Top 10 Tips for VW Campervan Travel in the UK
The UK certainly is a phenomenal place to take a trip in a VW Campervan, here I will share with you my Top 10 VW Campervan tips to make the most out of your time.
We are from a small village in Shropshire, which is in the heart of England. Blessed with beautiful Hobbiton-like countryside in the Shire, we have wonderful experiences on our doorstep.
The whole of UK though is breath-taking, and I recommend reading our top tips to making a trip here. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are the four countries that make up the UK and all offer incredibly wonderful and unique experiences.
Top 10 VW Transporter UK Travel tips
1) Tip for planning your VW Campervan trip
First of all, if you are looking to hire a VW Campervan for a stay in the UK – Take a look at our VW Campervan UK hire tips here and if you are just hiring in Scotland (for route 500) my other hire guide can be found here.
Planning a trip in a VW campervan is key. Whatever way we travel, I always like to plan. It means you can ensure campsites are available, you are heading in the right direction and you can stop off and see any interesting sights along your journey.
I am a big Lonely Planet fan so would recommend their travel guides as a starting point. You can purchase each country individually or purchase the ‘Great Britain’ guide here:
We like to check out travel itinerary ideas and start to base our trips on these. Another bonus for us, Lonely Planet has great suggestions for families with children. Of course, though, use a range of sources for your planning.
2) Tip for budgeting a VW Campervan trip in the UK
For any traveller, having a budget in place helps your planning and it can elongate your trip. I have detailed some daily examples of VW Campervan UK travel budgets These account for any food or experiences out.
Our unique experiences are all either free or unbelievably cheap as we like to ensure we get the most out of our experiences on our campervan travels.
Campervan Budget – £40 per day:
Cheaper campsites can be found in the UK for between £10 and £20 a night. Electric hook ups add slightly more to the cost.
We have visited some excellent budget campsites where the facilities have been perfect. If we are on a budget, we make sure we cook easy meals at the campervan and we ensure our excursions are more budget friendly too.
The best VW Campervan tip for keeping costs low is to travel slightly out of peak season, midweek or pick slightly more remote locations for your stays.
Mid-range – between £40 and £60 per day
The campsites you visit in some parts of the UK may be a little more in cost per night. Between £20 and £30 will get you close to a honey pot attraction such as Snowdonia or smaller towns.
You may need to use public transport, if there isn’t parking available at any experiences, and you may want to eat out more of the time so you aren’t cooking as much!
Splurge – above £60 per day
Particularly around the main cities in the UK you will spend more. A trip to London is excellent but you will camp a little further out, will use the train and underground system and food can be a little more costly in the city, especially at restaurants.
Other expensive locations such as popular coastal towns or national parks (EG Lake district) will frequently cost in excess of £40 per night in peak season (April through to September)
3) Best time of year in the UK for using a VW Campervan
The UK is a wonderfully seasonal place. Cold, snowy, and wet months are typically November to February; damp yet warm months are March to May and then September to October; and then warm and humid weather tends to fall between June and August.
To get the best out of your VW Campervan trip in the UK however my tip would be to pack for all weathers no matter the season! We have cold wet nights even in the summer months so make sure you have a thick coat and plenty of layers to hand.
Usually from March to end of October, we do as much camping in our campervan as possible. Of course, the colder months shouldn’t bother you if you have looked into our heater recommendations here.
Whatever the weather, making a trip within the UK is brilliant. We enjoy the seasonal changes that occur, so do not let the rain put you off! Who doesn’t love to listen to the rain on their van?
4) Tips for finding unique experiences in a VW Campervan
Of course, visiting London and any of the major cities is a great experience for anyone travelling to the UK, but for budding campervanners, the best tip I can give you is to hit some of the off beaten tracks.
You will see the real rich historic UK culture that brings the country to light.
Below are some of our favourite experiences for travelling to wonderfully unique places in the UK. These are very easily accessible for campervanners and provide parking whilst you are on a trip.
The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
One of the best tips for making the most out of UK travel by VW Campervan – whilst keeping to a low budget is to look at the national trust for ideas.
There are activities all around the UK for all ages. You can pay to visit sights individually or you can become a member to the Trust (Tip – the membership option sometimes works out cheaper for families).
You can use the National Trust link here for planning a trip to the Giant’s Causeway. The National Trust offers an extensive range of national beauty spots and heritage sites to visit across the UK.
The Giant’s Causeway car park is accessible at the visitor centre where you take a trail to visit the causeway. You can visit the stones for free BUT the car park is reserved for those purchasing tickets for the visitor centre.
The Blue Trail is the quickest route down from the Visitor Centre along the cliff tops. This takes you to the stones, however, the Green Trail is buggy friendly and wheelchair accessible.
This path gives you views from above the stones so you would not walk to them unless you take another route down which is not accessible for all.
It is wonderful space to visit with incredibly interesting stories to how the stones were formed. Our little one enjoyed the story of the Giants and it really is magical tale.
Battlefield of Culloden and visiting Clava Cairns, near Inverness in Scotland;
Any Outlander fan will appreciate the breath-taking storyline of Claire, a lady who travels unknowingly over 200 years into the past in Scotland, where she meets Jamie Fraser. Claire travels through the Standing Stones at the mystical place of Craigh Na Dun.
Standing Stones are a big part of Scotland’s heritage. They date back to prehistoric times and are just simply spectacular to view. There are many sites dotted all over Scotland, however, the nearest to the battlefield of Culloden is the site of Clava Cairns.
The battlefield is located a mere 5-minute drive from the Standing Stones. In the TV series Outlander, the battle scene located at Culloden is a very sombre moment. It marks the Jacobite rising and was one of the most brutal battles in Scottish history.
Our experience visiting these sites was exceptional. Both places and quite accessible as both are on level ground. There are pathways at the Battlefield. Carparks were closely located to each site too.
The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company, Worcestershire in England;
Please use Confetti Direct for planning your trip to the site.
The flower field itself is only open for one week per year, so get planning a trip to the centre of England carefully! The fields are simply spectacular. You purchase tickets over on the website and can spend a few hours here.
The carpark is located close to the fields and the site offers a small café and seating areas. Seeing such beautiful flowers in the English Summer is so wonderful! Our little one enjoyed running in between the delphiniums and sunflowers.
Why not head for an Afternoon Tea afterwards in nearby Worcester or Pershore to end an unbelievably beautiful day out.
The great outdoors in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales
Please use Zipworld to help plan a trip.
I have chosen to share the fantastic experiences at Zip World in Betws-y-Coed as they are reasonably priced and a lot of fun! Parking on the sight is very easily accessible and some experiences are suitable for younger children too.
A particular favourite of mine was the Fforest Coaster, a trail of twists and turns through the forest on a gravity pulled roller coaster. So much fun!
Zip World offers other experiences in North Wales so check those out too. These may be better suited to older children and couples though.
We stayed in Anglesey and near to Llandudno so check out the campsite reviews here LINK The campsites are not too far of a drive away and you can certainly stay closer to it. We loved staying near to the coast though and enjoyed the coastal walks.
5) Tips for for choosing the right campsite for your VW Campervan
This all depends on how and who you travel with. We may have chosen a campsite more suitable to couples years ago, but now with our children and dogs, we like to ensure we have a play park on site and some easy walks nearby.
Research the site, check out the surrounding area and if there any experiences near that you would like to visit. One campsite we stayed at in Anglesey HERE was amazing for our dogs and children.
One of the best VW Campervan tips in the UK is to bear in mind that campsites have a wide variation of rules and can be quite strict. Some don’t allow groups as they are more family biased.
Others have restrictions on campfires, dogs, types of vehicles and so on. Some limit the size of your pitch and others limit the amount of time you have to book for. During peak weekends some insist on minimum stays (Usually 3 nights or more).
We were once turned away from a campsite in Llangollen that only allows campervans with windows down both sides…!
Some parts of the UK allow wild camping, do your research carefully to make sure you abide by the rules. Read my guide on Scotland campervan trips for more information.
6) Tips for packing your VW campervan
One of my favourite (yet challenging) tips for UK travel by VW Campervan is to pack light! Pack what you need but ensure you have plenty too. A range of layers and clothes for a sudden change to our seasonal weathers, particularly.
I have shared our check list below:
- Clothes with warm, cold and wet selection
- Toiletries – We have little travel bottles for the shower gel/shampoo
- Food and drink. We always pack none refrigerated items at home then pick up meat/dairy close to the campsite
- Health and safety – Sun cream, Small first aid kit, phone and chargers
- Jump leads, small jack, and road side assist pack (triangle and high visibility jacket)… Always under the front seat! This is a VW T4 owners natural instinct kicking in
- Water, Cooking utensils (we have a small travel pack with cutlery, plates, cups like this)
- Bedding – Our rock and roll is a bit hard so we have a travel mattress topper plus duvet and pillows
- Drive away awning if we are staying somewhere for more than 2 nights. If not, we don’t bother.
- Entertainment for inside and out.
- Campsite electric hook up power lead (suitable for uk campsites)
For our little ones, we must make sure they have plenty of clothes with a range of thicknesses too. The same goes for essential foods and necessities.
We enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the mornings so making sure we are stocked up with a few things for a quick breakfast is important.
7) Take your time when travelling by VW Campervan!
Don’t rush your trip, the drive is all part of the experience! Don’t rush from place to place, build in lots of stops which will give you more opportunities to stumble upon hidden UK gems and if you are following a coast line, you may find your own private beach for the morning!
I am one of those people who likes to be up early and see as much as physically possible when I travel. Although, a great VW Campervan tip for a trip in the UK is to take your time and travel slowly.
Be more Hygge and enjoy the tranquillity of sitting at the beach; roam and amble between the streets in a small village; enjoy some wonderful street food in the UK.
Take every moment in and enjoy it! Careful planning will ensure you are able to take it slow without worrying about not seeing everything.
8) Try new food and local beverages, don’t be afraid of the local delicacies
The UK offers a range of delicious foods!. Typically, these are warming and hearty dishes although a personal favourite of mine is listed below and typically served cold and enjoyed on a warm summer’s day.
Fish, chips and mushy peas – best served with a sprinkle of salt and lots and lots of vinegar. A traditional fish and chips meal at the Welsh Coast always sorts the tastebuds out! Absolutely delicious!
Traditional Afternoon Tea – make sure you try a range of English teas with the meal. A lovely café in Bridgnorth, called the Winding House Tea Rooms, offers an incredible range of green, black, herbal and fruit teas. A typical English Breakfast
Tea is a firm favourite of mine but do not forget to sample the other teas too. Finger sandwiches; savoury quiches and pies; and delicious cakes and sweets make up a perfect afternoon tea.
Roast Dinners – a big tradition is this classic warming, Sunday dinner. Typically served with a roast meat, potatoes, vegetables stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. It is a firm favourite in this house and the best part is you can get hold of a great roast dinner in most pubs and venues in the UK. Booking in advance for a Sunday is especially important.
This is up there with my favourite VW Campervan travel tips – finally, if you like your ales, you will be pleased to know that there are almost 2000 micro breweries in the UK! Every country has at least one. Don’t be afraid to try the local beer (and cider if that’s your thing).
9) Take time out
Something I think everyone forgets to do, is to switch off. Ensure you take time out with the people you travel with. Enjoy your experiences and take everything in.
The UK is an incredibly diverse country with a range of excellent experiences on offer. We do take our phones for photos and for communication, but we do try to leave other technology at home.
We bring toys and books with us for our little ones and ensure we get outside as much as possible. Being outdoors in the UK is incredibly humbling.
10) Keep your trip simple
Keep the planning simple. You will not be able to see and do everything in the UK in one trip. Choose an area to visit and plan the trip carefully.
We tend to make lots of long weekend trips in our campervan which helps to reduce the driving time so we are not travelling too far for only a few days.
Wales and most of England is quite accessible for us from Shropshire. But for further afield trips, Southern England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, we ensure we take a longer period to be able to enjoy the area without feeling rushed off our feet.
I hope you enjoyed this article on my top 10 tips for a VW campervan trip in the UK.
If you have visited any unique places in the UK, we want to hear about them! Please leave any comments below and do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter! Thank you for reading!
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