Five ideas for May bank holiday trips in your van

Late May conventionally sees a welcome bank holiday and a time when you can hitch up your caravan and get away for a day or two.

Thanks to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – celebrating 70 years on the throne – 2022 sees a switch from the usual 30th of May to a special four-day bank holiday from Thursday the 2nd until Sunday the 5th of June.

Here are just a few broad suggestions for making the most of the upcoming extended holiday.

  1. Southwest England

If anywhere is likely to benefit from early sunshine and warmer weather, it’s probably going to be the southwest of England – a favourite of caravanners everywhere. You may be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing just where to pitch up.

May or June is an excellent time of year to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan and see the collection of some of the country’s rarest plant species in full bloom.

The obvious place to stay may be Heligan Caravan and Camping, where you will find 29 hard-standing and 25 grass pitches, many of them with electric hook-ups on spacious plots set in well-manicured lawns and established shrubs – all part of the original Heligan estate, which it adjoins.

  1. Southeast England

Talking of gardens, the very Garden of England is the county of Kent, of course – and it is only a short hop from London and the whole of the Home Counties. Kent also includes the Weald, the Downs, and a stunning coastline, so there are plenty of places to visit.

One of the paths perhaps least trodden – but even closer to London – are the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, near Sevenoaks. It’s stunning colours, and fascinating connections with Darwin and the great plant hunters make it a particular attraction any time in May or June.

Gate House Wood Touring Park is not only close to Riverhill but also to scores of other local attractions, including Iron Age forts, medieval manor houses, and Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill.

  1. Wales

May and the beginning of June are times of the year for welcoming in the summer – and Wales has its very own festival, called Calan Mai. Traditionally, the celebrations might have left you in a haze from over-indulged drinking of mead – these days, you might do better to take in some of the stunning scenery of South Wales.

Here, it is the Gower Peninsula – a miniature Cornwall, as Visit Wales calls it – and is most likely to attract, and there are campsites aplenty to choose from.

One of the most photographed places on the Gower is Three Cliffs Bay – and there is even your own Three Cliffs Bay caravanning and camping site from which to enjoy the views 24-hours a day during your Queen’s Platinum break.

  1. Northern England

Whilst many caravanners are likely to be heading for the wild and rugged attractions of the Lake District, why not take a break from some of the crowds and take in the Northeast’s gem of a wildlife haven by visiting the Farne Islands?

Seabird colonies comprise 23 different species, but the stars of the show are invariably the 37,000 breeding pairs of puffins. You’ll have a chance to see the 1,000 or so grey seal pups that were born in the Autumn.

Elford Caravan Park is just two miles from the sea, giving easy access to the Farne Islands at Seahouses. Spread over two acres, it offers 25 pitches – all with electric hook-up – for touring caravans.

  1. Scotland

The extended bank holiday provides the perfect opportunity for exploring the great outdoors amidst Scotland’s majestic Highland scenery.

Visit the Club’s Loch Ness Shores site, and you may choose from one of 99 loch-side pitches on the quieter banks of the south shore, near the village of Foyers – and from there choose whether to tackle an entire challenging walking tour around the whole of the loch – or just parts of it.