Fresh, engaging and out there. The journal of a modern journalist

Find out more about me

Monday, 19 April 2010

Campervanning is definitely the new cool

Little Miss Outdoors and Nephlet Outdoors
on a campervan adventure

It's not only the travel and tourism stats that reveal a new trend for campervanning holidays in Scotland – Little Miss Outdoors also thinks that this type of family break is the height of cool.

According to industry insiders the Staycation has prompted a revival in camping and caravan-type holidays, with campervans being an increasingly popular choice, especially for families. Several campervan hire companies confirm that bookings were up in 2009 and continue to be strong in 2010. Campsite managers have also seen a rise in the numbers of campervans – including VW, Toyota and Mazda – taking pitches on sites across Scotland.

Then this weekend, during a short campervan adventure along the East Lothian coast, Little Miss Outdoors added her voice to the story: "Campervans are just so cool. They are like mini houses on wheels and they can transport you to the best places. I don't want to go home now." I imagine there are a lot of holidaymakers who share her opinion.

Certainly we loved the freedom that our Big Tree Campervan offered during a two-night break. With the can loaded up we were able to drive our "mini home" in any direction that we fancied. We decided to go where the weather looked sunniest! We were also thrilled to discover how little hassle a van is compared to a tent. There was a lovely moment when we turned up at the campsite – the friendly Belhaven Bay Campsite, near Dunbar, East Lothian – picked a pitch, parked up.. then did nothing much but sit for a while, chatting, relaxing and making a cup of tea. If we'd had a tent with us there would have been hours of setting up, potential arguments, anxiety about the weather etc. But with a campervan you just pitch up - and, well, enjoy yourself.

The campervan – a roomy Toyota that sleeps four people – also came with a range of mod-cons including a cooker, sink, running water, fridge, heating, plug sockets, a big double bed and a bed in the roof for two more. We even hired a chemical toilet (to avoid night-time dashes to the campsite toilet block) and a gas barbecue (easy to light and cook over...)

The barbecue also meant we could throw an inpromptu outdoors dinner party when some of the Extended Outdoors family joined us one afternoon. (Nephlet Outdoors then decided he wanted a sleepover in the van, which we were happy to oblige!)

While the van provided the ideal base for cooking, sitting, relaxing and sleeping we also discovered that the campsite offered easy access to some of East Lothian's beautiful beach. On Saturday evening we set off for an atmospheric walk along sand dunes and out on to a great expanse of beach.

Bruvver Outdoors and Little Miss Outdoors
get their feet wet on Belhaven beach

While the weather was reasonably sunny during the day, come the evening it turned chilly. While the kids took over the van getting ready for the sleepover, us adults were determined to enjoy the outside life for a little longer. All it took was a sleeping bag each! Looking good Bruvver Outdoors!

Again, the advantages of a campervan over a tent became even more apparent on the Sunday when we awoke to rain. Instead of having to pack up wet kit to return home we simply stayed "indoors" cooking breakfast on the stove, drinking endless cups of tea and generally taking it easy... before turning on the ignition and driving back to Big Tree Campervan base.

In the end the only way to persuade Little Miss Outdoors to get out of the van was to promise another campervanning adventure this summer. Bit of a no-brainer really given the fun we had this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Caravaning really is cool, I've got a little 2 berth tourer. It's ideal for travelling to gorgeous parts of the country and taking in a few races too.