Accommodation Campsites Self-catering

California Meadows Campsite

Traditional campsite in the heart of Swanage

Being set slightly above Swanage, California Meadows Campsite has spectacular views down over Swanage Bay and across to the Purbeck Hills.

Perfect for accessing great coastal paths, this small, family-run campsite is popular with walkers and groups and is suitable for tents and small campervans or caravans.

(pictures courtesy of California Meadows)

It’s a rustic, natural spot, with a wealth of wildflowers, and nearby grazing animals. There’s a rugged nature reserve nearby and you can easily access the South West Coast Path from here.

Swanage Bay and town are around a 25-minute walk away. Alternatively you can call a local taxi to bring you down to the beach or take you back to your tent after an evening out exploring Swanage’s pubs or meal out at one of the area’s restaurants.

California Meadows is a great base for exploring the wider Purbeck coastline and countryside. From town ,you can catch a bus to the famous Studland Bay, or a pleasant 30-minute downhill stroll will take you to Swanage Railway Station, where you can hop on a vintage locomotive to Harman’s Cross, the village and castle ruin at Corfe, or Norden, where you can hire a bike and head out onto excellent heathland and ridgeway rides.


Facilities are limited, in keeping with the campsite’s traditional feel, but available are:

  • Toilet block (no showers)
  • Cold water wash-up area
  • Recycling bins
  • Backpack/luggage transported to other sites if required

The campsite does ask that noise levels are kept to a minimum for the enjoyment of other campers.

🔥 Disposable BBQs are not allowed here, but there is a communal firepit area to provide that rustic camping experience of gathering around a campfire.

🐾 Well-behaved dogs are welcome at California Meadows

Self-catering Shepherd Hut

California Meadows also has two refurbished vintage shepherd’s huts available for hire.

One hut is equipped with heating and lighting, plus a kettle. There’s also a BBQ but no other cooking facilities.

Both a small, private garden with sea views and there’s a shared composting loo and shower facilities. A flushing toilet is a short walk away at the main campsite.

Duvet and pillows are provided, but you’ll need to bring your own bed linen and towels.

  • 🛏️ ‘Billy Wix’ sleeps two
  • 🛏️ ‘Laughing Betsy’ sleeps three

Venue Hire

California Campsite is also available for hire for events such as weddings with its barn, cottages and marquee available to use, or simply for a large family to get together in the great outdoors.

Tables and chairs in wedding marquee at California Meadows Campsite
The marquee dressed and ready for the big day (picture courtesy of California Meadows)

You can also combine your stay or special event with planned activities, such as local watersports or arts & crafts.

Speak to the friendly owner to discuss your requirements and booking.

(credit: California Meadows)

Contact details & booking

California Meadows’ camping season runs from April to October inclusive each year.

To enquire about prices and booking a pitch for your holiday, or booking the campsite exclusively for an event, call or visit their website:


📍California Cottage, Swanage BH19 2RS

The campsite is located about a one-mile walk into the centre of Swanage town, making it handy to stroll to the bakery or supermarket.

If you’re driving, turn off High Street onto Cow Lane and then onto Priests Road and Priests’ Way.

Campsite location in Swanage (credit: Google Maps)

Nearby points of interest

Peveril Point and Durlston Bay view from Durlston Country Park
Durlston Country Park

California Meadows is close to South West Coast Path walks, which include Durlston Country Park. As part of the appeal of camping is sleeping under the stars, and this part of the world has fantastic dark skies for stargazing, why not go along to one of Durlston’s Stargazing and astronomy evenings to learn more about the night sky?

You can walk to the beach and all the amenities of Swanage town via Priest’s Way in around 20 minutes.

The swimming pool and gym at nearby Swanage Bay View Holiday Park are open to the public to use and are under a ten-minute walk away.