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Motorhome trip South West England

4 places in South West England to put on your motorhome travel bucket list!

Anyone who thinks of England most likely thinks of rain. This is only logical, as this part of the United Kingdom has had this reputation for a very long time. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, England is the driest region of the UK and in some southern places the climate even corresponds to that on the French Riviera. Summer in the south-west of England, in particular, resembles a summer on the Mediterranean coast, with warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine hours and wonderfully cooling seawater. With stunning nature reserves, endless walking opportunities and the cutest historic villages too, South West England should be on your bucket list. In this article, find out which four places you definitely shouldn't skip. So: what are you waiting for?

Before you leave:

Good preparation is half the battle and the same goes for a motorhome trip to the UK. Thus, there are a few things to consider before departure.

If you only want to visit the south of England, the ferry to Dover is the most recommended. Several ferries depart daily from Dunkirk and Calais, taking you to Dover in two hours. Because of the one-hour time difference, when you arrive it will seem like you've only been on the road for an hour! Another option is to take the train through the Channel Tunnel. This is often faster, although the difference in travel time is usually not very big. Since you will be travelling on the train with your motorhome, this is also often a more expensive alternative than the ferry. The train through the Channel Tunnel arrives in Folkestone, near Dover. From here, you will drive in about five hours to the area that covers south-west England. 

As the UK has not been a member of the European Union since 2020, you must have a passport to enter the country. An ID card only is no longer enough! There are also special rules for bringing pets, should your faithful four-legged furry friend join you on your motorhome trip.

Naturally, it is also important to consider the weather. Although the southern English climate is surprisingly Mediterranean, it can also change at any time. It is therefore useful to bring extra warm clothes and a raincoat for when the sun does not show itself as much.

Dorset and the Jurassic Coast

The county of Dorset is a region where young and old can have fun. Ideal if you're out and about with the kids! For example, the seaside town of Weymouth, with its many colourful houses and interesting architecture, is a very nice place for an afternoon by the sea. There are several beach huts on the sandy beach and you can take a cooling dip in the sea in warm weather, or visit the SEA LIFE Centre, where you will discover more of the underwater world. Weymouth is halfway along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed coastline that is also Dorset's main attraction. Its sheer cliffs, formed by rock layers piled up over 180 million years, set the Jurassic Coast apart from the 'average' coastline. There is plenty to see and experience! For instance, the Old Harry Rocks, three white limestone cliffs created by coastal erosion, form both the easternmost tip of the Jurassic Coast and the starting point of the South West Coast Path. This 1,000-kilometre footpath covers England's entire south-western coastline and takes you past the most spectacular viewpoints. Also formed by erosion is Lulworth Cove, which with its unique shape and clear blue waters is a feast for the eyes. From here, walk to the Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch created by waves that washed against the weathering cliffs. For a great picture of this natural phenomenon, first walk up to the higher cliffs before descending to the beach. You can take a nice long walk on the almost 30-kilometre-long pebbly Chesil Beach. This beach was also formed by the effects of the sea. In short: no shortage of unusual natural phenomena in Dorset! 

In the surroundings of Dorset, you stay overnight at motorhome stopover Pub The Thimble Inn in Piddlehinton.

Jurassic coast motorhome campervan

- The Durdle Door is a must-see during your motorhome trip through south-west England!

Dartmoor National Park

Are you looking for wooded hills and vast landscapes? Then you need to head to Dartmoor National Park! This rugged national park has plenty of heathland, as well as rich flora and fauna and even some myths and legends. So for an interesting day in nature, this is definitely the place to be! Walk across ancient bridges, such as the 15th-century Newbridge, feast your eyes on the vast green hills and stroll through the cosy villages that this area is rich in. The national park is famous for its Dart Moor ponies, which still live here in the wild, but also for its cows and sheep. So be sure not to drive too fast, as these animals do know the art of relaxation and are in absolutely no hurry to cross the road. For an English-style stopover, you will find several cafés and tearooms in the town of Moretonhampstead. Here you will enjoy scones, cream tea and, of course, classic English hospitality. For a challenging walk to a beautiful viewpoint, climb Haytor Rocks. A tor is famous for the stones standing loose in the landscape. At the top of Haytor, you'll be able to overlook the stunning surrounding area. 

Near Dartmoor National Park, stay overnight at motorhome stopovers Dartmouth Park & Ride in Dartmouth or Lee Mill Services in Ivybridge.

Dartmoor National Park motorhome campervan

- Feast your eyes on the vast green hills of Dartmoor National Park!

Cornwall

In the far south-west of England lies the county of Cornwall. With a perfect balance of cultural history and natural beauty, this region is ideal for motorhome owners who love both. For example, you can visit the pristine Bodmin Moor nature reserve, known for its marshy moors with unique rock formations and stones rising out of the landscape. For beautiful coastal walks, drive to Land's End, the westernmost point of the peninsula jutting out into The English Channel and the Celtic Sea. The tourist centre is the starting point of several coastal walks, for example to the beautiful Nanjizal Beach. The southernmost tip of the UK, and therefore England, is at Lizard Point, where you can watch a beautiful sunset over the clear blue water. In the gardens of The Eden Project, you will find thousands of plant species growing and living in different climate zones. Located in architectural greenhouses, in the shapes of bubbles and domes, this is a fun interactive attraction for young and old alike! 

Staying overnight in Cornwall is possible at several places, such as at Sydney Cove Car Park in Praa Sands, at Willow Car & Coach Park in Mevagissey or in St Austell at motorhome stopover Goss Moor Touring.

Cornwall motorhome campervan

- Take a walk on the beach and enjoy a beautiful sunset!

Cotswolds and historical towns

For most motorhome owners, England will immediately bring to mind the lovely limestone cottages found amid the hills of the Cotswolds. Designated as the UK's largest area of 'outstanding natural beauty', this region certainly deserves a place on your England bucket list. For example, visit the historic villages of Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway and Chipping Campden, all picturesque in their own way. Stroll the streets, take in the extraordinary architecture and settle down in one of the cosy pubs to enjoy a pint of beer. The hills surrounding the idyllic villages are perfect for lovely walks. Several walking routes have been mapped out that take you through the area, for instance around the Broadway Tower or from Stanton to Snowshill. Especially early in the morning, when the morning dew still hangs above the grass and the sun slowly rises from behind the hills, there is a magical atmosphere in the Cotswolds. Would you rather spend a day in the city? That's possible, as the Cotswolds is home to three places that bear the official title of 'city' as well as being great fun to visit: the hilly spa city of Bath, the historical university city of Oxford and the vibrant art city of Bristol. In each of these cities, you can enjoy the museums and parks, but most of all, just walk around and enjoy English life. You certainly won't be disappointed! 

In the Cotswolds, park your motorhome in Cirencester at motorhome stopovers The Thames Head Inn or The Crown Inn, or in Abingdon at Rye Farm Pay & Display car park.

Cotswolds motorhome campervan

- Admire the quintessential English villages found in Cotswolds!

So, quickly on the road to the south-west of England! Did you already know that you can leave a review if you have stayed overnight at any of the above motorhome stopovers? On Camperstop.com or via the Camperstop-App, you can easily share your experience, so that other motorhome owners know what to expect from motorhome stopovers. Also, don't forget to take pictures of the motorhome stopovers and add them too!

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