Sunny Southwold, with its pier, sandy beach and multicoloured beach huts makes the perfect backdrop for our cover star this month. The Bailey Unicorn Cadiz and Vauxhall Insignia is the outfit featured in our tours of Britain’s Eastern Eden. 

If you’re planning your summer holidays, follow Alastair Clements and his family to East Anglia as they go in search of a beach holiday on Suffolk’s beautiful Heritage Coast. The children get a chance to meet a lion, giraffe and a vulture in Kessingland, while in Southwold Alastair discovers that one of our greatest authors, George Orwell, once lived in this very spot.

Using an 80-year-old book as her guide, Bryony Symes tours Suffolk’s narrow lanes to discover the charm and history of ancient villages. The timbered Tudor houses of Kersey, Long Melford and Lavenham are famously photogenic, and she discovers these and many more villages, teashops and even a stained-glass telephone box!

A long weekend break in North Norfolk leaves Jeanette Musgrave feeling enchanted by the local villages, countryside and peaceful cycling routes. She and her husband Peter enjoy a ‘brilliant day out’ at the Sandringham Flower Show, where they see steam engines, motorbike displays and a Spitfire air display. Then, to make the day complete, they spot members of the Royal Family enjoying the show, which is held in the grounds of their country house.

We select 10 excellent campsites in East Anglia, along with 10 great places to visit and things to do in Eastern England. Don’t miss the recently restored Victorian prison in Lincoln Castle, the famous mustard shop and museum in Norwich, Horsey Windpump, seal-spotting and many more tourist attractions. 

Breaking away from our Eastern theme, Nigel Hutson spends a long weekend in York, North Yorkshire. He, his wife Kay and his parents all decide to go to the famous Victorian-style Christmas Market and turn it into a short break in one of Britain’s most attractive cities. Mulled wine and seasonal food scent the air as they shop, and then Nigel and his father escape to see a Vintage steam locomotive in motion and soon find themselves in the National Railway Museum.

We’re wowed by a luxury caravan

Lucky Alastair Clements and family give the luxurious Adria Astella 613HT Amazon a full live-in test during their family holiday in Slovenia. It’s positively the most glamorous caravan we’ve seen for a while and is part of the Slovenian manufacturer’s flagship range. For 2016 it’s gained two extra berths, lighter weights and more kit, but is its beauty more than skin deep? You can read our full Astella review and verdict in the January issue.

At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve tested the Kip Shelter Plus, a micro-caravan that’s small enough for practically any car to tow. Find out what’s inside and who this back-to-basics caravan is aimed at in our new Kip Shelter Plus review.

The Lunar Delta RI impressed our judges so much at its recent launch that it won Practical Caravan‘s Tourer of the Year Award for 2016. Read our Lunar Delta RI review by Andrew Jenkinson to see what makes it such a great design.

Of course not everyone needs or wants a top-spec luxury caravan, as we discover in ‘Me and my caravan‘ this month. Join us as we meet the man who has turned his back on modern caravans and teamed a simple 1970s folding caravan with a classic Mini Van for festival weekends and weekends away. 

Finding the best used caravans for sale

In this month’s secondhand challenge we compare fixed-bed caravans you can buy for less than £11,000. Our expert finds two excellent examples of the 2012 Concordia Serenity and 2010 Elddis Rambler 18/4 SE, and debates the pros and cons of each of these pre-loved caravans for sale.

Used caravan buyer shines a spotlight on the 2006 Sterling Europa, offering advice on what to look for and what to pay when you check out used Europa caravans for sale.

Towing special

Our expert David Motton studies the latest towing technology – a range of gadgets and devices designed to make your caravan journeys safer and easier. If you find towing stressful you must read this helpful article in our January issue.

Another type of gadget that more and more drivers are considering is a dashcam. In this edition of Practical Caravan you can read James Stanbury’s 17 dashcam reviews, as he tests each one for image quality, ease of use, value for money and more.

For this month’s tow car tests we hitch up the new Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Inscription and take it to the test track to see how it performs. The Volvo costs £50,185 and is up against mighty rivals from Audi, BMW and Land Rover, so read our test to find out what our expert makes of it.

We also hitch up and test the new Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 2.0 D-4D Business Edition Plus in this edition of Practical Caravan. Costing £26,135, the Avensis comes with a five-year warranty and Toyota’s reputation for reliability. Read our Toyota Avensis review to find out more.

Used tow car buyers may well be tempted by the Audi Q5 4x4s built from 2008 to 2015. This month Russ Smith reports on the best and worst aspects of the Q5 and advises you on its towing abilities and how much you can expect to pay. 

Christmas gifts, prizes and festive fun

We pick out five essential events for festive fun in this issue, from now until New Year. And if you’re wondering what to buy for the caravanner in your life, check out our new Christmas gift guide!

Of course the very best Christmas present would be a Christmas gift subscription to Practical Caravan, and it just so happens that if you buy now you’ll save up to 53%. Click here to see the best deal from our subscriptions team and give your loved ones a gift that will bring great caravan holiday ideas, caravan and tow car reviews and practical advice all year. 

Our latest competitions offer you two great prizes. First, there’s a chance to win a bottle of the amazing MudBuster caravan cleaner, which won Practical Caravan‘s recent cleaning products test. Second, we have tickets to the Caravan and Motorhome Show at Manchester’s Event City in January. Hurry – you must enter the MudBuster prize draw and the Manchester show ticket give-away by 30 December, 2015!

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of relaxing caravan holidays. Join in the fun by picking up a copy of our January issue of Practical Caravan – in the shops now.