For a true sense of freedom, hit the road in a vintage campervan. We explore some of the best routes to take along the UK coast. Words: Alex Reece


Hire from: Graham and Vicky took over the business, Retro Campers Norfolk (01263 821999,, in 2020. The gleaming 1960s and 70s campervans are all named after hit songs from the era: Penny Lane, Buttercup and Mr Blue Sky to name but a few. Prices from £395 for a short break.

Drive to: Tootle west along the A149 coast road through the timeless small towns and villages of Stiffkey, Wells-next-the-Sea and Burnham Market. Park up to walk sections of the Norfolk Coast Path, and don’t miss the vast, forest-edged beach at Holkham. Wildlife lovers will delight in the seal boat trips at Blakeney, plus birdwatching at Cley Marshes.

Camp at: Deepdale Backpackers & Camping (01485 210256, is an eco-friendly site set in coastal countryside in Burnham Deepdale. Prices from £12 per night for a standard pitch with electric hook-up plus £1pp.


Hire from: O’Connors Campers (01837 659599, in Okehampton, near Exeter, has a wide array of VW campervans, ranging from modern T6s and T5s to photogenic split-screens from the 1960s. Prices from £295 for a short break.

Drive to: Surfers make a beeline for the North Devon coast. From Okehampton, it is 44 miles to Woolacombe. Croyde is a similar distance – stay here and take surf lessons at Surf South West ( Or, pootle on to the Hartland Peninsula and the charming fishing village of Clovelly before looping back again.

Camp at: Behind the beach at Croyde is Cherry Tree Farm Campsite (01271 890495, where you can also hire surfboards, bodyboards and wetsuits. Camping from £13pp, per night; minimum two nights.


Hire from: Owned by Liz and Jon Jenkins, Snowdonia Classic Campers (07762 763949, has a growing fleet of candy-coloured 1970s bay-screen VWs. Collect from their smallholding near Caernarfon. From £280 for two nights.

Drive to: Discover the coastal fringe of the Snowdonia National Park by travelling south to Harlech, with its beach and ancient castle, then on to the Mawddach Estuary and the seaside town of Barmouth. There are great walks to be had on The Mawddach Trail (along a former railway line), and watersports aplenty in Aberdyfi, where the tour concludes.

Camp at: Graig Wen (01341 250482,, near Barmouth, has estuary views and is surrounded by majestic mountain scenery. From £20 per night for a small van pitch.


Hire from: Around 25 miles from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, Vintage VW Campers in Falkirk (0131 3444146, has five classic bay and split-screen vehicles. A teardrop trailer, or Nodpod, which sleeps two, is also available to hire as an extra with 1970s vans Lola and Blondie. From £99 per night.

Drive to: Make for the Moray Firth in the Highlands. Head west from Aberdeen on the A96, which skirts the inlet’s southern shore. This unforgettable coastline is a prime site for spotting bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans – Chanonry Point, to the north, is the best viewing point on land. And there are beautiful beaches at Burghead, Nairn and Findhorn.

Camp at: Wild camping is permitted in most places in Scotland. Or pitch up at family-run West Beach Caravan Park in Hopeman, Moray (01343 830880, From around £22.50 per night.


Hire from: VW van enthusiasts Will and Jubee Samuelson run Isle of Wight Campervan Holidays (01983 642143, in Ryde. They have four 1970s bay-screen campers, plus two modern T5s. From £225 for two nights.

Drive to: ‘As the Isle of Wight is only 27 by 13 miles, there is no reason that a road trip cannot take in all of it,’ says Will. Stop off at historic sites such as Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle, or go for walks on Tennyson Down and The Needles Headland. Youngsters will enjoy the Dinosaur Isle museum and Blackgang Chine theme park.

Camp at: Grange Farm in Brighstone Bay (01983 740296, is a family-friendly campsite with beach access, and farm animals to amuse little ones. Prices from £22 for an electric pitch.

For more coastal guides click here or to read more '10 Best' features keep an eye on the magazine.