As a Campsite Inspector for the AA it is always nice when you can visit a park and stay as a normal guest with your family, and just enjoy what the park has to offer. No walking around the park with a clipboard checking everything and writing reports; just being able to take in what the park is really like to stay on. This is especially so when the park happens to have won the AA Campsite of the Year 2016.

So in September we spent a wonderful week in our caravan at South Lytchett Manor. We had to be content with a grass pitch rather than a hard standing or fully serviced pitch due to a fairly late booking, such is the popularity of the park, however the pitch was excellent, plenty of space and was in a sunny location. All facilities are well appointed, were comfortable and always very clean. They even laid on perfect weather for us with record breaking temperatures for a September.

What did we do? Well the location of South Lytchett Manor makes it a perfect base for visiting, in my view, one of the best areas in Dorset, and during our week we were spoilt for choice on where to go. We included visits to Durlston Head, near Swanage, with a walk to the lighthouse at Anvil Point and back, great views plus a nice lunch at the Castle – lovely views of the Isle of Wight from the terrace. We also managed to fit in one of our favourite walks, the round trip at Hengistbury Head near Southbourne. There is an excellent café at the far end, near the Mudeford Ferry, perfect for a mid-walk break. Another of our favourite places is Arne Nature Reserve, near Stoborough, where you can see plenty of deer and also get a completely different view of Poole harbour from Shipstal Point – a really worthwhile trip. Other places included Wareham, Poole Quay and Studland Beach plus we treated ourselves at St Peter’s Finger on two nights for a really good meal plus the free bottle of wine if you stay at South Lytchett Manor, how good is that. Although we did not use it, the bus stop just outside of the park entrance was very popular and a great way to leave your car on site and to be able to forget about parking – perfect for motor homers.

One of the main pleasures of our stay were the staff who are always friendly and helpful, always had a smile and some friendly banter, even after a hard season – they really make your stay so much better, and I think is the key to much of the parks success.

What didn’t we like – packing up and going home!

Will I inspect South Lytchett in 2017 – Hopefully.

Will I visit and stay at South Lytchett in 2017 – Definitely


Thanks all for a great week.

Colin Church