Exploring the Cotswolds by motorhome is the best way to soak up its charm with the whole family

A LOT has suffered during the pandemic – but not motorhome holidays.

Travel bans have led to a huge increase in people wanting to explore the UK on four wheels with a kitchen, beds and the ability to go wherever the roads take you.

5

A campervan, equipped with all modern conveniences, is the perfect way to explore the Cotswolds with the family
Winchcombe, a Camping and Caravanning Club site, is near Tewkesbury and puts you in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside

5

Winchcombe, a Camping and Caravanning Club site, is near Tewkesbury and puts you in the heart of the Gloucestershire countrysideCredit: Getty

Booking platform Pitchup.com saw demand rise 142% at the start of the year compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Last summer I was lucky enough to get my hands on a beautiful four-berth motorhome and join the rush to the great outdoors with my two boys, Fynn, 11, and Mack, nine. .

Driving through empty lanes, with the British countryside ahead of us, we felt a new sense of freedom.

We were high up and with plenty of space – “like the Millennium Falcon”, the boys claimed – and there was a working fridge stocked with their favorite drinks.

Our first pit stop was on M4 services to pick up supplies. When I say “supplies” I mean fast food.

There’s something very rock ‘n’ roll about bringing burgers back to your van and eating on a fold-down dining table.

I had gotten our home for the next few days, a Swift Escape 694 manual, from SwiftGo near Heathrow.

The team there said they had never experienced a summer like this for vans, but despite the rush and Covid protocols, the place was running like a dream.

Transfer and instructions were extremely simple, which meant we could load our gear and be off in no time.

With the 11-year-old cruising and the nine-year-old keeping everything from bumping into each other in the back, we set off for the lush Cotswolds. What could go wrong?

Weaving through narrow lanes interspersed with villages of chocolate boxes seemed like a tall order.

But luckily my fishmonger dad had a huge van when I was younger, so I was confident enough to throw it down the country roads that took us to Winchcombe, a Camping and Caravanning Club site.

This peaceful location, near Tewkesbury, puts you in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside and has all the important facilities, including pitches with electric hook-ups and friendly staff who will lend a hand.

Our pitch was right next to a quiet fishing lake with views of the Cotswolds.

It was all secluded and idyllic, but the best part was that, unlike camping, we had all the mod cons a van can offer, including a TV with DVD player, outlets for appliances and a bathroom. with shower.

VERY ROCK’N’ROLL

We could even prepare feasts in our mini-kitchen equipped with an oven, a microwave and, above all, a large fridge-freezer.

The campsite itself had the most immaculate facilities I have ever seen, so much so that we rarely used the bathroom and toilet on board.

Although, when we did, it was very easy to rinse it off at the site, as was getting more fresh water for the sink.

From Winchcombe you will find many scenic walks in almost every direction.
Heritage sites

Driving through small villages and along breezy paths, we discovered cozy pubs and picnic areas aplenty.

If heritage sites are on your agenda, the ruins of 14th century Hailes Abbey are less than a ten minute drive away. Or there is Sudeley Castle, which has ten magnificent gardens, including the Queen’s Garden which has more than 80 varieties of roses.

Kids will love the Royal Mail Miniature Railway at Winchcombe station, which has a Thomas & Friends track as well as a small cafe that serves toasted tea cakes, filled rolls and locally made ice creams.

In just a few days, I completely adjusted to our new routine and felt like the three of us could have lived in our four-bed motorhome for weeks, tackling every part of the country as we pleased.

The UK has so many beautiful areas to explore and, in my opinion, there’s no better way to soak it all up than to let off steam in a campervan.

GO: MOTORHOME

STAY / GET THERE: An Escape 694 motorhome costs from £950 per week off peak and up to £1,400 in high season to hire. Visit swiftgo.co.uk or call 0333 247 2222.

Winchcombe Camping and Caravanning Club charges from £40 per night for a pitch including electricity, water and other facilities.

Camping and Caravanning Club members receive a discount. See campaingandcaravanningclub.co.uk or call 01242 620259.

The boys described the motorhome as

5

The boys described the motorhome as “like the Millennium Falcon”
Children will love the Royal Mail Miniature Railway at Winchcombe Station, which features a Thomas & Friends train track

5

Children will love the Royal Mail Miniature Railway at Winchcombe Station, which features a Thomas & Friends train trackCredit: Alamy
Sudeley Castle has ten magnificent gardens, including the Queen's Garden which has over 80 varieties of roses

5

Sudeley Castle has ten magnificent gardens, including the Queen’s Garden which has over 80 varieties of rosesCredit: Getty
Inside Donna Air’s amazing Cotswolds home with floating fireplace and 150-year-old bath

Comments are closed.