One of the greatest ways to explore our coastline is from inside a classic campervan – we’ve picked out some of the best hire companies and seaside starting spots for your holidays on the road.
Words: Madeleine Barber
WHY HERE? Situated in the heart of Devon, O’Connors Campers is perfectly placed for discovering gems both north and south of the county. You could take a leisurely drive through Dartmoor National Park to the South Hams and enjoy afternoon tea by the sea in Salcombe, or head north to the sandy beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe for a sea swim. There are oodles of campsites nearby too, including beachside sites at Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Dawlish.
MEET THE FLEET: There are a whopping 17 campervans to choose from at O’Connors Campers; all with funky names like Wolverine, Shiny Norma, and Noddy Windsor. The vehicles include a fully equipped kitchen, table and chairs, cycle rack, roof rack, and a CD player or iPod connection so that you can belt out summer tunes on the road.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start at £425 for one whole week this year. For a thriftier break, choose the mid-week option for £295, which you can take Monday – Friday.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01837 659599 or visit oconnorscampers.co.uk.
Three Mile Water, Co. Wicklow
WHY HERE? The east coast of Ireland is awash with sandy beaches and fishing villages, the Wicklow Mountains National Park is nearby, plus there’s Dublin, Wexford and Waterford for those looking for more buzz. You could even drive three and a half hours to Kinsale in Co. Cork, and pick up the famed Wild Atlantic Way.
MEET THE FLEET: Six VWs make up the fleet at Lazy Days. Choose Tonka and Dakar for a bright yellow ride or the great white Jaws, which sleeps four adults. All come with cookers, sinks and fridges.
WHAT DOES IT COST? All cost the same, starting from €120 a day during the winter months.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call +353 (0)87 288 5771 or visit lazydays.ie.
VINTAGE VW CAMPERS
Falkirk, Central Lowlands of Scotland
WHY HERE? Scotland’s right-to-roam laws make parking at isolated beaches as easy as pie. Head to the Hebrides for an island paradise, or investigate the east coast around the Moray Firth.
MEET THE FLEET: Four Bay Window VW campervans from the 1960s and 70s, and a Teardrop Trailer, are available for hire. The vintage vans come with a Camping and Caravanning Club Membership Pack that awards discounts at most sites.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A six-night hire costs from £594, and shorter breaks are £399.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 0131 344 4146 or visit vintagevwcampers.com.
KERNOW CAMPERVAN HIRE
WHY HERE? Pick one of Kernow’s post-2000 vans and explore the Cornish coastline including St Ives and Padstow.
MEET THE FLEET: Noah and Roxy are VW T5 campervans with kitchens and bike racks. Savvy surfers should choose Roxy, which comes with a roof-mounted surf rack.
WHAT DOES IT COST? In the late summer months, £700 per week, based on two adults and two children sharing. Shorter breaks cost £450.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 07900 280054 or visit kernowcampervanhire.co.uk.
ISLE OF WIGHT CAMPERVAN HOLIDAYS
Fishbourne, Isle of Wight
WHY HERE? Potter south along the lanes from the northern coast to the island’s ‘Military Road’, where you can enjoy a timeless drive from Ventnor to Totland. The route takes in rolling chalk downs and sparkling seas, and offers cosy tearooms and pubs to take a break at along the way.
MEET THE FLEET: Choose from six colourful 1970s campervans, all of which come with fully equipped kitchens, bike racks, tents, insurance for two people, and a delightful welcome cake. They sleep three to five people and come in a range of vintage hues, such as duck-egg blue (Zebby) and Chianti red (Oliver).
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices for one week in a van start from £525, or spend £300-£325 for three or four nights.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01983 642143 or visit isleofwightcampers.co.uk.