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.