- There are hundreds of family friendly caravan parks to pitch up at the UK
- Whether you own your own caravan, are looking to hire one for a staycation or prefer to rent a static caravan, there are lots of options to choose from
- A caravan holiday allows you to enjoy the beautiful UK sights whatever the season
For a while, it looked as though cheap flights to the sun had made the great British holiday forever unfashionable. But over the past few years, more and more people have chosen to take their holiday nearer home. This could be down to our 'credit crunch' culture - but most holidaymakers simply prefer to explore their own country, avoid travelling by air for environmental reasons, or spend less time travelling, maximising their time off.
A caravan makes it easy to transport luggage, baby equipment and bicycles, so it's a great option for families with small children. For large families, staying in a caravan can be much cheaper than hotel rooms, and you can save even more money by preparing and cooking your own meals. You can eat whenever you choose and pick meals that will please the whole family. The novelty of living in a caravan might even mean that everyone mucks in with the cooking and housework!
Whether you already own a caravan, hire one for the trip, or stay in a static caravan at one of the UK's many holiday parks, it’s a convenient and economical way to enjoy a well-deserved break. Discover our favourite destinations for caravan holidays in the UK.
1: The Lake District
Ever since Wordsworth rhapsodised about it, the Lake District in Cumbria has been one of the UK's top holiday destinations. Here you can see England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, go sailing on Lake Windermere, or visit the home of Beatrix Potter. There are plenty of caravan parks to choose from, some offering shops and other amenities, while others have rural isolation and simplicity as their selling points. Just be aware that caravans and motor homes should avoid steep, curving passes like the Hardknott and Wrynose.
Try Black Beck Holiday Park, near Grizedale Forest, for a combination of beautiful scenery and good facilities.
Known as the English Riviera, Devon is famous for its mild climate and miles of sandy beaches. Towns like Torquay, Paignton and Dawlish offer everything that's great about the British seaside; from fishing boats in picturesque harbours to cod and chips. With children's farms, the model village at Babbacombe, steam trains and much more, it's the perfect place for a family holiday. And because Devon is dairy country, locally made ice creams are a daily must. Park Holidays have five sites to choose from in Devon.
Holidays don't get any more British than a visit to Blackpool, with its piers and pleasure beaches, illuminations and entertainers, candy floss and sticks of rock. If the weather is unkind, there's the Sea Life Centre, water parks, and other indoor attractions. Staying at a caravan park outside the town lets you get away from bright lights and bustle, but with easy access when you want it. And if you don't want a break from the action, sites often have their own leisure facilities and entertainment.
Countryside or seaside? Enjoy both in Dorset. Pretty little villages straight out of Hardy's Wessex are set among rolling hills, fields of sheep, and ancient monuments like Corfe Castle. Hunt for fossils along the Jurassic Coast, swim through the natural rock arch of Durdle Door, or go crabbing at Mudeford Quay near Christchurch. Next door in Hampshire, the New Forest has walking trails and wild ponies. Park Holidays' Dorset site, Sandhills, is convenient for coast or countryside.
If you like a level pitch, the famously flat countryside of Norfolk might be for you. Most caravan sites are found along the coast, centred on the resort towns of Cromer, Great Yarmouth, and Wells-next-the-Sea, but there are woodland and parkland sites further inland. A caravan site in the countryside is the perfect place to admire the 'big sky', and enjoy stargazing free from light pollution. By the beach, you can find seafood from cockles and Cromer crab to the humble fish n' chips, traditional end of the pier entertainment and fairground rides.
Scotland's roads are quieter than England's, so it's a great place to tour. You might even spot an eagle as you drive, or catch a glimpse of seals basking off the coast. The extra carrying capacity of a caravan means you can take home a few bottles of whisky. Distilleries are often open to the public, and you can plan a whole holiday around them.
The Scottish landscape has a wild appearance, with rugged coasts and craggy mountains. It is pretty at any time of year, although you'll need to beware of icy conditions when towing a caravan, and keep to the main roads. Visit Scotland has a list of caravan parks across the country, so you can find the perfect pitch.
The valleys and coast of Wales were, for many of us, the site of early family camping or caravan holidays. Now it's time to introduce the next generation to Cardigan Bay, Snowdonia, or Bangor. Blue Flag beaches and resort towns are great for seaside holidays. The country's three national parks offer hiking, kayaking, climbing and other activities. For a slower paced holiday, there are museums and castles, the modern centre of Cardiff and the ruins of Tintern Abbey.
8: The Isle of Wight
If, for you, it's not a proper holiday without a ferry trip, try the Isle of Wight. The island's towns have a retro feel, while the Gulf Stream brings sunshine and warm water to the beaches. The roads are safe for the whole family to cycle, and the waters, with the famous Needles landmark, are great for sailing and rowing. Attractions include Carisbrooke Castle, Osborne House and the Isle of Wight Zoo.
Caravanning is a great way to get close to the action and be sure of somewhere to stay, during events like the annual music festival and the August bank holiday scooter rally.
9: Yorkshire Dales
Ideal for walking, driving or cycling holidays, the Dales boast pretty villages, waterfalls, caves and mountain peaks. Fans of the late 70s TV series, All Creatures Great and Small, will enjoy spotting locations from the programme. You can get away from it all in the middle of the national park, but still drop in to the market towns of Grassington, Hawes and Skipton for a cream tea. Caravan parks are often in stunning locations, and make a great base for exploring.
10: On your doorstep
If it's your first time caravanning, or you have a young family, you might not want to venture too far from home. The odds are that wherever you live, you can find adventure and beauty just a short distance away. You won't spend too much time travelling, and you can try going away for a single night or a weekend before committing to a longer trip. Plus, you'll learn how to load up your luggage, what's essential and what isn't, so that next time you'll be extra efficient at packing. Check out the LV= family camping checklist for a handy list of essentials that you’ll need to pack for a camping holiday in the UK.
Last of all, before you set off on your staycation, make sure you are protected for all eventualities by getting caravan insurance that can cover everything from friends and family using your beloved caravan, to all year round awnings and fixtures cover.