Vintage Camping in Dorset

Last updated 9th June 2017

Why go?

Tucked away on Meadowview campsite in Horton in Wimborne, on the borders of the New Forest, sit the affectionately-named chrome airstreams Gloria, Betsy, Peggy and Dee Dee, run by Happy Days Retro Vacations.

Owners Kevin and Jenni Armstrong set up the business in 2010 after deciding to leave the London rat race with their two young children. Their four American airstreams built in the 50s and 70s and a smaller caravan, Betsie, now occupy an area of the 20-acre campsite.

Who’s it good for? Families who love camping in the UK but are looking for something a little more quirky than the regular campsite. Ages 3-7 will love the freedom to run around and play in the campsite without too much supervision, and 8-12 year-olds will love the cool accommodation.


Dorset is a beautiful part of the south coast which has miles of sandy beaches as well as country hideaways, farms and historical sites to take the kids to. Plus, they’ll  love staying in these retro, funky campers.

After a comfortable night’s sleep children can run free like a happy pack released into the wild, charging around the field, cycling down the grassy slopes and inventing games in the vast surrounds. The campsite has no playground but the fields and tree-lined lake area make a good source of day-time fun.

The beach: If it’s beach you’re after, head to the famous shoreline of Sandbanks 30 minutes drive away, where you can spend the afternoon paddling, playing beach games and sunbathing, as well as attempting to guess which millionaire pads Jamie and Harry Redknapp own.

Watersports: For older children, The Watersports Academy holds kitesurfing, windsurfing, and wakeboard courses in Sandbanks bay, as well as sailing lessons – and it also runs a cool kids club. Once you’ve worked up the appetite, enjoy fish and chips from the Sandbanks Beach Café, an ideal spot to people-watch over lunch.

Dorset sites: For nature-lovers, you can also head to the nearby Moors Valley Country Park where the woodland trails and adventure playgrounds will keep the whole family entertained and active. Plus, there’s the historic Corfe Castle, cathedral city of Salisbury, and Paultons Park, home of the infamous Peppa Pig World, to visit. And that’s the beauty of the Happy Days’ location: the surrounding area is packed with child-friendly activities and places to explore.

Back at the campsite in the evening, you can enjoy a barbecue on the grounds – campsite perfection achieved!

The lowdown

Price: A week’s stay in Dee Dee (sleeps 4) costs £660 in high season. A week’s stay in a larger airstream (sleeps 5) costs £690 in high season. Weekend stays or midweek stays are also available.

More info: happydaysrv.co.uk

SHOP: Visit shop.familytraveller.com for all your family holiday travel needs and fun garden games.