WHAT HAVE CARAVANNERS ever done for Britain? Plenty! If anyone challenges you about your slow tow, tell them that caravanners helped to boost tourism in the UK by £1.9 billion in 2011 alone!


We did this by buying gifts, visiting local attractions, eating out, buying local food and filling up with fuel, reports The Caravan Club, which has produced a handy infographic, below. Yes, that’s right, when we roll into an area we bring amazing benefits to rural communities, seaside resorts, villages and towns throughout Britain. 


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In our September issue photographer Tim Andrew captured the diverse nature of camping in Britain today


Caravan industry is worth £6 billion to UK economy

If you look at the entire caravan industry, including caravan manufacturing, that contributes a staggering £6 billion to the British economy every year and employs 115,000 people.


Practical Caravan magazine is proud to play its part in all this, by celebrating the caravanning lifestyle and demystifying the technical side of owning a caravan and buying a tow car to match it. While the clubs have their own network of excellent sites, we enjoy visiting some of the many beautiful independent campsites around Britain as well. 


So we should all hold our heads high and be proud of our contribution to Britain’s economic recovery. 


The Caravan Club’s 2014 bookings are up

The Caravan Club collected these impressive figures and added that when the Club opened its online bookings for the 2014 season in the first week of December, there were 55,000 pitches reserved on the first day alone. 


Our website Caravan Sitefinder also features many independent privately owned campsites of all types – and there really is a camping style for everyone.


What’s your camping style?

Sporty types, especially families with active teenagers, might like to choose all-singing-and-dancing sites with tennis courts, swimming pools, mini-golf, table tennis, clubhouses, bars and family entertainment. 


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Norfolk offers many good campsites within reach of Great Yarmouth beach  Photo: Visit Norfolk


Family camping holidays

If you have children of any age you’ll be looking for an affordable holiday with plenty to keep the children occupied. That’s where family holiday parks really tick all the boxes. Sports, kids’ clubs, swimming, children’s play areas, a sweet shop, family entertainment and sheaves of leaflets with discount vouchers for the local zoo, theme park or donkey rides… British holiday park staff are full of bright ideas to help you have a great time with them. Peaceful? Maybe not, but you won’t be bored! Browse family holiday parks.


Fishing and camping

Fishing is Britain’s most popular pastime, so it’s no surprise that many campsites offer fishing lakes, ponds, rivers or information about local sea fishing trips and boat hire.


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Dogs love camping holidays of all types! 


It’s a dog-friendly holiday

Hotel holidays are a problem for anyone with pets – who wants to pay out to abandon their dog or cat in the local kennels? Caravanning offers the perfect solution. It’s the one type of holiday where pets are more than welcome. Some campsites even provide dog showers, water bowls and dog walking areas for our four-legged friends. Browse dog-friendly campsites on Caravan Sitefinder. 


Adult-only sites

Couples might prefer the peace and quiet of an adult-only site, some of which offer a cafe or restaurant on-site. Browse adult-only holiday parks and campsites. 


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Readers recommend their favourite campsites near the sea


Beach holidays 

Plenty of campsites have sprung up right next to the beaches of Britain, too, so these are ideal for bucket-and-spade family holidays and surf trips alike. Browse for beach campsites.


Not keen to tow?

Holiday lodges and static holiday caravans are available to buy as well as rent and they tend to be on parks that go the extra mile to please their guests. If they’re not set in a stunning location, the park is likely to have been landscaped to ensure that you’ll wake up to a wonderful view. 


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Poston Mill Park in Herefordshire is one of many campsites offering seasonal pitches. Photo: Tim Andrew


Your holiday home: seasonal pitches

Many campsites now offer seasonal pitches. For an annual fee you can leave your caravan there all year and just turn up whenever you like. Some people arrange to rent a seasonal pitch on their favourite campsite then buy a new caravan and get it delivered straight to their pitch! This is how you can go caravanning without any towing, storage or security issues. It’s an affordable way to have your own special place in the country that you can share with family and close friends. Browse campsites with seasonal pitches.

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Go glamping 

If you or your partner are new to camping and caravanning, it can be fun to start with a spot of glamping. Many campsites now offer Scandinavian wooden camping pods, or tipis (teepees), shepherds’ huts, gypsy caravans and Vintage caravans. Browse campsites with camping pods. 


Holiday hotshots

With these hire options available, caravanning couldn’t be easier or more comfortable and you’ll want to take a camera to capture your most stylish moments for posterity. (Don’t forget – email your caravan holiday photos to [email protected] and you might be in Practical Caravan magazine, too!) 


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Vintage style is popular in all its forms


Make it a Vintage Summer 

For our September issue Practical Caravan‘s Clare Kelly and colleague Bryony Symes hired a Vintage Abbey Durham caravan from Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park on the Isle of Wight, decked out in chintz and bunting. It made an unusual break and they really enjoyed dressing up in 1950s-style dresses, hair and make-up, as much as exploring the island. 


Natural style and comfy feet

Many women whose working day starts with hair straighteners and make-up love to get away from it all and enjoy the sun, sea, sand, countryside and total freedom of a carefree caravan holiday.


Many men are fans of the natural, relaxed outdoor look, too. If you spend your working life suited and booted, confined to an office, what bliss it is to wander round in flip-flops or trainers and shorts for a change!


Make memories by firelight

Throw in a beach barbecue or camp fire and you’ll discover a camping holiday with the widest possible appeal for all ages.


Holidays for disabled people

If you buy your own caravan or motorhome you can fit it out to suit your needs exactly – and that’s a big help if one of your party has a disability. That’s why caravanning is such a brilliant choice if you have special equipment to carry around, or if you just need your own washroom and toilet available at all times. Luckily many campsites are also wheelchair-friendly, offer disabled and family washrooms and other helpful facilities. Browse campsites for disabled people. 


More people are into caravanning

Whether it’s the recession or a trend towards healthy outdoor activities, or a touch of both, there’s been a 30 per cent rise in people searching for ‘caravanning’ through google search engine, even between May 2012 and May 2013. 


Caravan Club sites

Caravan Club membership has soared from 250,000 in 1982 to 365,000 in 2013. The Club sites charge a pitch price of around £22 per night for a family of four, making caravanning a relatively cheap and accessible holiday for all of us. 


The Caravan Club has put even more facts and figures on camping in Britain into a fun ‘infographic’, see below. Enjoy!


Caravanning: A mainstay of UK tourism

Caravanning: A mainstay of UK tourism – An infographic by the team at The Caravan Club


Kate Taylor

Practical Caravan

11 December, 2013


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