Seeking Wild Sights
Hey everyone, Tom here! We’re getting a bit back to normal now, so I’ll be getting our blog back up and running, and I’m kicking it off with a guest post from a fellow Brit Stopper; Jeni Bell. In her blog; Seeking Wild Sights, Jeni talks about how she’s toured the UK full time and used Brit Stops herself, so we’re really excited to have her here!
Brit Stops & Full Time in a Camper
In 2018 myself, my other half and our overly energetic Jack Russell embarked on a full time camper van adventure. We handed in our notices, gave back the keys to our landlord and headed out on the road to spend a slow 6 months touring the UK.
On a tight budget we chose to find as many alternatives to campsites as we possibly could. Don’t get me wrong, a weekly campsite was an essential for the facilities, a chance to dispose of waste properly and fill up on water, but we didn’t want to solely rely on them. There are lots of interesting things to see and get involved in, and sometimes campsites can keep you away from them. So, although a hot shower had become a luxury seeing as we only had an outside, cold water shower and we had chosen to embark on our trip in the middle of winter, we used campsites sparingly. There was no way we could afford a campsite every night anyway, and honestly we didn’t want to.
That being said, we also wanted to be mindful. We were all too aware of the ever increasing pressure on local communities from illegal over-night camping and, whilst we had the odd night in a layby here and there when it was too late to travel or find alternative accommodation, we wanted to be sensible and considerate. For us, camper van culture is a way of life and we wanted to do our best to preserve that. We soon found that with a little bit of research the campsite alternatives we were after weren’t hard to come by at all.
Brit Stops became a go-to resource for us; travelling in winter usually means less options, but with the Brit Stops guide we could count on finding an overnight stop to take us in, and they were usually more memorable than a campsite anyway.
At EA2 after coffee and a delicious slice of home made cake in possibly the highest, yet narrowest tea room I’ve ever been in, we spent a night in their car park and then lost the next day entirely to exploring the surrounding village and it’s curiosities. If we hadn’t found it in the Brit Stops guide, then we would have missed out on it entirely.
Another favourite stop we found was NE122. After a long day of driving and a growing panic at not being able to find a stop-over we discovered this lovely gift shop stop. With a warm welcome from the owners and a quick bite to eat before they locked the gates for the night, it was one of the safest stops we’ve ever stayed at.
For us Brit Stops was a life saver and a small way for us to contribute to the local areas we were staying in. A cup of coffee, something from the gift shop, a pint, a meal – it all helps to give back to the communities that we love exploring on our travels. Little places we might have missed out on, if we hadn’t been members of Brit Stops.