Inspired by his childhood family holidays in Scotland, Alastair Clements heads north of the border to the stunning Scottish Highlands. Find out how he and his young family get on as they leave towns and motorways behind and drive into the land of legend, mountains and mysterious lochs. Follow in his wheeltracks as he goes sledging in the snowy mountains, then follows a tip-off to find some of the best beaches on the Atlantic coast. Not surprisingly, the beaches are a delight for all the family, especially new puppy Dennis and their older dog, Basil.
After the Highlands, what about the islands? There are hundreds of Scottish islands, so which of them can you visit? Bryony Symes provides a handy guide to the more accessible Scottish islands, what’s special about each one, and where to catch a ferry.
Pitch and piste follows next, as Sammy Faircloth shares her tips on taking the family skiing in Scotland with the caravan. Where to go for the best Scottish ski resorts, what equipment to take and where to stay – she covers all you need to know to plan your ski trip.
No time for a long tour of Scotland? How about getting the taste for rivers, mountains and gold during a weekender in Peebles? Gary Richardson takes ‘Musky’ the Musketeer to the Borders for a quick break with fine food, friends and fun by the River Tweed.
Cheshire comes under the spotlight next in our July issue. We select 10 places you must see during caravan holidays in Cheshire, along with top events and 10 cracking campsites to try. Did you know this county was once famous for silk? And how do you fancy stargazing with a difference – at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot festival of music, science, art and technology? All this and more is in our new July issue, on sale from 19 May.
Showroom news and reviews
Heading off to the caravan showrooms of Britain, next we bring you our new 2016 Knaus StarClass 560 caravan review. Can this German manufacturer attract UK buyers with this sturdy end-washroom four-berth? And, though undoubtedly stylish, is it worth £25,695? Read our review to find out.
Another end-washroom caravan, but this time with a fixed bed, is the 2016 Sprite Quattro EW. The latest Sprite has a really upmarket feel – check out our Sprite Quattro EW review to see what our expert thinks of this new six-berth tourer, on the market at £17,055.
From heavyweight tourers we head to Lunar, in search of something a bit lighter to tow. We test the transverse-island-bed, end-washroom Lunar Quasar 574. This is a new layout for 2016 in the Quasar range and at £17,899 this affordable four-berth has our reviewer singing its praises.
If you like classic caravan layouts and neutral – dare we say masculine – décor, you’ll love the 2016 Stirling Elite 630, costing £27,695. This six-berth is no lightweight, but it offers a full kitchen, fixed corner bed and an end-washroom. We think it would make a luxurious prospect for couples.
Finally we test the Eriba Touring Troll 542, a beautifully engineered pop-top tourer designed for Continental caravanners. With its iconic shape and 1300kg MTPLM, could this appeal to British couples looking for something a bit different? Our live-in test reveals all.
Also this month James Stanbury tests nine sat-nav apps to find the best options for caravanners. Ranging from free to around £50, this is the best-value navigation option for those with no built-in sat-nav in their tow car.
Compare prices and specs of all new caravans for sale in the UK at a glance with our updated caravan buyer’s guide in the latest issue.
End-washroom caravans for less than £12,000
Buying used caravans is a great way to get more luxury for less cash, and in this month’s secondhand shootout feature we give advice on buying end-washroom tourers for up to £12,000. Our expert compares a 2010 Sterling Europa 545 and a 2011 Bailey Olympus 534, picking out the pros and cons of each.
Our used caravan buyer’s guide to the 2009 Xplore comes next and Andy Jenkinson explores a real star of the lightweight caravan market to see which is the best used van to buy.
Renault, Škoda and Volvo tow cars tested
Keep your eye on the latest tow cars as they come onto the market with Practical Caravan‘s expert tow car tester. David Motton puts the Renault Kadjar dCi 110 Signature Nav through its paces on the test track this month to see how it handles a Swift. Costing £24,195, it has a kerbweight of 1469kg.
Next he tests the Škoda Yeti Outdoor 2.0 TDI SCR II0PS SE Business, with a kerbweight of 1452kg and price tag of £20,105.
Russ Smith brings us his used tow car buyer’s guide to the Volvo XC90 made from 2006 to 2014. If you can track down a good example of this large SUV it’s well worth it, he says.
Advice on caravan fridges and boilers
How to look after your caravan’s fridge is one hot topic covered by Nigel Hutson this month, as he gives invaluable tips that will prevent fridge failure on holiday.
Our favourite DIY caravan mechanic certainly isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and next Nigel Hutson explains how to replace the burner control model on a Cascade 2 boiler. Old Carvers are real workhorses, he says, and this will keep them going longer.
Finally, don’t forget to enter our latest competitions! In our new July issue we offer you a chance to win tickets to the Great Yorkshire Show and also to the Battle Proms concerts, held five stately home venues. Enter both competitions online by 15 June 2016. Good luck!
All this and more is in Practical Caravan‘s July issue – we hope you’ll enjoy reading it. Our July issue is in the shops from today!
There are hundreds of Scottish islands, so which of them can you visit?