Travelling Around Britain in a Motorhome?My Top Caravan Spots in the UK
Written by Jaillan Yehia
I’m lucky enough to have explored a fair chunk of my home country, staying in everything from luxury hotels to eco campsites. I’ve also had the chance to go on a lot of different kinds of holidays all over the world, including hitting the open road on more than a few occasions.
But while living in Canada – and travelling frequently to the USA – I noticed that travellers in North America absolutely love taking trips in their RVs, and that’s when I started to shake off my own preconceptions about travelling around Britain in a motorhome.
On road trips in Canada and the US I realised there’s simply no better way to get around the vast distances of the North American great outdoors than with your own home on wheels.
But somehow a caravanning holiday in England never had the same appeal for me.
Growing up in England caravanning had a rather unglamorous reputation as being something you did after retirement – but suddenly I started to look at caravan and campervan holidays in a completely different light.
What Does This Post Cover?
4 Different Areas I’d recommend For Motorhome Holidays in England
The relatively short distances we have to cover here in the UK mean that it’s actually far easier to see a variety of different landscapes and have a host of cool experiences by driving motorhome.
As I’m personally based in the southeast of England most of the UK caravan spots I am suggesting here are in England and specifically the south, because I want to recommend places I know well and can vouch for.
However, if you have experience travelling around Britain in a motorhome and have your own suggestions for other top caravan spots UK wide, or destinations where fellow road trip enthusiasts might like to venture in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, as well as England, then please do let me know in the comments section.
1. Best of the British Seaside: The Isle of Thanet
Ok so I’m a little bit biased when it comes to this part of the UK: I know the Kent coast well and this under-appreciated slice of the British seaside will always have a special place in my heart.
The Isle of Thanet really is a little bit of a well-kept UK travel secret. And with its miles of sandy beaches, nature reserves and quaint seaside towns, it makes a wonderful place to travel in your motorhome.
Yet outside the peak summer months you’re likely to have huge swathes of this stretch of the south coast to yourself, and the roads are relatively quiet in this part of the country.
There are lots of places you can park your motorhome with a sea view, or within walking distance of one of the area’s many blue flag beaches.
Thanet’s seaside towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, each have their own quirky yet laid back vibe, and their location adjacent to the Straits of Dover mean they enjoy a unique and fascinating connection to Britain’s wartime history.
This is also a slice of the UK seaside made famous by artist Turner, who specialised in painting the county’s epic skies.
Add in tasty local seafood, lamb from the salt marshes and apple juice straight from local orchards and you’ve got all the makings for a fun and foodie holiday in your campervan.
Where To Park Your Motorhome in Thanet?
A good base if you want to be equidistant to all 3 of Thanet’s main towns of Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate is Marston Caravan Park just inland of the seaside.
Have I persuaded you to have a holiday in a motorhome in Thanet? Here’s a map of its location in the UK:
2. Best of England’s Green & Pleasant Land: The Surrey Hills & The South Downs
Surrey is England’s most forested county, so where better to drive your campervan than through Surrey’s endless country lanes and beneath its myriad of tree tunnels.
Surrey’s proximity to London helps those with just a couple of nights available to try motorhome hire in England and still combine a visit to the capital city with an idyllic rural adventure.
Plus, if your plan is to hire a motorhome from someone else through a crowdsourcing company like Goboony you’ll find having the option to rent from an urban centre like London will give you a lot more motorhome rental options. Head to Surrey and you can still be surrounded by greenery and camping within a couple of hours of picking up your vehicle.
A quarter of Surrey is covered by the Surrey Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while the South Downs National Park covers a further 1,600 square kilometres of this leafy country – not bad for a region that’s also home to plenty of charming towns and villages, as well as being a haven for cyclists.
Exploring this area is all about taking in very traditional English views – you’ll drive through rolling farmland and historic market squares, and spy ancient woodlands and wild heaths.
There are plenty of stately homes, traditional country pubs and award winning vineyards and breweries to sample if you fancy leaving your caravan behind for a few hours and exploring.
Again I have to declare my bias here, as at the time of writing this I live in Farnham, a quaint surrey market town on the edge of the North Downs.
Where To park Your Motorhome in Surrey?
You’ll find plenty of rural motorhome parking in the UK country famous for its forests, and if you are happy to forgo facilities in favour of total tranquility you should look at Old Barn Farm a small family-run farm near Liphook with a handful of spaces for tents and caravans.
Have I persuaded you to rent a motorhome and set off for Surrey? Here’s a map of where it is in England:
3. Best of England’s Rugged Coast: Cornwall
Cornwall is of course famous for its seafood and sandy beaches; the farthest westerly county in England has a rich maritime history and a reputation for creative and artistic communities, as well as being a beautiful summer holiday setting.
The ancient kingdom also has a unique independent identity that sets it part from any other part of Britain – and that becomes more understandable as you undertake the long drive to the edge of the UK.
But for those heading here in a motorhome, the benefits of the journey quickly become clear: vast stretches of beach (it has the longest stretch of unbroken coastline in Britain) and breathtaking wild scenery, which lend themselves to exploring from your home on four-wheels.
For those heading to this popular UK caravan spot, a visit to Cornwall off-season is a particularly good bet as roads can become congested and campsites booked up during the more popular holiday months.
Luckily Cornwall enjoys something of a micro-climate which means that spring often arrives in this county before the rest of Britain is blessed with the first daffodils – so March would be the perfect month to research a campervan holiday to Cornwall.
Where To Park Your Motorhome in Cornwall?
Near the beautiful Sennen Cove and well-placed for Cornwall’s North and South Coast beaches as well as the Eden Project, the family-run Lower Treave Caravan Park gets great recommendations and plenty of 5 star reviews.
Fancy driving your motorhome to Cornwall? This map shows the location within England:
4. Best For Exploring England’s quaint villages: The Cotswolds
I’ve been on a couple of Cotswolds holidays in the past and can heartily recommend heading to the Cotswolds for a delightfully relaxing break in England.
This area encompasses Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and into Worcestershire so while it is varied it’s also the most quintessentially English place you could possibly pick for travelling around Britain in a motorhome.
And if you’re in search of quaint, twee, cute and downright photogenic honey-hued houses and country pubs, this is the place to park up and start exploring.
Another AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) The Cotswolds is brilliant for water sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, as its home to the Cotswolds Water Park – a huge network of 150 lakes that span 3 counties.
As well as the pretty setting and the natural surroundings, there’s another unique thing about a holiday to The Cotswolds: you can visit Arlington Row, which is famous for being depicted on the inside front cover of British Passports.
Where To Park Your Motorhome in The Cotswolds?
The Thames Head pub is the closest parking you can find to the source of the River Thames, so if you fancy walking The Thames Path you couldn’t find a more conveniently placed campsite – and it’s been recently renovated and setup to offer motorhome parking in the Cotswolds.
Keen to holiday in The Cotswolds in a campervan? Here’s a map to help you out:
More of An Urban Adventurer? Here Are 3 UK Cities to See from Your Campervan
When you think about travelling around Britain by motorhome the obvious images that spring to mind are of the rolling hills of the English countryside, the UK’s expansive coastline, and the quaint villages and country pubs you can stop at for refreshment along the way.
But you could also use your motorhome as the base for exploring the cultural side of the UK by popping into some exciting cities:
Bristol is the largest city in the southwest, and while it has a great mix of art, culture and riverside activities (it lies on the River Avon, close to the coast) it’s also very easy to explore Bristol without feeling overwhelmed.
If you want to go somewhere urban and hip but don’t fancy driving into London in a motorhome then this fun fact will interest you: Bristol is sometimes seen as the coolest city in the country, with Londoners from the capital’s hotspots more likely to move to Bristol than anywhere else in the UK.
Hotels in Bristol city centre can be pricey so why not stay at the south-westerly edges of The Cotswolds and see Bristol at your own pace.
I’m happy to recommend somewhere north of the border: as the UK’s 4th largest city and the main metropolis in Scotland in terms of population, Glasgow has a lot going for it.
And if you’re travelling in a caravan and set on seeing some of Scotland’s celebrated natural attractions, then Glasgow is well worth stopping in for some urban excitement.
At about 45 minutes from Loch Lomond it’s certainly possible to park your motorhome in a stunning setting and take the train into the city for a day of urban pursuits before heading back into the Highlands.
Lots of Glasgow’s museums and artistic attractions are free, the city is incredibly friendly, and combining Glasgow with Loch Lomond is a tried and tested itinerary for many travellers to Scotland, so there’s plenty of information available.
Home to England’s tallest cathedral spire, this charming, thriving yet pint-sized city is perfect for popping into while exploring Wiltshire in a motorhome.
With its proximity to one of England’s most famous sites, Stonehenge, and nearby Salisbury Plain on your doorstep, you have lots of options for your days out.
You could be strolling through cobbled streets and eyeing half-timbered buildings in the morning, then tucking into a pub lunch before taking a trip out to tranquil rural surroundings in your motorhome in the afternoon.
If you’re considering various England motorhome destinations and want to tick off the famous megaliths of Stonehenge from your list, but also want to see other key sights in the area, including the Wiltshire White Horses, then a trip to Salisbury is a perfect place to stop when travelling around Britain in a motorhome.
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