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Adventure camping

Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset
Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset | © National Trust/Robin Kitchin

‏‏Experience the peace and tranquillity of Brownsea Island on a campsite steeped in history, surrounded by sheltered woodlands, sea views and rare wildlife.

The experience

Camping on Brownsea Island is a unique adventure experience. This is a low impact, back to basics opportunity to spend time soaking up the natural sights and sounds of the island. You can stay on the island by yourself or gather friends and family together for a real group adventure. The island is your home for the night, and with several protected wildlife habitats on your doorstep and dramatic harbour views, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy when all other visitors have gone home.

Brownsea’s picturesque setting means keen photographers are bound to capture glorious sunrises and sunsets, without even unzipping their sleeping bags.

Camping equipment

You will need to bring your own camping equipment including tent, sleeping bag and roll mat.

Each pitch will have access to a field kitchen where you can cook your meals. It is not permissible to carry camp cookers and fuel on our boats so please do not bring these with you for your stay.

To lighten your packing list, we also include in the price of your pitch the use of cooking equipment which we provide to you upon check in. This will include all the equipment you will need for cooking and preparing food, but you will need to bring your own personal items such as cutlery and crockery. We ask that you please wash up everything you use and return it to us in a clean and complete condition.

Tree Tents

Fancy trying something a little different? Why not hang out in style and hire a pre-pitched Tree Tent. We have 2 person and 3 person Tree Tents available.

All have built-in mosquito nets and are made with durable waterproof material keeping you warm and comfortable.

We recommend packing a roll mat as this will help keep you warm on colder nights.

Please be advised that the minimum age to stay in a tree tent is 3 years old.

Please be advised that all stays in the tree tents are subject to wind conditions. What happens if it is too windy? If you are staying in a Tree Tent and the weather forecast for your stay is due to exceed gusts of 38mph (61.5km) or Force 7 (moderate gale), we will need to cancel your booking at short notice. In this instance, we will offer a refund, alternative accommodation type if available, or transfer your booking to another date.

The tree tents at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset
The tree tents at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset | © National Trust Images / Robin Kitchin


There are toilet and hot shower facilities as well as sheltered cooking stations set up for communal use. Please note there is a no open flame policy on the island and so no campfires, BBQs or candles are allowed.

Island facilities

We have a campsite shop where you can buy basic food and drink items but anything fancy you should bring with you. There is a café which is open during day-visiting hours only, but no other food shops on the island.

Getting here

Poole railway station with services from London Waterloo is a short walk from Poole Quay where you can get a ferry direct to the island. Overnight parking is also available at the nearby public car parks.

Book your ferry crossing and walk the 20-25 minutes to the campsite. The cost of the ferry is not included in your campsite booking.

If you would like to come in your own boat, you can arrive directly at the campsite on the South Shore. There is a slipway that campers can use to haul canoes and kayaks up from the beach to the campsite. Please be advised that boats are kept on site at your own risk. You can check in at reception between 14:30 and 17:30. Please arrive before 17:30 so that we can check you in to the campsite and provide you with any pre-booked equipment before our reception closes for the day.

Packing light

You will be responsible for carrying your baggage on and off ferries and to and from the campsite which is a 20-25 minute walk. We therefore advise that you pack as light as possible and you should be able to carry your personal baggage yourself without having to make additional trips. Backpacks are recommended.

We can transport your bag from where you land on the island to the campsite. When you arrive you can drop your luggage in our campsite trailer which will be located at the start of the woodland walk. Please collect a map from the courtyard on arrival.

Your bags will be collected by one of our team and be delivered to the campsite by 17:30. You can then collect your bag from the trailer outside the campsite reception.

This storage is not secured and your bag is left at your own risk. We cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage of belongings.

If you prefer to be able to set up your camp earlier then please carry your belongings to the campsite.


Packing List and Tips 

Here's a list of what you'll need to pack for your stay at Brownsea Island Campsite

Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset

Brownsea Island Campsite information 

An island campsite that feels a world away from the nearby mainland, surrounded by thriving habitats for rare species, trails and views of the Purbeck Hills.