As the New Year dawns, and we reflect on all we’ve achieved in the last twelve months – we’re particularly proud of our newly re-designed magazine, and the updated forums – it’s time to start thinking about where we want the next year to take us.
We asked our team and regular contributors to tell us their resolutions for 2020.
It’s not so very long ago that my visits to Scotland numbered just one, to the Isle of Bute. However, since my trip to Fort William in January a few years back – the journey was beautiful – and more recently, an autumn tour to Speyside and the Cairngorms, where the spectacular scenery just took my breath away, I have become a bit of a fan.
This year I want to visit Inverness. From here, I will be able to explore Loch Ness and the Highlands, look out for dolphins in the Moray Firth and enjoy the heritage and culture of a very cosmopolitan city.
And if time allows, I might even drive a little of the popular North Coast 500 route. There are plenty of great campsites to choose from in the area, too.
I’ve always wanted to return to the heart of the Alsace, in north-eastern France. I’ve been to Strasbourg, but never really explored the rest of the region, and in 2020 I’m hoping to make the dream come true. I love touring in France, but the combination of stunning architecture, wealth of campsites and fantastic food makes Alsace my must-see destination.
Peter and Vera Whalley
A few months ago we lost our beloved Labrador, Harry. He was a wonderful companion. He loved exploring and could sniff out the nearest boulangerie in France, pizza place in Italy or souvlaki shop in Greece. So our New Year resolution is to treat ourselves to a new Harry, or Molly!
I stopped making New Year resolutions several years ago, when I failed miserably to keep them. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve resolved to lose weight, and yet here I am still as rotund as ever. But for 2020, Kay and I are making a joint resolution, and that is to visit at least one of the following – Lancashire, Ireland and/or Versailles. Let’s hope that we can keep it this time!
For years now, I’ve been mulling over the idea of taking a trip to Santiago de Compostela. The rich history and evocative architecture of this tiny city are the perfect combination, and I could do with some Spanish sunshine!
I’ve visited northern Spain in a caravan before, several years ago, but only had a couple of days to explore the Bilbao area; so I’d love to spend time further west.
This year I hope to fulfil a long-held wish to revisit the two European sites I worked on as a camping holiday rep in the late 1980s. I passed by one of them, Camping Belchenblick in Germany’s Black Forest, a couple of years ago, but only in a car. The other, Camping Bella-Tola in the Valais in Switzerland, has so far proved just that bit too far away.
Joe and Elaine Ormerod
Our resolution is to keep touring with our grandsons! They are both growing apace, and the elder said that he didn’t thing he would be able to sleep lengthwise in the caravan next year.
No problem, we said, we can make up the double bed. But then we hit a snag – the backrests were one-piece, too long and overhung in the centre. Problem solved by Joe and the grandsons, who made a bed extension with folding legs to support it.
I must return to the North York Moors, a region I haven’t been to for some years. Places such as Whitby and Robin Hood’s bay are superb to visit. As are the villages of Goathland and Hutton-le-Hole, made famous by TV series Heartbeat. And we won’t forget the Pickering Forest off-road trail – an exciting experience in itself, testing your driving skills.
For 2020, my resolution is to get back up to Scotland. Two of my top 10 best-ever holidays have been north of the border, and I’m really determined to go there again.
As a kid, I went on a school Outward Bound trip to the Isle of Harris. It’s a long way from North Yorkshire to the Outer Hebrides on a prehistoric bus! But once we got there, I had the most amazing week in the hills above Auldearn, near Nairn, with family and friends.
Scotland is just incredible in almost every way, and if you’re a photographer, doubly so. There are great shots to be found pretty much wherever you look.
This time, I’d like to do the west coast, possibly taking in the entire North Coast 500 route. I even have a caravan-friendly route all planned out…
As a touring family, our resolution for the coming year is to make the most of the UK, which we plan to do by embarking on a series of what we are calling micro-adventures.
All too often, we tend to be focused on places far away; but in reality you don’t have to go for a long time, or indeed that far from home, to have a really great holiday experience in a caravan.
So why don’t you join us in making 2020 the year of micro-adventures and help to showcase the very best of Britain?
My resolution is to keep trying new things! I have always had a bit of an adventurous streak, and having grandchildren seems to have brought it out even more.
So when I suggested to my 10-year-old granddaughter that she might like to try out an indoor climbing wall, she naturally expceted that I would be right beside her all the way.
The wall rotates at different speeds (we chose quite slow) and tilts; which is fine when it is tilting away from you, but rather challenging on the fingernails when it tilts towards you. Such fun!
My New Year resolution is to introduce my five-year-old daughter to the delights of a caravan holiday. It needn’t be anywhere too far away, just as long as she can enjoy the experience and magic of touring, and sleeping under the stars.
Of course, there will definitely need to be a playpark fairly close by, and probably somewhere to buy chairs. But other than that, I think we should cope just fine!
My resolution is to keep touring, whatever the weather. It seems a shame to pop the van into storage at the end of the autumn, especially with gloomy thoughts of a long winter without a weekend break in new surroundings.
This year, I hitched up ‘Musky’, my Sprite Musketeer, for a brief escape to the Lake District to beat the winter blues. Waking up to the muffle silence of snow settling on the van roof, with monochrome vistas, is all part of the excitement, as long as you adhere to the advice, ‘Be prepared’!
In 2020, I want to get away more often. As the magazine’s Tow Car Editor, I seem to spend more time towing than touring, and I’d like to change that.
In particular, I want to go back to the far north of Scotland, somewhere I haven’t been with a caravan for more than 12 years. I’m not sure how I allowed that to happen! A trip north of the border is long overdue.
The Lyon family
A blank diary for 2020 represents another year’s worth of touring opportunities. Fingers crossed, a new VW California T6.1 (on our New Year’s wish list!) actually happens, allowing us to tow our little Eriba and spend even longer days out exploring. Perhaps Scandinavia next summer – could be a very exciting year!
For me, 2020 is going to be the year of mini-tours, with some long weekends away in the UK, visiting some of the small sites we have heard great things about. Cartref Caravan & Camping, near Shrewsbury, and Diamond Caravan Park in Oxfordshire are just two on a long list. Now we need to get out there and start ticking them off!
There’s high excitement in the Sykes household, as we’ve taken Practical Caravan’s tow car review advice and invested in a Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 litre for the 2020 touring season. We can’t wait to put it through its paces, as it’s both four-wheel drive and automatic – perfect for tackling all types of terrain and driving long distances. We’re already planning our first adventure, meeting up with Dutch caravanning friends in France.
We don’t really do New Year resolutions, however, if anyone in the team has made a resolution to learn to scuba dive, I would happily teach them!
It's time to start thinking about where we want the next year to take us