Do you have in your mind’s eye the “typical” caravanner? A regular family man, perhaps, or an out and out backwoodsman?
Stereotypes are likely to be confounded when you consider some of the big names, stars of television, cinema and music, also join the ranks of avid caravan lovers. If they make a bid for their next holiday in a caravan, anyone can.
Let’s take a look at some of those celebrities who have done just that.
You could probably not make a bigger statement about your commitment to all things caravanning by becoming the President of one of the UK’s leading organisations, the Caravan Club.
But that’s exactly the case with Julia Bradbury, who is a renowned television presenter, author and DVD maker in her own right. With credits such as the Outdoor Guide and countless documentaries about the English countryside, the 46 year old has firmly nailed her colours to the mast of caravanning.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Jay Z and Beyoncé
As if one wasn’t a feather in the cap of the caravanning fraternity, a clutch of no fewer than four megastars voiced their appreciation of just this kind of holiday only a a couple of years ago.
The four are Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Jay Z and Beyoncé, who all spoke about plans to share a caravan (well, a mobile home) to tour the coast of Florida the next time their hectic schedules allowed.
Back down to earth just a little, the latest winner of television’s I’m a Celebrity (Get Me Out of Here), Scarlett Moffatt, gave every clue of putting her money where her mouth is. She has spoken about blowing at least a part of here £1 million winnings on the purchase of a caravan – and, oh yes, a “boob job”.
The East End of London might be the next starting off point for a TV star who’s been enjoying caravanning for the past 15 years. That’s Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchel in EastEnders. According to some reports, his love of this type of holiday is shared by fellow EastEnders, Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) and Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson).
Before she made it to the big time as a singer – think Total Eclipse of the Heart – coalminer’s daughter Bonnie Tyler recalls many a happy holiday pottering about in the rock pools on the beaches of Porthcawl, Trecco Bay or Happy Valley in South Wales.
You might have thought that footballers would always choose the glamorous setting of some exclusive – and expensive – foreign resort when it comes to holidays.
Football star Rio Ferdinand proved everyone wrong when he decided to take his annual holidays at home in nearby North Wales, caravanning with his wife and two sons in 2009.
However much fame and fortune might have changed actress and fashion icon Twiggy, there was a time when she regarded a family holiday in a caravan as a glamorous way to spend her time.
Another actor with a penchant for camping is John Hannah, who describes the best holidays of his childhood with his parents in the northeast of Scotland. The teenage John upgraded to a caravan when his sisters joined shared in the delights of holidays in the great outdoors.
From radical makeovers of other people’s homes – Changing Rooms – television presenter Carol Smillie has shown her support for caravanning holidays by officially opening the Scottish Caravan Show and by making a DVD for the Highways Agency called Are You Fit to Tow?
Another celebrity to have opened the Scottish Caravan Show, television presenter Lorraine Kelly has also won what must surely be one of the foremost accolades of the caravanning fraternity – she was once voted the “ideal caravan guest” in a nationwide survey.
Rock star Gary Numan remembers camping holidays in Weymouth as a child with his parents, so fondly that when he hit the big time – with his band Tubeway Army – he went one step further to “lord it up” with a jumbo-sized caravan.
Step back a little further in the mists of time and you may discover that legendary Beatle, John Lennon, once bought an authentic gypsy caravan for his son Julian in 1967. It stayed in the “family” though, where it was recently rediscovered in fellow Beatle Ringo Starr’s garden and is being restored to its former glory.