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The Best Way to See England by Motorhome

Heath and Alyssa-profile-image
Heath and Alyssa
September 12, 2023

American motorhomers Health and Alyssa used Brit Stops on their holiday motorhoming through the UK, this is what their experience was like.

The Best Way to See England by Motorhome

My husband and I have been RVing since 2014, but a trip to campervan across New Zealand in 2018 showed us that renting a motorhome is a great way to explore any new country. When we planned our recent trip to the United Kingdom, we hired a motorhome to explore southern England and Wales.

When we’re RVing in the States, we love to use Harvest Hosts to camp at wineries and breweries. It’s a great way to get a taste of the local flavor in an area.

When we heard that the UK has a similar program called Brit Stops, we knew this was how we wanted to see the country. Their tagline “giving motorhome tourists an authentic taste of the UK and Ireland” is exactly what we were looking for. We knew this would be a great way to avoid the commercial feeling of campgrounds and get straight to experiencing the culture of the UK.

As it turns out, it was one of the best ways to experience the country.

What is Brit Stops?

Brit Stops is a motorhome stopover program where you gain access to pubs, wineries, farms, and small businesses all over the UK. These participating businesses let you stopover for a night. When you sign up for the program, you’ll receive the Brit Stops guidebook in the mail and receive an email with a code to use the app.

The book and app will list all of the Brit Stops locations across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (collectively the United Kingdom).

You’ll also get access to “Irish Stops” across Ireland. Brit Stops locations may have other services, which will be noted in the Brit Stops book and app. We filled up with water, dumped tanks, and threw away rubbish at multiple locations.

This unexpected benefit meant we could camp at Brit Stops almost every night of our trip and not worry about needing to find a campground for services. It is customary to patron the business where you park. Since most of the businesses are restaurants and pubs, this is easy—and means less cooking and cleaning for you!

Campgrounds were surprisingly expensive in the country and food and drink costs across the UK are less than what you might expect in the States. So while you are still spending money patroning the business, it likely costs the same or less to stay at a Brit Stops location, with the added benefit of a great meal

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How to plan your stopovers

Before leaving the States for our two week road trip, I ordered the Brit Stops book to my house and used it to plan our trip. The UK is divided into regions and each Brit Stop location is given a regional code and a number. For example, The Sporting Chance in Wales is W37 and Rectory Farm outside Oxford, England is SE42, or South East 42. (I highly recommend both!)

I already knew what route we wanted to take around England and Wales, so I drew lines on the maps in the Brit Stops book and marked possible Brit Stops for stopovers. I was shocked at the coverage offered. There were very few places where we couldn’t find a Brit Stop location to stay for the night. (In the northern half of Snowdonia National Park and near Pembrokeshire Coast National Park were the only two areas where we couldn’t find a convenient Brit Stop!)

Many Brit Stops locations don’t require you to call ahead—it will be noted in the book/app if you need to give advance notice. I earmarked pages of my Brit Stops book to note where we planned on staying and packed the book in my suitcase. When there were multiple options for where to stay in an area, I used Google Maps to look up the businesses and chose where to stay based on who had the best-looking food. Alternatively, my husband would use Google Satellite View to view the parking lots at pubs and use the size of the lot to determine which Brit Stop he preferred!

One important thing to note is the hours of the business you’ll be visiting. At more than one pub, the parking lot seemed too full for a motorhome to fit since we arrived during peak lunch crowds on a Sunday. The managers always invited us to stay the night, but noted that we may need to move the motorhome into the proper spot once the lot cleared out.

On the other hand, we also arrived at a couple businesses after or right at closing. We called ahead in these instances, and they said our late arrival was fine. Contact information for locations is right in the book and every location we called knew how Brit Stops worked and welcomed us to visit.

You may need to provide your vehicle registration (aka your license plate number) upon arrival, but this wasn’t required at all locations.

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Our Favorite Spots

We made this road trip in two motorhomes, bringing along our family plus my in-laws.

I asked everyone their favorite stops of the trip. Our road trip started on a high note with one of our favorite Brit Stops of the trip, Jinney Ring Craft Centre (WM29). We did not know what “craft centre” meant before arriving. We parked after closing and found that the center was a small collection of stores. It felt like a tiny village with a restaurant, bakery, multiple shops, and even a chocolatier. Behind all the stores was a huge lawn for eating, a space where they host weddings, and fields with animals. Our kids loved petting the donkey and horses and we loved eating outside and watching the sunset over the mountains in the distance.

In Snowdonia National Park in Wales, we stopped at two Brit Stops that we adored. Bryn Arms (W61) was perfect for dinner and offered plenty of outdoor seating. We travel with two young kids, so their playground was a hit. We also loved Cross Foxes (W59), a cozy pub with an amazing menu. Our stopover for the night was at the edge of the parking lot so we were surrounded by bushes on one side and a babbling brook behind us. Even on a rainy evening, it was idyllic.

My husband insisted that the absolute best stop was Halfpenny Green Wine Estate in England. We arrived just prior to closing and grabbed two bottles of wine and some chocolate truffles from their expansive shop. Our motorhome was surrounded by vines loaded with grapes and open green spaces.

We also loved Poplars Farm (SW124) where we stopped after visiting Caldicot Castle and was very close to Bath and the Cotswolds.

Using Brit Stops For More Than Overnight Stays

Brit Stops was our go-to app for finding free places to camp all over the UK. But it was more than that. We quickly learned that the roads in Great Britain are not at all built for motorhomes—especially large rentals! And finding parking for a large vehicle can be even more difficult.

We used the Brit Stops app for sourcing nearby restaurants where we knew we would be able to park two motorhomes safely and easily.

My favorite lunch of the trip was the asparagus risotto from Bellman’s Cross (WM36). This was one of the fanciest pubs we enjoyed during our trip, with warm rolls and butter, delicious mains, and a luscious dessert menu.

We didn’t stay at Bellman’s Cross, but it was a convenient lunch spot for us in between adventures and it gave so much peace of mind to head somewhere that we knew we could fit!

Traveling the UK in a Motorhome

Of all the countries we’ve driven a motorhome in, the UK did present the most challenging roads. However, being able to easily stop in and access great pubs and restaurants along the way made our trip infinitely more enjoyable.

And as someone raised in a country with limited historical buildings, being able to pop into a pub built in the 1400s was astounding—like the Three Horseshoes (WM38) established in 1406. Visiting these pubs felt like experiencing little bits of history, along with good food and a safe place to stay the night.

If you are thinking about traveling the UK by motorhome, sign up for Brit Stops before you hop across the pond to take advantage of this unique camping experience.

About Brit Stops
Brit Stops is the ultimate network for motorhome enthusiasts. Featuring charming stopover locations like farm shops, pubs, aires, and other fantastic spots, it provides a unique and authentic way to explore the UK and Ireland through one-night stays. Join a community of dedicated explorers and immerse yourself in the true essence of these beautiful landscapes. Discover the heart of Britain and Ireland with Brit Stops.
Heath and Alyssa-profile-image
Heath and Alyssa
At 23, we quit our jobs to drive a sketchy looking RV across the US. Over the last 8 years, we’ve filmed a documentary, sold a tech company, written some books and successfully flashed our RV park neighbors (on accident) while trying to kill a giant spider.