Creature comforts, Belvoir Castle, Cotswold farm caravans, double award for Bailey of Bristol

The beginning of any new caravanning season always comes with an air of expectant excitement. To catch up with just some of the headlines airing at the start of what’s likely to be a busy time for caravanners, just read on.

Here are some of the latest UK caravan news and holiday trends.

Caravanning creature comforts

In a story on the 21st of February, the Caravan Times lifted the lid on some of the home comforts travellers are likely to take on holiday with them:

  • when pitching up for the night, one of the first things most caravanners will do is put the kettle on and make a soothing and refreshing cup of tea – so, stock up with plenty of teabags and, of course, the tea-making kit;
  • to relax in comfort, more than a third of travellers (34%) take their favourite fireside slippers with them;
  • 22% revealed that they like to curl up with their head on their own pillow from home;
  • the survey cited by the Caravan Times said that 16% of such travellers refuse to go anywhere without their chosen brand of ketchup, while 15% insisted on taking a loaf of sliced bread with them;
  • a further 12% travel with their favourite cereal aboard and 11% the squash they like to drink.

The great news for caravanners, of course, is that you have all these items already in your tourer or static home – with no need to worry about whether you will be able to get your creature comforts through airport security or customs!

Plans submitted for 140-pitch caravan site at Belvoir Castle

The leading Caravan and Motorhome Club is looking to widen its net of sites still further with the creation of 140 touring pitches on a new site close to Belvoir Castle, near Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Describing the planning application before Kesteven Council, on the 28th of February the BBC noted that the Club already lists 160 named caravanning and camping sites. The current application for the development of a 10-hectare site near Belvoir Castle included touring pitches, glamping pods, camping grounds for tents, a reception building, washrooms and toilets, and a children’s play area.

The proposed development involves the closure of the car park that currently serves the Dirty Duck pub to create access roads to the caravan site and parking for up to 186 vehicles.

Cotswold couple aim to transform farm into a caravan paradise

The owners of Lowerfield Farm, which is currently run as a successful bed and breakfast in Willersey, plan to extend the business by creating pitches on adjoining land for up to 20 caravans and motorhomes, according to Gloucestershire Live recently.

Screened from the nearby road and neighbouring homes by fences and hedges, the caravan site would offer pitches laid out on environmentally friendly matting, with electric hook-ups and sewage disposal points.

The owners’ planning application makes clear that no long-stay or static caravans are intended for pitches on the site that will stay open from March until October only. Plus, sheep will be allowed to graze there during the closed season.

Bailey of Bristol claims award double in The Caravan and Motorhome Club Motorhome Design Awards

Iconic British manufacturer Bailey of Bristol has scooped a trophy case of awards at the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Motorhome and Campervan Design Awards recently adjudicated at the NEC’s annual Caravan, Camping, and Motorhome Show in February.

The top awards came as winners of the category for van conversions that have a pop-top or rising roof of 6 metres and under – won by Bailey’s Endeavour B64 campervan and first place for the all-new Alora 69-4S in the class for three or four-berth coachbuilt motorhomes of 7 metres and under.

Furthermore, Bailey’s Adamo 75-4DL took second place in the category for three or four-berth coachbuilt motorhomes over 7 metres in length and third place for the Endeavour B62 in the class for van conversions with a fixed roof of 6 metres & under.

Coastal campsites for Caravanners – where to go and where to pitch up

Updated March 2024


The coastline of the UK is around 8,000 miles – a very considerable distance to say the least.

Just as you would expect of such a coastline, there is a huge number of places where visitors flock in the summer and go to blow the cobwebs away on a blustery winter’s day. At any time of year, a trip to any one of thousands of spots on the coast is likely to be worth a visit.

If you have hitched up your caravan behind you, any visit can be made still more enjoyable and give you the chance to make the very most of your journey there – in your home away from home.

Because we have so much coastline, a spot by the beach is never far away and there is a huge range of caravan parks on which to pitch your caravan once you get there.

So great and varied is your choice that this brief guide could never claim to be exhaustive – on an entirely subjective basis, therefore, it is designed simply to whet your appetite!



This large peninsula in the south-west of Britain is surrounded on three sides by the sea and claims a coastline in its own right of some 300 miles, according to the local tourist board Visit Cornwall.

Situated at the most southerly point of mainland UK, the climate is probably the mildest the country has to offer and its glorious beaches are perhaps the main attraction of a stay in Cornwall, says the national tourist agency Visit Britain.

With the massive lure of its golden sands and the sheer length of its coastline, it is little wonder that caravan sites on this sunny peninsula abound. Here are just a few of them:

  1. at Sennen Cove Camping and Caravanning Club Site you could not be any closer to the edge of Great Britain and the appropriately named Lands End. Sennen Cove offers an atmosphere of sheltered tranquillity from which you can enjoy the beaches of Cornwall’s northern and southern coasts. There are 72 grass pitches on the site;
  2. if it is surfing from some of Europe’s best beaches for the sport, Newquay is likely to be your choice of venue and Treloy Touring Park is just minutes from the town and its beaches. The park has its own outdoor swimming pool and pitches, on grass, that provide either electric hook-ups or are fully serviced;
  3. The charming old fishing port of Padstow and its neighbouring beaches attracts visitors throughout the year and if you have your touring caravan in tow you might want to pitch up at Padstow Touring Park, just a mile’s walk from the heart of the town. Standard, standard plus and deluxe pitches are available, the latter on hard standing;
  4. rated by the Camping and Caravanning Club as one of Cornwall’s top sites for beaches, the touring park at Bude lets you explore this part of the North Cornish coast, its sandy beaches and the ancient ruins of King Arthur’s castle at rugged Tintagel. The site has around 100 pitches, many of them on hard standing;
  5. Trevornick Camping and Caravan Site is but a short walk across the fields to an ideal, sandy, family-friendly beach extending for a mile or so at Holywell Bay and owned by the National Trust. There are extensive facilities for touring caravans, spread across seven fields and offering six different types of pitch.



You might want to save yourself the longer drive to the busier Duchy of Cornwall by instead stopping off to enjoy the equally fabulous beaches of its twin sister Devon. It has both a northern and a southern coastline which together extend for a total of 450 miles, with one-third of that distance managed by the National Trust.

North Devon is where Exmoor comes down to the sea, providing dramatic and rugged cliff walks interspersed by sandy coves and beaches. The gentler southern coastline has rolling countryside as the backdrop to its sandy beaches, many of which are ideal for family outings.

Sites for touring caravans are many and varied, with just a selection highlighted here:

  1. Watermouth Cove Holiday Park is on Devon’s north coast, near the town of Ilfracombe. The park is set right beside a sheltered cove in an otherwise rugged and dramatic coastline, offering immediate access to its tranquil beach. This relatively large park has all weather, grass and hard standing pitches with electric hook-up;
  2. views of the sea from practically every one of its 50 individually marked pitches can be enjoyed at Little Meadow Campsite, situated between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin on Devon’s north coast. Pitches for touring caravans are described as generously sized and some (but not all) have electric hook-up;
  3. Soar Mill Cove, South Sands and the access to the long coastal path are all within just a mile of Higher Rew Caravan and Camping Park in the verdant South Hams on Devon’s south coast;
  4. Salcombe Regis Touring Caravan Site is well situated for easy access to Devon’s Jurassic coast which extends all the way into neighbouring Dorset. Close to both Salcombe and Sidmouth, the site offers pitches that are almost all on hard standing, each with its own electrical hook-up and water tap.


For 95 miles from its boundary with Devon, Dorset is home to the famous Jurassic Coast – so named because of its geological treasure trove or fossilised remains stretching back 185 million years. Not for nothing has this natural wonder been accorded World Heritage status.

Thanks to its location in the middle of southern England, Dorset’s coastline is not just for geology buffs, but has mile after mile of coastal paths, enticingly secret coves and both pebbly and sandy beaches.

Unsurprisingly, the Dorset coastline offers a number of sites to visit with your touring caravan, including:

  1. at Burton Bradstock, near Bridport in the east of the county is Freshwater Beach Holiday Park, with its 400 pitches for touring caravans, each with its own electric hook-up. Situated on what is fondly known as Dorset’s Golden Coast, the park is open from mid-March until mid-November;
  2. just 3 miles from a gloriously sandy beach at Charmouth you will find Monkton Wyld Farm Touring Caravan Park, set in the Dorset countryside and rarely seeming to be overcrowded. There are 150 generously sized pitches for touring caravans, 100 of which are on hard standing and all with electric hook-up;
  3. Lyme Regis is the setting for the novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman and the coastal town is little changed from the one painted in the book. Just a mile’s walk upstream along the banks of the River Lym can be found Hook Farm Camping and Caravanning Park, with its 100 pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.



The county of Sussex on the south-eastern coast of England has such a long coastline that it is divided into West and East Sussex, each with its fair share of beaches, coastal walks and historic sites, all within a stone’s throw away from a nearby campsite for your touring caravan.

From the towering heights of mighty Beachy Head to the charms of the Brighton made famous by a former Prince of Wales’s Pavilion, the county’s tourist board, Visit Sussex, can guide you towards just some of the many attractions on offer.

For those caravanners with a hankering to be close by the sea anywhere along the county’s coastline, some of the following sites may appeal:

  1. the seaside, the bright lights and the enduring charm of a Victorian resort, Brighton has it all, so where better to park up your touring caravan than the Brighton Caravan Club Site. It is just 2 miles from the town itself, in a tranquil fold of the South Downs and offers a total of 213 pitches for caravans, 126 on hard standing and 11 of which are fully serviced;
  2. you would be hard pressed to find a more historically iconic location close to the coast than the scene of the Battle of Hastings. Although the sea has receded some few miles further away than in 1066, Sheer Barn Holidays and Touring Park remains the ideal base from which to explore the battlefield, the old port of Hastings and the surrounding coastline. The park has a selection of different pitches, from grass to hard standing, with or without electric hook-ups.



In the south-eastern corner of the British Isles lies the Garden of England, our closest point to continental Europe, yet still the first line of defence of the nation’s independence.

As the local tourist board, Visit Kent, points out the county was once a separate kingdom in its own right, and the place still seems to carry echoes of that distinctive history.

Naturally, the county has a wrap around coastline that borders both the English Channel and the edge of the North Sea above the Thames estuary. If you want to get away in your caravan to a place by the sea in Kent, therefore, there are a number of places you might want to visit:

  1. there may be times when you want to pitch your caravan for just a night or two near a coastal port just for its ease of access to a Channel crossing. If that is your aim, Hawthorn Farm in the village of Martin Mill is just a mile or two from the bustling port of Dover and the seafront at St Margaret’s Bay. The site’s grass and hard standing pitches are spread across 28-acres;
  2. if you are heading for the east Kent coastal resorts of Margate and Ramsgate, Quex Park in Birchington is handily placed for both. This is a large park for touring caravans and motorhomes only, no tents are allowed.

South Wales


Cross over the border into Wales and you are in a different country, scenically, historically and culturally – even the language may be different.

Through its industrial heartland of the Welsh valleys to the green and pleasant Pembroke peninsula, the principality is a land of contrasts – and these become nowhere more apparent than along its coastline.

Barry Island, for example, is close to the capital, Cardiff, and the faded industrial glory of Swansea Bay, yet has a stunning, golden sandy beach. As one of the first places English visitors to South Wales may encounter, it is a taste of still further blue star beaches to come:

  1. just a couple of miles inland from Barry is Happy Jakes Touring Holiday Park, where all 30 of its caravan pitches are south facing. The Jake in the park’s name is a reference to the owners’ son and a way of letting disabled caravanners know the importance they place on providing access for those with a disability;
  2. travel further westwards along the coast and just past Swansea, you will find the gateway at Mumbles to the stunning Gower peninsula, designated Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. To share a taste of life on the Gower and sample within a short walking distance the sandy beaches of Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bay you might choose to stay at the Nicholaston Farm Camping and Caravan Site. The majority of pitches for touring caravans are on hard standing.
  3. visit the Caravan Club’s St David’s Lleithyr Meadow site for touring caravans and you have mile upon mile of coastal path in both directions at this most south-westerly part of Wales. The site offers a total of 115 assorted pitches for touring caravans.

North Wales

North Wales is dominated by Snowdonia National Park and the majestic Mount Snowdon itself, the highest mountain in England and Wales. More down to earth, there are plenty of other things to do and to enjoy than scaling the dizzy heights – as the Welsh tourist Board, Visit Wales, is keen to point out.

There is the distinct charm of the island of Anglesey, where you are never so far from the coast, and beaches along both the north Welsh coast and to the south of Snowdonia:

Seaside towns in North Wales are readily accessible from some of England’s biggest, busiest and once industrial towns – the seaside resorts therefore have a nostalgic character all of their own. Towns such as:

  1. Llandudno – with its iconic rock, the Orme, which can be seen from nearby touring caravan park, Tyydyn Du. The mainly grass pitches all have 16 amp electrical hook-up;
  2. Abersoch – where you might choose to pitch up at Hen Siop y Mynydd campsite, overlooking the dramatic if somewhat alarmingly named Hell’s Mouth (Porth Neigwl);
  3. Barmouth – Hendremynach or the Barmouth Touring Caravan and Camping Park is practically on the beach at Barmouth and offers both grass and hard standing pitches, all with 10 amp electric hook-up.

East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk and North Essex)


Even the local tourist boards seem to recognise the temptation of many potential visitors to overlook the charms of East Anglia – which has probably the longest coastline of any region of England.

North Norfolk has some wonderfully sandy beaches, Suffolk has pebbles, and Northern Essex still retains some surprisingly quaint and old English coastal villages.

East Anglia occupies a large region of England and so offers plenty of contrast and variety as some of these caravan sites along its shores might illustrate:

  1. Walnut Farm Caravan Park is a short distance from several sandy beaches in Norfolk and only half an hour’s drive from the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth. The park has 20 large pitches, each served by a 16 amp electric hook-up;
  2. Cakes and Ale Holiday Park – this delightfully named caravan site lies in the centre of Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. Pitches for touring caravans are deliberately left with plenty of space between them, so you can enjoy the best of the tranquillity, peace and quiet; (Read our blog written by Cakes and Ale on what it is alike to run a holiday park)
  3. Grange Farm Campsite makes a point of being mainly for adults and only a few pitches are reserved for families with children. A small, quiet site, it is close to the popular beaches of Clacton, Frinton-on-sea and Walton on the Naze.

North England

Although included under the same heading in this brief guide, many would argue that northeast and northwest England are as different as chalk and cheese.

On the east coast there is the bird and seal watchers’ paradise of the Farne Islands, set just off the Northumberland coast and the sandy beaches that continue down through County Durham, as far as the drama to be had where the North York Moors also reach the sea.

On the west coast in Lancashire, there is the huge sweep of Morecombe Bay, the bright lights and kiss-me-quick hats of Blackpool, and the point where the mountains of the Lake District come down to the sea.

A region to be enjoyed in two halves, therefore, here are a few suggestions about where to pitch your caravan:

  1. Seafield Caravan Park is the ideal base from which to explore the Northumberland coast, Farne Islands and the imposing castle at Bamburgh Head. Pitches for touring caravans on the site are a particularly high standard, with each one on hard standing and electric, water, drainage and sewerage points illuminated by an individual light; 
  2. Middlewood Farm Holiday Park is set on the rugged North Yorkshire coast, near the scenically charming Robin Hoods Bay, nestled in its on sheltered cove. The site has a 5-star award and all of its pitches for touring caravans are on hard standing, with electric hook-ups;
  3. if you want the bustle of Blackpool yet an escape at the end of the day to a semi-rural setting, the site for you might be Beechwood Stables Caravan Site over on the North of England’s west coast. A relatively small site, all pitches for touring caravans are on hard standing;
  4. Seacote Caravan Park is right on the beach at St Bees in a unique corner of England where the edge of the Lake District meets the sea. Pitches for touring caravans are all on hard standing and some have a grassed area to the side to accommodate awnings. All have 10 amp electric hook-ups and mains water.



You probably don’t need the reminder from Visit Scotland that the country is world famous for its stunning scenery, its culture, its diversity – and, of course, its whiskey!

What may be less commonly quoted, though, is the fact that a country the size of Scotland and its many outlying islands, has an enormously long coastline – perfect for those who want to take their caravan north of the border and still pitch up on a coastal campsite.

From north to south, east to west, Scotland offers tremendous variety and diversity, making a short selection of coastal caravan sites especially difficult. The following, therefore, are very much just for starters:

  1. if you would prefer the gentler surroundings of the Ayr peninsula, you might want to consider the Heads of Ayr Caravan Park, on the beach, just five miles south of the town of Ayr itself. A relatively small number of pitches for touring caravans is offered, but each has its own electric hook-up;
  2. in northeast Scotland, Banff Links Caravan Park is right alongside the sea front and lays claim to being situated in one of the driest regions of the country. For touring caravans the site offers 38 pitches, all with electric hook-up;
  3. you’re almost certain to have heard of the Mull of Kintyre – now you can take your second home there. Muasdale Holiday Park overlooks the wide sweep of this Argyle peninsula and is ideal for island hopping. But there are pitches for only 8 touring caravans – each with electric hook-up – so advance booking is essential.

Northern Ireland

The stunning coastline of Northern Ireland is probably rarely visited by English caravanners – because of the relatively high cost of the ferry across the Irish sea.

But the voyage might prove well worth the time and expense in order to enjoy the dramatic scenery and unspoilt beached which you might find along a coastline which – according to Discover Northern Ireland – is some 124 miles or 200 km long.

From the world famous Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, the golden sands of many beaches in Londonderry or the Mourne Coastal Route in County Down, there are certain to be pleasant surprises around every corner.

Here are some of the touring caravan sites at which you might want to stay:

  1. Ballyness Caravan Park in Bushmills, in the north of County Antrim, is just minutes from the iconic Giant’s Causeway and the sandy beach of Whitepark Bay. The park offers 50 fully serviced pitches for touring caravans, all of which are on hard standing;
  2. Ballyleese Town and Country Caravan Park is close to Portstewart on the north coast of Londonderry, near to The Strand beach and golf links. It is described as a family-friendly caravan site.



The British Isles are naturally surrounded by the sea and therefore have an extremely long coastline. If it is the coast that draws you towards destinations for your touring caravan holiday, therefore, you are unlikely ever to be at a loss for somewhere to go – be it in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

This brief guide has only scratched the surface with suggestion about just a few of the coastlines you might explore and the touring sites you might choose as your base.


6 places to visit in Lancashire

Are you ready to hitch up your caravan and take a trip to Lancashire in the northwest of England? Read on and we’ll give you at least half a dozen reasons why that could prove an adventure that is well worth your while.

While you might think of it as an industrialised and heavily populated county, after Yorkshire, Lancashire has the second largest population of all English counties.Its more than 1,000 square miles (over 3,000 square kilometres) and 137 miles of coastline cover an area that is 80% rural. So, let’s look at those places to visit.

1. The Trough of Bowland

Get straight to the heart of this magnificent county in the enticingly titled Trough of Bowland – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a valley and high point in the surrounding Forest of Bowland.

This picturesque landscape is perfect for hiking, cycling, and birdwatching. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and charming villages. Slaidburn, for instance, is said to be one of the prettiest in the area and you’ll find plenty of pubs where you can slake the thirst all that hiking or cycling has prompted.

2. Clitheroe

Set on the edge of the Forest of Bowland is the charming small market town of Clitheroe, set in the heart of the Ribble Valley.

It is one of the county’s most historic towns – boasting a medieval castle – and today maintains a busy market, nestled among a host of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Using the town as your hub, make forays out to local visitor attractions such as Pendle Hill or Whalley Abbey – the latter offers quiet retreats and accommodation in one of 17 luxurious suites.

3. Lancaster

Still more historic is the county town of Lancaster. It’s one of England’s Heritage Cities – said to reflect a fascinating past yet cultured present that is as quirky as it is vibrant.

This independent and creative city is one that locals like to shout about – and you’ll almost certainly join in that chorus as you visit Lancaster’s impressive castle, wander along its beautiful canal side towpaths, wander its medieval streets, or pay homage to the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park.

The city also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, highlighting its rich cultural heritage.

4. Blackpool

Enough of all that history and culture! Just don your “Kiss me Quick” hat and take to the sands of glorious Blackpool.

Unique. Iconic. It’s certainly a place like no other. Yet Blackpool remains a jewel in Lancashire’s crown and occupies a special place in the heart of so many Englishmen and women – including those who have never set foot in the place.

It’s everything that a northern seaside town should be – miles of sandy beach, traditional amusement parks, and a vibrant nightlife. Visitors can take a stroll along the famous Blackpool Promenade, ride the roller coasters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, or enjoy a traditional fish and chips meal at one of the many seaside cafes. The Blackpool Tower is a must-see attraction, offering panoramic views of the coast and hosting a variety of entertainment options.

5. Garstang

It’s worth stopping off along the M6 motorway that runs the length of Lancashire from south to north at the village of Garstang.

Long acclaimed for its unique and tasty cheeses – Lancashire’s three officially designated types are Creamy Lancashire, Tasty Lancashire, and Crumbly Lancashire – recent years have seen local cheesemakers introduce award-winning styles such as Garstang White and Garstang Blue.

6. Helmshore Mills

If you needed any reminding of Lancashire’s prominence in recent British history look no further than the Helmshore Mills Textile Museum near Blackburn at Rossendale, between Darwen and Bacup.

Here you will be taken back to Lancashire in its heyday of the Industrial Revolution when this was one of the most important – and wealthy – centres of cotton spinning in the world. Other landmark museums and showpieces nearby include the Queen Street Mill Textile Museum in Burnley, the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington (which houses Europe’s biggest collection of Tiffany Glass, and the Blackburn Museum.

From RAF site to caravan park, best in Wales, where’s the new National Park, caravanning in France and other caravan news

Are you ready yet? Is the caravan still laid up for winter? Or have you given it a thorough spring cleaning ready for a new season of outings?

As your planning for those initial outings is underway, you might want to catch up on some of the latest news about caravans and caravanning in the year ahead.

Caravan site could be built on former RAF site near Bridgwater

New life could be breathed into the disused airfield once known as RAF Westonzoyland (now called Spring Way Farm), in mid-Somerset, thanks to plans submitted by the Caravan and Motorhome Club.

The local Bridgewater Mercury newspaper revealed that the Club has applied to transform the site into a park for touring caravans. It would offer 20 pitches on hardstanding created from locally quarried loose stone chippings.

The reception area, washrooms, and offices would be built by converting an old barn that currently sits on the site.

An additional feature of the proposed site is a large storage compound for more than 400 caravans where washdown facilities would be installed to let owners clean and hose down their caravans while in storage.

A decision on the proposed development plans is expected imminently.

The campsites and caravan parks named the best in Wales

Campsites in Wales have long been firm favourites with the caravanning community. But there are many to choose from and you might have wondered where you will find the best sites. A comprehensive survey by Wales Online recently will give you plenty of food for thought.

Citing the recent Camping and Glamping Awards, the news outlet identified Silver Fern Glamping, in Ceredigion, as the Best Newcomer and the Living Room Treehouses, in Powys, as offering the Most Unique Site.

Included among the regional winners of Best Campsite and Caravan Park and Campsite Awards were:

Best Caravan Park

  • Erwlon Caravan and Camping Park, Carmarthenshire;
  • Meadow Springs Country and Leisure Park, Powys;
  • Abbey Farm Caravan and Camping, Denbighshire;

Best Family Campsite

  • Folly Farm Holiday Park, Pembrokeshire;
  • Cwmdu Campsite, Powys;
  • Cae Lal, Gwynedd;

Best Campsite Awards

  • Oaklea, Pembrokeshire;
  • Cwmdu Campsite, Powys;
  • Tros Y Waen Holiday Park, Gwynedd.

Search underway for England’s new National Park

On the 19th of January, the Camping and Caravanning Club reminded the readers that the government last year initiated a search for England’s next new National Park.

No decisions have yet been taken although candidates to become the eleventh English National Park are the current Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) – also known as National Landscapes – in the Cotswolds, Chilterns, Devon, and Dorset.

Scotland and Wales are also each slated to designate new National Parks – taking the total to sixteen such parks in the whole of the UK.

Understand the rules for caravans in France

As you are planning your touring caravan outings for the year ahead, you could well look forward to a trip or two across the Channel to France. In that case, our Guide to caravanning in France might provide a timely reminder of what that might bring.

The English-language newspaper, The Connexion, on the 25th of January also carried an update regarding some of the critical differences you will encounter when towing your caravan in France:

  • the definition of a caravan determines where and for how long you can park a touring caravan – up to three months in any one year on a designated campsite;
  • the weight of your caravan and its Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) is as important in France as it is in the UK – and penalties are stiff if you exceed the permitted towing weight (on-the-spot fines of €135 for every 500kg that your caravan is overweight);
  • except for especially large or heavy caravans, your UK driving licence is still valid for use in France;
  • it goes without saying, of course, that no passengers are allowed in a caravan while it is under tow.

If you are planning to take your caravan to France, it will be prudent to check any last-minute changes to the rules on the eve of your departure.

6 places to visit in Winchester

How often has someone tried to convince you that the favourite destination in their caravan outings is a place that “has it all”?

Winchester is just that kind of city. With its captivating and unique blend of history, natural and architectural beauty, and many cultural delights, Winchester is high on the list of seasoned caravan enthusiasts for weekend breaks and even longer holidays.

Admirably situated in the heart of the county of Hampshire on England’s central south coast, Winchester is readily accessible by motorways from London, the Midlands, the South West, and practically any other part of the country.

So, let’s dip into some of the treats you might like to visit once you’ve arrived.

Winchester Cathedral

The towering spires of Winchester Cathedral – among the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe – hove into view well before you reach the city itself. But it’s the cathedral’s 900-year history that probably impresses most visitors to an iconic building that was founded in 1079 – and remodelled in Norman, Renaissance, and Gothic styles throughout the following five centuries.

Jane Austen landmarks

The Hampshire to the north east of the city is very much Jane Austen country and Winchester is where she died – with a final resting place in the cathedral itself.

The year 2025 marks 250 years since the birth of Jane Austen.

A walking trail through the city takes in the house on College Street where she once lived – and wrote the short poem Winchester at the Races – to the site in the cathedral where she was laid to rest at the tender age of just 41.

King Arthur, the Round Table, and King Alfred

Rightly proclaimed as “the greatest symbol of medieval mythology”, a 12th-century representation of the legendary gathering place for the knights of King Arthur’s Court the Round Table hangs in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle.

While you are tracking down the many landmarks of the medieval mythology of King Arthur, Winchester’s rich history reminds you that this is also the home of King Alfred the Great. At just 21 years of age, the young Alfred was crowned King of Wessex, with Winchester as his capital. He consolidated his kingdom to become the effective first king of England. You can pay your respects to him today by visiting his magnificent bronze statue erected in 1901 and proudly facing down the Broadway.

Winchester College

The unique history of Winchester features in the Cathedral, the mythology of King Arthur, and the legends of King Alfred. But it is also shaped by the long-established presence of one of England’s foremost public schools, Winchester College.

Founded in 1382 and occupying its present location since then, Winchester College is cited as the oldest continuously operating school in the country.

The school has an illustrious roll call of alumni, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Perhaps best of all, however, is that parts of the College are open to the public – in particular, the museum and Treasury (housed in a magnificent medieval building) that house many of its most precious treasures.

Water meadows

Set on the edge of the rolling South Downs National Park, Winchester snuggles among some of the finest countryside in southern England. But you don’t even need to leave the city to appreciate some of those wonders of nature.

The scenic water meadows are accessed directly from the High Street and take you on a gentle stroll around some of the hidden secrets of the City. The trail follows the River Itchen. One of the best times to appreciate the walk – some 3.6 miles (5.8km) and which will typically take less than two hours – is through the gentle mists of early autumn. These are the scenes that inspired Keats’ poem To Autumn – and the famous reference to the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.

Markets, shopping, food, and drink

Best not to run away with the sense that Winchester is defined only by its history, culture, literature, nature, and countryside walks. It is also the modern, bustling, and vibrant county town and administrative centre for the county of Hampshire.

Winchester Market in the centre of the city is held every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, while a Hampshire Farmers Market is also held on the second and last Sunday of each month.

Throughout the city, you will find historic and atmospheric pubs, cosy cafes, and a whole array of restaurants and fine dining opportunities.

In short, Winchester offers a delightful blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and a vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in history, literature, or architecture, or simply enjoy exploring quintessentially English towns and cities, Winchester is sure to captivate your imagination.