Campervanning with kids can be an incredibly liberating experience and the basis of a memorable yet budget-friendly holiday – see also our feature on UK Campervan Trips with Kids. But where are the best places to head with a family in tow?
The Garden of England
It only takes an hour or so to get from most places in London down to Kent. Start around Ashdown Forest and travel towards Tunbridge Wells then over the Weald towards Hythe and then Rye and Battle to find stunning scenery, really good campsites and lots for kids to do – Pooh Bridge, steam trains, Hever Castle, the sea, canoeing in Bewl Water and plenty more besides.
Campsite recommendation: St Ives Farm near Ashwood Forest.
Along Offa’s Dyke
This tour takes you from the English borders over Wenlock Edge and around the Long Mynd into the beautiful Welsh countryside running alongside Offa’s Dyke. There are wonderful places to stay, castles that kids love to explore, grand country houses to visit, steam trains and the chance to glide over the astonishing Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in a barge. In a campervan you can meander slowly along, enjoying all of this.
Campsite recommendation: North Farm in Ludlow.
The Broads and the North Norfolk Coast
Make your way slowly westward from lovely Norwich along the coast, taking in Mundesley, Cromer, Cley-next-the-Sea, Wells-next-the-Sea and Burnham Market before ending up in Hunstanton on the Wash. This summer drive offers up canoeing, bird-watching, picnicking and crabbing opportunities along this most picturesque of coastlines.
Campsite recommendation: Deepdale Farm in Burnham Deepdale.
The Jurassic Coast
Start in Dorchester with the dinosaur museum then continue the dinosaur/fossil theme, travelling through Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Lulworth, Kimmeridge and Corfe Castle, ending up in Swanage with its sandy beaches. En route you can spend most days hunting for fossils, renting sailboats and kayaks, visiting castles and just messing about on the beaches. This route, which has some particularly good campsites, is best sampled in July, before the August crowds get here.
Campsite recommendation: Steeple Leaze Farm (01929 480733) in Steeple near Wareham.
Start in Carlisle then make your scenic way down towards Cockermouth, Keswick, Ambleside, Fell Foot Park and Coniston, enjoying the fabulous scenery and going walking, hiking, biking, sailing, canoeing and the like. Cruise across Coniston on a steam yacht and take the kids up to see Castlerigg Stone Circle as an introduction to ancient Britain.
Campsite recommendation: Low Wray in Ambleside.
Wild West Scotland
This route takes you up the west coast of Scotland, experiencing some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. Start in Inveraray and end in Plokton; on the way, take in Oban, Glencoe, Smirisary, Mallaig, Armadale and the Kyle of Lochalsh. The chances of wild camping are very good on this truly extraordinary route, on which you can explore mountains, waterfalls and lakes– strap a canoe to the back of your van so you can take to the waters.
Campsite recommendation: Oban Caravan Park