Wicked’ pronounced one teenage bystander, appropriately enough about my camper van from Wicked Campers. ‘Is that you?’ a middle age woman asked, rather flatteringly, pointing at the life-size version of Tank Girl on the side of the van. My toddler loves her and the vehicle, begging me daily to get in ‘Tank Girl’ simply to go to a car park.
In the UK we tend to think of campervanning either as a dull pursuit of retirees or as something that only dirty backpackers do as a way of getting around big countries such as Australia. Wicked Campers (www.wickedcampers.co.uk) is unusual for a rental company in that it lets you take its vans anywhere in Europe, but I was happy to stay in this country, pottering around within a couple hour radius of London with my little one.
Our van would be a good choice for an extended family as it includes a two-man tent and sleeps three inside. For 730 pounds for ten days, it is pretty good value, especially when you consider it includes your accommodation (although do factor in the cost of a campsite if you decide to use one – typically 20 pounds or so for the night) and bear in mind these vehicles are pretty heavy on petrol.
The truth is almost anywhere in the UK is easily reachable and while the tradition may be to travel in such a way in the big open spaces of Australia and Canada, our little island is perfectly suited to this kind of trip. We are loving pulling into a layby and brewing our own cup of tea, but you could even pull into a pub car park (many will let you park overnight for free) and tucking into some pub grub and even a real ale before bedding down for the night. (The Good Pub Guide app is invaluable for this).
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Article and image ©Jane Egginton