Family Road Trip to Cornwall

Family Road Trip to Cornwall

Emma Narramore shares details of her family break in one of Rockin Vans Midsize Motorhomes.

It’s always such a release to jump in a car and be off for a long weekend, but this time we hired a motorhome to take our two kids away for a few days on the gorgeous South Coast of England.

We booked a spacious Midsize Motorhome for our trip which was a great idea as there was plenty of room to sleep four of us (two adults and two small monkeys disguised as children) and we were able to keep everything safe and dry while we explored the countryside and beaches. The drive down to Dorset was easy. We stopped off at Moors Valley Country Park, near Ringwood, to let off some steam and enjoyed the Play Trail with its unique pieces of wooden play equipment situated on a gorgeous mile walk.

South Lytchett Manor is situated in the beautiful Dorset countryside and is a favourite with campers from all over the country. We got ourselves settled and headed to the local pub for dinner and a few board games. When we got back, we tucked up in the bunks for a good sleep. It already felt like a home from home. The next day we woke early and decided to meet our neighbors. The kids were soon off with their new friends to the adventure playground and we were able to relax with the papers.

At the end of a lovely day, we headed east to our second campsite, Nunnington Farm in Sussex, and arrived just before dark. The owners were very welcoming and helped us to set up, we cooked in the van before settling down for a well-deserved sleep. This site is a great place for kids with an adventure playground and petting farm. We let them run free and we actually got to read a book and drink coffee…. it’s the simple things!

We had a lazy morning, cooking breakfast in our motorhome while the kids played outside. After lunch we headed to the beautiful sandy beaches. We discovered a one mile stretch of sand dunes where the kids tried their hand at a bit of crabbing. On the way back, we stopped at a great pub for some fish and chips before returning to our comfy home from home. On the final day, I woke up with that sad feeling that we were heading back, but with everything so easily packed away we were able to enjoy the morning with our new four-legged friends in the petting farm before heading north.

We can’t wait for our next adventure!

Emma and her family hired a Midsize Motorhome from Rockin Vans.

Couple explore the UK in a VW Camper

Couple explore the UK in a VW Camper

Nadia and Mike aka Couple Travel the World have been traveling the world together since 2008. They head out to explore the Great British countryside, in an orange VW Camper from Rockin Vans. Read about their adventures here.

Hi, we are Nadia and Mike, couple travel bloggers @coupletraveltheworld We are taking over the Rockin Vans instagram page to take you on an epic campervan journey of the UK! We have decided to name our camper Red Ned. Well, as you can see, Ned is in fact orange but nothing rhymes with orange and Red Ned has a better ring to it, don’t you think? Follow us (and Ned) as we explore some of the best places to travel in the UK! .

After Glasgow we visited Loch Lomond. We had seen pictures of the gorgeous Lodge on Loch Lomond and simply had to visit as we were passing by. Many Scottish people actually chose to get married here as the whole premises is absolutely stunning. The rooms are decked out in Scottish luxury with tartan trimmings and even private saunas! We were beyond impressed as we have never seen a hotel room with both a private sauna and a view to die for!

After Glasgow, we ventured with Red Ned (our rockin van) to Loch Lomond. We would highly recommend visiting Loch Lomond on a Scotland road trip, it is so picturesque, we could spend hours admiring the view

London to Scotland in a VW Camper Van

London to Scotland in a VW Camper Van

Both England and Scotland have awesome and unique places to see. This itinerary gives you a great overview of these two great countries. Before you know it you will be drinking tea and eating haggis admiring the British scenery. Hiring a Rockin Vans camper or motorhome is the perfect way to see the full length and breadth of the UK, with depots in London and several in Scotland, it won’t cost you any more to do a one-way rental with Rockin Vans.

1: RV London depot to Wiltshire

Leaving the bright lights of London behind, head into the beautiful English countryside. Wiltshire is quintessentially English, with some of the most beautiful sites in the country.

The first stop is one of the wonders of the world, and the best known prehistoric monument in Europe, Stone Henge.

Then head to Salisbury, where the Cathedral holds Britain’s tallest spire, and Europe’s oldest working clock. Free tours are available daily.

Camping near Stonehenge and Salisbury.

2: Cotswolds & Stratford Upon Avon

At this stage you start to head north. Venturing into the Cotswolds, the yellow stone houses become more and more frequent. There are hundreds of quaint villages to choose from in this county, however two of our favourites are Stowe on the Wold and Broadway. Both towns are located on the Roman road – The Fosse Way. They both are famous for their market towns and fantastic antique stores. Make sure you stop for afternoon tea at the Broadway Hotel.

Camping in the Cotswolds:

The Caravan Club

The Costwold Camping

Stratford Upon Avon a market town with over 800 years of history. Most notably the Bard

Catch a play and eat in one of the fantastic restaurants. When night time falls head to the picturesque Island Meadow Caravan Park for a taste of quintessential English countryside. Situated just outside Stratford, this tiny campsite is exactly how you would picture an English hamlet. Within walking distance is the small village of Aston Cantlow. Which hosts one of the best pubs in the country, The Kings Head. This picturesque restaurant and bar serves outstanding food and has a fantastic atmosphere, chat to the friendly locals in this dog friendly hidden gem.

3: Lake District

Once you have finished exploring the quaint and quiet British countryside it is time to head somewhere a little more dramatic. As you head north you will see the countryside start to change, rolling hills become dramatic mountains and you start to get a feel for rural life in the North of England.

There are hundreds of campsites dotted around the Lake District, but for a Lake Side pitch we suggest booking well in advance and spending a few nights at the Windermere Camping and Caravanning Club Site. Not far from the bustling market town of Kendal, this site is perfect for all types of camper. Whether you are looking for high adrenaline water sports, a quiet country stroll or afternoon tea in one of the towns. There is even an on-site pub, The Whistling Pig.

Read our guide to the Lake District for a more indepth write up.

4: Gretna Green

Gretna Green is a great place to break up your journey on your way to the Scottish Capitol. Sitting just on the edge of the England and Scotland boarder. Marriages have taken place here since 1754, and is traditionally where young couples would run off to marry without parents’ permission. Visit the famous blacksmiths shop, one of Scotland oldest attractions. Or if retail therapy is more you thing there is an outlet store selling all manner of British country fashion.

5: Edinburgh

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a stay in Edinburgh. The sites of Edinburgh speak for themselves. We recommend stopping in Morton Hall Campsite, set in 200 acres of traditionally managed country park and conveniently situated on a bus route into the city centre.

This is where you come to a folk in the road. Rockin Vans has a return point in Edinburgh, you can decide to hand you van back here or continue your journey into the Scottish Highlands and hand the van back in Glasgow. If you decide to continue Rockin Vans has hundreds of blogs detailing the Scottish part of your adventure. Here are some of our favourites:

North Coast 500

Ultimate Camping Road Trip Itinerary

Ultimate Camping Road Trip Itinerary

The crème de la crème of British scenic drives taking you from one epic medieval city to another in two summer weeks.

Feast your eyes upon a great adventure that takes you on a meandering trail full of unmissable sights covering Edinburgh, the south-east coast of Scotland, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, Cheddar Gorge, the Cornish Peninsula, the Jurassic Coastline, the Isle of Wight, Brighton and London City.

From the stunning city of Edinburgh in Scotland to the bustling streets of London, this road trip guide will take you along incredible coastline, through jaw dropping mountains and breath taking valleys.

This 1200 mile adventure trail at a leisurely cruising pace can be comfortably achieved in two summer weeks.

By starting your trip in Edinburgh, the scenery and historical landmarks bar has been set exceptionally high. Luckily, the rest of the UK isn’t half bad either.

Edinburgh City.

Leaving Edinburgh with a full tank and full fridge, head east until you hit the North Sea at North Berwick. After climbing the North Berwick Law and taking in the views, enjoy the fresh sea breeze and salt air as you hug the east coast through the Scottish Borders bringing you into England.

Bass Rock off the coast of North Berwick.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne is the next port of call. Keep your camera on high alert until you reach Alnwick with shamelessly photogenic sights on every corner. With stunning beaches lining this stretch of coastal road don’t hestitate to pull over for some picnicing and refreshing dips in the sea.

Alnwick Castle.

From Alnwich, our route turns inland towards the Kielder Forest Park where you can enjoy camping below the tree tops in complete darkness and experinece the night sky as nature intended. With plenty of walking and cycle routes to explore, Kielder Forest Park is a hub of outdoor pursuits.

Forest Delights at Kielder Forest Park.

On existing this enchanted forest, veer west with the Lake District in your sights. Renowned for it’s picturesque scenery, this national park as been inspiring writters and romantic poets since the 19th century with its postcard panorama of craggy hilltops, mountain tarns and glittering lakes. Driving through this area will require numerous stops for picture taking, hill hopping and basking in nature’s finest spoils.

Hidden Picnic Spots in the Lake District.

After concuring as many Wainwrights as your fittness levels allow and checking out the local breweries, the next destination is Butter Tub Pass in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. This famously beautiful pass is a high road from Simonstone near Hawes towards Thwaite and Muker. This unique trail snakes through a cavernous landscape featuring 20 metre deep limstone potholes called buttertubs. The name comes from early farmers who utilised the naturally cooler mini caves to store their butter on their way to market. The Yorkshire Dales hold claim to some of the finest examples of caves in the country and are definitely worth a day of exploring.

Traffic Jam in the Yorkshire Dales.

The infamous Cat and Fiddle Route linking Macclesfield and Buxton in the heart of the Peak District is next on your travel itinery. Make sure to take your time on this stretch of road as it has a bad reputation for accidents, however, if the appropriate care is taken, this road is noted to be one of the nicest drives in the country, made famous by motorbike enthusiasts and unfortunately, Top Gear presenter Jermey Clarkson. With plenty of gorgeous cycle and hiking routes to explore, the Peak District has a lot to offer campers and road trippers alike.

The Cat and Fiddle Route, The Peak District.

Leaving the extreme bends of the Peak District behind you, The Cheddar Gorge is the next stop on the map. At almost 400ft deep and 3 miles long, this is the UK’s largest gorge. With winding roads through this limestone landscape, this valley pass is home to a scattering of caves and secret passages for keen explorers.

Bird's eye view of the fabulous Cheddar Gorge.

From here our route goes completely west side story down the Cornish north coast. Stretching over forty stunning miles from Exmoor National Park to Land’s End this section of driving will make you fall deeply in love with the Bristol Channel. A combination of great weather, stunning scenery and ample outdoor activity centres, Cornwall is a dream journey from start to finish. Special attention from St. Ives to St. Just is needed to take in the full suite of beauty Cornwall has to offer.

North Coast, Cornwall.

At Land’s End after a well deserved break, continue your journey back up the south coast of this breath takingly beautiful peninsula towards Plymouth and Exmouth. The many headlands of the Cornish south coast are there to be explore if there’s time but the journey from Land’s End to Southhampton is full of stunning coastal scenery anyways.

The Beautiful South Cornish Coast.

Continuing along the coast will soon bring you to the Jurassic Coast. World heritage site and dream destination for many, this stretch of your roadie mission is very special. With sedimentary rocks dating back over 200 million years to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras, there are many amazing treasures to be found within these sandy layers of earth history. Incredibly scenic and well facilitated for campers, the Jurassic Coast is a great spot for camper vanning.

The Jurassic Coast.

Your next destination takes you away from mainland Britain and onto the magical shores of the Isle of Wight. With frequent hovercraft crossings from Lymington to Yarmouth on the west coast of the island you can drive straight on with ease. Explore the fossil rich cliffs and beaches or catch a festival if you’re timing is on point. Once you’ve had your fill of islander life leave from the east coast at Fishbourne or Ryde and come ashore at Portsmouth.

Isle of Wight.

The city of Brighton is your final stop before reaching the final destination of London City. Loose yourself to this fantasically romantic city by parking up and exploring the shingle beaches, historical wharfs and beautiful pier.

The Bright Lights of Brighton Pier.

Treat yourself to some of Brighton’s finest cuisine before heading north to end your road trip in London City.

The Open Road.

With easy to drive, comfortable camper vans at the ready what are you waiting for? Have the best staycation yet and challenge yourself to the Ultimate 1200.

Check out this UK wide list of the best camping trips to take with your family.

Winter Camper Road Trip To Skye

Winter Camper Road Trip To Skye

Chiara Guarino heads out into the Scottish wilderness during a harsh winter to celebrate her Mums birthday. Read about her trip here…

When it came to organising a surprise present for a special birthday for my mum I knew it was going to be a road trip around the Scottish Highlands but I needed something more, something that would really take this adventure to the next level – and that’s where Rockin Vans came in. My big brother, sister and I decided that we had to make this the ultimate road trip adventure, we had to do this properly and so, whilst fulfilling my own dream of a campervan road trip around Scotland, we got in touch with Rockin Vans and never looked back!

VW Camper Hire Scotland
VW Camper Hire Scotland

Why do people love campervans so much? Beyond functional when on the road, they are often beautiful and somehow very romantic, but the allure of a campervan is above all the pure sense of freedom it gives you. No other form of transport gives you so much potential for spontaneity, adventure and self-reliance. You have your own mobile accommodation, roadside café and the open road at your fingertips – the keys to your own adventure always at hand.

Picking up our VW campervan from Glasgow, the depot itself gets you in a mood for a road trip. A wonderful selection of top of the range campers and motorhomes, Rockin Vans ticks all the boxes!

Filling every single storage area in the campervan, we stored our hiking and snow gear, packed the fridge full of goodies and set out early doors. Leaving from Glasgow, we hit the road for the Isle of Skye, quickly realizing that we were in for a treat as it started snowing by the time we reach Loch Lomond.

By the time we get to Glencoe, we are in the middle of a snowstorm, navigating the road with almost zero visibility. The road through Glencoe is incredible, surrounded by mountains on all sides the feeling of adventure and serenity is immeasurable. Being in the van amid this storm was a whole new adventure!

Every road trip is always exciting, but being in the camper van brings a whole new dimension to the road; it is like you are driving the roads again for the very first time, every turn bringing a new perspective. Keen to make up good time and wary of the weather getting worse, we made our way through the mountains and winding roads, having our first pit stop up past Fort William down near the waters of Loch Lochy.

The time and freedom you get from the campervan is priceless. Travelling with all your necessities on board means you are ready to go at all times! Numerous storage compartments and the fridge/freezer allows you to prepare and cook food right on site, tea and coffee ready to go in minutes, everything you need at your fingertips! We didn’t have a toilet, but everyone was fine embracing the outdoors and doing it the old-fashioned way – also meant I didn’t need to clean it out…

After putting the roof up, turning the front seats around, preparing lunch and setting up the table, we had a lovely wee lunch by the water and clean up was super easy and fast. We hit the road again, tummies full and toes warm from the van’s heater, we were keen to avoid any more stops as we sought out a sunset on Skye at Kilt Rock – apart from this quick snap at Eilean Donan Castle!

The winding roads of Scotland is something I will never get bored of, they look and feel different every time you drive through. Something so alluring about them, the endless opportunities that they present.

Driving through a snow storm we make it to Kilt Rock for sunset, only to find that our pursuit was in vain as visibility was non-existent. All was forgotten however, as soon as we see the spectacle that is Mealt Falls – an incredibly powerful waterfall fed from nearby Mealt Loch, plummets from the top of the cliffs to the rock-laden coast below, with the pleated cliffs of Kilt Rock in the back.

With the light falling fast under the thick clouds and more snow moving in, we jumped in the van and made a dash to Lealt Falls just further down the road, before heading home for dinner and movie night before the fire, not forgetting a wee dram or two.

The following day we rose early to venture out on a morning hike up to the Old Man of Storr to find that the weather has picked up and the sun making an appearance finally; though this was to be short lived. Snow gear back on and the campervan fridge packed full of our food and drink for the day, we set off precariously on the snowy roads that were layered with fresh snow that fell throughout the night.

We made our up the east coast of Skye and parked up in the lay by for The Storr hike. The views on the way up are spectacular, looking out over the harsh landscape and the waters of Loch Leathan.

The higher we climb and the closer we get to the Old Man, the more powerful the wind and intense the snow is, though we battle on hoping there will be a break in the weather.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature won this time and we had to turn back – going up we were caught in the middle of a blizzard and Storr still looked attainable at a push, but visibility was zero when you made to retreat. Not able to see your hand in front of your face, scrambling back down blind through the storm would have become increasingly dangerous the more we climbed, so we made a safety call on that one.

We shook off the snow, packed away our wet gear in the back of the van and refueled with some kendal mintcake before setting out for our second adventure of the day. I had been eagerly anticipating this hike for almost a year – the hunt for Ruhba Hunish, a bothy at the top of Skye that looks out over The Minch, Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides.

We set off on the road, aiming for the northern most point of Skye, Kilmaluag. I couldn’t find a lot of information on this bothy, but I knew it was there to be found. I had vague directions to the starting point, a red phone box being the main point of interest. It was hard to get your bearings on the road as everything was covered in snow, but the views were superb along the way!

30 miles up the road we finally spot that red phone box, graft up a snow covered track to the car park and the start of the Ruhba Hunish trail. We park up, get all our gear back on and make a pact to have lunch in the campervan upon our return.

The first kilometer (5km round trip) or so was easy enough to navigate as it was a rough and ready trail to a wooden gate, through snow and bog nevertheless. But after the gate, it was difficult to see any sort of track or point of reference, instead an endless view of undulating hills of bog and snow. All we had to go on was to keep heading North, so we trudged upwards over the hills – again, the views were stunning.

Gaps started to appear in the group as the hike became increasingly strenuous with the snow level rising underfoot and a few bog incidents slowing us down. Every summit we came to another would appear, but we kept on going. Hailstones were plummeting from the sky, the most painful we have ever witnessed – you had to walk blind with your head down and completely covered otherwise risk the pain of one of these in the eyes! (which we all got to experience at one point!) The more the hail and wind battered us, the endless lines of hills in front of us, we began to doubt if we were ever going to find the bothy. Having not eaten since breakfast, some of us were becoming quite hangry (angry because you are hungry.) But we were too stubborn to give up, we knew we had to be close! So we rallied round and set off with my brother hill running ahead to see if he can see any sort of interest point. 10 or so minutes pass with no sign of him, us girls hoping he will return with some news, something in the landscape to show we are on track.

Finally, he appeared – he made it to the clifftop and found the bothy! It was a great moment for all, really lifting our spirits to make it that last steep kilometer for a well-earned rest and drink.

It was such a wonderful feeling to make it to the bothy and something I had been so looking forward to, since planning the trip out a year prior. The difficulty we had navigating and battling through the harsh elements and terrain made the discovery all the more special. And I finally got to photograph that beautiful bay window with my family around the table, just like I had envisioned.

We did regret not bringing lunch as we were ravenous by this point. Nonetheless, we polished off some snacks, had a drink and hung out for a while. The clifftops along the North are breathtaking with the snow creating a magical scene.

We left a message in the bothy log book, explored the cliffs for a while and took some photographs, but it was so cold we had to quickly get going back to the van, get some blood flowing. A challenge all in itself on the way back down, but we knew where to go this time at least. Eventually we make it back to the van and its lunchtime – roof up, stove on for some tea, table out and chairs turned and you are ready to go. The ability to do this immediately after a big hike, right by the clifftops overlooking the North Sea is exactly why you need a campervan for your next road trip – they take it to a whole other level.

After a well-earned scran, we set our sights on the Fairy Glen on the East side of the island, so we had a long trip round. The sights along the way, well I don’t need to tell you…

By the time we reach the Fairy Glen, the snow is falling pretty heavily and we find a car abandoned at the top of a hill; apparently a couple of cars were stuck further down, so followed suit, parked up and made the rest of our way on foot. There were 3 cars stuck in the snow/ice with a Land Rover trying to pull them out with some rope and us thankful we listened to the friendly stranger at the top of the hill. Within 5 minutes, the snow is a full-blown storm, hail as hard as nails falling to the ground and the wind whipping snow around us, we dug deep for that bothy fighting spirit again and marched on through the blizzard. Quickly we realise it just isn’t going to happen, we can’t see a thing and with our snoods up to our eyes we regrettably have to turn back. As bad as the weather was around us, it was incredible to be smack bang in the middle of it all – I took my camera out from within my jacket and snapped these 2 shots which are among my favorites of the trip. These turned out to be the last photographs of the day as we battled the snow back to the van, made a pit stop at the Uig Hotel for a wee dram, then headed back to Portree for some food and a movie night.

Waking the next morning, the snow had stopped and the sun was peeking through the clouds casting a wonderful light over the landscape – a perfect morning for a trek to the Fairy Pools. Again, we packed the van with all our essentials and set out the far West coast of Skye, passing by Sligachan bridge before reaching the fairy pool car park.

Hiking to the bottom of Sgurr an Fheadain, I was determined to photograph the iconic scene of the Fairy Pools flowing benath the Cuillin Mountains:

This trail is a bit of a thigh burner but the best hikes usually are. It is a wonderful site to see these pools up close and hike through the glen of an incredible mountain range, together with the people that matter.

A quick refuel in the campervan before setting our sights this time on the Western most point of Skye, Neist Point. Most roads in Scotland are incredibly beautiful and this drive was no different.

However, by the time we made it to Neist Point, the wind is nothing like we’ve seen before – it was so powerful, it was whipping up sea spray hundreds of feet below clifftops. I was determined to get a decent photo of the famous lighthouse at the end of the peninsula, but the wind was out of control and gave you the feeling it could turn sinister at any moment – it was far too dangerous to be out on the open clifftops. Surrounded by sheep poop and sea spray whipping us in the face, my brother and I scrambled down part of the cliff and jammed ourselves in behind a rock together with my camera gear. Team work to set up the gear and tripod allowed me to take 3 photographs before we had to call it; the wind increasing by the minute and my camera soaked, we had to retreat further inland. The other 2 shots, the lens/image was covered in water droplets as the wind whipped the sea upwards, so given the circumstances and my odds, I was pretty damn chuffed to come out with the one and only image below. Scotland at its finest!

Next morning, we pack everything up and load the van with our bags and again, fill the fridge with food and drink for the long drive back to Glasgow. Before leaving Portree, we grabbed some breakfast and took a wee wander down to the harbour then hit the open road.

We decided to grab one last lunch together in the van on Skye and so stopped by the Talisker Distlillery and had lunch by the waters of Loch Harport.

The road out of Skye and across to Invergarry was a lovely bright, clear morning but as soon as we hit Fort William, it snowed heavily all the way to Loch Lomond. A daily ritual on our recent roadtrip, it was quite a site to see this much snow all at once. Everything was completely white, the trees and branches coated in feet of snow, drooping under the weight, much like the forests in Frozen Planet but the sun was out. Casting wonderful light over the landscape, the snow sparkled in the rays as we passed through the mountains.

The snow/weather on this trip just took everything to a totally different level of adventure, and Rockin Vans completed it. We were lucky enough to witness Scotland in the heart of winter, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the van. The comfort, functionality and the freedom a campervan gives you is like no other and I can’t recommend enough hiring one for your next road trip!

Honeymooners Delight

Honeymooners Delight

Are you in love? With the British Country Side?  So are we.

If you’re looking for a genuinely lovely, intimate and adventurous way to spend your honeymoon why not hit the road for some exploring in a VW camper van or motorhome?

As with many things, keeping it simple is always a good idea. Honeymoons are no different. Get back to the basics by packing up the bare essentials and hitting the road to explore some of the country’s finest and most remote spots together.

By travelling in a Motorhome or Campervan you have the freedom to move around at your own pace. Meander the length and breadth of the country whatever way takes your fancy. Take the scenic route, follow the road around the coast, find that quiet, forgotten spot in the middle of nowhere to enjoy each other’s company.

Pull over to catch the sunset in Cornwall or watch a herd of wild deer thunder across the road in the highlands of Scotland. Sit back and enjoy the silence of a quiet bay or set up camp where the only sound is that of the running stream beside you and Leonard Cohen playing softly in the background.

Romancing the wilds of Scotland from the comfort of your camping chair can only be improved by the presence your new spouse. Wouldn’t you agree?

With a full fridge and a full tank, you can disappear into the wilderness for as long as you want. Sound romantic? That’s because it is.

Make your honeymoon one to remember with Rockin Vans camper and motorhome hire.

Spring Break in Kent for as little as £350!

Spring Break in Kent for as little as £350!

Escape the city for the a few days of chilled adventuring through the historical and picturesque county of Kent in a VW campervan or Motorhome. With Spring in full swing by April hiring one of Rockin Vans camper vans from our London Depot couldn’t be easier.

A mere hour’s drive away in your nifty, swifty, cosy camper van, start your driving tour of Kent at the All Saints Church in Tudeley, Tonbridge. Dating back to the seventh century, this church has huge historical significance, however, its crowning jewel is undoubtedly it’s breath-takingly beautiful windows designed by Russian-French artist Marc Chagall in the 1960s. Drive through the windy roads of the near by wooded areas and park up to appreciate the sea of bluebells in the height of their bloom intermingled with carpets of primroses and orchids all beneath a shady, cool canopy of towering treetops.

“C’est magnifique! Je les ferai tous”, Marc Chagall on seeing All Saints Church.

After your nature trails in Tonbridge, take your journey south with Bayham Old Abbey in your sights. An exquisite English Heritage site dating back to the twelve century, these structures give you the chance to walk through time. Boasting impressive examples of remarkably well-persevered ornate capitals and carved stonework including stone frameworks from the three large windows comprising the nave, making this a stop on your VW road trip is essential.

Bayham Old Abbey Ruins.

A short drive away is your next stop at Scotney Castle. Widely accepted to be one of the finest kept gardens in the world, it is the perfect place to lose yourself once again in the natural beauty of Spring. An excellent example of Tudor Revival architectural sitting on a moated lake like a fairytale island it is both scenic and historical. Surrounded by sloping, wooded gardens with floral armies of rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmia at full strength for your Rockin Vans Spring break.

Scotney Castle in Spring Bloom.

Spend the night camping beneath the stars at Bewl Water campsite, spotting lakeside wildlife and toasting marshmallows til the early hours. Brave the water for a morning dip before whipping up your breakfast in the warmth of your cosy camper van. With everything you need in-tow, you can enjoy this beautifully secluded spot for as long as you want.

Hitting the road again in your luxury VW campervan, Goudhurst and Sissinghurst Castle are next on your travel itinery. Whether you want to park up in the dark woods of Goudhurst and do some gentle exercise hill walking or try the local cuisine in one of the many homely inns or pubs a day spent gallivanting here is well worthwhile.

Sissinghurst Castle, managed by the National Trust is a serious horticultural and historical treat to add to your VW road trip adventure. The gardens were created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, a famous poet and gardening writer of her time and are truly exceptional in their perception of different themed ‘garden rooms’. These gardens show the true passion and understanding of botany that the green-fingered Sackville-West had.

Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens.

Finish your up your campervan trip at Hever Castle during the Annual Tulip Festival (18th – 27th April 2018). The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, now home of over 20,000 tulips is a sight not to be missed. The festival is a celebration of the Elizabethan horticultural boom when gardening in England began to incorporate plants and flowers from the far reaches of the world as well as mainland Europe including the tulip bulb from Turkey. Suitably named, the River of Eden runs past this colourful castle making it all the more scenic for the botany enthusiasts that come from near and far to see this remarkable gem in the English countryside.

Hever Castle Tulip Festival.

With Kent on the doorstep of Rockin Vans London branch, it’s easy to give your loved ones a Spring break that will brighten their whole year.

The South West 300

The South West 300

Synopsis of a two-week camping holiday on (and off) the South West 300 route, Galloway in a T6 VW Camper Van or Motorhome.

The South West 300 is a relatively quiet and very family friendly route in the south west of Scotland full of stunning natural beauty and historical sites. Driving around this part of the country was really enjoyable in one of Rockin Vans camper vans. With two small children, we opted for a VW camper van for its ease of driving, parking etc and its spacious interior. A short distance from the Rockin Vans main office in Kilmarnock, this route was close enough to get a full day of adventuring in from the get go.

St Ninians Chapel, Galloway

Driving this loop was perfectly suited to us as we don’t like sticking to the main trails. With picturesque villages and beaches in abundance you can veer off at any point and find a beautiful spot to set up for the night. Galloway Forest is situated roughly in the centre of this circular route. With great facilities and gorgeous surroundings, a night or two here is well worth a stop. Searching for magical forest creatures with our two youngs sons was easy in this enchanted forest. Home to the ‘The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Observatory’, moonlit camping felt very authentic. We even managed to see some shooting stars.

'The Dark Sky Observatory', Galloway Forest.

The coastal drive from Ayr to Girvan and on to Ballantree is peppered with lots of lovely coffee shops and small, quiet beaches to take a break from driving and dip your toes in the sea. With two little kids who regularly need bathroom breaks (not necessarily at the same time) it was easy to manage with plenty of facilites along the way.

On reaching Stranraer, we decided to explore the Portpatrick Peninsula which ended up being our favourite part of the trip. A real highlight for us was visiting the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse where we managed to catch a stunning, blood red sunset on a calm night followed by an equally gorgeous sunrise (being awake at the crack of dawn is just one of the many perks of having a two and four-year-old).

The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse.

Our boys are a little too young for mountain biking at this stage but we did notice some excellent bike trails in the Forest of Ae, Maybe Forest and Dalbeattie Forest – Something we will keep in mind for future visits. The forests are also home to lots of very friendly red deer waiting to be fed by passer bys!

Exploring the beautiful town of Portpatrick and the local surroundings was so easy in the camper van as it allowed us to camp where ever we ended up stopping and eliminated the worry of organising accommodation. With everything we needed in-tow it made the trip stress-free.

The kids favourite part of the trip was without a doubt the Cream O’ Galloway ice-cream parlour and amuesment park at the Gate House of Fleet. Complete and utter silence dominated the entire duration of ice-cream eating time and I can say with confidence that it wasn’t just the kids who were heavy impressed by the flavours.

Cream O Galloway Ice-cream.

The Fleet Islands at low tide made for another fun adventure, running across the wet sand to the scattering of small islands. Wild camping looking out over the habour in the Isle of Whithorn and dingy sailing on Loch Ken were two more things I would reccomend for anyone thinking about exploring the South West 330 route. Being a rather sheltered loch, our amateur level of sailing was absolutely fine for the conditions. For a more relaxing day, walking around the Logan Gardens or the historical town of Newton Stewart both proved to be good ways to get a full day of gentle exercise whilst seeing the sights of the area.

Loch Ken, Galloway.

Taking full advantage of the sunny days we were lucky enough to get, we cooked most of our own meals in the camper van and ate on the beaches. On one particularly lovely day, we parked up near St Ninians Chapel and had a barbeque looking out over the water.

St. Ninians Beach.

A simple, affordable and fun trip for all ages, I will definitely be back to this part of Scotland in another VW camper van soon.