What is it about France that gives it such a hold over British holidaymakers? Group Editor Alastair Clements thinks it’s far more than just the fact that you can hop across the English Channel so easily. “France has a unique draw, blending magical landscapes with unique culture, and each region has its own distinctive character – to the extent that no two visits are ever quite the same,” he says.
We’re proud to present the new June issue of Practical Caravan – which includes our 28-page France special. “We’ve tried to bring you a little bit of everything, from sun, sea and sand to some stunning villages, but in particular we’ve been concentrating on places that are ideal for a short break… in areas that won’t break the bank for caravanners on a budget,” says Alastair.
Our special guide to France
First we explore the best ways to see Brittany on a budget and enjoy Champagne-style touring for lemonade money! Plus we find hidden gems in undiscovered Normandy, staying on the Contention Peninsula.
We go touring through the unspoilt French countryside, selecting our favourites from Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages of France). Join us on a journey of discovery, with timeless views of ancient architecture, hilltop fortresses and quaint cafés.
We explore a paradise isle off France’s west coast, the scenic Île d’Oleron – a magnet for artists and artisans. Joe and Elaine Ormerod cross one of the longest bridges in France, then take to their bikes and explore sand dunes dotted with the oyster-catchers’ colourful beach huts.
We ask 13 readers who are frequent visitors to share their top tips for caravan holidays in France. Our Francophiles name their favourite destinations, from Chamonix in the Alps, to Avignon and the Camargue in the south. Don’t miss their great ideas for the best caravan breaks in France, whatever your budget.
If you’re looking for perfect sandy beaches in Britain, head for Pembrokeshire and the south-west coast of Wales. In the second of our new County counsel series, we find 10 terrific reasons to visit Pembrokeshire. Whether you favour a vineyard tour or a food festival, visiting Manorbier Castle or the smallest city in the UK, we name 10 of the best caravan sites to choose for your seaside holidays in South Wales.
Don’t forget, you can browse through our Top 100 Sites 2016 online for more excellent campsites, recommended by readers. Take your pick of these idyllic holiday destinations throughout the UK.
Enter our new competitions
This month we’re offering you a chance to win tickets to Camperex, the caravan and motorhome show held at Stratford Racecourse from 17-19 June 2016.
Plus, how would you like win a weekend caravan break in Kent? The UK Summer Motorhome & Caravan Show will take place at the Kent Event Centre in Maidstone from 4-5 June 2016. We have five weekend camping packages, worth £45 each, to give away for this bustling event.
You’re making magical memories with every caravan holiday you enjoy with your loved ones, so why not have somewhere to record the highlights and best photos? We’re giving away a caravan journal, designed by caravanners and featuring some amusing caravan-themed cartoons to make you smile. Just add your own funny anecdotes, comments and pictures!
For a chance to scoop these great prizes, enter our new competitions online before midnight on 18 May 2016. Good luck!
Me and my classic Castleton caravan
Meet Graham and June Perry, whose love of vintage caravans has led them to seek out a modern classic. Andy Jenkinson finds out more about how the couple found a 1995 Castleton HL Roadster and restored it to its former glory.
Rockabilly tourer on test
We’ve new caravan reviews for you this month too, of course. If you’re into the 1950s Rockabilly scene and Americana, you might like to see our R-pod RP-176 review. This new and unusual little tourer is a winner in the US, and it’s full of surprises inside. Taking its cue from RVs, it features a slide-out and more innovations. Check out Andy Jenkinson’s review see if this American import floats your boat.
Travel light with a compact Coachman
Nigel Hutson falls for the charms of a classy new compact tourer for couples, the 2016 Coachman Vision 380. Boasting long twin sofas that form single beds or a giant double, this contemporary caravan is built using clever Coachman’s new construction methods. Don’t miss our review.
Explore a new Elddis
For more than £20,000 we are expecting a lot of life’s luxuries in the 2016 Elddis Affinity 530. Part of the Explorer Group, Elddis has delivered décor reminiscent of a deluxe hotel suite – so could this be the upmarket tourer that you’ve always wanted? Read our review in the new June issue to find out more!
Buying used caravans
This month we compare terrific end-washroom four-berth caravans for sale for up to £10,500. Head-to-head are the 2010 Bailey Ranger GT60 510/5 S6 versus the 2010 Lunar Quasar 524. We compare the two in detail.
Read our used caravan buyer’s guide to the 2008 Lunar Ariva in the new June issue if you’re looking for two-berth caravans for less than £8000. Lightweight vans are always in demand on the used caravan market, and the Ariva is a real star turn.
Loungers on test
Make sure you buy good quality outdoor accessories to ensure the most relaxing holidays. We review 13 rival products in our new magazine, in our quest to find the best new sun loungers and comfortable camping chairs for caravan holidays.
Rugged new VW and Ford tow cars tested
If you’re looking for great new tow cars for sale, check out our expert’s verdict on the new Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0-litre Bi-TDI SCR 4Motion GT DSG, with its £36,505 price tag, and the new Ford Mondeo Estate Titanium 2.0 TDCi 180PS PowerShift AWD, costing £29.510.
Used Hyundai 4×4 tested
Affordable used tow cars are always in demand, so it pays to go for something unusual. Check out our 2003-2007 Hyundai Terracan review to discover why this big 4×4 failed to make a dent in the UK market when it was new, but now makes a great value used tow car.
New awnings for old, heating tips and DIY
Finally, check out our popular advice section to discover the 21st-century way to control your caravan heating.
Fed up with arriving on site only to find the wine glasses were smashed in transit? Avoid this disaster with our simple caravan DIY project – step-by-step instructions on how to protect wine glasses in transit.
Enjoy the latest issue of Practical Caravan – it’s on sale in the shops from today!
Our Francophiles name their favourite destinations, from Chamonix in the Alps, to Avignon and the Camargue in the south