I admit to being a bit hesitant about hitting the road again back to France. The paperwork trail all looked a bit daunting and I was anxious not to be abroad and catching Covid. Anyway, it all has suddenly got easier and so last week we took off via EuroTunnel and had a trouble free and delightful brief stay in France – our first for twenty seven months.
We stayed at the CAMC recommended Château du Gandspette in Eperleques just forty five minutes from Calais. It’s a lovely family owned site and has received some serious upgrade attention over the last couple of years. It sports a café open each evening, grass and hard standing pitches and an extremely friendly welcome.
So, with my doubts now set to one side, European travel is now back on the agenda. And as for the paperwork we carefully prepared – no one was the least bit interested in any of it. But our passports received a stamp like in the old days!
Sometimes motorhomers find Cornwall a long way away but in an era of staycations it is back to being hugely popular.
Clearly my loyalties lie with the CAMC but even in these early summer days the sheer number of motorhomes is very apparent and and I can foresee “invasion” headlines appearing in local papers. Congratulations to the Tintagel beauty hot spot for accommodating day time and night time motorhome stays.
For my part I will stay on regulated sites and try to be a responsible tourist. Simply because that is easily the nicest way to have a cracking good holiday – which we certainly had this week at the drop dead gorgeous Trewethett Farm.
SOURCE: thisismoney.co.uk and Ray Massey of the Daily Mail.
Boris Johnson this week urged the nation to enjoy a ‘staycation’ in Britain, as part of the Government’s plans to ease the lockdown in England from next weekend.
With campsites and hotels able to reopen from July 4, there has already been a surge in interest in campervans that provide flexible, mobile and self-contained accommodation.
Manufacturers say they are getting calls from both stir-crazy couples and families wanting to explore the country safely and avoid the hassle of travelling overseas and quarantine on return.
Campervans are ideal for creating self-contained hotels-on-wheels — ‘bubbles’ with beds, fridges, cookers, kitchen and often a shower on board.
And there’s a good choice on the market to buy or rent.
Volkswagen is a leading player with its recently launched, and refreshed, California 6.1. It costs from £55,339 in Coast trim, up to £69,889 for Ocean. Based on the Transporter van, the 2.5-ton 2m-tall model sleeps four and has a raised roof. It comes with a table, cupboards, double gas hob, kitchen sink, a side awning and a sleeping space.
Powered by a 2-litre 148 hp diesel, with seven- speed automatic gearbox, it averages 33.6 mpg with CO2 emissions of 221g/km.
The larger Grand California, from £72,745 to £82,258, based on the Crafter van, sleeps two or four, and has a wet room with a toilet and showerIn March and April, online requests for quotes went up 250 per cent for the California. Nearly 1,500 were sold in Britain last year. They are factory built — not conversions — and can be serviced at VW’s 97 UK van centres and authorised repairers.
To be truly authentic, a secondhand hippy-trail VW ‘bus’ will cost from around £10,000 to £40,000.
Other new options include: the Mercedes-Benz V Class Marco Polo, from £37,980 to £69,800 and the oddly-named Ford Transit Custom Nugget, from £59,608 to £63,334.
Horsham-based converter Sussex Campervans turns a Renault Trafic or Nissan NV300 into its Manhattan and Paradise ranges, from £41,995 to £51,995.
If ‘glamping’ is more your style, then bespoke luxury motor home firm GlamperRV.co.uk offers an office-hotel on wheels, from £75,000 plus VAT.
68% of people surveyed expressed uncertainty about travel changes after Jan 31
24% have consciously delayed 2020 holiday decisions
46% of respondents expressed desire for more reassurance on travel requirements
(24 January 2020)With Brexit just one week away, new research for the ferry sector has revealed mass confusion among potential travellers. Industry body Discover Ferries, is seeking to clarify and reassure holiday makers that there will be no change in requirements for people wanting to travel via ferry between the UK and the EU post January 31. This will be the situation for at least the rest of 2020, during the transition period, now the UK government has passed the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
The research* indicates widespread confusion about travel to EU countries and even ferry travel within the British Isles. Of 2,000 survey respondents, 68% admitted they were not sure what changes will apply for travel to EU countries from February 1, 30% said they thought they would need a visa to enter any EU country and almost a fifth (19%) thought they would need a passport to travel to Jersey and Guernsey, which are part of the British Isles. Neither of which is true.
There was similar uncertainty over pet travel. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) said they will need to take extra steps to take their pets abroad, while 44% fear that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid, which is also untrue
The effect on consumer confidence was also clear in the results. Almost a quarter (24%) of people have been consciously delaying their 2020 holiday plans until after January 31 this year. Almost half (46%), expressed their desire for more reassurance.
“It is clear that there is a lot of confusion around travel to EU countries this year, resulting in many people delaying their holiday plans,” said Emma Batchelor, director of Discover Ferries. “I would therefore like to reassure anyone looking to travel by ferry this year that there are no changes; all valid passports, EHIC cards and pet passports will still be authorised for travel to the EU and there will not be any new requirement for visas to Europe or passports to travel to the British Isles.
“I also encourage the government and the wider travel sector to support the message that nothing changes this year, and that people should book their 2020 summer holiday with confidence,” added Mrs Batchelor.
Sir, – Every year a huge wealth migration in the form of European and southern Englander’s campervans takes place up to, and back from, Scotland.
These visitors are for the most part multilingual, cultured, responsible and wealthy people and are among our best customers, vital to our own survival as a Pottery Cooperative and to the likes of the Pittenweem Arts Festival and other venues.
In the rest of Europe, tourist towns and areas provide a mostly free campervan service for overnight stays; they are recognised as being an important tourist adjunct.
Crail Pottery was founded in 1965, and until 2015 campervans freely used the Marketgate for overnight stays; a summer average of five or so vans a night, with their average spend of £100 or so each, vital to the co-operative.
In the old days, jobs for young people were important. However, probably a majority of the area’s new demographic includes non-local retirees, working commuters and second homeowners who now, quite frankly, find tourism a nuisance.
Hence the community councils persuading Fife Council to erect signs originally forbidding any campervan parking in Marketgate during the day and at night, now modified to forbidding overnight stays.
So the campervans moved to the likes of Kingsbarns beach, where I go often, and now they cause very little trouble and present little danger.
My family is probably one of the biggest employers in both Crail and Anstruther. Do jobs for our young people no longer count? Why is Fife Council so hostile to campervans, resulting in them travelling to routes like the North Coast 500?
Have they never thought how many millions would be brought into Kirkcaldy High Street, Leven High Street, Burntisland and so on, by providing free campervan service areas on the sea fronts? Especially for Kirkcaldy with its rail connection with Edinburgh.
The simple facilities campervans need is an area of land, a tap, litter bins and a wastewater disposable point.
I therefore urge Fife Council to erect notices welcoming campervans to Fife as they now do in the border towns, to remove the hostile signs in Crail and provide the facilities these pleasant people require.
I served on Crail Community Council for many years, in those days tourists were cherished and jobs for our young people were paramount.
As a walker and lover of Fife countryside I visit these local ‘problem sites’ frequently and never find a problem.
The season is very short. If we could get campervans to visit in the winter, it would benefit the community greatly and mean more jobs for our young people.
We must provide our campervan visitors with what they rightly expect from a civilised European country.
The village of Upwell in Norfolk is well worth stopping at and having a mooch round. Unless you have a decent map onboard you’re hard pressed to know whether you are in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Lincolnshire. Over the years it has had its local authority boundary changed several times. It is intersected by the River Nene, has a pub, a cafe and butchers – and more besides.
I was staying on a nearby and outstanding CAMC CL at the Bluebell Inn in Whaplode St Catherines which is definitely in Lincolnshire.
The Bavarian Alpine trip continues to amaze and Lake Konigssee is stunning. It is a natural lake near Berchtesgaden and it lays claim to being Germany’s deepest and cleanest lake.
I am flip flopping continually between Austria and Germany and mostly the temperatures are between 25 and 29 degrees. Loving every minute!
When I started the relationship between myself and my AutoSleeper motorhome Myrtle some fifteen years ago I spent a lot of time in France because, as we all know, it is arguably Continental Europe’s most motorhome friendly country. Whilst that is still the case, I notice I am spending more and more time in Germany. Everything works here; the roads and the transport infrastructure, there are far fewer sites of course but they are mostly of a high or very high standard. It’s all very easy.