even a lack of them, you’ll find a little haven in the South Downs National Park.