8 Best Motorhome Campsites on the Jurassic Coast

December 20, 2021 in Destinations, Tips for Travellers, England & Campsites

The Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile long stretch of stunning, UNESCO world heritage-listed geology. It extends across England’s south coast, from Swanage, in Dorset, to Orcombe Point in Exmouth, Devon. You’d be hard pressed to find rock formations as spectacular in many other parts of the world: its fossils, rocks and landforms date back to the Triassic era (252 million years!). But, whether fossil-hunting sounds up your street or not, the Jurassic coast and its campsites attract thousands of adventurers every year, drawn by the summer weather, wildlife reserves, quaint towns, walking routes and endless possibilities for exciting water-based activity. 

Because you really should take a drive along this incredible coastline as soon as possible, we’ve collected everything you need to know about camping near the Jurassic Coast. We’re going to journey from east to west, from the Chalk Coast to the Red Coast, and stop off at all the biggest must-see locations, as well as the best place to pitch up in your campervan as we go. Hop in!

Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

The Chalk Coast 

  1. Swanage

Just six miles from Poole and Bournemouth, Swanage is the perfect place to start exploring the Jurassic Coast. The iconic chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks are just a three-mile walk north east along the South West Coast Path, while Durlston Head is a short walk to the south. From here, there are spectacular views extending westwards, with the Isle of Wight visible to the east. 

We also recommend checking out the spectacular clifftop estate at Durlston Castle, not just for the walks and wildlife within its 280 acres, but because the visitor centre offers a great introduction to the Jurassic coast for those visiting for the first time. 

Whilst you’re on the island of Purbeck, don’t miss a visit to Corfe Castle or the disused quarries at Winspit, which are also a great spot for ocean swimming and rock climbing.

We begin our tour of the best campsites on the Jurassic Coast at Quarr Camping, a rural, family-run campsite that lies between Corfe Castle and Swanage. It’s a small site, but the camping field is big enough to welcome campervans and tourers on a pick-your-own-pitch basis. It’s pet friendly, and just a stone’s throw from the nearest beach. There are coin-operated (20p) hot showers in the toilet block, an Elsan chemical waste disposal point, drinking water taps dotted around the site, and they offer fire pit hire. Note that this site is only open between May and September.

Pitches are £12 per night, and pets cost an additional £1. 

Quarr Farm, Quarr Farm Road, Harmans Cross, BH19 3DY

Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

Swanage

  1. Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door

The next stretch of the Jurassic coast is arguably its most iconic, and features the busiest stretch of coastal path in the whole of the UK: the walk up to the stunning Durdle Door. Whilst busy in the summer, definitely don’t miss the chance to take in this spectacular natural arch that juts dramatically out into the clear blue sea. 

Around the corner is Lulworth Cove, which was formed by the combined power of a sea and river swollen with meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age. This breathtaking chalk headland is also extremely biodiverse. Thanks to years and years of careful stewardship by rangers and farmers, it’s home to 32 different types of butterflies, 100 types of flower and plant and 25 types of bird. 

Here, you can enjoy activities like rock pooling, coasteering, or just relax with an ice-cream and take in the sights. If you can, pitch up at Camp Hartland, a 28-day pop up site which captures everything wonderful about Dorset’s salty, rural countryside. Sea-front footpaths are within close range, and its nearest neighbours are an old thatched pub with a large summer garden, and a farm with a local produce shop. This charming, easy-going site offers well-maintained sanitary facilities and two hot showers, grassy pitches, and a spot astride them to kindle a campfire. Whilst far removed from a larger, holiday park-style motorhome compound, this is still a gem amongst Jurassic Coast campsites. 

Check their website or call 07707 163019 for more information on 2022 dates and prices. 

Camp Hartland, Camp Hartland, Hartland Stud, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5DU. 

Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

Durdle Door

  1. Weymouth 

A bit further west lies Weymouth, which enjoys more sunshine than anywhere else in England, even through the winter. Its gently sloping sandy beach is also one of the safest swimming spots in the UK. So, unsurprisingly, it’s an incredibly popular tourist destination. There are adjoining shingle beaches at Greenhill and Preston further around the bay to the east, and water sports are popular at Overcombe and Bowleaze Cove. It’s also a mecca for sailing, for those who enjoy rigging up and blustering about on the whitecaps of a windy bay. 

Stay at Rosewall Camping in Osmington, just 5 miles east of Weymouth. This 13-acre camping field boasts a view over the Weymouth Bay which qualifies it as one of the best campsites on the Jurassic Coast. It has two modern toilet blocks, both with showers, electric points, washing-up and laundry facilities, and one with disabled facilities. There’s a camp shop that operates seasonally, stocking basic provisions and camping essentials.

Grassy pitches start at £18 in the low season and £30 in the high season. 

East Farm Dairy Farm, Osmington, Weymouth DT3 6HA, United Kingdom

  1. Charmouth and Lyme Regis

At 190m, Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast. It’s worth walking up this cliff which, true to its name, is gold-topped, and looks across West Bay. The bay lies at the end of Chesil beach’s mighty arc. This 18-mile-long shingle ridge formed from landslides that eroded after the last ice age, around 20,000 years ago. A bit further to the west is Charmouth, a lovely town that retains much of its oldy-worldy seaside charm, and is the starting point for guided fossil walks

Just beyond Charmouth, the historic Lyme Regis also waits to be discovered. Although just on the Devon-Dorset border in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it has been proudly claimed and dubbed ‘the pearl of Dorset.’ 

Whilst you’re on this stretch, stay at Golden Cap Holiday Park. It’s a bit more like you’d expect a touring holiday park to be than the other Jurassic Coast motorhome sites so far. But, it’s no less lovely. You can choose between hard-base, gravel, and grass pitches, which are located close to the park entrance, just a few hundred metres walk from Seatown Beach and the South West Coast Path. The site has a shop with a pizza takeaway, kid’s playground, and fishing lake, excellent facilities, and breath-taking views over the valley and coast. 

Bookings are minimum 2 nights in high season, which for a grass pitch with electric, would cost £46. 

Golden Cap Holiday Park, Seatown, Chideock, DT6 6JX. 

  1. Seaton 

We’ve finally made it to East Devon, and this is one of its most unspoilt parts. Seaton is another popular coastal resort, which lies just to the west of the Axe estuary. It has a mile-long shingle beach, which is great for swimming, sailing, diving, and windsurfing. Seaton is also a brilliant starting point for exploring the Undercliffs Reserve.

Other attractions here include the Tramway, which runs along the Axe estuary to the medieval market town of Colyton and is especially popular amongst birdwatchers and transport enthusiasts, as well as the Seaton Wetlands Nature Reserve

If you’re stopping in Seaton, stay at Jack’s Patch, a peaceful site overlooking the Axe Valley. It’s perfect for getting away from the hubbub of more popular tourist spots when you’re camping near the Jurassic Coast. It has toilets and showers, which are cleaned several times a day, and a large barn area. Here, you’ll find shelter from hot or wet weather, electrical points for charging, and information on things to do within the area. You can hire fire pits, with wood included, to keep you warm as you enjoy this site’s rustic rural setting.

Bookings are minimum 2 nights for weekends in high season, and costs £23.50 per night for 2 adults.

Great Jackleigh Farm, Wyke Road, Axminster, Devon EX13 8TN

Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

  1. Beer 

Beer is a picture-perfect working fishing village, and an unmissable stop for one last glimpse of chalk cliffs before heading west. The striking white rocks are shouldered by the red rocks either side are a natural suntrap, and shelter the harbour. Attractions here include the Beer quarry caves, or hiring a boat to idle a few hours away floating, fishing or swimming in the calm waters of the bay. Whilst here, stay at Beer Head Caravan Park. It’s one of the best-loved Jurassic Coast motorhome sites, which has an on site shop, bistro and takeaway food service, launderette, book swap station, dishwashing area, hot showers, and even body heaters in their large, clean toilet blocks. There’s nothing they’ve missed, and the view is simply incredible, especially at sunset. 

Motorhome pitches are £30 in the low season and £35 in high season, and electric hook up comes at no extra cost. 

Common Hill, Beer, Seaton EX12 3AH, United Kingdom

The Red Coast

This is the oldest section of the Jurassic coast, and its motorhome sites are just as fantastic as the chalkier section. Exmouth is the gateway to this stretch of 250-million-year-old Triassic rocks, so we will start by looking at the attractions and campsites there. Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

  1. Sidmouth 

Sidmouth is a lovely village hunkered beneath the majestic red cliffs and green hills of the glorious Sid River valley. Like many other towns along this coast, it originally developed as a fishing village, and grew in popularity as a seaside resort in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now, the striking regency architecture of its villas and mansions draws many tourists in the summer, who stroll along the seafront promenade with ice-creams and watch fishermen haul in nets full of mackerel as the sun sets. Sidmouth is also home of the famous, week-long celebration of folk music, which is a boisterous, wholesome musical event up in the hills which overlook the sea. 

When in Sidmouth, you can swim in the clean seawater of its pebbly beach, fish, or hire small craft from the sailing club and go sailing or windsurfing. Visit Jacob’s ladder beach and climb the wooden staircase which leads from the beach up to Connaught Gardens in the cliffs above, taking in the views of the stunning coastline, across to the spectacular red sandstone stacks of Ladram Bay. Step out along the South West Coastal Path

Our penultimate Jurassic Coast campsites is the King’s Down Tail. Despite the hilly setting, this spacious site offers flat pitches and a calm, friendly atmosphere. Their toilet facilities are said to be some of the cleanest that campers have ever seen, and include hot showers. A small shop on site sells the basics, plus wine and beer, and the staff go the extra mile to ensure a fuss-free stay. 

Pitches are reasonably priced but call 01297 680313 to find out more details and make a booking. 

Salcombe Regis, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0PD. 

  1. Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton 

Exmouth is a classic seaside town, with a 3-mile-long golden sandy beach. At one end, the Geoneedle marks the Jurassic Coast’s most westerly point. Here, you can spend the day in the water with RED rocks leisure, take a guided birdwatching tour in the estuary, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interests, or go on a cruise with Stuart Line Cruises for the chance to get a close up view of the world-class geology from the water. You can explore rock pools at low tide, or cap off your trip in an unforgettable way by catching a boat to the Exe estuary restaurant for a seafood dinner, enjoyed floating in the middle of the estuary! 

The last of our favourite camping sites on the Jurassic Coast is St John’s Farm, just minutes away from Exmouth seafront and the lovely Woodbury Common, which is popular amongst walkers and cyclists. It’s a quiet little site, which offers grassy pitches with electric hook ups, toilets and disabled facilities, hot showers, washing up points and ample water points around the site. Pets are welcome at no extra cost, and there’s an exercise area for them.

Pitches are £14 in the Autumn and £16 in the Summer months. Electric hook up costs an extra £2. 

St John’s Road, Withycombe, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 5EG Goboony Jurassic Coast camping h2 Campsites Motorhome Sites

Before You Go

We have a few tips to bear in mind before you visit any of the best campsites on the Jurassic Coast: 

  • Roads can get busy in summer, especially on hot sunny days when tourists flock to the warm, shallow waters of the more sheltered beaches. Also, driving lanes are often narrow, especially in the more rural areas. Drive sensibly and stop to let cars pass or overtake in laybys when safe to do so. We have plenty of smaller vehicles which are ideal for driving on such lanes. Head to our website to find the best campervan to take camping at these sites on the Jurassic Coast. 
  • Stay safe when walking steep and rocky coastal paths, where erosion is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Bring water, sturdy footwear, and be warned that there are many spots along the coast you may want to see that don’t have signal, like Winspit and Durdle Door. If you see signs saying ‘No Entry,’ pay attention to them!
  • Coastal parking can seem a bit steep. But the money generated goes towards conservation work, education programs and visitor services. Bring change otherwise you might find you have to buy something from catering vans or visitor centres nearby, costing yourself more.