Ok, now you have your nice shiny new campervan or maybe a second-hand one, it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that you are ready to rock and roll. You have itchy feet, or in this case, itchy wheels. So, where are you going to go? The UK may be small but there are plenty of beautiful places to see in all corners of this small island. The advantage is that nothing is too far away. Whether you fancy a long-planned touring holiday taking in all the best sights, or a short weekend trip to fit in around work, you are spoilt for choice with the UK. Anywhere from Land’s End to John ‘O Groats is yours with the freedom and flexibility of a holiday by campervan.
Naturally, you will narrow down your options according to your interests, time available, and of course your starting point. Here, we have made some suggestions of some of the best places to visit, just to get the ball rolling and give you an idea of what’s out there. Although you don’t mind roughing it, that’s why you’ve opted for a campervan, it’s good to know where you can find basic amenities.
This is just a partial list of locations to visit in England, Scotland and Wales, and a quick internet search will show you all the fun and fabulous places that are suitable for these types of trips.
The West Country counties of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, along with the beautiful Lake District National Park are popular holiday destinations for all kinds of holidaymakers, whether they require luxury or just a piece of ground to camp on. The wild, natural landscapes, picture-postcard coastlines, and traditional villages are all the essential ingredients for that quintessential English holiday.
Down in the West Country, popular campervan sites with decent facilities that have been recommended by other travellers include Ocean Pitch Campsite in Croyde (Devon), Tehidy Holiday Park in Redruth (Cornwall), and Middle Stone Farm in Taunton (Somerset). These all have great access to miles of open countryside with hiking trails and cycle paths to explore. You can also explore ancient tin mines, visit vineyards and take a boat trip down a river or along the coast, with plenty of cosy pub suppers in the evenings if you don’t fancy cooking.
Meanwhile, up in the Lake District there are dozens of hidden sites dotted about the fells and lakes, many of which welcome campervans. Try Pier Cottage Caravan Park over by Coniston Water in the west of the park, where you can take a ride on the gondola and climb Coniston Old Man for some serious bragging rights. Or for lakeside seclusion head to Side Farm Campsite on the shores of Ullswater. Just opposite Glenridding, this site has some of the best views in the National Park, with lots of sailing, canoeing and hiking right on the doorstep. Just be careful driving along the farm track, it is quite bumpy in places!
Rural Wales is a bit of an insider secret, with many places less busy than several of England’s hotspots. You will easily be able to find quite sites and places to visit that aren’t overrun with tourist crowds. Down in sunny Pembrokeshire you could check out Celtic Camping near St. David’s, which is well placed to explore this stunning stretch of coast. There are hidden bays, windswept paths, ancient castles, and even a secret cliff chapel to discover.
If you want to be near some great beaches and surfing spots, try Skysea Caravan in Port Eynon near Swansea. You’re also close to the Mumbles here for bracing coastal walks and picnics in secluded bays.
If hiking is your thing, then drive north to Snowdonia where the mountains and valleys will provide you with one of the best natural playgrounds in the UK. Explore slate mines and take a ride on the Snowdon train, or lace up your boots and tackle some of the meandering trails that snake through the iconic national park. There are several campervan friendly sites in this area, just make sure you check the weather first as it has been known to rain a fair bit up there.
The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are a campervan paradise, with winding passes and scenic mountain roads making this the ultimate destination for a road trip. Head to the Isle of Skye for some castle bagging, seal spotting, and wild swimming, or make you way to Fort William to climb Ben Nevis or even go skiing in winter. Check out the Glen Nevi Caravan and Camping Park, which makes a great base for exploring this stunning wilderness area.
The North Coast 500 is a famous route for independent road trips, with plenty of sites along the way. This 500-mile stretch of road meanders along the far northern coast of Scotland, swinging by all the best views of hidden bays and remote coastline, with all the castles, iron age forts and deep lochs you could wish for. It does get busy during the summer months, so plan to come in Spring or Autumn to avoid the crowds, and the midges! The colours are more spectacular during September and October too. Plan your trip ahead of time, and book into campsites in advance to make sure you have a pitch ready and waiting.
Down on the coast in Dumfries and Galloway Solway View Campsite is well place for touring around this popular destination, with ancient towns and historic landmarks to tick off the list. The weather is often warm and less rainy down here, so if it’s wet up in the Highlands, you could hot-foot it down here in search of some sun.
Every area of the UK has its attractions and within that area, as you can see, there are a multitude of sites where you can park up and enjoy the surrounding area. Those listed here are only to whet the appetite of new campervan adventurers. Some of you may have a specific destination in mind, others may prefer just to point yourselves in a direction and see what turns up. Whichever way you like to do it, you will find that the UK is a country that is geared up for internal tourism, especially for those that like to get away from it all. Campervan holidaymakers are welcome just about everywhere.
A Word of Caution
Of course, you will tailor your weekend trips or annual holidays in your campervan to your own tastes and interests. Some may like beautiful countryside. Others, places of historical interest, sports and recreation. The good thing about having a campervan is that when you have exhausted the possibilities in one place you can drive off to another. This type of travelling is an adventure but be prepared before you take off. Make sure that you have your campervan insurance from specialist insurers, just in case.
We have not personally stayed at all of these sites, so they are suggestions rather than recommendations.