Image: Love2Stay Touring Caravan site in Shropshire.
As a caravan owner, you are part of the caravanning revolution in the UK. A survey of 2,000 Brits conducted by One Poll found that over a quarter have now owned a touring caravan or rented a motorhome, with 78 per cent choosing to stay in the UK for their caravan holidays. Meanwhile, one million more caravan journeys per year are expected to be taken by the year 2030, according to a study undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Leaving the stats aside, what this suggests on the ground is that caravan sites are being used more frequently and at different times of the year. The summer is no longer the only realistic time to take a caravan staycation; we are switching onto the refreshing change which Christmas caravan breaks are offering during the festive season, while more sophisticated on-site and in-vehicle heating options mean cold weather is no longer a problem.
Long stay caravan pitches
Caravanning is now an all-year-round activity, and the number of sites now open 365 days a year is a testament to the change. In this article, we look at the different features of caravanning in the four seasons, enjoy some expert insight on how caravan holidays have become a year-round option, and provide you with some tips for taking caravan breaks out of peak season. Enjoy!
Season by season: What you can expect from caravan sites
If you haven’t experienced caravanning throughout the year, ‘all year rounders’ can tell you that each season has its own distinctive feel. In this section, we paint a picture of what caravan park life is like over 12 months, starting with the most popular season of all:
Image: Love2Stay touring caravan site beach lagoon
The traditional peak season for caravan holidays, summer on the caravan site feels very much like the centre of the universe. This is the place to be, and the number of fellow campers you are likely to encounter underlines the fact. Busy, happy, at times boisterous in a very good-natured way; a caravan park summer is made all the more pleasurable by the heavenly weather we are treated within the UK.
Late into the long evenings, there never seems to be an excuse for heading indoors. And the social element you can enjoy during the summer is unbeatable. Families forge friendships and couples enjoy a ‘honeymoon period’, whether or not they have just got hitched! For many, the worst thing about summer caravanning is when the season ends.
Image: Natural swimming pool at Love2Stay Caravan touring site
Summer certainly has its fair share of fans, but in the caravanning community, so does autumn. These are the days when the crowds disperse, and there is a little more tranquillity to be found on caravan sites across the country. Admittedly, the clouds might have started to gather, and the forbidding chill hints at the winter to come, but for those who stand their ground on Britain’s caravan parks, the feeling of staying in their favourite place outweighs any desire to head home. A variety of heating options – both in-vehicle and on-site – helps too.
If you are considering a trip out of high season, autumn might be a good test to see if you can make it through the winter!
Winter caravanning has been given a new lease of life thanks to the wholesale series of enhancements which have been implemented in caravan parks across the UK. Being cold and miserable simply isn’t an option at the vast majority of sites, giving holidaymakers even more reason to lock up and get away during the colder months.
Of course, winter caravanning has its very own charms. Not least Christmas and New Year, which engender a unique community spirit among campers on site, as well as a healthy competitive streak when it comes to decorations! Once you get used to wrapping up warm outside, master your caravan heating system, and remember how good mulled wine tastes – you might realise that the UK countryside is just as beautiful in the winter.
Image: Assault course at Love2Stay touring caravan site
If you are a caravan owner who will jump behind the wheel given the slightest hint of sunshine, you will find that you are not alone. Once you arrive at your site of choice, you are greeted atmosphere of optimism. Exchange knowing glances with fellow campers as you cherish the outdoor life and pity those still toiling away indoors.
For those who value the outdoor activities which accompany caravanning, now is the time to dust off your kite, remove the mud from your trail bike, and give your walking boots a scrub. Spring is here and there is no better way to experience the upwards shift in temperatures than doing what you love. If you fall into this category, ensure you pick a site which offers activities aplenty, such as the mountain biking, golf, assault course and yoga you can enjoy while at Love2Stay.
The inside track from the Caravan and Motorhome Club
The Caravan and Motorhome Club has over 3,000 caravan sites and comprises over one million members. Harvey Alexander is the organisation’s Director of Marketing, and he spoke to Love2Stay about the enlargement of the caravan calendar.
Harvey said: “Touring holidays are hugely enjoyable as a year-round leisure pursuit. The Caravan and Motorhome Club have seen a real increase in its million members using its locations in the UK and Europe all year round. This can be attributed to several factors; modern leisure vehicles are much better suited to providing a very comfortable experience in all seasons. Sites are also incredibly well equipped to provide the best facilities for members throughout the year - we are always upgrading and adding to what we offer; in fact this year alone we will have spent some 13 million upgrading our site network to offer wifi on every single site, plus enhanced products and services, hard standings, waste points etc.”
Tips for staying in caravan sites open all year round
It’s time to get practical. While caravanning in the summer requires a kit list which will be familiar to many, caravan breaks during colder climes present requirements all of their own. So here are some tips which could help you to prepare for caravanning all year round.
- Watch your hoses! – the hoses for waste and fresh water provided on ‘super pitches’ are great, but if they fall short in the quality stakes, they are liable to freeze or split in cold weather. Make sure you keep them insulated. If you have any worries, just disconnect them.
- Carry the can – all it needs is a hefty blanket of snow, and depending on the location of your caravan site, it might be very tricky to reach your local amenities for supplies. For this reason, it makes sense to come stocked up with a few of Heinz’s 57 varieties. Canned food can be your saviour in the case of an emergency.
- Sacrifice summery items – the barbecue might seem like an inseparable piece of kit for many caravanners, but it is unlikely you will need it much in the winter, although a barbecued Christmas dinner can be a nice option. For items such as this, and garden furniture which won’t get an airing, you can save yourself valuable space by leaving it at home.
- Take an electric blanket – we all know our own caravans, and some are better than others. If you have any doubts as to whether your heating system can keep you as warm as you’d like at night, an electric blanket can do a brilliant job of aiding the task.
- Avoid toilet freeze – nobody wants a frozen loo, so pick cleaning fluid which works effectively in a wide range of temperatures. Generally, blue liquid tends to do the job in the winter time.
- Top up your water – if temperatures are heading below freezing, it is imperative to top up your water supply as much as possible. Not only is this generally good caravanning practice, but you also safeguard your water supply in the scenario that a site’s pipes freeze up.
Nestled in the beautiful Shropshire hills near the Welsh border, Love2Stay offers ample amenities and fully supplied pitches through 12 months of the year.