Britain is made up of a beautiful collection of islands, and most of us have a dream beach or favourite stretch of coastline. Our Practical Caravan Summer Special travel stories celebrate the very best coastal tours for your caravan holidays in Britain and Ireland.

Our Claudia Dowell and Kate Taylor spend 10 days touring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland’s County Sligo and Donegal, then the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. Claudia towed a Sterling Eccles Sport 514 caravan (on loan from Cookstown Caravans) with a Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0-litre (hired from 

Anna Lyon, with husband Harvey and seven-year-old Ben enjoy culture and nature near Aldeburgh, during their weekend break on the Suffolk coast.

Clare Kelly explores beaches, a seaside city and the countryside – all in one weekend break in Sussex. 

Come island-hopping with us, with Bryony Symes’ guide to the best of British islands, from the remote Outer Hebrides to holy Lindisfarne, Rum, Anglesey and holiday favourite, the Isle of Wight. 

Take a gorgeous Gallic tour to Aude in south-west France, following in the footsteps of Bryn and Janice Sadler in their Avondale Dart 380-2 caravan and 2006 Seat Ibiza FR tow car. 

Plus members of the Practical Caravan staff and Reader Team reveal where they would go for their ideal caravanning holidays. How do they compare to your own dream tours?

Right at the front of the magazine, ‘Caravan Chat’ is the place for your letters, gossip, tips and photos. New Editor Alastair Clements gives his own ‘Pitchside view’ and news here, and you can read our regular column by Martin Roberts (TV star of the BBC’s Homes under the Hammer series).  

Caravan Chat is also the place to find our competitions! This month Stacie’s super savers has £150-worth of toys to win. We also have family weekend packages for six families to win, and visit the UK Motorhome & Caravan Show in style. The event will take place at Newark Showground from 6-7 September, and the prize includes evening entertainment, show tickets and camping worth £55 each. Enter the competitions on our Practical Caravan website by 14 August, 2014. 

In ‘Me and my caravan’ Andy Jenkinson tracks down a rare 1975 Carlight Casetta, an elegant two-berth gem that’s been lovingly restored by Jim Harlow in Devon.

New caravans feature in this month’s ‘Showroom’, and we have 26 pages of expert verdicts on the latest and smartest tourers, tow cars and accessories that your money can buy.

We’ve been touring in the Swift Elegance 570 for three months and now we give it the full live-in test treatment. This caravan is in the newest Swift range and it offers four-berth touring with a big dollop of luxury!

In ‘First looks’ we investigate two upmarket caravans with island beds (facing in different directions) – by Compass and Coachman. The Compass Rallye 554 boasts high kit levels and impressive construction quality – and our expert looks at how it compares to its premium rivals. Prestigious Hull manufacturer Coachman has improved its luxury single-axle range for 2014, so how does the VIP 545/4 measure up?

For our ‘Layout focus’ we look at new caravan layouts with bunk beds and a rear washroom in the Summer Special. There are now many caravans on the market featuring bunk beds. Which is the right floorplan for you and your family? Check out our guide to six top bunk-bed vans offering family flexibility.

‘Tow car test’ features the new, improved SsangYong Rexton W. How much better is the latest model? We hitch it up and put it through its paces on the test track to find out. 

In ‘First drives’ we check out the new VW Golf SV 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology and the eco-friendly Vauxhall Insignia 2.0-litre CDTi 140PS Ecoflex Tech Line 5-door.

In ‘Talking tow cars’ our expert tow car tester David Motton answers your questions about tugs, tourers and towbars.

We also give advice from used car expert Russ Smith on buying a used tow car – this month, what to look for in a Fiat Doblo, 2001-2010. 

‘Test bench’ features all the coolest accessories for caravans – and this month it’s literally true, because we’re testing passive coolboxes. How can a coolbox without a motor be high-tech? It’s all about thinking inside the box.

Our running reports give updates and verdicts on the Ford Kuga Zetec 2.0-litre TDCi tow car and the Bailey Pursuit 550-4 caravan in the Practical Caravan team’s test fleet. 

‘Caravan Genius’ helps you to get the most out of your outfit, with 31 pages of advice, insights, tips and reviews.

This month it’s time for all caravan chefs to get cooking! Challenge our Emma Howcutt by sending in your favourite recipes for caravan holidays and she’ll try them out and rate them for practicality and taste in her new column. Read all about her first challenge here!

John Wickersham gives his expert guide to using and looking after your caravan water system.

We answer your caravan queries in our regular Q&A section.

Don’t miss our ‘Buyer’s Guide’, unbeatable listings of all the new caravans on the market in the UK today. This month we also have an updated guide to dealer special caravans.

Are you buying a used caravan? In ‘Secondhand shootout’, we hunt for end-washroom, side-dinette four-berth caravans for up to £10,000.

In ‘Used caravan buyer’ Andy Jenkinson explains what to look for and what to pay when you set out to buy a single-axle, double-dinette caravan for £7000-£12,000. He selects five caravans that should be on your radar!

If you’re new to caravans, check out our ‘Caravan basics’ section for essential information you’ll need to know about towing a caravan. We give expert advice on how to match your car and caravan, what caravan you can legally tow, how to load your caravan safely, where to park and store your caravan, speed limits, plus advice on towing rules and regulations. 

Don’t forget you can bag a bargain in our free advertisements of caravan sales, too. 

We hope you enjoy the Practical Caravan Summer Special 2014!