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First UK trip ever - our experiences

ThomasHJ

ThomasHJ

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We recently enjoyed our first ever camping trip with the Cali to the UK. We had been to London and the New Forest, but never really been camping. I normally research our trips extensively. Never book anything, but decide on an approximate route and list a gazillion things we'd like to do and see. And decide where we go, how long to stay and what to do when we're on route. This year, circumstances made it impossible to plan much. So we just went.

Here are some of our observations / experiences as first time Cali camper in the UK.

Shuttle
Not to expensive and really fast and easy.

Greener Camping Club
We joined the Greener Camping Club because we enjoy smaller, green, spacious natural campsites which aren't too busy. The Greener camping Club turned out to be a great choice.

Prices
Wow! We hadn't expected a cheap holiday but man stuff is expensive in the UK. Camp site prices are just scary. Just one of all camp sites we stayed at had EHU. Prices for a single night were between 28 pounds and 60 pounds. We've found some lovely sites and we love the basic ones that offer nature and not much more, but these prices, wow. Inflation is very noticeable here on mainland Europe as well, but still, this trip hurt ;-)

But other things were expensive too. Groceries seemed quite ok, but visiting musea, castles, or things like a science centre, etc. seems to be really expensive. 60 - 80 pounds for a visit with 2 adults and 2 kids. We haven't even tried things like amusement parks.

Friendly people
We were pleasantly surprised by how extreme friendly everyone was. In the public space, in restaurants, shops, on camp sites, in traffic. Everyone seemed genuinely friendly. We felt so welcome. Driving the single lane roads (mostly in Scotland) we were amazed at how every single person waves when letting each other pass in the passing places. Every... single... time... 7 cars? 7 waves!

Solar panel by Roger (SCS)
We visited Roger who installed a solar panel for us. We'd thought about getting one for years but never thought we really needed it because we don't wild camp much. But we we are so glad we got a panel now, because, as said, no EHU on any camp sites and in 3,5 weeks the battery stayed topped up and healthy. We could go anywhere without having to worry about electricity / EHU / batteries anymore. Roger was great. We recommend him!

Conclusion
We loved our road trip through England, Wales and Scotland. The scenery is amazing. The sea always close by shows up around every corner. Friendly people, good food. But most of all, beautiful nature! We'll be back, if you'll have us.
 
Great write up, welcome to our rainy little island! We dont find sites that bad to be honest so one wonders if the "Greener Camper Club" premium was the reason - we find these more "middle class" clubs can tend to add a bit on.

We tend to pay 30 - 35 quid a night, including EHU, sometimes a little more for bigger/posher sites, but nowhere near the min 60 quid a night for a Premier Inn and I know which one I'd rather be in.

For comparison we did the NC500 and stayed at 9 different sites - none over 40 quid a night, most were closer to 30 with EHU - but if we book Etties Field (a boutique site) or one of the bigger CCC sites they can get closer to that mark.

Hopefully you will be back.
 
Good to read this review of Blighty! Agree with dspuk above, you can find some stunning small farm campsites with minimal facilities in great locations for well under £40 per night for a family of 4. Also the certified sites featured on the Camping and Caravan Club are often good value and fit your preference for smaller more natural sites. Hopefully your next trip will be better value and you will be prepared for the 'wee beasties' this time! Many a Scotsman will tell you that the midges are meant to keep the English out so maybe next time bring a big Dutch flag. Maybe don’t overdo the Orange though, that doesn’t go down well in parts of Glasgow
 
:D As in some other, very specific, parts of the UK ...:Iamsorry

True story, many years ago I used to work for B&Q and we opened a 'Depot' in West Belfast. The Depot stores branding was orange vs the normal red. The store was attacked several times before the management worked out why. For a while before it was closed that store was the only B&Q with green branding!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
We recently enjoyed our first ever camping trip with the Cali to the UK. We had been to London and the New Forest, but never really been camping. I normally research our trips extensively. Never book anything, but decide on an approximate route and list a gazillion things we'd like to do and see. And decide where we go, how long to stay and what to do when we're on route. This year, circumstances made it impossible to plan much. So we just went.

Here are some of our observations / experiences as first time Cali camper in the UK.

Shuttle
Not to expensive and really fast and easy.

Greener Camping Club
We joined the Greener Camping Club because we enjoy smaller, green, spacious natural campsites which aren't too busy. The Greener camping Club turned out to be a great choice.

Prices
Wow! We hadn't expected a cheap holiday but man stuff is expensive in the UK. Camp site prices are just scary. Just one of all camp sites we stayed at had EHU. Prices for a single night were between 28 pounds and 60 pounds. We've found some lovely sites and we love the basic ones that offer nature and not much more, but these prices, wow. Inflation is very noticeable here on mainland Europe as well, but still, this trip hurt ;-)

But other things were expensive too. Groceries seemed quite ok, but visiting musea, castles, or things like a science centre, etc. seems to be really expensive. 60 - 80 pounds for a visit with 2 adults and 2 kids. We haven't even tried things like amusement parks.

Friendly people
We were pleasantly surprised by how extreme friendly everyone was. In the public space, in restaurants, shops, on camp sites, in traffic. Everyone seemed genuinely friendly. We felt so welcome. Driving the single lane roads (mostly in Scotland) we were amazed at how every single person waves when letting each other pass in the passing places. Every... single... time... 7 cars? 7 waves!

Solar panel by Roger (SCS)
We visited Roger who installed a solar panel for us. We'd thought about getting one for years but never thought we really needed it because we don't wild camp much. But we we are so glad we got a panel now, because, as said, no EHU on any camp sites and in 3,5 weeks the battery stayed topped up and healthy. We could go anywhere without having to worry about electricity / EHU / batteries anymore. Roger was great. We recommend him!

Conclusion
We loved our road trip through England, Wales and Scotland. The scenery is amazing. The sea always close by shows up around every corner. Friendly people, good food. But most of all, beautiful nature! We'll be back, if you'll have us.
Lovely write up.

If you return for a couple of weeks, it’s worth considering National Trust (mainly large historic houses and gardens) https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/membership/touring-pass# or English Heritage (mainly castles and ancient sites) https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/overseas-visitors/overseas membership. You’d be saving money with just a couple of visits.

Also worth visiting local museums, rather than the large well advertised ones. Most towns have one (often unknown to their residents). They’re usually pretty cheap as run by volunteers.

One thing we love doing when travelling the UK with our children is visiting preserved railways. They’re dotted all over the country and no-ones to young or old for a steam train!
 
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Lovely write up.
If you return for a couple of weeks, it’s worth considering National Trust (mainly large historic houses and gardens) https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/membership/touring-pass# English Heritage (mainly castles and ancient sites) overseas membership.
I'd add either a CAMC or a CCC membership to that too. People get sniffy about the two clubs and it's curtain twitchers but we have found them both well run and well priced.
 
I may have been one of the people acknowledging multiple cars going past a passing place in Scotland as I'm just back from a longish trip ;). It seemed to be the done thing, I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere, and a very pleasant change from busy roads in towns & cities.

Ditto @dspuk about joining one or both of the main UK clubs. At one Caravan Club site I was in the office one afternoon talking to the site manager when I couple arrived without a booking. They were not from England, not Club members, but happy to pay the price quoted for one night: they were charged a little over £48 and as a member I had paid £23.70 per night.

If you come back to England the membership fee (currently £59/year) will pay for itself very quickly.
 

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