Shorefield Country Park, Milford-on-Sea

Woodland lodge at Shorefield Country Park

What’s Shorefield Country Park like?

This huge holiday park, on the edge of the New Forest, is also close to the coast. There’s accommodation to suit all budgets and a great range of facilities onsite, such as two pools and a spa. The park is part of the Shorefield Holidays group, which has seven sites across the New Forest and Dorset.

How dog-friendly is Shorefield Country Park?

Dogs are very welcome onsite although you’ll need to bring your own bedding, food and bowls. Pets are also allowed to join their owners for a drink or bite to eat in the Milford Room, in the main entertainment complex. This is quite unusual for a holiday park, but certainly very welcome!

Before we arrived, we were sent a link to a map of the site, which showed where the poo bins were located and where we could pick up woodland walking trails. All grades of accommodation welcome pets and up to two dogs can stay at a time. We were charged £36 for Ernie for our Monday to Friday stay.

Wood-clad bedroom in our woodland lodge at Shorefield Country Park

Tell me more about Shorefield Country Park

With its mix of caravans, touring pitches, woodland lodges and treehouses (due to open in 2021), the site is one of the biggest I’ve stayed at. As you would expect, it has fantastic facilities, such as indoor and outdoor pools and a fishing lake and day spa. Many of the lodges have hot tubs but ours – a Select+ lodge in Warren Park – simply had an outdoor deck. This was actually better for Ernie as he had somewhere to keep an eye on the local squirrels and rabbits!

Our light and airy wood-panelled lodge was decorated in on-trend shades of grey and white. There was an en-suite to the master bedroom as well a family bathroom and two twin rooms, not to mention a well-equipped kitchen complete with dishwasher. We had a lovely welcome hamper waiting for us, containing New Forest produce, such as fudge, soap and biscuits. We were also provided with a pack of kitchen essentials, like tea bags, washing up liquid and bin liners.

When we visited, after the first coronavirus lockdown had lifted, all of the facilities onsite were open. You just needed to download the Shorefield app and book your session up to 48hrs in advance. Contactless check-in and check-out was also available, via the app and handy lock boxes, and the evening entertainment was gradually being reintroduced.

Liver and bacon at The Royal Oak, Downton

What’s the food like at Shorefield Country Park?

Well, you certainly won’t go hungry! The caravans and lodges are all self-catering but the onsite Country Store is a great place to pick up all the essentials and some local souvenirs. It also has lots of dog food, treats and toys.

There are some great options for eating out, too. The Tides Bar & Grill serves everything from pizzas to paninis and you can dine with your dog – and enjoy the entertainment – in the Milford Room. When we visited post-Covid, all food and drink had to be ordered via the Shorefield app. It could be delivered either to your table or accommodation – handy if you were feeling lazy!

The Royal Oak in Downton is also a must-visit. Dogs are very welcome at this gastropub, a 10-minute walk from the site. It serves a great range of British classics – the liver and bacon (pictured above) comes highly recommended. Craft beer fans will love The Wash House in Milford-on-Sea, too. This quirky bar, in a former launderette, even has dog treats behind the bar.

Are there resident dogs at Shorefield Country Park?

No, but there will be probably be lots of other four-legged guests. When we visited, a border terrier was staying opposite us and we also met spaniels, salukis, cockerpoos and schnauzers out on our walks.

Ernie enjoys a run on the beach at Friars Cliff, near Christchurch

Where are the best dog walks near Shorefield Country Park?

Start by exploring the site itself, which has some great woodland trails and bridges over streams. The map you are sent before check-in will show you where to start the half-mile walk to the beach or to pick up the two-mile footpath to Milford-on-Sea.

Hurst Castle, a few miles up the road, also makes for a great dog-friendly day out. This ancient fort – which was established by Henry VIII – is accessed by either a 45-minute walk along stony Hurst Spit or via the Hurst Ferry. Tickets to the castle start from £5.50 per adult and dogs are allowed throughout. Return ferry rides cost £7 per adult, and pets travel free.

Friars Cliff beach, just over the border in Dorset, and Steamer Point Nature Reserve are well worth a visit, too. For more inspiration for walks, days out and places to eat and drink with your dog, check out our Ruff Guide to the New Forest.

Ernie on squirrel watch at Shorefield Country Park

What Ernie loved about Shorefield Country Park

The woodland walks, keeping an eye on the resident squirrels and rabbits, having a bit of enclosed outdoor space

What I loved about Shorefield Country Park

The stylish lodges, the peaceful woodland location, the fact Ernie was welcome to join us for a drink in the bar

How to book Shorefield Country Park

A four-night break in a luxury caravan is from £189. Woodland lodges start from £376. For more information or to book, call 01590 648333 or visit the Shorefield Country Park website. Be sure to check online for special offers, too.

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