Lakes, Peaks, beaches and castles
Summer, a season synonymous with warmth, freedom, and exploration, opens the door to countless possibilities for families seeking unforgettable experiences. In the United Kingdom, where picturesque landscapes, stunning beaches and charming villages abound, embarking on a family adventures in a campervan becomes an exciting journey filled with discovery and togetherness.
Setting the Stage: The Campervan
Our VW California Ocean Campervan was packed, our cosy haven on wheels, our ‘mobile home’, our dream-machine, was ready for a summer of fun. New experiences awaited, and new destinations were ready for discovery.
We went North, then we went South!
The Lake District – Nature’s Masterpiece
Our first destination was the Lake District, a timeless haven for outdoors enthusiasts. The allure of serene lakes, rolling hills, and charming villages made it the perfect starting point for our journey. We parked our campervan near Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, and instantly fell under the spell of its tranquil beauty.
Our days were filled with family hikes along lush trails, picnics by the lakeside, and evenings spent stargazing from the comfort of our campervan. The Lake District proved to be a treasure trove of outdoor activities, providing both relaxation and exhilaration for all of us.
There is so much to do! We took our bikes and our wetsuits (it’s the UK, I’m not even sorry), and had a go at everything we were able to. We travelled from campsite to campsite, staying a bit longer in places if we we wanted, and moving on if something else took our fancy. Total freedom.
The natural next step for our road trip was….
Leaving the Lake District behind, we ventured north into the Scottish Highlands, a region synonymous with rugged landscapes and ancient castles. The road to Glencoe, with its towering peaks and dramatic valleys, felt like a journey into a mythical realm.
Our campervan served as the perfect basecamp for exploring the enchanting lochs, historic sites, and the untamed beauty of the Highlands. We roamed through Glenfinnan and witnessed the iconic viaduct, only described by the true sense of the word…’Awesome’. Each day brought new discoveries, from the mystical Isle of Skye to the haunting beauty of Eilean Donan Castle.
We all felt quite sad as we left Scotland, it truly is a magical place, which bewitches you the more the explore.
Cornwall – Coastal Bliss
Our next family adventure was to head South, and we found ourselves in the captivating region of Cornwall.
I’m a beach bum at heart and spent many a holiday on a board on the Cornish beaches. I couldn’t wait to introduce the kids to the Cornish way of life.
Famous for its rugged coastline, golden beaches, and charming seaside villages, Cornwall offered a different but equally enchanting experience.
Our campervan became a familiar sight as we toured and returned to some of the same campsites if the waves were good. Some sites overlooked the Atlantic, providing the perfect vantage point for witnessing breathtaking sunsets. Days were spent exploring the mystical Tintagel Castle, relaxing on the beaches of St. Ives, and indulging in Cornish pasties. Cornwall’s unique charm, steeped in maritime history and folklore, left an indelible mark on our family’s summer adventure. And we caught some epic waves too!
Back in the van and we headed to Wales, with its rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes. Our campervan meandered through the verdant hills of Snowdonia, where cascading waterfalls and ancient castles awaited at every turn.
Our children became time travellers as they explored medieval fortresses like Conwy Castle and Caernarfon Castle, each standing as a testament to Wales’ storied past. The tranquil beauty of the Brecon Beacons provided a contrast to the rugged terrains we had encountered earlier. Our bicycles came into their own again, and we were so pleased we took them. You absolutely have to check out Zip World, one of the most exhilarating places we have been. I’m saying no more…..!
Campervan Living: A Family Affair
Beyond the captivating landscapes and historical marvels, the heart of our family adventures in a campervan lay in the simple joys of actual campervan living. Family meals cooked on a portable stove, laughter around a makeshift campfire, and bedtime stories under the stars – these moments became the fabric of our journey.
The campervan’s compact yet efficient design transformed every pit stop into an opportunity for fun. Whether playing board games during a rainy day or enjoying a spontaneous picnic overlooking a cliff, the campervan facilitated an intimate family experience that transcended the destinations themselves.
Tips for a Memorable Campervan Holiday
For families considering a similar adventure, here are a few tips to enhance your campervan experience:
1. Plan Flexibly
While having a rough itinerary is essential, leave room for spontaneity. Some of the most memorable moments arise from unexpected detours and unplanned stops.
2. Embrace Outdoor Activities
Take advantage of the natural wonders around you. Hiking, cycling, and water activities add a layer of adventure to your journey and create lasting memories.
3. Pack Smartly
Optimize space by packing efficiently. Prioritise essentials, but don’t forget creature comforts that make the campervan feel like home.
4. Connect with Locals
Engage with the communities you encounter along the way. Whether it’s a local market or a friendly chat at a campsite, these interactions enrich your travel experience.
5. Capture the Moments
Document your journey through photos, videos, or a travel journal. These mementos will not only serve as souvenirs but also as a means to relive the magical moments you shared as a family.
The Endless Road of Memories
As our campervan adventures drew to a close, we found ourselves reflecting on all the experiences that had defined our summer holiday. From the serene lakes of the Lake District to the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the coastal charm of Cornwall to the historic landscapes of Wales, every destination added a unique brushstroke to the canvas of our family memories.
But a summer holiday in a campervan is not just a journey across landscapes; it’s a voyage into the heart of family bonds (Awwwwwww!). With the open road as our guide and the campervan as our home, we discovered that the true essence of a family holiday lies in the shared moments of joy, discovery, and togetherness – memories that will echo in our hearts long after the wheels have come to a stop.