Martin Dorey is a writer and lifelong campervanner. He has written two best-selling books about camper vans and has just published his third, The Camper Van Bible. He was also the presenter of BBC 2’s One Man and His Campervan, which was broadcast in 2011. Here he explains why, to him and his family, campervanning is the only way to see the UK.
Imagine waking up and peeking out through the curtains to see a deserted beach. There are no footsteps on it, save from those you made yesterday. The early morning mist is fading as the sun rises above the marram grass and the dew sparkles on the grass. You sit up, wrap up and put the kettle on before stepping outside to take in the salt air.
Shortly afterwards, with the whistling of a camping kettle, the rest of the family stirs and your day begins.
Does it sound like a dream? Well it needn’t be. For those many thousands of us who take to the road every year in our motorhomes and camper vans, this can be a reality. And while every morning isn’t guaranteed to be this way, there will be moments like it, I promise. There will also be sunsets and sunny days and perhaps, inevitably, a few days when it’s nice to cosy up reading a book while the world drenches around you. After all, this is Britain!
Campervanning is one of the best ways to see the UK in all its glory. Not only do you travel under your own steam, wherever and whenever you fancy, but you also get to take your own home from home with you. And that means you have everything with you – including the kitchen sink – that you’ll need for a few days or months away.
Family time in our campervan is always special. We have explored almost every part of Britain, from the UK’s most north westerly beach at Eoropie in the Isle of Lewis to the most southerly point on the mainland at The Lizard in Cornwall. We’ve camped and surfed, camped and cycled, camped and caved and camped just for the sake of camping. And you know what? It’s brought us wonderful times, shared memories and a strong sense of family. We are the campervan gang and we love it.
Apart from the freedom of the open road, campervanning is also a great way to holiday. You get to take your family with you, you get to take your house with you, you save money by not having to pay for accommodation other than camping fees and if you have the will, you can cook all your own food along the way. It’s the ultimate in self guided self catering.
But what if you fear the idea of ‘roughing it’? You don’t have to. Motorhomes and some of the bigger campervans will give you the kitchen sink and a whole lot more besides. Fancy a shower? No problem. Need the loo in the middle of the night? It’s right there. Feeling a bit of a chill? Whack the heating on! Fancy watching a bit of telly? I don’t think you should, but what the heck. The remote is around here somewhere.
Try before you buy: The Caravan Show is one of the UK’s biggest caravan and motorhome shows, taking place at Event City, Manchester this January. It is the perfect opportunity to see the best of Britain’s motorhomes and campervans in one place. Consider doing a Motorhome Manoevring Masterclass with The Caravan and Motorhome Club at the show to help build your confidence.