It’s fair to say that at GlamperRV HQ, having battled with the snow, wind and rain for too long, we are just a tad excited at the prospect of warm sunshine this week!
To celebrate this late arrival of spring we are offering a special 2 night/3 day hire for just £549*. A great opportunity to get a taste of GlamperRV although don’t be shy – you can extend your trip for just £99 per night. To book simply reply to this email with your proposed dates.
So if you are zooming off for a short break then let me share with you some of our favourite destinations, all within a couple of hours of our Buckinghamshire base.
Arrive with us at Orchard View Farm from 9.30am, where you can leave your car securely, and once you’ve had your full familiarisation set off on the short drive north. Rutland, nestled in an area of superb, rural countryside in the East Midlands, is packed with things to do from exploring the stunning wildlife around Rutland Water, to visiting one of the many stately homes, such as Belvoir Castle and Burghley House or purchasing local produce in the ancient market towns of Oakham and Uppingham.
It is the wealth of local produce from the area’s rich agricultural land that impressed Michelin inspectors last year when they selected six hostelries in the region to make their 2017 ‘Eating Out In Pubs’ guide. Topping the list are the Olive Branch at Clipsham and the Marquess of Exeter in Lyddington, closely followed by The Wheatsheaf at Greetham, Finches Arms at Hambleton, Old White Hart at Lyddington and the Jackson Stops Inn at Stretton.
Whilst many pubs don’t publicly offer overnight motorhome parking we have found that it is certainly worth asking, especially if you are booking a table for dinner and perhaps have spotted a good-sized car park on Google Maps!
If you are looking for a more rustic inn for the night then there are a couple of recommended Brit Stops pubs where you can stay over, details of which we can share with you when you book. If you prefer a more traditional stop then there is a stunning camping spot, Lyndon Top overlooking Rutland Water and ideally placed if you are keen walkers or cyclists.
If your bikes are stowed away in GlamperRV’s garage then you will want to get them out to enjoy the fabulous circular 17-mile cycle route from Oakham which goes around Rutland Water. It is mostly traffic-free on stone-surfaced paths with some sections on quiet tarmacked roads.
For those looking for something more challenging (and of course earn an excuse to sample the yummy cakes in Oakham’s classic tea rooms) you may already know about the route of the Rutland to Melton International CiCLE Race which starts from the Market Place in Oakham.
If it is the gastro pubs, fine houses or cycle routes that float your boat, we are convinced that Rutland will make for a sensational GlamperRV mini adventure. Go explore in style and comfort!
Cotswolds and Malvern Hills
From our Buckinghamshire base your first overnight pub stop, The Trout at Tadpole Bridge is only a 90 minute drive away and is a located on the banks of the River Thames to the west of Oxford. From here you will be able to explore the typically Cotswold village of Bampton, setting of ‘Downton’ in BBC series Downton Abbey and the stunning Kelmscott Manor, home to iconic artist William Morris. If you fancy a little gentle exercise walking or cycling along the Thames path is a peaceful way to spend a summer evening and will set you up for a good pub supper!
Your route will then take you North to your next pub, The Royal Oak in Gretton which with its views of the Malvern Hills, an old GWR steam train running through the bottom of the garden and play area for children there is plenty for everyone. The Winchcombe Way passes through Gretton so if you are a keen walker you will enjoy this super figure of eight trail through the stunning northern area of the Cotswolds.
Onwards into the Malvern Hills our next pub stop is the Drum and Monkey in Upton-upon Severn – a great base to explore this area of outstanding natural beauty which boasts some of the most spectacular views in the Midlands. The entire length of the Hills is open to the public and is criss-crossed with about 160km (100 miles) of bridleways and footpaths.
For those who prefer exploring on two wheels, then with steep climbs and views across Herefordshire and Worcestershire the hills are an exciting place to cycle both on road and off road. With over 56km of bridleways there are hilltops, wooded slopes and open commons to explore detailed in this useful sheet.
If you prefer a change to your pub stops and are looking to spend a few extra days exploring the region then we highly recommend Eastnor Castle Deer Park Campsite. Set overlooking Eastnor Castle at the foot of the Malvern Hills you will know you’re in the heart of the country when you open the blinds in the morning and find a young stag ambling through this 23-acre site.
There are a huge choice of places to stay courtesy of Brit Stops, Motorhome Wildcamping and Cool Camping and we know that whatever you choose you will love the comfort and style offered to you by GlamperRV.
The New Forest
The New Forest is a nirvana for family days out with endless cycle and footpaths criss-crossing this stunning 145 square mile place of ancient history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty. Originally a royal hunting preserve, the thriving working forest that you see today has survived for nearly 1,000 years. Within the forest there are over 135 Forestry Commission car parks, most accessible by motorhome and plenty of activities to suit all ages. The Forestry Commission’s guide to the area is full of useful information and maps.
As many of our readers will know by now, the beauty of GlamperRV is that you have all your facilities on board so you can overnight in some truly original locations. This month we have found a cider farm based in the heart of the New Forest that hits the mark. Located on the edge of the picturesque village of Burley, you will be able to relax amongst the apple trees and stock up with local produce in its shop and café!
A must for any visit to the New Forest is Beaulieu, an award winning family visitor attraction with over 800 years of heritage. In addition to the stunning abbey, house and gardens it is home to the National Motor Museum which through its 250+ vehicle collection tells the story of motoring on the roads and circuits of Britain, from pioneering origins to the present day.
There are a number of pubs close to Beaulieu which through our memberships of Brit Stops and Motorhome Stopover provide some convenient places to stay overnight. We have also found an idyllic camping spot nearby, Pondhead Farm. At the weekend they open up their fields, nestled in the tranquillity of 32 acres of parkland, to just 20 visitors.
If the sun is shining and temperature rising and you fancy a day on the beach we would certainly be tempted to drive down to Sandbanks, put GlamperRV on the chain ferry and head over to Studland Bay. Here you will find an un-spoilt four-mile stretch of golden, sandy beach along this glorious slice of natural coastline. There are a number of National Trust car parks here (free to members) with parking for motorhomes (dawn until dusk only).
How about a short trip to explore our stunning local region, the Chilterns.
The hardest part is deciding where to go – far enough away to make it feel like an adventure but close enough to make it a very doable weekend break during term time for those who live locally but also those venturing out of London for a weekend in our ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
So the plan is to have GlamperRV stocked up with bikes, general clobber and fine fayre on a Friday, the children collected from school and off we go to our first overnight spot, Hurley Riverside Park. Whilst not the wild camping site we so often enjoy, it is referred to as a ‘Thames-side camping paradise’ and for good reason, it commands an enviable position along a calm stretch of the Thames between Henley and Marlow. A quick tea and cake and it’s off to explore the Thames path, Hurley lock and of course the two excellent pubs in the village for an early evening pint.
Our overnight stop was partly chosen to help my triathlon training so first thing in the morning I’ll be donning my wet suit for a swim in this calm stretch of the river and enjoying the delights of open water swimming. The rest of family are unlikely to brave the fresh river conditions but will certainly join me on the cycle and run stages along the Thames path.
An active morning will set us up for a hearty picnic lunch and the open grasses by the river bank, a buzz with boats, children’s games and ramblers mark the perfect spot.
A more sedate afternoon is planned with a visit to the nearby River & Rowing Museum in Henley. As well as their three galleries dedicated to Rowing, Rivers and the history of Henley on Thames the Museum is also home to the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting and music.
Our spot for our second night is further upstream close to the riverside town of Wallingford. Brit Stops recommends a wonderful vineyard a mile out of town that welcomes Brit Stops member motorhomes. Having visited recently, it really is an idyllic spot, perfect to set up the awning and outdoor furniture and enjoy an evening meal (washed down will some of the local wine on offer).
Next morning it’s off to the Waterfront Café in Benson, a short walk away and ideal for a Sunday morning coffee reading the newspapers and watching the pleasure boats cruising by. For the children chasing the ducks will probably be their favourite game!
Then back to base to pick up our bikes, pack up a picnic and enjoy a cycling tour of the area following a superb guide produced by the Chilterns Conservation Board. There’s so much more to do in Wallingford including a trip on a steam railway and visit to the Castle and museum so if the weather isn’t on our side I know where we’ll be.
As we make our way back home, we’ll be sure to stop off in one of the best kept secrets in the Chilterns and one of the few privately owned stately homes, Stonor Park. A great opportunity for an afternoon exploring this wonderful house, home to the Stonor family for over 8 centuries and comes highly recommended by our local what’s on bible, Muddy Stilettos.
I hope that I have whet your appetite for getting out to explore in style. We look forward to hearing your plans.
*The 2 night/3 day offer is available for start dates between 17th April and 16th May 2018 with pick up from our Buckinghamshire base and is subject to availability.