stopovers all over Britain
We've tried here to answer any questions you might have about how Brit Stops works. Please email us with any other questions that you might have, and we'll get back to you quickly.
A simple hello when you arrive and goodbye when you leave is central to the original principles of the scheme as it began over 18 years ago in France. Brit Stops is all about bringing adventurous and inquisitive motorhome tourists together with local producers who are passionate about their produce. The personal interaction often means you learn more about the produce and its provenance, and leave with a lasting memory of the visit (not to mention often a larder or fridge full of fresh produce!).
One reason is that they do not have to provide any facilities over and above a parking space! However Brit Stops hosts are also passionate about the local produce they offer to the public, and the more visitors they have the better the chance they have of spreading the word about fresh, sustainable produce. Although they will not oblige you to buy from their shops, they are confident that when you see the quality of their wares and experience the personal service offered by the producer/retailer, you will find it difficult not to purchase! Even if you do not buy anything your positive experience will be spread, and this will bring more customers.
At many sites, probably not. Currently around two thirds of our hosts will have these one or other of these facilities available, and this is noted in the Brit Stops guide. Very few have facilities for toilet waste disposal. Remember, your hosts are not camp sites but in many cases are working farms or vineyards, and although they are keen to encourage tourists to visit their local area, they do need to continue working as normal. The fact that motorhomes can fill up or empty waste at camp sites means they can be invited on site by hosts without disturbing their daily work routine.
Again, the hosts are not camp sites, and cannot field phone calls throughout the day from motorhome owners. Although they are keen to invite guests to learn about their business and their produce, they also need to be able to work unhindered as usual through the day. Some hosts do require a phone call in advance, though, and these are clearly marked in the guide.
A few hosts do like you to phone in advance, and this is noted in their entry in the guide. In most cases though, you will not know if there is a space until you turn up, but it is highly unlikely that a host will not have a space. On the odd occasion though, a host may not be able to welcome motorhomes at short notice due to personal or work reasons, and we ask our members to respect this.
No. Part of the aims of Brit Stops (see our "Aims" page), which everyone signs up to, is simply to spread understanding of local and sustainable produce, and to put motorhome tourists in touch with local producers. If you want to buy anything, great - but hosts will understand that not everyone will want to. Even the customers who turn up every day may not buy something. In our experience of using France Passion though, with some extra cash available due to not having to pay camp site fees, we were always tempted by the fresh farm produce or the odd bottle or two of wine...
All Brit Stops hosts have had the scheme explained to them and understand that they need a decent sized, flat(ish) parking space suitable for use by a motorhome. This may be on hard standing, grass or gravel but should not be on a steep slope or too soft. The entrance may be along a single track dirt road, and you may find you are on slightly uneven ground or you have agricultural machinery and buildings around you, but remember you are often staying on working premises. Any particular issues such as narrow entrances, single track lanes, unmade roads or steep inclines will be noted clearly in the guide.
Yes, although it's true that some sites will not be able to welcome large motorhomes. This will normally be due to problems with manoeuvring large vehicles on site. There is a clear symbol in the guide which, if it is shown in black, means that motorhomes over 30ft in length are welcome. Currently around two thirds of our sites will accept large motorhomes.
It's true you may not have a swimming pool, bar, tennis court and evening cabaret, but what you do have is access to a wonderful array of fresh produce, local beers, home-made pies and pastries, fantastic pub food and often stunning scenery, coupled with the opportunity to meet the people who grow or make the food you are eating and drinking and learn a little about their lives. Of course camp sites can be great, and even using Brit Stops you will have to find places to empty waste water and charge up the leisure batteries from time to time. However we know from our own experience in France using France Passion that the memories brought back from these encounters stay with you longer than fighting for a sun lounger at the pool with crowds of other holiday makers...
Each year the guide will be completely updated, and each year's guide will grow as the scheme becomes more widely known. On the other hand, there will undoubtedly be hosts who for a variety of reasons (retirement, sale of premises, moving away, closing down, etc.) cannot continue to offer a stopover for Brit Stops members. These ex-hosts in particular will not enjoy being disturbed by motorhome owners, and of course in these cases you will not be able to stop over where you had planned and may have a wasted journey.
Currently around two thirds of our sites will accept dogs. Some who signal they do not take dogs in the guide, may only mean this to apply to their actual shop or pub, so sometimes it is worth asking if you phone ahead, as they may be happy for them to come if you just plan on taking them for a walk and keeping them in the motorhome when you visit their shop/pub.
Do the hosts have toilet facilities if I don’t have a toilet on board my campervan?
It’s best to assume there will be no overnight toilet facilities. Pubs and those host sites with cafes, tea shops and restaurants will probably have toilets available during opening hours, but not when they are closed. Remember these are not camp sites, which is why the scheme works well for motorhomes, which are fully self-sufficient for at least one night.