Complete Guide To The UK's Best Campervan Destinations
At VW T6 Campers by LKW we share your passion in all things campervan and the joy that they bring. They offer extended flexibility compared to traditional holiday accommodation and travel. With a campervan, you are not confined to a single area. They are the ideal solution to those with a sense of adventure and keen to explore their destination in its entirety.
Campervans are often deceptively spacious on the inside, comfortably sleeping several adults or a family of 4 with small children. Within their compact boundaries, you will find no shortage of practicality, including a fully functioning kitchen and plenty of storage spaces. They bring a new meaning to "self-catering accommodation"- you can enjoy the lunch of your choice at the location of your fancy.
Most of our customers already have an idea of where they want first to take their campervan; it's often what encouraged them to buy a campervan in the first place. Once you've been on a campervan holiday, the overwhelming sense of freedom is addictive, and you can hardly wait to embark on your next adventure. We have put together a handy guide to the best campervan holiday destinations in the country to help you plan your journey.
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When you think "luscious English countryside", the North West of England may not be the first area which jumps to mind. However, the North West has the most density of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the entirety of the country. It's the proud home to 3 National Parks and 3 AONB, covering over half of the region's area.
The North West is a culturally diverse region which extends from Cumbria to Cheshire, inclusive of Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. It offers unspoiled landscapes to busy city centres and everything in between. There is plenty to see and do for visitors of all ages and sizes.
Lake District National Park
One of UK's most visited areas, the Lake District National Park in Cumbria is hardly a hidden gem. Home to the largest lake and the tallest mountain in England, it attracts millions of keen adventurers throughout the seasons. The dramatic mountainous landscape is a distinct feature of the West Coast, stretching from the Scottish Highlands down to South Wales. You can find a diverse range of activities and attractions in the Lakes thanks to its rich cultural history and the unrivalled vista.
The entirety of the Lake District is known to be extremely campervan friendly. The interior environment is an especially welcome shelter from the typical English weather.
One of the two powerhouses of the North West, Liverpool was appointed the European Capital of Culture in 2008. Its history can be traced back to the 12th Century, and the city has developed a rich maritime culture thanks to its coastal location. The city centre provides an excellent day out for shopping and sampling some of the finest cuisines in the North West. If you are interested in arts and culture, you will find no end of enjoyment from Liverpool's famous art galleries and museums.
Morecambe Bay, Arnside and Silverdale AONB
Tucked away at the top of Lancashire, Arnside and Silverdale AONB is one of Lancashire's unmissable wildlife havens. It's home to RSPB Leighton Moss, one of the largest and most known RSPB reserves in the North West region. Its unique habitat is some of the UK's rarest animals, including the elusive bittern and bearded tit.
The estuary peninsula of Morecambe Bay is directly below Arnside and Silverdale, providing wintering ground for many species of waterfowl. Morecambe itself is also a thriving seaside resort, especially popular in the summer seasons and ideal for passing through on a campervan road trip.
Only a short drive down the M62, Manchester and Liverpool are friendly neighbours yet fierce rivals on the football field. The fifth-largest city in the UK started life as a Roman settlement at the start of the 1st Century. Manchester expanded rapidly on the turn of the 19th Century due to the impacts of the Industrial Revolution. It's evolved to be one of the most influential cities of the country, providing plenty of appreciation for art, music and fine dining.
Are you planning a campervan holiday to the north west? Follow the link below to read our guide to the Best Campsites For Campervans In The North West Of England.
Officially, the North East of England begin from the Scottish Borders and extends down to the borders of Yorkshire and the Humber. However, for the convenience of the article, Yorkshire will also be classified as part of the North East.
The cities in the region are traditionally associated with the steel and manufacturing industry. However, it's also home to one of the best campervan destinations in the UK thanks to its moorland habitats and stunning coastal cliffs.
Northumberland National Park
Spanning across 400 square miles of unspoiled gentle hills, the Northumberland National Park is surprisingly the least visited National Park in the UK. It stretches along most of the length of the Scottish border, connecting it with the famous Hadrian's wall and Kielder Forest, the largest human-made forest in the UK. It has a wide variety of habitats and offers plenty of family-friendly attractions, including plenty of tranquil woodland walks and picturesque views over the area.
North Pennines AONB
The North Pennines is the second largest AONB in the UK, second only to the Cotswolds. Contrary to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, North Pennines features more drastic landscapes due to its position on the Pennines range. Its habitats and scenery are largely upland heathland, with many characteristic towns and villages scattered across the region. The area's extensive mining and industrial history are showcased in several historical exhibitions and guided walks. It's proximity to the M6, and the local transport infrastructure is makes it a fantastic destination for short weekend getaways.
North York Moors National Park
Located between Middlesbrough and the historic city of York, the North York Moors National Park is one of the few National Parks in the UK which border the sea. This small National Park is home to some of Yorkshire's finest seaside resorts, including Whitby and Scarborough, although it's technically just outside the border. The East Yorkshire coast boasts golden beaches and dramatic cliffs, the favourite place in Britain to see seabird colonies.
It's difficult to mention Yorkshire without its namesake, especially as York is not a typical bustling metropolitan city. The history of York can be traced back to its establishment in 71AD and has remained a significant influence throughout the history of the UK. It's rich heritage, and history has gifted the city with countless historic castles and memorials, attracting visitors from all over the country.
The West Midlands region of the UK is ideal for a weekend getaway due to its transport connections. The region stretches from Cheshire to Gloucestershire and most of the English-Wales border. Much like the North West, the scenery varies from bustling metropolitan areas to the tranquil countryside. There is plenty to see and do in the West Midlands for groups of all ages.
Although not technically located in the West Midlands, the Peak District National Park is directly on the doorstep of Derby and shouldn't be easily missed from your itinerary. It was the first National Park to be established in the UK and remains one of the most geographically diverse National Parks in the country. The Peak District attracts millions of visitors every year due to its ease of access and proximity to the transport network- and once you've visited, it's not difficult to see why.
Shropshire Hills AONB
A short drive from larger towns such as Shrewsbury and Worcester, the Shropshire Hills AONB is an unmissable part of Shropshire, covering a quarter of its area. It's a living, working landscape that is loved by locals and visitors alike. Much like the Lake District, it's hills and dales forms a large part of its charm. Within the AONB you can find characteristic small towns and villages, each with their unique, authentic appeal.
An officially recognised UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ironbridge Gorge straddles part of the River Severn in Shropshire. The gorge itself was formed by glacial erosion towards the end of the last ice age. The area developed rapidly at the start of the Industrial Revolution thanks to its extensive deposits of coal, iron ore and limestone. The history is now showcased in Ironbridge Gorge Museums across the area, displaying memorabilia and fun-filled activities to encourage learning. The world's first ever cast iron bridge lends the Gorge its name.
Built in 1779, it was a great feat of engineering and went on the become the symbol of the Industrial Revolution. It spans across the River Severn and all the original features, including the tollhouse and the toll prices, is intact and available to view.
As the name suggests, the East Midlands encompasses the Eastern counterpart of the region traditionally known as the Midlands. It's made up of 5 counties: Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire. Its proximity to the capital and the major transport network of the country meant that the logistics industry thrived. From the Peak district in the northeast corner to some of the best seaside resorts in the UK, the East Midlands is worth a visit.
From the humble market town of Grantham came perhaps the most famous scientist and politician of all time- Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady. His life story and academic achievements are available to view in the Grantham Museum. Grantham is known for its rich history and heritage, having provided backdrops for several significant historical events. There are regular markets and festivals to honour the cultural heritage of the town, providing an excellent opportunity for a family-friendly day out.
Lincolnshire Wolds AONB
The Lincolnshire Wolds AONB was established in the 1973 and has since flourished as some of Britain's finest countryside. The landscape is mostly gentle rolling hills and rivers, with no major rises and ideal for leisurely strolls. The Lincolnshire Wolds is the highest point in Eastern England between Kent and Yorkshire. Visitors can immerse themselves in the picturesque views of the Pennines to the west.
One of the most known seaside resorts in Lincolnshire and throughout the UK, Skegness is not to be missed on a campervan road trip through the area. The golden beaches command the view across the North Sea, ideal for hours of sandcastle-building or basking in the sunshine. With a thriving tourism industry, you can expect to find all of the expected conveniences of a seaside resort. This includes fresh seafood caught daily off the coast, which you can either sample in one of the local restaurants or prepared fresh in the kitchen of your camper.
Skegness and the East coast is also known for being a wildlife haven. The dramatic coastal cliffs provide home to some of the UK's largest seabird colonies. You can occasionally spot pods of porpoises and seals off the coast on a bright, sunny day.
The South West of England is home to some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer. Unlike the Midlands which were industrial powerhouses for their central location, the South West is largely unspoiled landscape with a rich history dating back as early as the Mesolithic period.
The South West encompasses two entire National Parks, 4 World Heritage Sites and numerous AONB. You will find no shortage of fine scenery and attractions within the region; whether you'd like to enjoy a scenic drive or park up and explore the area on foot, you will not be disappointed.
The Cotswolds AONB
One cannot mention the South West of England and not mention the largest and arguably most beautiful AONB. Spanning across six counties, its gentle hill and unique charm have attracted visitors from across the world. After you collect your new campervan from VW T6 Campers by LKW, you are only 5 minutes drive away from Blenheim Palace, the World Heritage Site with a long and diverse history, which is also seen as a gateway into the Cotswolds.
It's the ideal place to start a campervan adventure and is indeed the first stop of many new campervan owners. There is no better way to enjoy the Cotswolds than having the flexibility to explore as much of the landscape as possible, and the freedom to sample the local cuisine, particularly the mouthwatering Cotswolds lamb. We have written a more in-depth guide about campervan destinations in the Cotswolds here.
If you are bringing children on your campervan adventure, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is unmissable. Seldom can children (and adults!) escape the charm of exploring the ancient coastline and the prospects of discovering historic fossils. From any point on the 96 miles of heritage coast, you can enjoy the breathtaking view across the English Channel.
South West Coast Path
If you have been on the Cornish coast, the chances are that you have walked a part of this 630 mile National Trail- the longest in the UK. Originating at Minehead at Somerset and ending in Poole Harbour in Cornwall. It was originally marked by the coastguard who used the cliff-top path to patrol every inlet for smugglers. The path attracts keen walkers who are determined to walk the entire path or locals and visitors who fancied a leisurely, picturesque coastal stroll.
The official South East of England forms an "L" shape around the west side of the capital and covers the counties along the south coast. For the convenience of the article, we will also be including East Anglia as part of the South East.
Blessed by the mild climate and unspoiled rural landscape, the South East is a prime staycation destination for romantic getaways and family breaks. There is so much to see and do in the South East, the best method of exploring is naturally a campervan.
South Downs National Park
The youngest National Park in the UK spans across 634 square miles and three counties. Designated in 2011, the South Downs National Park mostly consists of chalk downland, which lends its name to the area. The landscape is primarily gentle hills with no strenuous climbs, ideal for casual walkers and popular among the locals for dog walking. The area is extremely scenic; there are patches of natural woodland among farmland and fields, every bit the typical English countryside.
Perhaps the most famous seaside resort in the UK, Brighton is perhaps the birthplace of seaside holidays. Its proximity to the capital and its golden beaches greatly boosted its popularity and tourism industry in the Victorian times. It's grown to be the largest city in the South East region in the UK, its unique from other UK cities in culture, notably in music, art and Brighton's authentic shopping areas. Brighton pier easily provides hours of family-friendly fun, and there are regular food and music festivals held in the city centre.
The White Cliffs of Dover
For over 400 years, Kent has been affectionately referred to as "The Garden of England". The Kent countryside is rich in history and long been a region of historical importance. Regardless of where you visit in Kent, you'll find no shortage of fine food, picturesque views and activities. The White Cliffs of Dover is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the UK, being the closest part of the coastline to Europe mainland and the narrowest part of the English Channel. The iconic white cliffs consist mainly of white chalk accented by streaks of black flint.
Mountainous Scotland has a much different climate and landscape to England despite the short distance between the countries. Our friendly neighbours have developed a distinctive culture over the years.
As part of the UK, there are no border restrictions even though they are within their rights, a country. This means that the unspoiled wilderness and bustling cities are only a short drive away. Thanks to the Right to Roam Act, you can explore any landscape at any time of your choosing.
Galloway Forest Park
Perhaps most known for being a Dark Sky Park and elusive Red Squirrels, Galloway Forest Park is one of many Forestry Commission parks found in Scotland. There are 300 square miles of forest trails, cycling paths and plenty of scenic viewpoints for a leisurely picnic. The forest is home to herds of wild goats and the majestic Red Deer- the spiritual animal of Scotland. You can also spot the elusive pine marten if you are lucky.
Galloway Forest Park was the first place in the UK to be granted the Dark Sky Park status. As the name suggests, it's affected by minimal artificial light pollution at nightfall, thus creating the ideal circumstances for stargazing and astronomy observatory. It's known as one of the best locations in the UK to observe the ethereal Aurora Borealis- the Northern lights.
Often misinformed as the Capital of Scotland, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third most populous in the UK. The city developed from small fishing communities around the River Clyde to the largest seaport in Britain. Despite its size and economic influence, Glasgow has paid particular attention to retaining its historical influences. This is evident in the many beautiful Gothic architectures in the city, most notably the Mitchell Library which has grown to be one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe. There are plenty of art, music and theatre performances available and no shortage of fine cuisine.
Situated on Loch Tummel and close to the major transport network, Pitlochry is one of the more well-known towns in Scottish Lowlands. The town is largely unchanged from its Victorian heritage and remains a popular tourist attraction til this day. The town is conveniently located to access Schiehallion, Ben Vrackie and other mountains in the area. If you have an interest in wildlife, the famous Pitlochry Salmon Ladder is not to be missed.
The Scottish Highlands is often imagined as a sparsely populated area of barren land with herds of roaming deer and bitterly chilly weather. Well, you're not far wrong.
Most of the Highlands' landscape is natural and unspoiled; it's known for its dramatic mountain ranges, particularly Ben Nevis- the highest mountain in the UK at a staggering 1,345m above sea level. Without a campervan, it's difficult to appreciate the charming wilderness that is the Scottish Highlands fully.
Cairngorms National Park
Although only partially in the official Highlands region, no guide to the Highlands is complete without a mention for the largest National Park in the UK. At almost double the size area of the Lake District National Park, the Cairngorms landscape is unspoiled moorland abundance with wildlife and attractions. Much like the mountainous Lake District, the Cairngorms receives a good amount of snow in the winter seasons. Aviemore, the largest town in the Cairngorms borders, is famous for being a ski resort.
One can hardly mention Scotland and not mention the most famous mystery of all time- the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately named as Nessie. Since the first reported sighting in 1933, the world became fascinated with the potential existence of a mysterious aquatic beast in the most famous loch of Scotland. There is a Nessie Museum which showcases "evidence" of Nessie, artist's sketches and the past efforts in locating it. Loch Ness itself offers an ideal location for a scenic walk and appreciating the natural environment.
The Western Isles
Collectively referred to as the Outer Hebrides, the Western Isles is a range of islands to the west of the Highlands. Detached from the mainland, it's only accessible by sea or air. Most of the landscape on the island is protected area, including the surrounding water. Due to the few human population, wildlife has thrived on the island, with many waders making the islands their main breeding and wintering grounds. It's an accessible location to spot the majestic Golden Eagles and the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, our largest bird of prey in the UK, with a wingspan of up to 2.5m.
England's only other land neighbour, Wales is always known for their stunning scenery, confusing language and shepherding heritage. Following the characteristics of the Western British coast, the Welsh landscape is mountainous, creating dramatic landscapes. Despite being the smallest in size, it is the country in Britain with the most National Park coverage, with 3 National Parks covering a fifth of Welsh land.
Snowdonia National Park
The National Park is home to the highest peak in Wales- Mt. Snowdon. It's the most accessible and busiest mountain in Britain, with a passenger railway to access the summit. There is a range of facilities at the summit, including a restaurant and accommodation outlets. From the summit of Snowdon, you can enjoy a full view over the Isle of Anglesey and the Irish Sea. The area is well-known for an abundance of rare fauna and flora, as well as its slate mining heritage.
Pembrokeshire is renowned as one of the most beautiful locations in Wales, commanding views over the Bristol Channel. Most of its coastline is designated as one of the three National Parks in the country. It also takes the crown for being the National Park in the UK with the longest coastline- 30% more than all the others added together. There are various spectacular seaside towns, including Haverfordwest, Tenby and Pembroke. The inlet beaches below the dramatic cliff line are ideal for spotting grey and harbour seals.
The last of Wale's three National Parks, the Brecon Beacons, spans across most of the South Wales region, bordering the English-Wales border. It's proximity to the densely populated Welsh cities Swansea and Cardiff means that it's easily accessible via the major transport infrastructure. It's ideal for a weekend to get away to recharge from the hustle and bustle of modern life. You will find no end of things to see and do in the area, from outdoor climbing to navigating the complex limestone cave systems.
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