As the last of the winter’s gales and storms sweep their way through, you are probably keener than ever to plan your first caravan outings of the year this Spring.
The following suggestions may whet your appetite and give you a few of our favourite destination ideas.
1. The New Forest
Gloriously leafy, with forest and wide open heathland, the New Forest is attractive at any time of the year.
In Spring, you have a riot of colours as everything blooms into new life – you’ll also spot more than a few cute, newly born New Forest ponies tottering on new legs. Breeding takes place between April and July, with mares pregnant for around 11 months.
Both forest enclosures and the expansive heathland are crisscrossed by numerous trails, which can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
When you tire of the forest – you’ll probably need to be there a long time! – the coastline between Christchurch and Hythe offers its own unique attractions.
You’ll not be stuck for somewhere to stay since there are at least 10 camping and caravan sites dotted across the National Park.
2. South Wales
Take in the wonders of Spring as you explore the miles of coastal paths along the coast of South Wales.
The Gower Peninsula remains one of the most popular destinations – for good reason too, given the stunning cliffs at Rhossili Bay. But why not explore the countryside inland, too? Rural South Wales can range from the rugged contours of the Brecon Beacons to the tranquil valleys and rolling hills of Pembrokeshire – all of it appealing touring and walking country.
Hungerford Farm Touring Caravan and Motorhome Park, for example, is tucked away in mid-Pembrokeshire, yet also within hailing distance of places such as Tenby, Saundersfoot and Narberth.
3. The Midlands
It’s Shakespeare’s country – the heart of England. Take in a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where it all started in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Out of town, you will find quaint chocolate-box, quintessentially English villages nestled in the gentle folds of rural countryside. Just a shade to the south, you have the whole of the Cotswolds, where you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous among the country set.
Riverside Park, on the Tiddington Road into Stratford itself has pitches for up to 100 touring caravans.
4. The Norfolk Broads
Pitch the caravan and take to the waters of the Norfolk Broads to explore the towns, villages and countryside of the “Venice of the East” and its 125 miles of lock-free, navigable waterways. It may give you a whole new perspective on the meaning of Spring in this beautiful part of East Anglia.
The Norfolk Broads Caravan Club Site, at Ludham, near Great Yarmouth, may be just the place to stay, with its 111 pitches for touring caravans.
5. The Lake District
Follow in the footsteps of William Wordsworth as you “wander lonely as a cloud” and stumble across your own sea of daffodils in the Lake District this Spring – the flowers are likely to be in full bloom from the latter part of March until April.
The Lakes are stunning at any time of the year, of course, but springtime is arguably the most attractive. The Lake District website suggests six of the locations for seeing daffodil fields at their best – and you may take your pick from more than 300 camping and caravan sites throughout the National Park and Cumbria.
It’s a big country north of the border, of course, but one of the best-loved destinations in Spring are the Trossachs – often described as “the Highlands in miniature”.
It was a favourite of Queen Victoria, who had her own holiday cottage built there after a visit in 1869 – and the surrounding National Park of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs was opened by Princess Anne in 2002.
Quite apart from the Royal connections, the Trossachs are also home to some of Scotland’s best wildlife – from majestic red deer, ospreys, and red squirrels.
Trossachs Holiday Park is on the very edge of the National Park and offers 45 fully-serviced pitches for touring caravans.
7. Northern Ireland
Carpets of bluebells deck the woodlands, migratory birds sing their arrival, and butterflies and bees begin to fill the air – oh, to be in some of Northern Ireland’s blooming gardens this Spring.
The National Trust of Northern Ireland has picked out a few of the especially stunning places to visit – and our favourites are probably Murlough Nature Reserve and Castle Ward, both in County Down.
The National Trust runs its own Castle Ward Caravan Park on the shores of Strangford Lough and surrounded by woodland, gardens and parkland. It offers 35 pitches for caravans on serviced hardstanding.