Where To Go On A Campervan Holiday This Summer

If ever the campervan was going to have a comeback, an international travel ban might be the moment. Whether you’re hiring a van for the weekend or borrowing someone else’s 70s-style Volkswagen, there are plenty of routes around the UK to explore. From idyllic spots in Cornwall to paths off the beaten track on the Isle of Skye, these are some of the best to take, plus the rental companies first-timers should know.
CALEB GEORGE/UNSPLASH

Cornwall

Heading to Cornwall during the summer is always a good idea, but if you’re struggling to get a booking, heading down south on a road trip is a great way to see some of the best sights and prettiest towns. The drive from London takes around five hours, but if you don’t fancy spending hours on the road, take the train from Paddington Station and hire a van in Cornwall – O’Connor’s Campers is a reputable company to book with. Once there, drive around the Cornish Peninsula and be sure to visit the cultural hotspots with the best beaches – Fowey, Newquay, Padstow, Bude and Bodmin are particularly beautiful, and all have great driving routes to explore.
 
Where to sleep:
Padstow Touring Park is one of the best campsites in north Cornwall. Only one mile from Padstow Harbour, the park has all the facilities you need during a stay, including shower rooms, a camp kitchen, a laundry room, and a children’s play area. During the summer months, the park also has a range of gourmet pop-up stalls and a dog snack bar for four-legged friends.
 
Visit LovatParks.com

Jersey

The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and vistas in the country. When restrictions allow, you can fly to the island in 45 minutes or take a ferry across which takes around three and a half hours. Visitors should drive around the windswept, rugged coastline and make a beeline for St Helier to see some of the best sites. Portelet Beach is a particular highlight, as is Plémont. Samphire in St Helier is one of the island's best restaurants, while Ocean Restaurant is renowned for its seafood.
 
Where to sleep:
There are a few good campsites to explore, but the Palms Campsite is one of the best on the island. Just a mile from the beautiful St Ouen’s Bay, the site is ideal for beach walkers, with plenty of cafés and restaurants nearby. The campsite offers morning yoga classes in the summer and the onsite natural therapies team offer a variety of wellness treatments, such as reflexology and Indian head massages. With the third largest tidal range in the world, surfers should make the most of the excellent waves nearby.
 
Visit Jersey.com

Dorset

For water sports and beautiful beaches, head to Dorset. Hire your dream campervan from Shore Campers or make the scenic three-hour drive from London. Start your route at the historic Maiden Castle in Dorchester and head towards Durdle Door – one of the most photographed spots in the South West. Along this stretch of the Jurassic Coast, there are several beaches and hidden coves to explore – Lulworth Cove is particularly beautiful. Next, head to the National Trust's Studland Beach to see Old Harry Rocks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before visiting Corfe Castle on the edge of the Purbeck Hills. If you visit one restaurant during a trip, make it Taste Brasserie in Dorchester for an alfresco lunch.
 
Where to sleep:
For incredible sea views, set up camp at Durdle Door Holiday Park. The family-owned park has miles of stunning coastline and access to the limestone arch of Durdle Door Beach. A premium option for those looking to camp in style, the site has a restaurant and bar, a newly renovated shower block, a children’s playground, a dish-washing station and a laundry service. There’s also free WiFi on site and a small convenience store.
 
Visit DurdleDoor.co.uk

The Lake District

The Lake District is home to some of the most scenic driving routes in the UK, with plenty of activities for lovers of the outdoors, too. The drive from London takes around three and a half hours, so it’s best to bookmark a trip here for a long weekend. Lake District National Park is a must where visitors can appreciate 912sq. m. of mountains, lakes, rivers and coastline in Cumbria. Once you’ve made your way around the park, head to Lake Windemere, Ambleside and Ullswater Lake for more stunning scenery.
 
Where to sleep:
Located in Ullswater, Gillside Farm is a lovely family-run campsite. With space for 60 pitches, the site is open from March to November with all the facilities you need during a trip. On site, there’s a specially reserved area for campervans with electrical hook-ups and individual pitch lighting, plus hot showers, a separate toilet block, laundry facilities and a washing station for pots and pans. Ask the team for fresh milk and eggs from their farmhouse or enjoy a tasty meal from the breakfast van during weekends.
 
Visit GillsideCaravanAndCampingSite.co.uk

Where To Go On A Campervan Holiday This Summer - The Lake District
Durdle Door Holiday Park, Dorset

The New Forest

An ideal location for those looking for a quick escape from the city, there’s lots to explore in the New Forest. Easily reached from London in just under 90 minutes, visitors can explore the historic woodland, then head to some of the prettiest Hampshire villages, including East Meon, Beaulieu and Buckler's Hard. The New Forest coastline is also worth exploring – don’t miss Lepe Beach or Barton on Sea nearby.
 
Where to sleep:
A great choice for families, Red Shoot Camping Park is located in a large forest just a short drive from the national park. The site has over 100 electric hook-up or standard grass pitches for campervans or tents, with a modern shower and toilet block with under floor heating, a laundry room, a bakery and a washing up area. The Red Shoot Inn, a lovely pub next door, serves delicious British classics and is also a great place to stop for lunch if you don’t feel like cooking. Dogs are also welcome on site, too.
 
Visit RedShoot-CampingPark.com

Devon

Drive down to Devon this summer to make the most of the South West’s beautiful coastline or take the fast train from Paddington Station which takes just over two hours. There’s lots to see and do, but many of the prettiest towns and villages in the south can be explored over the course of a week. Salcombe is a particular highlight, as is Dartmouth and Torquay. Explore the beautiful beaches on the coastline, or head to Exeter to explore its cobbled streets and rich history.
 
Where to sleep:
In a beautiful valley surrounded by National Trust-protected Devon coastline, Karrageen Campsite is simple and rural. Located in Salcombe, on-site facilities, such as heated shower blocks and utility rooms, all feature eco-friendly solar heating panels, and guests can use fresh water supplied from the on-site spring. For a day out, there’s the picturesque fishing village of Hope Cove, home to sandy beaches and rock pools that you can wade out to. Back on site, dinner is provided by a collection of visiting food trucks, with stone-baked pizza or gourmet kebabs often on the menu.
 
Visit Karrageen.co.uk

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Often overlooked in favour of the Brecon Beacons and the Gower Peninsular, Pembrokeshire has something for everyone. From London, it’s about a five-hour drive but the views and stunning scenery are worth the trip. Here, the coastline is incredibly varied, with volcanic rocks, limestone cliffs and huge sea stacks in between beautiful mile-long beaches. A great option for lovers of the outdoors, visitors can explore the many walking routes, ride the waves, or head to sea in a kayak. St David’s Cathedral, Pembroke Castle and Whitesands Bay are also not to be missed.
 
Where to sleep:
Rhosson Ganol is Wales' westernmost campsite, with stunning views overlooking Ramsey Sound on the Pembrokeshire coast. The site has just installed a new, modern wash block with toilets and showers, and also has a laundry room and a washing up area. Visitors can fire up the barbecue during the summer evenings and explore the nearby beaches by day. For a day trip, ask the staff to organise a boat trip to Porthstinian or Ramsey Island. In terms of food, it’s best to bring your own, or head to the nearby Farmer’s Arms in St David’s for seasonal Welsh dishes.
 
Visit CoolCamping.com

The Isle of Skye, Scotland

The second largest of Scotland’s islands, Skye is a 50-mile amalgamation of sea cliffs, jagged mountains, huge lakes and vast moors. A beautiful destination for a summer staycation, the scenery is seriously impressive, and there’s no shortage of activities on offer. If you’re up for the challenge, it takes between ten and 11 hours to reach the island by car, or you can travel by sleeper train which takes 14 hours. Once you’ve reached the island, make a beeline for Quiraing – a huge set of cliffs – and Spar Cave. Corach Beach is one of the prettiest on the island and has several good walking routes, while Dunvegan Castle and Gardens is a must-see. For a cool campervan you can pick up on the island, browse through the options at Yascepa.co.uk.  
 
Where to sleep:
Located in the village of Dunvegan, Kinloch Campsite is great place to set up camp. The site has direct access to Loch Dunvegan, as well as hot showers and toilets in a modern amenity block, laundry facilities, a dish washing room and charging docks. There’s also free WiFi on site and plenty of information at reception on what to do in the area. For a tasty meal, The Dunvegan Hotel and The Waterside Bistro are both within walking distance.
 
Visit Kinloch-Campsite.co.uk

 
Feeling inspired? Here are five campervan rental companies to know about…

 

Bunk Campers

A great option for first timers, Bunk Campers is one of the UK’s leading campervan hires sites. With hundreds of models to choose from, each one includes 30% off campsites across the UK and Ireland. The team are on hand to help you plan your trip, and the website has lots of detailed information on what to expect on the road.
 
Visit BunkCampers.com

VW Camperhire

If your idea of campervanning starts with a classic Volkswagen, VW Camperhire have vintage and modern models to choose from. The company is based in the New Forest – ideal if you’re looking to explore the national park and surrounding area.
 
Visit VWCamperhire.com

Quirky Campers

Quirky Campers has campervans for both hire and sale. Each bespoke model has been fitted with unique extras like quirky interiors, hidden nooks and indoor wood burners. There are dog-friendly options, and models for couples and families to choose from.
 
Visit QuirkyCampers.com

Camptoo

 

The Airbnb of campervans, Camptoo is a sharing economy platform that enables users to hire a range of traditional and stylish campervans. Renters can choose from over 900 campervans from across the UK, with Camptoo providing all the necessary paperwork, checklists and roadside assistance to make everything easier for both owners and renters.
 
Visit Camptoo.co.uk
 

*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.

CREDITS: CALEB GEORGE/UNSPLASH
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