Our week in a VW Campervan hired from Caledonian conversions. Glasgow
We wanted to test the reality of travelling and holidaying in a campervan before thinking any more about owning one ourselves.
Caledonian conversions will convert any base vehicle to your spec. and fit exactly what you need to make your bespoke campervan. They also hire out VW campervans - ideal as a try before you buy which is where we have started.
Our van - VW T5 LWB 2015
Long wheel base was our first request so we would have as much room as possible. As standard we had a rock and roll bed in the back (for the adults) and a pop top roof giving plenty of headroom during the day and at night the bed pulls down easily for the kids (4 & 2).
It came with a gorgeous wood effect laminate/veneer interior, fridge, sink and 2x gas hobs. We took some optional extras including Sat Nav, TV/Dvd player and porta loo all of which were extremely useful; saved us getting lost, getting bored or wetting ourselves (more so the kids on the last two).
We had arranged to visit friends & family in London. The week was all about getting there in a much more relaxed way than previous trips.
So first stop 4.5 hours from Glasgow was North Wales for 2 nights at Presthaven sands. Drive was great and easily did 70 comfortably on the motorway.
First night reality;
We were really tired and too hungry to get the gas on, sort the water, put up the table and cook, so peanut butter sandwhiches all round it was. The kids were so excited it took me until 11pm to get them sleeping. Then I was worried my 2 year old would roll out of the bed above so I barely slept. I did at least get a glass of wine and attempted to watch a film (one of many attempts). Morning was fine, some cereal and a cuppa was no problem.
Next stop London Zoo
We left Wales and headed for London Zoo. Sat Nav was great, we especially liked when she would say "Stay on this road for a long time" .
So London Zoo was equally impressive and dissapionting. I'm glad we had vouchers used by exchanging tesco club card points to get in for a fraction of the cost. Zoos aren't really for me though.
Highlight was the petting zoo where the kids were feeding the goats, we were joined by David Walliams and his son. Our boy was busy telling him he wasn't feeding the goats the right way.. awkward
St Albans and Southend-on-Sea.
Had a great night out in St Albans where we booked in to a Premier Inn (Bricket Wood) so my friend could watch the kids there while we went out. I took the opportunity to get a decent bath there and even wash some clothes and hang on the heated towel rail.
Is it cheating to be in a hotel?
Maybe a shame when we've paid for the hire, however that would be our reality. The convenience of the van is also in getting from A to B comfortably on such long drives where we have arranged city breaks.
The Premier Inn was at the site of Moor mill and had a small burn full of rather fat fish waiting for passersby to pop 20p in the feeding machine and throw some food their way. The ducks were also hopeful. The area is handy for the Harry Potter studio so will likely return once the kids know who that is.
The weather improved as did the scenery. We stopped in Keswick and had a more relaxed time sightseeing and taking the kids to the park.
Even managed to cook up a couple of meals. Macaroni and a risotto. The storage space for food was great I had packed plenty of snacks and the fridge was a good size. Kept my bag of wine and a couple of beers chilled nicely.
Last stop Gretna Green
Loved it, such a nice spot to have lunch and break the journey home. Will definitely visit again. We dropped the van back off and headed home to Oban where again we have such stunning scenery it feels a shame not to have had the van. Now talking with Caledonian conversions and getting ideas for converting a base van for us. Hopefully the next blog will be in our own van, it may not be as nice as the brand new hired one but it will be a start. I like the slogans I've seen on some of these old vans e.g. "We may not get there as fast but hey we have beer in the fridge"