Touring Magazine – June-July 2021

Page 1

touring J U N E – J U LY 2 0 2 1   w w w . t o u r i n g . c o . u k

F U T U R E VA N

INSIDE SUMMER PLANNING / GREENER CAMPING ELECTRIC ORKNEY / NEW MOTORHOMES TOURING CARAVANS 1 3 4 P A G E S O F T O U R I N G I N S P I R AT I O N


The

Trail

The teardrop trailer that turns the smallest time into the BIGGEST adventure The all new US-style, UK manufactured teardrop trailer. No towing licence required. Awning and trailer top tent options available. Special introductory

offer £14k

inc VAT on the road (Dog not included)

www.nomadtrailers.co.uk

nick@nomadtrailers.co.uk

113 Brackenborough Road Louth LN11 0AD

07789 373982


Editorial

Welcome touring Editor Caroline Mills Designer Barbara Prada Marketing Olivia Sewell Commercial Director Lwin Millar Editorial Director Felix Blakeston Touring Magazine is published by

Information carried in Touring Magazine is checked for accuracy but the views or opinions included herein do not necessarily represent those of Rosevine Media Ltd. Attractions and destinations mentioned herein should only be visited when it is safe to do so in accordance with government guidelines.

H

urrah! Since our last issue at the beginning of April, campsites have reopened, lockdowns have eased, and touring possible once again. Many of you have made the most of the opportunity to get back out and pitch up. I confess I have too, eagerly pitching my campervan on a site with a glorious sea view in Kent on the first day new rules allowed us to do so. The campsite reopened at midday. I arrived just before; I wasn’t the first and within an hour, the site was all but full. Dusk fell, and I watched the twinkling lights of little villages on the French coast across the English Channel in the gloaming. Our time will come when we can tour mainland Europe again. But, for now, our focus remains on touring the UK. In this issue, we’ve a ‘green’ theme with features on Camping and the Environment, our pick of fabulous campsites that do that little bit more to help wildlife, conservation and sustainability. We highlight the joys of visiting the beautiful Orkney Islands, with the option to hire an electric campervan for your tour of the archipelago, and we’ve got summer sorted for you, with a great selection of ideas – both here and plans for touring overseas again. Also in this issue, we review a new compact motorhome from AutoSleepers, and a just-launched, groovy lightweight teardrop trailer that anyone with a driving licence can tow. Plus, monocoque touring caravans that don’t leak, and a motorhome of the future that will provide energy for your home when you’re not on tour! Happy travels,

www.touring.co.uk discovertouring@rosevinedigital.com Front cover image: ©VittraRV

Caroline Mills, Editor JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   3


Your next adventure starts here The The South South East’s East’s first first and and only only event event for for touring touring holiday holiday enthusiasts enthusiasts

Sign Sign up up for for news news and and ticket ticket offers offers at at

goexploreshow.co.uk goexploreshow.co.uk @goexploreshow @goexploreshow

@goexploreshow @goexploreshow

@show_explore @show_explore

i ni np p aa r trnt e ne r srhs ihpi pww i t iht h

25 25 -- 27 27 March March 2022, 2022, Farnborough Farnborough International International


Inside

Contents

46

66 100

6 SUMMER SORTED 28 MONOCOQUE CARAVANS 40 AUTO SLEEPERS NUEVO EK 46 ELECTRIC ORKNEY 66 NOMAD TRAIL 76 GREENER CAMPING 100 MOTORHOME OF THE FUTURE 110 PORTUGAL 120 HISTORY 124 FOOD AND DRINK 132 SHOPPING

68 76

120

92 JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   5


Happie Camp, Sweden


SUMMER SORTED

STILL UNDECIDED WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO THIS SUMMER? CHOOSE FROM ONE – OR SOME – OF THESE GREAT IDEAS


Planning

L

Beach holiday … in Switzerland

and-locked Switzerland isn’t uppermost in the mind when you’re planning a beach holiday. But with reports of busy beaches and coastal areas packed with people this summer, lesser-known locations become more attractive. Welcome to the canton of Vaud, in the Lake Geneva region, which boasts sandy beaches, an abundance of tranquil mountain lakes and rivers for wild swimming and every kind of water sport imaginable. Lake Geneva is the largest freshwater lake in western Europe and lies at the heart of summer local life, whether it’s a quick paddle board, lunch at one of the excellent waterside restaurants, wine tasting in the lakeside UNESCO vineyards or an apéritif on the jetty. The stunning region has more than 50 sandy beaches – from larger beaches to secluded spots – all with turquoise waters and a seaside feel. There are plenty of beaches on the shores of the large lakes of Geneva and Neuchâtel such as Yvonand and Preverenges. Even at smaller lakes such as Lake Morat and Lake Joux there are plenty of unspoilt beaches and iridescent waters to enjoy. Perfect for sunbathing or, for those looking for something a little more active, pedalo boats, canoes, kayaks, wind surfing, sailing and kite surfing are also available at most of the beaches. There are campsites among the Lavaux vineyards and throughout the Vaud region. To find out more, visit www. lake-geneva-region.ch.

8   touring magazine

FEBRUARY JUNE – JULY – MARCH 2021 2021


Lac de Joux Budget Touring

FEBRUARY – MARCH 2021

touring magazine   9


Planning

1 0   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Destinations

A

Glamping in a Yorkshire vineyard

vineyard dream has been the inspiration behind a new glamping retreat in East Yorkshire. Flamborough Glamping & Vineyard, with sea views on three sides, now has eight luxury glamping pods located next to 7,500 newly planted vines. The vines arrived at the family farm just as the first national lockdown in 2020 was introduced, so husband and wife Thomas and Marina Gaines set to work to plant the vineyard themselves. It’s hoped that the vines will one day produce wines for guests to enjoy while overlooking the vineyard from their glamping pod. The vineyard and pods are close to the wild Flamborough Head Heritage Coast, with its two iconic lighthouses; the peaceful village of Flamborough is a 5-minute walk, with multiple pubs from which to select for a pint. Bird lovers will enjoy the neighbouring RSPB Bempton Cliffs reserve. Each pod has a double bed plus living area with sofa bed, an en-suite washroom with shower, and a kitchen with dining table.

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 1


Planning

V

Road trips in Shakespeare’s county

isit Warwickshire is encouraging visitors to explore the length and breadth of this beautiful county from the comfort of your own vehicle with the launch of five inspiring driving routes. The new road trips, which are live at https://visit.warwickshire.gov.uk/ greatdrives, call at all corners of the county and provide lots of ideas about what to see and do along the way. There’s freedom to explore towns and villages from Nuneaton to Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick to peaceful Welford-on-Avon, as well as places of interest as diverse as the ever-popular Warwick Castle, Arbury Hall, which appears in the works of local-girl-turned-fêted-author George Eliot, and the British Motor Museum, which reveals the role of Warwickshire as the nation’s home of motor manufacturing. There are recommendations about where to eat, too, from scenic picnic stops to rural cafés, pubs and restaurants. The self-guided tours, which range from 35 miles (55km) to 55 miles (86km) in length, provide the basis for half- or whole-day trips. Free to download and easy to use, each route comes with a description, information about 10 main points of interest, detailed route notes, advice about electric charging points should you be driving an EV towcar or an electric campervan, and a map. For suitably-sited campsites, we recommend a quick search on www.searchforsites.co.uk.

1 2   touring magazine

FEBRUARY JUNE – JULY – MARCH 2021 2021


Budget Touring

Welford-upon-Avon ©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

FEBRUARY – MARCH 2021

touring magazine   1 3


Planning


Budget Touring

The greenest country in Europe?

A

t the Green Destinations Story Awards, held earlier this year in Berlin, it was Slovenia that scooped up more awards than any other destination – three in total. The awards, organised by the global foundation Green Destinations, showcase and celebrate the most outstanding good practice stories for sustainable tourism. And, almost 10% of the foundation’s annual Top 100 competition in 2020, shining a light on local and regional destinations around the world that have proven success in implementing sustainable tourism, were taken up by destinations within Slovenia. Slovenia prides itself on its green credentials, and as tourism begins to return to a new normality, has introduced a GREEN&SAFE label, with the aim of highlighting high hygienic standards and upgrading existing sustainable practices for tourist businesses across the country. The outstanding landscape of alpine mountains, an Adriatic coastline, historic cities, vineyards and a spa region – not to mention a wealth of beautiful campsites and glamping opportunities – makes it a must-visit destination. More so, Slovenia is the European Region of Gastronomy 2021, highlighting the country’s outstanding food and drink. There are many events taking place across the country throughout the year as part of the festival. Discover more about visiting Slovenia at www.slovenia.info/en.

Hiking in Kočevje forest for bear watching

FEBRUARY – MARCH ©www.slovenia.info/CJ 2021   touring STUDIO magazine   d.o.o., photo Ciril Jazbec 15


Planning

Secluded glamping in Sweden

H

appie Camp is a network of secluded hideaways in beautiful natural environments and forests, offering guests a private and all-inclusive experience of forest bathing and the genuine Scandinavian friluftsliv. Glamping tents are fully furnished and decorated in a natural and Scandinavian style, equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay in nature. The beds have futon mattresses made of linen and bedding of merino wool to secure a good night sleep in the fresh air. Next to the tent is a furnished cooking area with outdoor kitchen and all the equipment you’ll need for preparing delicious meals outside. Guests can also order food bags with pre-designed, easy to cook, gourmet meals. The old tradition of Scandinavian friluftsliv is living your life exploring and appreciating nature in an easy and uncomplicated way. Just like forest bathing, friluftsliv is all about simplicity. It doesn’t require any equipment, it’s just about being outside. After a successful first year Happie Camp has added some new locations for 2021. These are in Värmland, a provincial region in the centre-west of Sweden, bordering Norway and filled with beautiful lakes and mountain scenery. Discover more at www.visitsweden.com and www.happiecamp.com.

1 6   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Happie Camp, Sweden


Planning


Budget Touring

T

Experience a family festival

here’s a fantastic variety of entertainment planned for the East Sussex-based Elderflower Fields Festival this summer – and you can guarantee performers will be giving it everything they’ve got after the long break. Both the Woodland Stage and the Dragonfly Stage will provide high energy and a vibrant buzz. Those in need of a little ‘me time’ can escape to a tranquil corner of the festival for an indulgent spa treatment at The Woodland Spa, or how about some Mindful Movement or an invigorating Wild Running session? If you fancy the thrill of sleeping outdoors with a little extra comfort, check out the Boutique Camping Village. Arrive at the festival without the hassle of setting up a tent and settle into one of the beautifully furnished bell tents or tipis. Campervans, motorhomes, trailer tents and touring caravans are otherwise allowed at the festival campsite, with a dedicated live-in-vehicle area separate from tents and glamping. Guests may pre-book a block of pitches so that you can stay together with friends and family. What’s the idea behind Elderflower Fields? It’s aim is to get more families outside to experience the beautiful and diverse natural world, with a programme of events and activities, ranging from kids and family entertainment, raftbuilding, stargazing, orienteering, mud kitchens and tree-climbing to adult gin workshops, dance workshops and arts camps. Sustainability is at the heart of the festival, so there’s no disposable plastic bottled water, food and drink is all locally sourced and visitors driving to the festival can offset the carbon through a travel scheme. The event runs this year from 23rd to 27th July at Pippingford Park, which is also the same venue for Into The Trees Festival, held from 10th to 12th September. Like Elderflower Fields, there are lots of opportunities for being outdoors in nature, with a big programme of events, entertainment and activities, plus festival camping and glamping.

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 9


Planning

Family camping that’s got it licked

H

ave yourself an ice-cream getaway with a wild camping experience for families that’s on offer this summer at a dairy farm near Derby. Bluebell Dairy has made a name for itself thanks to its award-winning artisan ice cream, made in the same way as the Italians, but with a British twist, and also boasts a popular tearoom, children’s play park and ‘Animal Patch’ meet and feed experience. Scooping a host of awards, including beating the Italians at ice cream making at The Italian Gelato Festival, the Dairy is now offering camping with a twist. The Brown family, who have been milking their herd of cows at Brunswood Farm since 1953, diversified into ice cream making in 2008, and today make 26 flavours of ice creams and sorbet, served in the farm’s own tearooms and stocked across the region. A family-only weekend getaway will include one or two nights camping on the farm (tents only), farm cooked breakfast and dinner, fresh milk from the Bluebell herd, ice cream sundae sessions, entry to the farm and animal activities on the farm. Scheduled to run on selected weekends 28th May - 22nd August 2021 at the farm, set in countryside just three miles from Derby city centre, the ‘Ice Cream Getaways’ camping breaks include 10m x 10m grass pitches for tents to include social distancing from other pitches. For details about the break, visit bluebelldairy.co.uk/icecream-getaways/.

20   touring magazine

FEBRUARY JUNE – JULY – MARCH 2021 2021


Budget Touring

FEBRUARY – MARCH 2021

touring magazine   21


Planning

Explore New South Wales on a road trip

W

ith the opportunity to remain socially distanced, road trips have never been more popular. While Australia is on the UK’s ‘green’ list of countries to visit without quarantine when you return home, Australia is proposing to keep its borders closed to tourists until next year. So that’s summer 2022 sorted, instead! The region of New South Wales is a great place to venture and In New South Wales’ wild west, the Silver City Highway is a 683km (424 miles) stretch of road linking Buronga on the banks of the Murray River up to the state’s northern border. In years gone by, the unsealed stretches of the highway were best suited to off-road vehicles. But it’s now bitumen all the way, opening it up to road-trippers in every kind of vehicle ready for an outback adventure. Highlights include witnessing the distinct change from lush farmlands around the river to the red earth of the outback with desert-like conditions. At Broken Hill, discover why it became Australia’s first heritage-listed city and visit the Living Desert Reserve with its trail of 12 sandstone sculptures. Imagine gold-rush life as you sink a cold beer at one of the last remaining gold-rush hotels in Milprinka then travel on to Sturt National Park, where you can see 450-million-year-old granite boulders and rolling red sand dunes as you look for red kangaroos, emus and wedge-tailed eagles. To find out more about the route, visit the official tourist board website, Destination NSW, while, for motorhome rental, try www.motorhomebookers.co.uk

2 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Destinations

The Living Desert, Broken Hill ©Destination NSW

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   2 3


Planning


Budget Touring

Discover a UNESCO mountain range in Majorca

M

ajorca offers environmentally conscious travellers a wide variety of places to discover, especially in the less visited areas of the island, where tourists can immerse themselves in local culture and nature. One of those areas is the Serra de Tramuntana, which spans over 62,000 hectares of land and 1000 hectares of sea, making it the largest protected area on the island. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2011, pine forests, peaks over a thousand metres, cliffs, terraces, lime kilns and many other ethnological elements are highlights of the area. Throughout the summer, the Majorcan Government will be organising 40 different activities to mark the 10th anniversary since the UNESCO declaration. These festivities will explore the preservation of the mountain range as a natural heritage site, the role of women in the surrounding areas, well-known figures from the area and traditional Majorcan architecture and cuisine. The programme features events such as film and theatre, sport, art workshops, family days, music, dance and other entertainment. The mild Mediterranean climate and the beautiful mountainous landscape also makes the island an ideal destination to explore for all levels of hikers. One such route is ‘Pedra en Sec (GR221), spanning over 100 kilometres. It’s a signposted route that is divided into different states, though most of the trail runs along the picturesque Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. Wild camping is strictly forbidden in Majorca, but there are two designated, serviced, camping zones for tents. Of the two, Sa Font Coberta camping area, beside the Lluc Monastery, is within the Serra de Tramuntana. The other, S’Arenalet, is in the Parc Naturel du Llevant, can only be reached with a two-hour hike from the nearest road – so it’s all but wild camping in name! While there are motorhomes on the island, there are no services or infrastructure available. Discover more at the official tourist board website, www.infomallorca.net.

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   25


Planning

Gold and Glory: Henry VIII and the French King, a new exhibition at Hampton Court Palace ©Historic Royal Palaces


Budget Touring

R

Discover more about the biggest royal camping festival ever

egular readers of Touring Magazine will recall our feature in the September/October 2020 issue about the Field of the Cloth of Gold, the biggest, most extravagant camping festival ever seen, when – 500 years ago – King Henry VIII of England met with King François I of France in a field near Calais. The 18 day festival had tents adorned with real gold, there were jousting tournaments and entertainment aplenty for the royal parties, 12,000 people attended and more than 200,000 litres of wine were brought to the party! Postponed from the anniversary celebrations of 2020, you can now visit Gold and Glory: Henry VIII and the French King, an exhibition to mark the occasion. Immerse yourself in Tudor history as stunning works of art, gold, weapons, manuscripts and clothing from the Field of the Cloth of Gold are reunited, this time at Hampton Court Palace, King Henry VIII’s magnificent abode beside the River Thames in East Molesey. As well as a treasure trove of precious objects from the rival English and French courts, the exhibition will feature a unique tapestry that will go on public display for the first time in its history. The richly woven textile depicts a bout of wrestling at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and is one of only a handful of surviving early 16th century visual representations of people of colour at the European royal courts. The exhibition runs until September 5th, included within a standard palace admission ticket. If you’d prefer not to be in indoor public spaces, don’t miss out on Hampton Court’s outstanding landscaped Thames-side gardens that surround the palace. There are numerous outdoor events being held in the grounds this summer, including the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July, plus a food festival and a fortnight of open-air concerts, both in August.

FEBRUARY – MARCH 2021

touring magazine   27


mo coq TOURING MAGAZINE SHOWCASES TWO BRANDS OF TOURING CARAVANS DESIGNED WITH A MONOCOQUE SHELL


ono que


Buying

i

n most instances of mass-scale touring caravan construction, the van is made up in sections, with the sides, roof, front and rear panels manufactured separately then assembled, joined and sealed to create the unit. The component parts are frequently made from different materials. In time, the seams, if not properly maintained or simply from the stresses of age, allow opportunistic water to find its way into cavities and the interior of the van, causing potential issues with damp, mould and, at worst, rot and the disintegration of materials. Not so a monocoque caravan, where the exterior is a moulded one-piece bodyshell that assists in the prevention of leaks. Monocoque

shells can also provide superior thermal insulation as there is no thermal bridging between parts and a sprayon expanding polyurethane can be used, allowing a thinner, yet more productive, insulation that reduces weight and increases internal living space. Two brands for sale in the UK are renowned for their monocoque design. Barefoot Caravans are manufactured in the Cotswolds. The company has built a reputation for its stylish, luxury, ‘cool’ tourers that have a very different appearance to a conventional caravan. So too, the Italian brand, Wingamm, which, following a two-year break, has made 2021 the year to begin importing to the UK again, offering an alternative Continental style to the very British Barefoot. →



Buying

GOING BAREFOOT

C

hic without the shabby, curved and unique in style, Barefoot caravans turn heads with their innovative design and beautifully crafted finish. Turn up to a music festival in one of these and don’t be surprised to attract more of a crowd than the guitarist on stage. These slightly retro vans are very popular with newcomers to caravanning and campers that don’t traditionally associate themselves as a caravanner. Barefoots are lightweight, aerodynamic and easy to tow. And, despite being compact on the outside, they are light and spacious inside – with luxury seating that converts into a huge 6ft by 6ft bed plus a kitchen, full washroom with cassette toilet, basin and shower, and lots of storage, including a wardrobe. The kitchen utilises solid oak tops that creates a classic country feel and includes a Thetford two-ring gas hob plus a 65-litre Webasto compressor fridge with small freezer for use on 12V and 230V. The van also includes a small, on-board water tank plus offboard fittings. The Truma Combi heating and hot water system works from gas or electric.

3 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

Designed and hand built in the Cotswolds, this fibreglass, monocoque caravan comes in a range of external pastel colours: cream, duck egg blue, grey and, also now in a dusty pink. There are many other options to customise, too, including soft furnishings using a range of contemporary-design Scion fabrics – or your own fabric supply. Doubleglazed windows at the sides and across the front, allow plenty of light in as you look out at an amazing view; at night they’re covered with fitted blinds. The retro theme continues both inside and out with retro hubcaps on the wheels and, inside, a Roberts Revival Uno DAB radio. Barefoot Caravans have an active and dedicated Owners’ Group, who are very clear why they like their stylish caravans, with one enthusiastic member stating, “Amazingly designed, hand-built in the Cotswolds, beautiful options with a huge amount of character that oozes class and quality…” Fully fitted with your bespoke choices, the price is £28,500. The company offers a showroom direct at its manufacturing base in the north Cotswolds.


Strap B

BA R E FO OT

JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   3 3


Strap A

3 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Caravans

Barefoot Berths

2

External length

5.08m

External width

1.92m

External height

2.36m

Internal length

3.56m

MTPLM

1200kg

MiRO

960kg

User payload

240kg

BA R E FO OT

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   3 5


Strap A

RO O K I E L

magazine  RO3O6K  touring IE

JUNE – JULY 2021


Caravans

ITALIAN FLAIR

T

he luxury monocoque Wingamm brand has been in production since 1977 and is the only caravan and motorhome manufacturer in Italy that remains independent and family-owned. Stylish interiors incorporate furniture made by its own in-house carpenters. There are two lightweight Wingamm caravans available: the Rookie and the Rookie L, both with the entry door on the left hand side for the UK and a 15-year water ingress warranty, plus an extensive list of options, including a choice of fabrics, awnings, oven, microwave and solar panel. Both sit on a sturdy Al-Ko chassis. The Rookie is a compact two-berth model. Its light weight (from 750kg) makes it suitable for smaller, or electric, towcars, yet is big enough to still have a full washroom and kitchen. The double dinette at the front converts into a transverse double bed. The larger,

four-berth Rookie L is 6.0m long with a rear fixed bed and a very comfortable U-shaped front lounge that wraps around a dining table and, like the Rookie, converts to a double bed. It, too, has a kitchen and washroom with shower and cassette toilet. It has an MTPLM of 940kg, which can be upgraded to 1,200kg. Wingamm UK, which also produces monocoque motorhomes, has appointed its first dealer, BC Motorhomes in Ayr, Scotland, and is looking for further dealers to appoint across the UK this year. BC Motorhomes is offering video tours and nationwide delivery. Calum Watson, the director of Wingamm UK and founder of BC Motorhomes comments: “I am looking forward to introducing more people in the UK to the Wingamm brand and its unique Italian style. We have already had a lot of interest in this exceptional and distinctive luxury brand.” The Rookie is available from £18,900 while the Rookie L, from £25,056.

RO O K I E


RO OKIE L A Strap

3 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Caravans

Rookie

Rookie L

Berths

2

4

External length

4.99m

6m

External width

2.17m

2.22m

External height

2.54m

2.46m

Internal length

3.5m

4.46m

MTPLM

750kg or 1000kg

940kg/1200kg

MiRO

725kg or 780kg

980kg

User payload

25kg or 220kg

320kg

Discover More www.go-barefoot.co.uk www.wingamm.com/en/uk/ www.bcmotorhomes.co.uk

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   3 9


NEW


It’s 20 years since the Nuevo was introduced. Now, meet its birthday-badged descendent →

STYLE


Strap Look First A

A

uto-Sleepers, based in the Cotswolds, is one of the longestestablished motorhome-specific manufacturers in the UK. In 2021, the company celebrates its diamond anniversary. To boot, 2021 also marks the 20th year of production for Auto-Sleepers’ Nuevo. When models come and go in quick succession all too frequently, that 20-year milestone indicates the popularity and longevity of the Nuevo. It is, indeed, one of Auto-Sleepers’ most popular models of all time. To celebrate the two anniversaries, Auto-Sleepers has created a Limited Edition specification for the Nuevo, which is available in two layouts, the EK, a two-berth, low-profile motorhome, and the ES, which is suitable for four occupants. Here, we step inside the Nuevo EK.

EXTERIOR So what’s new on the outside of this limited edition model? Not a great deal, long-term fans that like the sleekness of the Nuevo will be pleased to know. The

4 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Auto-Sleepers Nuevo EK

exception is the modest change of the Peugeot lion on the bonnet becoming an exclusive Diamond Edition Auto-Sleepers’ badge. The coachbuilt retains its full scratch and impact resistant GRP body with modish platinum silver sides, while stripy decals in black, white and silver bring body and cab together as one. At the front of the low-profile overcab is an opening wind-up skyview window; this is in addition to the Heki rooflight that sits on the roof. Standard fixtures include an external gas BBQ point, a 25 litre underfloor LPG gas tank, a pre-installed Sargent Cat6 vehicle tracker, central locking for both the cab and habitation doors and, particularly useful when pitched during a spell of inclement weather, rear corner steadies.

LIVING & SLEEPING It’s when you step inside that the birthday celebrations really commence. To match the platinum silver sides of the exterior, there’s a new interior colour scheme exclusive to this special edition model, with sumptuously soft silver-grey furnishings. It’s certainly plush. Above, overhead lockers on both sides of the van have two-tone doors with chrome handles; the →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   43


First Look

chrome continues throughout, including the hand grab by the habitation door and in the washroom. We like the layout of the EK, with its pair of side facing settees that, coupled with the swivelling cab chairs in coordinated fabrics, create a very comfortable and sociable lounge area. A freestanding dining table, otherwise stowed in the wardrobe, allows for dignified dining. The lounge area is flooded with light from the side windows, rooflight and skyview window during the day; at night over locker mood lighting creates a calm warmth while spotlights allow for reading and tackling the crossword. When it’s time to snooze, the two sofas effortlessly come together, by way of a central pull-out frame, to create a queen-size double bed.

K I TC H E N The kitchen takes up approximately two-thirds of the rear of the van, with the offside habitation door separating the sink and fridge/freezer. The space is well thought out and extremely user-friendly for couples. A four-ring hob (3 gas, 1 electric hot plate) plus separate oven and grill sit alongside the sink with draining board and cutlery drying rack; a splashback protects the rear wall while 12v extractor fan (with downlighters) helps prevent condensation when steaming the veg. There’s a slide-out work surface but, if you’re preparing a sumptuous gourmet dinner, the sideboard above the fridge (which will easily store enough ingredients for a gourmet dinner and more) provides ample preparation space, and is also useful for resting that well-deserved drink beside the settee. As for drinks, this special edition model includes a cocktail cabinet with crystal wine glasses. You also receive a melamine crockery set with cool bag for picnics.

WA S H R O O M To save space, there’s no separate washroom and shower area, but clever design allows a combined shower and toilet compartment. This incorporates an electric-flush cassette toilet, and a swing-wall to create the shower area with an integrated handbasin. There’s a small cupboard for lotions, an all-important roof-vent to prevent the build-up of moisture, and a convenient, retractable clothesline that’s just right for drying towels and damp clothes after a day at the beach or pool.

4 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Auto-Sleepers Nuevo EK

Auto-Sleepers www.auto-sleepers.com

STO R AG E Unless you’re determined to empty the contents of your house into the Nuevo, it has ample storage for couples, with overhead lockers in all the right places, storage cubby holes above the cab and good storage solutions in the kitchen. Particularly useful is the underseat storage, which, on the nearside, can be accessed from an external drop-down access door, while the seat tops are on gas struts to prevent closing while you’re delving around for that misplaced shoe. There’s also a large, underfloor mounted, external skirt locker that’s useful for outdoor equipment.

charge efficiency and has up to 3000 cycles without decreasing in performance. In addition, Limited Edition Nuevo models are fitted with Truma’s Aventa Compact Plus Conditioning system and iNet alongside Truma’s combi heater/boiler. The inclusion of the iNet allows optimum climate control from your ‘phone, so it’s not left running continuously (unadvisable, anyway). Anyone that has returned to their sealed up motorhome after a day on a hot Mediterranean beach will know the feeling of opening the ‘oven’ door and retreating until the van interior has cooled down. With the combination of the iNet and air conditioning, you’ll be able to return to a perfect internal environment. We like that; and we think you will, too. ●

T E C H N I C A L S P E C I F I C AT I O N S BASE VEHICLE CHASSIS:

F I N A L S AY…

Peugeot Euro 6 turbo diesel 165bhp (optional Fiat

Why does Touring Magazine like this special edition van? Frankly, it’s not about the birthday badge on the bonnet. Aside from the evident comfort of the Nuevo and its exclusive furnishings, there’s a host of specifications that set this van apart in its midluxury class, including some for the environmentallyconscious tourer. Yes, there are power-saving LED lights throughout, though many vans now provide these. What is different about the special edition Nuevo is the provision of its leisure battery; in place of the usual wet lead-acid variety, is the more expensive lithium iron phosphate leisure battery (LiFePO4 or LFP), which has a longer lifespan, is lightweight by comparison (thus more payload efficient), has an improved discharge and

Ducato 140/160bhp automatic gearbox) MASS IN RUNNING ORDER (MIRO)........... 2,874kg GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT.. ........................... 3,500kg MAX PAYLOAD. . ................................................... 626kg EXTERIOR LENGTH............................................ 5.75m BODY WIDTH . . ...................................................... 2.32m HEIGHT...................................................................2.90m BERTHS........................................................................... 2 DESIGNATED TRAVEL SEATS.. ................................. 2 COST.. ............................................from £60,200 (OTR) NB. MiRO and payload may change according to any optional extras supplied.

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   4 5


ORCADI TOUR THIS ENCHANTING, CAMPING-FRIENDLY ARCHIPELAGO. CAROLINE MILLS EXPLORES ORKNEY

Welford-upon-Avon ©VisitBritain/Lee Beel

RHA


DIAN

APSODY


F

ew places in Britain can beat the wildly charismatic scenery of the Orkney Islands. Six miles north of the Caithness coast, separated from Scotland’s mainland by the Pentland Firth, the Orkneys comprise an archipelago of more than 70 islands, 16 of which are inhabited by a collective population of fewer than 22,000 people. It’s a great place to be socially distanced. It’s also a great place in which to get outdoors and be active, even if that activity is sitting on a beach to watch the sunset, painting the seascape or making sandcastles. For something more active, there are

4 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

miles of peaceful country lanes for cycling, plenty of opportunities for hiking and a plethora of watersports. Orkney is also ideal to marvel at the natural world. Spot puffins and pretty wildflower meadows in summer, ooh and aah at the endearing seal pups in autumn, cast a binocular lens on migrating birds in winter and look out for basking sharks and dolphins in spring. Should you venture to Orkney when the nights are long, you’ll have some of the best opportunities for viewing nature’s magic Aurora Borealis, too.

W H E R E TO G O Mainland Orkney is by far the largest of the inhabited islands and, at 202 square miles, will easily fill your →


Orkney

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Churchill Barriers ©VisitScotland/VisitOrkney/Colin Keldie Beautiful coastal scenery in Orkney ©JP Orkney “Spoot”: electric campervan for hire (©JP Orkney Birsay, on Mainland Orkney ©VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   4 9


UK Touring

touring time without venturing offisland. Kirkwall is the largest town – and Orkney’s capital – on the north of the island. It’s also where you pick up most of the ferries to the islands further north. Stromness, with its picturesque harbour, is on the south of the island. Here, aside from devouring a deliciously fresh seafood platter harbourside, you can catch a ferry to the island of Hoy, where, on the west coast, you’ll find one of Orkney’s best-loved landmarks, the Old Man of Hoy, a giant red sandstone sea stack. There’s a scenic coastal walk to reach the stack from the little village (and gorgeous beach) of Rackwick. But don’t miss a wander around the almost traffic-

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The Italian Chapel ©VisitScotland/VisitOrkney/Colin Keldie Fresh seafood in abundance ©VisitScotland/VisitOrkney/Colin Keldie Stromness, on Mainland Orkney (©VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

5 0   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Orkney

free island of Graemsay, too, situated between Mainland Orkney and Hoy. It’s a true get-away-fromit-all island, often overlooked, without tourist trappings and attractions other than its serenity and lack of people (only 20 inhabitants). This is the place to come - on a sunny day - for solitude and a beach you can call your own. From Mainland Orkney are the two islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay, the closest island to mainland Scotland, both accessible by a series of causeways known as the Churchill Barriers. But first you’ll come across the tiny island of Lamb’s Holm, where a stop to see The Italian Chapel is a must. This colourful church was built by Italian prisoners of war; its interior is astonishingly striking and decorative.

H O P P I N G N O RT H It’s only a 25-minute boat ride from Kirkwall to reach the island of Shapinsay, easily visible across the Shapinsay Sound from the northeast corner of Mainland Orkney. It’s a lovely island to cycle around, and there’s an RSPB reserve for those keen to spot rare birds. Alternatively, you can head further afield, to the islands of Stronsay, Eday, Sanday and North Ronaldsay. Stronsay is one of the best islands from which to see the thousands of seal pups during autumn months. Its east coast is also a mighty fine location for puffins. Meantime North Ronaldsay is the place for sheep, the ancient isle renowned for its rare breed that feeds on seaweed. An annual sheep festival, held each July, brings in visitor volunteers to help with the annual task of rebuilding the island’s dykes that keep the sheep on the shore. Eday is just eight miles long so perfect for a day trip and a walk, although you may get side-tracked by the beautiful white Sands of Doomy in Fersness Bay. On a sunny day, the colours of sea and sand are tropical. But Sanday, the largest of the northern isles, has, arguably, the best beaches with turquoise seas. It’s otherwise known for its Neolithic history; there’s a plentiful supply of archaeological sites. Furthest northwest is Westray and Papa Westray. The larger of the two, Westray, has a long, irregular coastline with inlets and bays, not to mention beautiful beaches and a RSPB reserve. You’ll find plenty of history here, too, along Europe’s oldest standing →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   51


UK Touring

house, inhabited 6000 years ago. The little trio of Rousay, Wyre and Egilsay provide true island hopping opportunities, with short ferry journeys between. These are some of the best places to see Orkney’s Viking past.

ST I C K I N G TO T H E M A I N L A N D However, no one would reprimand you for staying on Mainland Orkney, particularly if you’re limited on time. This is where you’ll find some of Orkney’s main tourist attractions, including the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, the collective name for the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the world famous Skara Brae, regarded as one of the best preserved Stone Age villages, the chambered cairn of Maeshowe and the Ring of

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Orkney Brewery (©VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins Finstown on Mainland Orkney ©VisitScotland/VisitOrkney/Colin Keldie UNESCO World Heritage Site Skara Brae ©VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

52   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Brodgar, Orkney’s largest henge. They’re all in, understandably, incredibly scenic locations, though perhaps the best is Skara Brae, sited right on the coast beside the Bay of Skaill, not one to miss. Neither should you miss the Standing Stones of Stenness, also a part of the UNESCO site. With Neolithic history lessons over, a trip around the coast to Birsay and Brough Head will take your breath away. The Brough of Birsay is a tiny, uninhabited island where you can see puffins and seals. At low tide, it’s possible to walk across the causeway, where you’ll find a Norse settlement. Don’t miss picturesque Finstown on your way back to Kirkwall. The Pomona Inn pub is just right after a walk in Binsgarth Woods, one of Orkney’s rare naturally wooded areas. Or, to quench your thirst, take a trip to Orkney Brewery, just a mile from Skara Brae, where you can visit the brewhouse and sample an ale or two in the Tasting Hall Café.  ●

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   53


Orkney is at the forefront and centre of the renewable energy industry, specialising in research of low carbon energies and battery storage solutions. There’s also a huge uptake of electric and hydrogen vehicles, with a higher ratio than anywhere else in the UK, and more than 30 charging points across the islands. Now you can tour Orkney in an electric campervan →

5 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Electric Orkney

“Spoot”: electric campervan for hire ©JP Orkney

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   55


W

ith short distances on each island and an infrastructure readily available, touring in an electric vehicle is an ideal way to experience Orkney, especially when you can camp, too. Jane Ellison and Paul Hudd run JP Orkney, which has the only electric campervan for hire in Scotland (in fact, it’s only one of two electric campervans for hire anywhere in the UK). The couple bought a Nissan Dalbury E campervan from Hillside Leisure and, thanks to a little bit of extra kit included, the van can be charged through electric hook-ups at a campsite in addition to standard vehicle charging points. So, while you’re sleeping, the van

5 6   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

is charging up overnight, at maximum capacity by morning. On a full charge, you can easily cover up to 120 miles, then rapid charge in 20 minutes for another 80 miles – in other words, as you’ll be simply pottering and island hopping, you’ll never have a problem with running out of ‘fuel’. Charging locations include attractions, such as Orkney Distillery, and at ferry terminals, so the campervan can be recharging while you’re enjoying yourself, or waiting to hop across to the next island. Rental of “Spoot” the campervan – so called after the Orcadian name for a razor clam – includes insurance, sat-nav, refuelling, bedding, kitchen equipment, gas and camping stools. You’ll also receive a JP Orkney welcome hamper, filled with homemade goodies from another side of Jane and Paul’s business, JP Orkney


Orkney

LEFT: Jane and Paul, of JP Orkney, sit for a coffee in “Spoot”, the electric campervan for hire on Orkney BELOW: Inside “Spoot” (©JP Orkney ©JP Orkney

Produce. Keep an eye out for their Fattie Cutties, a delicious shortbread biscuit traditionally from the island of Westray. The campervan sleeps two but there are four travelling seats, so you could camp as a family if you hire the drive-away awning as an optional extra, or take your own tent. The front passenger seat swivels to create a convivial lounge/dining area, there’s a twoburner hob and sink, plus a 39-litre fridge with freezer compartment. A rooftop solar panel will help to keep the leisure battery topped up. Jane and Paul can meet you anywhere on Mainland Orkney, whether arriving as a foot passenger by ferry or at the airport. You’ll have a full handover to see how things work before you head off. Bear in mind that pets are not allowed in the campervan. ●

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   57


UK Touring

Wheems Organic Farm, Campsite & Eco Cabins This eco-smallholding, situated around a traditional, centuries-old farmhouse, grows and produces organic food for a local farmers’ market. On site are grass tent pitches, hardstandings for tourers, campervans and motorhomes, plus glamping facilities in camping pods, bell tents and a yurt. The campsite is run from a wind turbine, so your campervan plug-in will be charging from renewable sources. The coastal views from the site are astounding. South Ronaldsay KW17 2TJ 01856 831556 www.wheemsorganic.co.uk

5 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021




Orkney

Orkney Caravan Park A full-facility touring park with hardstanding pitches for caravans and motorhomes, pitches for tents plus camping pods. Situated conveniently right beside the Pickaquoy Centre, a highly-rated sports and leisure facility with swimming pool, racket sports, climbing wall, sauna and beauty therapies, cinema and children’s play area. Peerie Sea Loan Kirkwall Mainland Orkney KW15 1UH 01856 879900 www.orkneycaravanpark.co.uk

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   61


UK Touring

Birsay Campsite A lovely rural location just outside the village of Birsay in the northwest corner of Orkney Mainland. There are 28 grass pitches for tents, motorhomes and tourers. Within sight of the coast, just a couple of minutes’ walk and close to many of the famous Neolithic sites. Open April to October. Birsay Hostel Birsay, Mainland Orkney KW17 2LY 01856 873535

6 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Orkney

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   6 3


UK Touring

Chalmersquoy Campsite This immaculately kept campsite for tents, tourers and motorhomes is situated on the island of Westray, within a few minutes’ walk of its main village, Pierowall. Here, you’ll find shops, a fish restaurant, café, museum and leisure centre. This is a great campsite to stay with noncamping friends as there are self-catering apartments plus bed and breakfast accommodation on site. Westray KW17 2BZ 01857 677214 www.chalmersquoywestray.co.uk

6 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Salt Knowe is the largest of several burial mounds surrounding the Ring of Brodgar ©VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins

How to get to – and around – Orkney Three main vehicle ferry routes run to Orkney from the Scottish mainland. Northlink Ferries sail between Scrabster (near Thurso) and Stromness (90 minutes) plus Aberdeen and Kirkwall (6 hours). Pentland Ferries sail between Gill’s Bay, near John O’Groats, and St Margaret’s Hope on South Ronaldsay; it’s the shortest route, taking little more than an hour. Pentland Ferries’ new purpose-built catamaran ‘MV Alfred’ is the most environmentally friendly passenger ferry of its type in Scotland. It claims to be more than 60% more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and emission levels than other comparable ferries. The company is the first ferry operator in the UK to have achieved a Green Tourism Award. Roads are quiet around Orkney, with excellent bus and inter-island ferry services; these are operated by Orkney Ferries. There’s also bike hire in Kirkwall and Stromness.

DISCOVER MORE www.orkney.com www.jporkney.co.uk www.northlinkferries.co.uk www.pentlandferries.co.uk www.orkneyferries.co.uk


W A

N

D

E

R

I


N

G

S

T A

R

TOURING MAGAZINE CASTS AN EYE OVER THE NEW TEARDROP TRAILER FROM NOMAD ESCAPES LTD


First Look

A

combination of expertise in the music business, travel adventures and touring has led brothers Richard and Nick Hallam to develop the new Nomad Trail. It’s a unique US-style teardrop trailer, small in size and lightweight enough to allow anyone with a standard driving licence to tow one.

EXTERIOR Funky is how we describe the exterior of the Nomad Trail on first glance, a cool camper for those that don’t align themselves with traditionalists and want a ‘van’ that’s functional and practical but different in appearance. A curvy camping pod sits upon a lightweight, bespoke-made chassis with rear corner steadies. The side panels are made from Trovicel (with birch-ply for the interior, sandwiching state of the art insulation), with a hip purple and sea-green patterned design while the top is an aluminium powder-coated roof in midgrey. These are the standard colours and designs but bespoke colours are possible as a cost option. In front of the camping pod, attached to the A-frame, is a lockable storage box, made from powder coated chequer-plate – as are the wheel arches of the trailer, providing a rugged and functional appearance. The storage box is just right for keeping wheel chocks, electric hook-up cable, folding camping chairs and other useful outdoor equipment that you might want to store away from the interior of the van, such as muddy hiking boots or wetsuits. You can also store the supplied electric drill for winding down the corner steadies here. Attached to the top of the camping pod is a roof rack fitted as standard. This is sufficient to carry a roof box, bikes or skis, an awning or extra outdoor kit or, if you have ‘guests’, even a tent. A full 180º awning, which can be added to the rear/side is also available with side panels to create extra outdoor living space. To keep its emphasis on convenience, the awning can be erected (and put away) in minutes. →

6 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Nomad Trail

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   6 9


First Look

70   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Nomad Trail

LIVING & SLEEPING Despite the overall micro-size of the Nomad Trail, the internal space is more spacious than you might think. At 1.02m in height, you won’t be standing, but there is plenty of head-height to sit up comfortably. Realistically, this is a van designed when most of your living will be outdoors – particularly if you’re camping with friends or family - using the trailer more for sleeping or a place to stay dry during a rain shower. Fitted out in a sealed birch-ply for easy cleaning, with a carpet base and a Vango double mattress, the pod creates a really cosy sleeping space at night. It’s not so cosy as to be cramped, however, with, at 1.87m (6’ 1”) long plus the curve of the pod and wider than a queen-size bed, space to lie out comfortably for all but the tallest campers. If you’re travelling with family and friends, there’s the option to add a rooftop tent, with extending access ladder, for extra sleeping berths. The roof tent is supplied at extra cost. Three cupboards across the width of the van provide internal storage for clothes; the door of the centre cupboard folds down, creating a laptop rest, and you’ll find two 230V 3-pin and USB sockets inside for your gadgetry. The pod is insulated to keep you toasty warm in cooler seasons and climes; in summer, the pod access doors, on both the near- and offside include a sash window, with flyscreens and blinds, to allow ventilation. There is also an opening roof light.

K I TC H E N If you love cooking outdoors you’ll love the Nomad Trail. Lift up the hatch at the rear of the pod and you’ve a readymade kitchen. Here you’ll find a two-burner Dometic gas hob, a sink, food preparation space and, below, room for a coolbox, with a slide-out shelf for ease of access. The cool box can be supplied or you can provide your own, with the possibility of including wiring for electric-powered coolers. You’ll find the water filler here, too (the water tank a permanent fix sited beneath the camping pod), along with a further 3-pin socket and USB charging points. Plus, there are three storage cupboards for pots, pans and crocks and three drawers for cutlery and non-perishable foods. The galley hatch stays open on gas struts and includes →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   7 1


First Look

LED lighting for night-time cooking. When open, the hatch does provide an element of protection from the weather, however, you may prefer to add an awning for extra cover.

WA S H RO O M OK, so there is no washroom. That’s inevitable when keeping things compact. There is, of course, the sink in the galley area for teeth cleaning and an early morning wash. If you’re staying at a full-facility campsite, the lack of a washroom really isn’t an issue. When touring off-grid in locations without facilities, we recommend you carry a cassette toilet.

F I N A L SAY… If you’ve been caravanning for years in traditional caravans and become used to its modern comforts and full-facility campsites, then the Nomad Trail isn’t necessarily your thing. If, on the other hand, you love camping and being outdoors, but you’re ‘done’ with erecting tents in the dark (and, dare we mention, the rain?), sleeping on hard ground and potentially damp bedding, but you still want that sense of outdoor adventure, we think the Nomad Trail is for you. You might also consider it an option if you don’t want the expense of maintaining, taxing and insuring a campervan; especially as it means that once you’ve established your ‘base’ you’re free to unhook your car and explore. We love its quirks and its opportunity for going anywhere; the set of rugged, heavy-duty wheels and tyres plus good ground clearance means you can head offpiste where wild camping laws – or festival fields – allow. And we love that the leisure battery can be charged while towing, so you’ve 60 hours or so of power when at full capacity. Plus, with space to add a 6kg gas bottle to the exterior of the van (with a lockable strap) rather than faff about with a tiny-sized micro bottle of gas, you’ve enough supply for extensive adventures off-grid. Whether heading to your favourite music festival in comfort, or longing for wild outdoor adventures off-road, the Nomad Trail teardrop trailer allows everyone plenty of opportunities for tears of joy.  ●

7 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Nomad Trail

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   73


T E C H N I C A L S P E C I F I C AT I O N S MASS IN RUNNING ORDER (MIRO)..............640kg MAXIMUM TECHNICALLY PERMISSIBLE LADEN MASS (MTPLM).................................... 750kg MAXIMUM PAYLOAD.......................................... 110kg INTERIOR LENGTH.............................................. 1.87m OVERALL LENGTH. . ............................................ 3.96m BODY WIDTH . . ....................................................... 1.42m OVERALL HEIGHT (INCLUDING ROOF RACK)............................... 1.78m BERTHS....................................................................... 2/4 COST.. .......................................................£16,500 (OTR) (£14,000 for the first 10 customers!)


Nomad Escapes Ltd www.nomadtrailers.co.uk


N E E E R R G


C A M G P I N TOURING MAGAZINE EXPLORES SOME SIMPLE GESTURES THAT CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT ON A CAMPING HOLIDAY


Planning

I

t makes sense that a lifestyle enjoying outdoor leisure goes hand in hand with being ‘green’, sustainable and having a healthy respect for the natural environment. We hear so much about the need to cut our carbon emissions, recycle, avoid air travel, turn off unnecessary lights, give food that has covered more miles than a student backpacker the heave-ho and tell the room maid not to wash the bath towels daily in that plush hotel. After a while you’ve glazed over and booked that all-inclusive package holiday to half way around the world before you can say ‘Cherries from Chile’. Camping? Not so. Campers and caravanners tend to prefer staycations within the UK, with the occasional hop across the Channel. And, by the very nature of wanting to ‘live’ outdoors, sustainable outdoor activities are frequently the preferred choice of the camper. Not to mention that campers often use bikes or public transport to get around, leaving their van on site.

ON THE CAMPSITE Campers, sometimes without thinking about it, can be very environmentally conscious. With a limited water supply on board a caravan or motorhome, more thought goes into the amount of water that’s used for washing up or showering. You don’t want the cooker to stop part way through preparing the evening meal so you go steady on gas usage, you might not even think about using a hook-up (and you won’t have half-a-dozen electrical appliances all full blast or you’ll overdose the ampage), preferring to stay off-grid and use the leisure battery – or that solar panel that’s fixed to the roof of the van. All businesses are expected to have policies on recycling and environmental concerns these days, whether it’s a ritzy hotel or a small campsite. But you can look out for campsites that have gone that extra mile to address environmental issues. It might be that they’ve created wildflower areas for bees, put up bat boxes or provided educational wildlife trails for children. Or they’ve installed green energy to heat shower blocks. Look out for campsites and parks accredited with the David Bellamy Conservation Award. In the last

78   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

season more than 580 holiday parks and campsites received an award for the work they’ve done to protect and enhance the environment. Or consider membership of the Greener Camping Club, which offers members more than 75 beautiful campsites and glamping sites across the UK. Campsite owners within the organisation are passionate about looking after the environment, recycling and using renewable energy and some of the funds from membership is channelled into tree planting, habitat creation and marine conservation projects. One of the Club’s initiatives is its carbon-offset scheme, including one tree that is planted for every membership received. You can find out more about these organisations, together with some recommended sites on page XX. Meanwhile The Caravan and Motorhome Club sends 90% of all rubbish generated by guests staying on its 200+ sites to be recycled. Many campsites also ‘go further’ to receive accreditation from the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which provides independent assessment of sites that are making a difference to sustainable tourism. You can find a list of members, whether campsites and caravan parks, glamping sites and visitor attractions, or restaurants and


Green Caravanning

cafés, on the Green Tourism website. JP Orkney, electric campervan hire provider on the Orkney Islands (see page XX) is one such Green Tourism member.

GRUB’S UP Campfire cooking and the sociable aspect of preparing really tasty meals can be one of the best parts of camping and caravanning. It provides great opportunities for tasting and buying local food that’s in season from nearby farms and producers, enjoying the selection from a farmers’ market or even staying on a farm site where you can see exactly how your food is produced.

CO N S T R U C T I O N A N D M A N U FAC T U R E Perhaps the most contentious of arguments about ‘green caravanning’ would be the manufacture of hundreds of motorhomes, caravans and tents. In terms of freight around the world, caravanning can be considered as a British manufacturing success story with more than 95% of touring caravans and approximately 60% of motorhomes owned in the UK,

also manufactured in the UK. And manufacturers are aiming to play their part in the environmental debate. Examples include Hillside Leisure, who launched the world’s first electric campervan, the DalburyE. Sussex Campervans have now taken up the mantle, producing a campervan conversion on the Nissan eNV200 (you can check out Touring Magazine’s review in our November – December 2020 issue) , while Wellhouse Leisure produce a small campervan based upon the Vauxhall Blighty ‘E’, an electric vehicle produced in the UK, with the first van rolling off the production line later this year. As for production facilities, Auto-Trail, who extended its production facility by building a brand new production building at its Grimsby site, has a rainwater harvesting system that reuses water collected from the roof of the manufacturing plant to flush toilets in the building. All sawdust is collected and used for industrial fertiliser while wood wastage from the manufacturing process is chipped and burnt in a new biomass boiler, which is then used to heat the factory. The installation of energy efficient LED lighting throughout the factory →

Auto-Trail’s Grimsby HQ

JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   79


Planning

has further reduced Auto-Trail’s energy usage. To reduce its carbon energy consumption, Bailey of Bristol has added a number of initiatives EcoCamel water-saving over the shower head years. That has included covering much of the rooftop of its redeveloped manufacturing site with solar panels, allowing, in part, aspects of the plant to be sustainably powered. At weekends, when the site is not in operation, the solar energy generated is fed into the national grid. Bailey has been based on the same site in Bristol (a city renowned for leading the way on ‘green living’) for more than 60 years. Its ‘brownfield’ manufacturing plant is surrounded by residential housing and the company did contemplate moving to a new out-oftown base a few years ago. But, for environmental reasons, the team decided it was more beneficial to stay put and improve the energy efficiency of the existing site, not least because many of the staff live within walking and cycling distance of the factory, meaning less car journeys and requiring less car parking space. The green culture continues inside the premises down to the smallest detail. At the wider, longer-term end of the scale, Bailey uses renewable materials as much as possible, including FSC certified timber sourced from sustainable forests, water-based solvent-free adhesives in the bodyshell panel construction process and recycled/recyclable materials elsewhere within the manufacturing process. It’s deemed

8 0   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

that, at end-of-life, a Bailey caravan or motorhome habitation body is 75% recyclable while the chassis and base vehicle, are also recyclable. In smaller detail, every employee is issued with reusable hot drink cups and cold water bottles to eliminate the use of disposable containers. On the Continent, German manufacturer Dethleffs installed a biomass heating system for the manufacturing plant that uses all the wood waste from manufacture, conserving up to 100,000 litres of heating oil per year. At the same time, a waste management system is in place to support less waste production and maximize the utilisation of resources; the company also saves 7.5t of paper each year having implemented paperless production since 2009. Naturally, caravan and motorhome design can also play a big part in reducing carbon emissions. As construction materials and methods improve, manufacturers are able to reduce the overall weight of motorhomes and caravans, create greater aerodynamic efficiency when driving (such as lower-profile coachbuilts aided by the introduction of drop-down beds) or, towing a lighter caravan, no longer requires a gas-guzzling tow vehicle. Improved insulation also prevents the need for additional heating. Most caravans and motorhomes are now awarded with Grade III classification for heating and thermal insulation, the highest industry standard, helping to prevent heat loss into the atmosphere.

SELECT THE RIGHT PRODUCT Campers and caravanners can also do their bit. Aside from buying local produce, opting for staycations, easing up on the throttle when towing, minimising water usage ad infinitum, it’s possible to select greener camping products. It’s difficult to get away from the use of cassette toilets when you’re on the move, but you can select the


Strap B

Vango Earth Collection

‘greener’ chemicals such as Dometic GreenCare sanitary additives, Elsan Organic Toilet Fluid or Thetford’s AquaKem Green. These satisfy the highest environmental standards and are safe to use with septic tanks or biological systems. Some campsites insist upon the use of these environmentally conscious fluids. You can also opt for vans that include environmental benefits such as solar panels, lithium leisure batteries, LED lighting and EcoCamel shower heads, which reduce the amount of water required (and thus the amount of energy required to heat the water) or its Orbit SoftWater shower head which, in addition to less water, helps prevent excess shampoo and soap too. As for tents, Vango has launched the new Earth Collection this season, a range of poled and air tents sleeping two to six people, camping chairs, sleeping bags and rucksacks that have a positive impact on the environment. All the products are created in the brand’s new Sentinel Eco fabric, which is made from recycled single-use plastics, preventing them from polluting oceans and waterways. These plastics are sorted, washed and crushed before being melted into pellets. The pellets are then spun into strands that create a thread. The final yarn is then dyed using a water-saving eco dye, which also helps strengthen and protect the fabric. In 2021 the Earth Collection will recycle the plastic waste equivalent of 1,861,134 plastic bottles and aims to grow to 8,250,000 plastic bottles in 2022. Vango has also collaborated with The National Trust to create a collection of tents and sleeping bags made from recycled plastic bottles. Through this ongoing collaboration, Vango are contributing a minimum of £20,000 to The National Trust to help fund conservation projects.  ●

Recycle your old camping kit

V

ango’s ethos in recycling, refurbishing and reusing has been with the brand for many years and is embodied in Camping Recycled, a website dedicated to minimising how much outdoor kit goes to waste and, instead, giving it a second life. Through Camping Recycled, tents and awnings are refurbished and given a new life in the outdoors or, if beyond repair, they are stripped of any useful components which can then be used in other repairs. Every product is tested to ensure it is fit to go on the adventures it was made for and even comes with a one year warranty. The brand also operates another website, Spares and Repairs, which includes selling parts for recent ranges and offering a repairs service to keep your tent or awning in use as long as possible. www.vango.co.uk www.campingrecycled.co.uk

JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   81


Stay at a campsite that has pledged to help the environment and wildlife. Caroline Mills selects nine idyllic ‘green’ sites By the very characteristics of camping, campsites assist in the notion of being at one with nature; staying outdoors, surrounded by flora and fauna is known to have positive effects on human health. Some campsites, though, can be rather too pristine, with an overuse of hardstanding and barely a blade of grass in sight. There are a hundreds of campsites, though, that place an emphasis on helping to maintain a natural environment and to assist wildlife and nature. The David Bellamy Conservation Awards is an environmental scheme to encourage parks and campsites to improve their environmental management, sustainability and good neighbourliness. Annual accreditation leads to bronze, silver and gold awards according to a strict criteria. Beyond that, there are campsites and touring parks earmarked as Honey Bee Friendly Parks. These are sites that, alongside participating in the David Bellamy Conservation Awards have taken a Honey Bee Pledge to help Britain’s beleaguered bee population. Parks that sign this pledge are asked to plant the forage crops that bees require to survive. Most of the parks within the DBCA have pledged support and are upping their bee friendliness by hosting hives for local beekeeping associations – some have even taken up beekeeping and sell their own park-grown honey. There are also awards for managing wildflower areas, woodland and maintaining hedges for wildlife. Parks are granted annual certification based upon inspections; there are more than 600 parks currently within the scheme, including: 82   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Photo: Caroline Mills

Lickhill Manor Caravan Park, Worcestershire This caravan park, with pitches for camping and touring in addition to privatelyowned static holiday homes, occupies some 65 acres alongside the River Severn and is a short riverside stroll from the picturesque town of Stourport-on-Severn. There are fishing rights on the Severn, and masses of green space together with a beautiful lake. A gold award winner in the DBCA together with specific awards for the conservation management of its woodlands, hedgerows and wildflower areas. The site is also honey-bee friendly, with its own beehives and honey production.

w w w. h i l l a n d a l e .co. u k

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   83


In Focus

Outwell Superior Air from £1,330


Back of Beyond, Hampshire Set in 30 acres of parkland, of which 18 acres are woodland, Back of Beyond's accolades include accreditation with a Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award for multiple consecutive years. Conservation and the environment are at the heart of everything the owners do, with wildlife encouraged throughout the park. There is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the grounds because of the unusual and rare species found there. Beehives are on site, with honey sold in the park shop. Back of Beyond is an adults-only touring park with pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes. There are also glamping facilities including a yurt, shepherd's huts and camping pods.

w w w. b a c ko f b eyo n d to u r i n g p a r k .co. u k


In Focus

Castlerigg Hall, Cumbria With stunning views over Derwentwater and the Cumbrian fells, Castlerigg Hall has no less impressive grounds in which to pitch your tourer, motorhome or tent, or hire a glamping pod. The campsite has received a David Bellamy Gold Award for 20 consecutive years for various conservation measures implemented on and around the park. Introductions in recent years have included red squirrel feeding boxes, 120 new trees and shrubs planted to encourage wildlife, butterfly bushes and areas of grass left unmown to provide better habitats for owls. The site is also involved in the Honey Bee Pledge and is a corporate sponsor of the Butterfly Trust.

w w w.c a s t l e r i g g .co. u k

Photo: Caroline Mills

8 6   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   8 7


Camping in the Forest stems from a partnership between The Camping and Caravanning Club and Forestry Locations. The Club manages campsites on land owned by Forestry England and Forestry and Land Scotland, making some of the UK’s ancient forests more accessible to campers. There are 16 Camping in the Forest campsites across the UK, all within forest environments and where your natural surroundings are key to your experience of eating, sleeping and playing outdoors. Sustainable camping is at the heart of Camping in the Forest, and you’ll find that many of the sites are minimal-facility, without electric hook-ups, marked out or hardstanding pitches or amenity buildings so that you gain a true back-to-nature experience. You’ll often find nature-based activities, especially for families, such as bug hunts and night-time bat walks. All 16 of the sites are outstandingly beautiful, but these in particular are highly recommended:


Aldridge Hill, Hampshire One of ten Camping in the Forest sites within the New Forest National Park, each with its own character. Despite the ‘Forest’ title, Aldridge Hill is actually quite an exposed site, situated on open heathland, though with plenty of ancient trees dotted around and a band of woodland in which to roam free in. You’ll also find New Forest ponies and other livestock roam freely around the site, too. Pitch where you like; there are no toilets, showers, electric hook-ups or hardstanding so your own facilities are essential.

w w w.c a m p i n g i nt h efo re s t .co. u k

Photo: Matthew Smith


Postern Hill, Wiltshire In the beautiful 4,500-acre Savernake Forest, which was once the historic hunting ground of King Henry VIII. With many forest trails, this vast forest is ideal for walking and cycling. The campsite is amid the trees, with some places to pitch beneath the trees and others in small open glades surrounded by gorgeous oak, beech and sweet chestnut. The wardens provide nature-based activities. There is a toilet block, but no showers. However, there are electric hook-ups. The site is also within a 20-minute walk of the beautiful market town of Marlborough.

w w w.c a m p i n g i nt h efo re s t .co. u k

Photo: Barbara Leatham

Photo: Camping In The Forest



Photo: Camping In The Forest

92   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Cobleland, Stirling Within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, this beautiful wooded site sits alongside the pretty River Forth and adjacent to Loch Ard Forest. The river is shallow by the campsite, making it perfect for children to have a go at fishing, while more experienced anglers can head further up river; the site sells fishing permits. Cobleland facilities include toilets, showers, dishwashing and laundry plus electric hooks-ups. If the campsite and its immediate surroundings don’t keep you permanently occupied, there are lots of nature-based activities in the vicinity including the Forestry Lodge Visitor centre at the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, plus activity centres like Go Ape, Segway Safari and Go Country.

w w w.c a m p i n g i nt h efo re s t .co. u k

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   93


In Focus

For the Greener Camping Club, ‘green’ is at the forefront of camping. The Club was established by four friends, themselves experienced campsite owners, with a shared passion for sustainable, low impact camping holidays. It’s a members-only camping organisation committed to sustainable, responsible, eco-friendly camping. At present, the Club has more than 75 campsites – and that number is increasing all the time. The campsites, which are all privately owned and managed, are carefully vetted to provide some of the most environmentally friendly, low impact recreational camping experiences in Wales and England. Annual membership costs £10 and for every member enrolled, a tree is planted; to date more than 20,000 trees have been established, with almost 6,000 trees planted by member campsites in 2020 alone. You can join when you make your first campsite booking, or join direct through the Club’s website. Three fabulous campsites within the Greener Camping Club include:

9 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Green Campsites

Canna Farm, Cornwall At Canna Farm, camping is offered in a relaxed and tranquil environment. Situated within a unique fusion of natural and historic landscape, the site is well placed to explore on foot, by bike or car. There are just 12 pitches spread over two fields; the rest is left free for roaming, relaxing or playing! The fields are separated by rustic, traditional walls and hedgerows with flower meadows and long grass to attract wildlife and create a beautiful habitat for all. Striving to make camping as low impact as possible, 2021 sees the opening of a small campsite shop on site that will stock local produce and zero plastic goods, in the hope that it will cut down on waste produced by campers staying. Facilities are also built with the environment in mind. The toilets are composting and turn waste into nutrients, hot showers run on harvested rainwater with top ups from a spring, and hot water for the handwash is provided by the sun.

w w w.c a n n a fa r m .co. u k



Top of the Woods, Pembrokeshire Top of the Woods is a multi-award winning eco campsite that provides ‘back to nature’ holidays without compromising on the environment, space, comfort, or luxury. Located in North Pembrokeshire, with wildflower meadow camping and luxury glamping in Safari Lodges, Nature Domes or Pioneer Lodges. You can enjoy onsite activities, exciting food offerings and special events such as their Find Your Wild Holidays to help immerse you in nature.

w w w.to p o f t h ewo o d s .co. u k



Star Field Camping, Kent This relaxing off-grid experience is situated on a working farm in the historical town of Cranbrook. Wild grass, composting loos, solar power, and limited light pollution are some of the ways to celebrate the natural beauty of the site. Spacious pitches, thoughtfully handcrafted facilities, and easily accessible amenities are the finishing touches to make your stay a memorable one. As well as a country store on site there is a well-stocked farm shop providing everything needed for a comfortable stay.

w w w. s t a r f i e l d c a m p i n g .co. u k


C O M P LY W I

Images © Viittra RV


TH NATURE AN ALL-ELECTRIC MOTORHOME, WITH A 500-MILE RANGE THAT CAN POWER YOUR HOME WHEN NOT ON TOUR? TOURING MAGAZINE BRINGS YOU VITTRA RV’S VISION OF THE FUTURE



N

ew motorhome models and layouts are introduced every year by well-known manufacturers, with brands offering plenty of innovation as technology and materials move forward. But changes remain fundamentally from the same design model. Only occasionally does a motorhome look so radical that it shakes up the perception of what a vehicle looks like, and how it behaves. That’s the case with Vittra RV, whose mission is to develop a motorhome using the most modern and futuristic technologies from the ground up; to make the most lightweight, energy efficient and all electric-powered motorhome available. Daniel Amadori, team leader for Vittra RV takes up the story and highlights the principles behind the design, “We noticed many years ago that the RV/motorhome industry, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, was often lagging behind state of the art technologies in construction methods, materials, assembly lines etc. “You’ll often still see RV manufacturing plants where skilled people are welding steel and sawing wood, just as they’ve been doing since the beginning of the industry. But technologies have developed in many fields, so we wanted to take the best technologies, available at a reasonable price, to build the most advanced motorhome ever seen. The global run towards automotive electrification gave us the last push to begin our project.” One glance at the new Vittra RV motorhome will instantly indicate something different, with its minimalist external box-like design and huge curved visual panel at the front, without any sign of a traditional cab. Vittra plans to build motorhomes using a brand new construction method that’s patent protected. The company will reveal more about that later in the year, but, for now, they can tell customers that they won’t see much steel in the units. Every part of the structure is shaped to comply with its specific functions: there’s no third-party chassis upon which a camperized structure is placed on top; Vittra build a self-bearing structure that is chassis and frame at the same time. Besides that, the company has paid attention on how making the vehicle, which measures about 90 cubic meters, looks as discreet as possible from the outside with minimum →


1 0 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


aesthetic impact. Says Daniel, “We were inspired by architertural experiments and realised that making the outside surface polished and like a mirror makes the shape ‘disappear’ within its surroundings: it is a form of mimesis. Plus, in some way, we hark back to Airstream’s world-famous heritage, so combining the past and future of camping vehicle design.

P O W E R O N TO U R … . Battery range is an ongoing challenge for electric vehicles (EV). A larger battery means more energy, which may lead to increased autonomy; but a larger battery also means a heavier dead load on the vehicle which, instead, decreases the final range. On top of that, efficiency of all systems and aerodynamics are factors that also affect the final range capacity. So the final range of any EV is a balance between many different factors. In the case of the Vittra RV, trials suggest a battery of not less than 160 kWh – twice the capacity of, for example, a Tesla Model S – will provide a total range capacity of not less than 500 km (310 miles) . That sort of range should enable users to drive between plug-ins, without experiencing any range-anxiety. Added to that, the company are working to allow the motorhome to be capable of squeezing energy from any source available during normal use. Vittra’s main goal is energy efficiency in any form: kinetic, thermic and electric. That includes employing regenerative braking technology to recover energy from deceleration.

… A N D AT H O M E One of the most notable variants of the Vittra RV by comparison to a traditional motorhome is its design to be connected to the owner’s home as an energy provider. Using its solar technology and battery the motorhome will act as a decentralised storage domestic power supply when not in use on-the-road. Says Daniel, “Buying a motorome is a major investment for most owners. The compensation for that investment is the great time they have when out travelling with family and friends. But, for much of the time your motorhome will be parked on a driveway, or somewhere else where you have to pay to keep it safe in storage. “If you own a device that produces 13,4 MW/year, why shouldn’t you take advantage of it and get an economic return from it? That energy is worth thousands of pounds a year. So our →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 0 5


Exclusive


Vittra RV

solution will allow owners to connect their motorhome to power up their house or other electric vehicles. In addition, we plan to build dedicated Vittra parking areas where owners can park their motorhome and receive compensation for the energy sold to the grid.”

P E N T H O U S E A PA RT M E N T-ST Y L E D O U B L E - F LO O R L I V I N G It’s not only the exterior, or the use of modern electric technologies with which you’ll notice a difference. Step inside and you’ll find the interior an altogether different experience from a standard motorhome available for purchase today. The aim is to make people living onboard feel as if they’re staying in a comfortable apartment, not a tiny van. While designing the floorplan Vittra wanted to introduce the same cabinetry, furniture, shower and beds to the same size that customers are likely to be used to at home, and to make the interior space as practical as possible. You won’t need to store away beds to have breakfast or to sit on a sofa; you’ll be able to access the washroom while someone else is taking a shower, as is possible in some larger and more upmarket A-Class and coachbuilt motorhomes. The building structure certainly helps to solve these problems. As there’s no ICE engine, transmission, exhaust system, or even steel beams bearing the floor, there’s more freedom to design. That allows, for example, to be able to realise a double-floor rear bedroom, with the option for building a large storage area below. Plus, the plan is to include three slide-out pods on the nine-metrelong coach, reaching a total of approximately 29 square metres of interior space. Whimsical fancy, a serious concept vehicle designed to challenge pre-existing norms, or a ready prepared production line for multiple output? Vittra’s goal is to begin a serial production of the vehicle as quickly as possible. Says Daniel, “ We believe we have all the necessary requirements to change the rules of the global RV/motorhome industry. We have accomplished a lot since the beginning, even when only relying on our personal resources. Now we are having discussions with bigger investors to find the right one(s) to back us up through the next big steps. So if there are any enthusiastic investors out there, contact us and let’s have a chat!”  ●

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 07


W H O A R E V I T T R A RV ? Vittra is made up of an international, multidisciplinary team of four people. Among the competencies brought to the business are: ■ Specific knowledge of the motorhome industry, understanding its market, technologies, dynamics and trends; ■ Knowledge in law, international trade, patents, and intellectual property, in addition to global business and company financing; ■ Experience and knowledge in project and program management, operational efficiency, business development and innovation strategy; ■ In-depth knowledge in product development and production, and use of composite materials for the automotive industry;

From technical to managerial, from legal to commercial, what unites and identifies the team is the passion for motorhomes and innovative solutions that comply with nature. Where will the vehicle be built? Realistic options are Sweden or Italy. Part of the team is Swedish and the lab where Vittra is currently testing selected materials is in Sweden. As to cost, the team hope that the new motorhome will be aligned with the other 9-metre-long standard (ICE powered) motorhomes available on the market today. www.vittrarv.com


INDEPENDENTLY ASSESSED

W

Certified Peace of Mind With over 520 mobile and fixed workshops nationwide, we are the UKs largest network of independent manufacturer approved workshops offering servicing nationwide. Recognised by the following manufacturers:

For a full member listing visit www.approvedworkshops.co.uk


U T R O P PAS La Si pritra dentiaestari til haciorbit. Onocchi, conventiam in se, se num que

TOURING MAGAZINE CATCHES UP WITH PORTUGAL EASYCAMP TO LEARN ABOUT A NEW WAY OF SEEING ONE OF THE OLDEST NATIONS IN EUROPE

1 1 0   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


L A UG SION

Strap B

Conceito Wines

JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   1 1 1


Strap A

1 1 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Portugal Quinta da Almiara

Tell us about Portugal EasyCamp. What is it and how does it work? Portugal EasyCamp is the first network of motorhome farm stopovers in Portugal and a great way to visit, see and experience the Portuguese countryside in all its glory! With a warm welcome, and quality products, customers feel privileged to be in such lovely places. For visitors from other countries, it’s a nice surprise to enjoy Portuguese hospitality in “private” places, to taste local products direct from the producers and to have the opportunity to see places full of history. Our scheme works on a win-win relationship for both the motorhomer and the host. The motorhomer receives a lovely package of products (produced from the host and at farm shop price) and the host receives revenue they would otherwise wouldn’t have, all for a 24 hour stopover. Our customers appreciate the fact that all our activities are online, and people can choose places to stay from the map using the filters according to their wants and needs. It could be choosing type of host – winery, agricultural, culture, nature – available facilities such as electricity, water, WC, →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 1 3


Overseas Touring Herdade do Rocim

etc. bicycle trails and hiking in the area, or whether animals are allowed. Portugal EasyCamp is all online, with no annual subscription or need to buy a book. The motor homer books directly and pays online, prior to arriving at the location, which ensures their place is reserved for them.

How did you come up with the idea for Portugal EasyCamp? Are you campers yourselves? The Portugal EasyCamp project was born out of a passion for travelling. For years we have been travelling around Europe with our family in our car and a tent, but very quickly the motorhome became our dream. As motorhome lovers, we started to look for alternatives to campsites and we realised that in most countries in Europe, and even elsewhere, there was the possibility to stay on a farm or a vineyard and let the children learn about rural life. But not in Portugal. That was the cue to make us think about creating the first network in Portugal! Nevertheless, we decided to create something slightly different from all other schemes. For us, knowing that our overnight stopover is booked and there will be no uncertainties is a must.

How many participating farms are in the network and is this number going to grow? Is it a nationwide network? For the time being, the hosts in the scheme include wineries, olive oil producers, agricultural farms, rural tourism, beekeeping, equestrian centres, and artisanal producers. We currently have 54 Hosts online, with more in the pipeline this year. Quality is a must for us, that’s why we only take on partners who really offer good quality and a →

1 1 4   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   1 1 5


Strap A

1 1 6   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Portugal Herdade Fonte Paredes

great experience for visitors. Our goal is to extend the network by the end of the year, and there maybe opportunities to include the Azores and Madeira too!

For those of our readers that have never visited Portugal, or maybe have only experienced the Algarve, can you tell us about some of your favourite parts of the country to visit? The Douro river valley is one of the oldest, and most stunning wine regions. And it’s a UNESCO Heritage Region. You reach this from the N222 national road, classified as one of the most beautiful roads in the world by Conde Nasté Traveller. The Serra da Estrela hill and the Gerês National Park are a favourite. The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge over the river Paiva is a must, in a region known for its 8 kilometres of wooden walkways. Further south is the Alentejo, Portugal’s largest region covering a third of the country. This is truly captivating with golden plains, rolling hills, vineyards, as well as a rugged coastline, with its traditional whitewashed villages, marble towns and medieval cities. Alentejo offers the most wonderful traditional cuisine.

How long can visitors stay on Portugal EasyCamp sites? The idea is for a 24 hour stay at a Host site, but of course there could be exceptions. →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 1 7


Overseas Touring

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Casa das Palmeiras Soito Wines Quinta do Brejinho Quinta da Bacelada

What are some of the local specialities visitors will find for sale at the Portugal Portugal EasyCamp hosts? Just food and wine or more? Other local goodies are available to purchase, as well as experiences at some host’s locations. Some have fresh bread deliveries as well as other produce to buy such as breakfast baskets. Fruit may be picked from the trees (with the host’s permission), on farms children may help feed the animals, there may be horse riding lessons, lunch with the producers, or you could learn how to make cheese. Most sites are set in stunning locations, with a unique drive through fabulous countryside to reach the destination. You can unwind at our sites in a peaceful, safe, and relaxing environment. Those who fear current virus restrictions say this formula is ideal. Holidays are for relaxing, unwinding and enjoying your surroundings, so it’s good to be able to meet such friendly hosts and see the ‘real Portugal’.  ●

Portugal EasyCamp www.portugaleasycamp.com/en/

1 1 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


JUNE – JULY

touring magazine   1 1 9


History

THE PATH O

1 20   touring magazine

APRIL – MAY 2021


The Viking Coastal Trail

OF VIKINGS

B

irds and brassicas and bracing sea breezes. Bleak House where Charles Dickens wrote much of David Copperfield. Lunch in the Old Curiosity Shop. Retirement bungalows on the low chalk cliffs with naff names like The Last Resort and Dunroamin. Elegant, if faded, Victorian and Edwardian mansions, built as convalescent homes or boarding schools as this nose of East Kent pointing out into the Channel was, and is, noted for its efficacious air. The Leonard Kent (named after a butcher who donated much of the £1.2 million to pay for the lifeboat) being trundled along the seafront from the harbour back to its station after Sunday manoeuvers. The gaudiness of Margate’s Dreamland confirming the resort’s sobriquet ‘the Blackpool of the South’. The magnificent medieval church at St Nicholas at Wade built of local stone – square knapped flints from the underlying chalk (hence the abundance of cabbages and cauliflowers), wave-smoothed pebbles from the beach and Kent ragstone. The 28 mile Viking Coastal Trail is an excellent day’s circular cycling around the Isle of Thanet. Today no longer an island, it was in Roman days. My old Samaritan mate Geoff and I cycled it clockwise starting from St Nicholas at Wade (the saint is patron of seafarers, as well as children and pawn brokers) and the soaring

tower of the church has long been a prominent landmark for shipping as is the shingled spire of Birchington. Near the latter village is Quex House where the eccentric Major Percy Powell Cotton used to live and which houses his collection of hunting trophies that he collected from exotic places. Between 1887 and 1939 he went on 28 collecting expeditions mostly to the Indian subcontinent and Africa. An ancestor of Percy’s, John Powell, worked for the Crown and was a close colleague of the paymaster general to George III’s armed forces, and had bought the original but then derelict Quex House and the estate that went with it, in 1774. The finance for this was rather dubious and Powell may have been in a money laundering operation with the connivance of his boss. The 14th century house was rebuilt between 1895 and 1814 as a Regency building and succeeding generations of the family created an estate that was virtually self-contained with a brew house, bake house, laundry, larders and store rooms, workshops, stables, a coach house and servants’ quarters. In 1818 The Waterloo Tower was built to celebrate the victory over Napoleon. This tower houses a peal of 12 bells which were offered originally to the local church but the vicar declined the gift. Today it is one of the few secular peals in England and is still in used, being rung regularly by the Quex Society of Change Ringers. →

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 21


History

A flock of Brent geese and another of lapwings were feeding on the flat fields as Geoff and I cycled north to the coast wall. From Birchington, it’s built up virtually all of the 14 miles round to Ramsgate, but with the sea on your left, all the time there is something of interest. A full tide had dumped thousands of mussel shells and bladder wrack on the seawall, which made pleasant crunching and popping noises as we cycled along. Redshanks with their distinctive yodeling ‘tu-udle’ and oyster catchers shrill ‘klee-eep, klee-eep’ flew close to the waves. At Margate there was a memorial to the heroic crew of the Leonard Kent’s predecessor. One tragic day in 1897 the town’s then lifeboat Friend to All Nations capsized in the surf when being launched and all nine aboard drowned. The first visitors to what had been a fishing town came to Margate in about 1750. They wanted to bathe in the sea and drink the salty water. Soon the fashion became a craze. To preserve modesty a devout local Quaker Benjamin Beale came up with the bathing machine, a kind of mobile changing room on wheels, with outside facilities for concealed swimming. On the side facing out to sea a tent-like structure shielded the bathers from Peeping Toms and the whole rig was drawn by a horse and driven by a local ‘guide’. In a publication All About Margate of 1867 is written: ‘The sea-bathing of Margate has the reputation of being far more animated than in any other part of the coast. There are a number of waiting Rooms in the High Street where the customers retire until the machines are ready and which are fitted with every luxury, including yesterday’s newspaper and a piano with a rich banjo tone …’ We pressed on keeping the sea on our left but Foreness Point we paused

1 2 2   touring magazine

to inspect the chalk stacks of Botany Bay. Just four days previously a ship had been driven ashore here and the Margate lifeboat had attended the incident. Bleak House at Broadstairs looked to be well named. The castellated building overlooking the harbour sulked, shut up for winter. The narrow streets of Broadstairs, notorious for its past smuggling, with 18th century houses of brick and flint provided shelter from the keen wind. A cappuccino and a crispy bacon panini in the Old Curiosity Shop (with its 30 feet deep well inside the tea shop) was a warm and welcome break. Then on to the busy harbour of Ramsgate with the wind making the rigging of the moored yachts chink and clink merrily. The full size replica Viking Ship overlooking Pegwell Bay celebrates the arrival on this coast of Hengist and Horsa in 449AD, the first Anglo-Saxon settlers in Britain. Another piece of history was on the way to Minster. St Augustine’s Cross is erected on the site where the saint (sent by the Pope to re-Christianise the country and Canterbury’s first Archbishop) is supposed to have celebrated his first Mass in 597AD. As the late afternoon light faded we were in for one last surprise. Their raucous call alerted me to more recent visitors. In the trees beside the lane was a squawkel of rose ringed parakeets, some of the estimated 10,000 escapees that have now established themselves in the wild in the Southeast.  ● Chris McCooey owned a motorhome for a number of years and his Swift 600 was a great way for him to explore Kent and Sussex and research his books. This extract is from Tales, Titbits and Trivia of Kent and Sussex. Details of all of his books and talks can be found on his website www.chrismccooey.co.uk or contact him at chris.mccooey49@gmail.com.

JUNE – JULY 2021


JOIN

THE TRAVEL CLUB THE MEMBERSHIP CLUB FOR SERIOUS TRAVELLERS FROM BRADT GUIDES

Be inspired

Free books and our monthly e-zine, packed with travel tips and inspiration

Save money

Exclusive offers and special discounts from our favourite travel brands

Plan the trip of a lifetime

Access our exclusive concierge service and have a bespoke itinerary created for you by a Bradt author

Join here:

bradtguides.com/travelclub Membership levels to suit all budgets

TRAVEL TAKEN SERIOUSLY


Food and Drink On-The-Road Recipes

Salmon, asparagus and new potatoes

Ingredients: ▶ 600g new potatoes, cut into chunks. ▶ 175g Asparagus, each piece cut into 3. ▶ 2 tbsp. Olive Oil. ▶ 2 x 140g Salmon fillets, skinned & chunked. ▶ 100g Cherry tomatoes, halved. ▶ 1 tbsp. snipped fresh chives. ▶ 4 eggs. Serves 4

Method: Cook potatoes as normal until tender in boiling water, just before potatoes are ready, put the asparagus in for about 1 minute, then drain well & set aside. Heat the oil in a 10”(25cm) frying pan, add the potatoes & asparagus and spread them out to one even layer. Cook for about 2mins. Make some gaps & tuck in the salmon & tomatoes. Cover & cook for 1-2 mins until salmon is half cooked. Take the lid off and scatter the chives over. Beat the eggs together & pour over. Cover & leave for 4-5mins to make sure the eggs are cooked. If you have a grill, you could grill until the top is golden. At each stage, season according to your taste.

C

amp, Cook, Dine is a camping cookbook containing recipes written and tested by campers for other campers to enjoy good tasty food while camping. This simple concept is made possible by featuring good food recipes that people have tried and tested while living the outdoor life

1 24   touring magazine

either alone, with family or with friends. All the recipes have been cooked either on two gas rings, on a Cadac or Cobb or similar gas / charcoal fired grills / barbeques. The pictures shown are of meals cooked by the people submitting them. Don’t forget: Campers love good food too !!

JUNE – JULY 2021


touring SUBSCRIBE

and never miss an issue ... ... wherever you are


FLOW POW


WER WER WITH ELDERFLOWER SEASON UPON US TOTALLY WILD SHOWS US SOME CREATIVE USES FOR THIS DELICIOUS FLOWER


Food and Drink

I

t is a beautiful day, walking through meadows with new crops up and as the sunshine hits you with its heat before a cloud quickly reminds you its not quite time for a t-shirt yet. With temperatures on the rise we find ourselves approaching summer and the signs are clear. Bees frequent the wildflowers or buzz into your door whilst preparing spring vegetables like asparagus or getting rhubarb ready for a must-have crumble and custard. One of our favourite times of year is upon us where the intoxicating scent of elderflower fills the air. Depending on where you are mid-May up until July is the window where brushing past elderflower gives you a nudge of hope that getting out and exploring again does not require 3 changes of clothes. Back to it. Some indicators of elderflower being close is that the cherry blossoms have fallen and filled the gutters or sides of streets and Hawthorn’s Mayflower is in the middle of its bloom. It’s the flower of the Elder (Sambucus Nigra) that we are talking about and later in the year when the flower turn to its deep fruity and savoury berry we get another haul of a great wild ingredient. Its good to keep note of you favourite spots as once you take the flower you won’t be able to gather the fruit. For this reason I keep my picking of each item separate. As we start to identify Elderflower initially from afar I start by looking what looks like balanced cream floral plates nestled amongst green foliage there are many other flowers out at this time that could be mistaken so its important to understand the key characteristics. Its favourite environment is pretty broad including hedgerows, woodlands, garden edges, farmers fields, walkways, playing fields

1 2 8   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Foraging

and commonly by canals. It’s everywhere in the Uk and is also found in much of Europe, Western Asia, North and Central America We also need go be careful with the Elder itself as this deciduous shrub or small tree aside from the flower and berry all green parts of this plant are considered poisonous and should be avoided. Taking a closer look it can be seen to grow to up to 6 meters and can grow as wide as it is tall. The bark is a light brown-grey and found with yellowing revealed in-between cracks. The leaves are light green, spear-shaped and have serrated edges they can be 5-12cm long and 3-5cm wide. They grow in opposing pairs of 5-7 leaves with one leaf at the end of the stem resembling a feather known as a “pinnate”. The flowers are 5-6mm in and are held in flat groupings that total 10-25cm in diameter. Later in the year elderberry once formed has a similar structure but due to its weight starts to droop. I have found that when picked they begin to juice themselves so very easy to collect the juice and there’s a lot that can be done with that. We will wait for another article later in the year to go into more detail. There are a few plants that Elderflower is confused with especially if you are just looking at the flower head. The Umbellifer family whose flower head is like an upside down umbrella contains a number of plants, some of which are very poisonous. The difference is quite clear as you are looking for a tree not a plant so its an easy step to avoid this mistake on closer inspection. The main Umbellifer that could cause confusion especially with a young Elder would be Ground Elder whose leaves have a similar structure hence the name but once again it's a plant and that should be an early ID for those looking to collect. Rowan Tree or Mountain Ash is a small tree that could be confused with Elder whose leaves are much finer and far more serrated, its bark is smooth silvery grey the Rowan tree is also much sturdier and you will notice the flower heads do not balance like elder but rather hang they are also more silvery grey than the creaminess of elderflowers and rarely get as large as elderflower heads. Rowan flower heads also have a strong almond flavour. The fruit later is the year is red or orange. You will maybe also be familiar with this tree as it lines many roads.

This plant has been called the “medicine chest of country people”. There are a huge number of uses to go through but mainly the flowers are used by herbalists to aid inflammation within the respiratory system including asthma, coughs and hay fever. The berries are known as a super immune booster and all foragers I know make a syrup and take it throughout the winter months. Edibility wise as we stated earlier we only use the flowers and the berries as the green plant is poisonous when ingested. The flowers are used for cordials, natural sodas, flavouring wine, tempura and flavouring creams, sauces and cakes. →

Totally Wild Totally Wild is a foraging company offering courses with expert foragers thoughout the UK and sustainably harvested high quality ingredients. The Foragers' Cookbook by James Wood is priced at £14.99 and available at www.totallywilduk.co.uk

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 2 9


Food and Drink

Elderflower & Mint Ve g e t a b l e M e d l e y Ingredients ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶

4 bountiful bunches of elderflower 250ml Single Cream (or vegan cream) 2 Lemons, halved 1kg Jersey Royals 1 Bunch Fresh Mint 50g Butter (or Vegan Butter) 1 bunch Radish 2 bunch Asparagus 200g Cooked Chestnuts Seasoning

Method ▶ First of all we need to make the elderflower cream. It’s an infusion, place the elderflowers into a pot with the cream and lemons, bring to the boil. Once it has begun to boil you can remove from the heat and put the lid on. Allowing to further infuse then strain once the potatoes are ready in 20 minutes time. A rich elderflower infused cream will be used to finish the dish later. This can be done in advance and can also be used as a base cream for cheesecakes, served with pancakes. Its very versatile ▶ Next put a pot of salted water onto the hob and bring to the boil to blanch the potatoes. After 20 minutes check they are cooked through strain and set to one side on a flat tray to cool. This also can be done in advance ▶ Now we can begin to prepare the vegetables and nuts. The asparagus need to have the woody ends removed, the radishes can be cut into halves, crush the chestnuts and remove the leaves from the mint and chop roughly. The potatoes can be cut into discs ▶ Now its time to cook! This all takes place in one pan large frying pan or saucepan. ▶ Add the butter and put on the highest temperature

1 3 0   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021

▶ ▶

allow the butter to melt and start to bubble then add the potatoes. Once the potatoes are coloured on both sides we can move the potatoes to one side, put on top of one another if need be and cook the radishes, repeat with the asparagus. Toss the vegetables together and add the chestnuts. Essentially we just want all the flavours to get amongst each other before adding the fresh mint and elderflower cream. Season to taste and serve. Note: If you would like to use more than one pan the asparagus love being griddled or bbq’d which can be used on top of the dish to decorate


Foraging

Elderflower Te p a c h e Tepache is a popular drink in Central America essentially a natural soda from pineapple, chilli (optional), cloves, cinnamon and sugar. I’ve swapped out the pineapple for elderflowers here but kept the spices as it is such a great combination and is also great mixed with a beer for a floral shandy or a mixer for a vodka, gin and especially rum. It ferments naturally due to the wild yeast that is everywhere and if you’ve made elderflower sparkling wine before then this will bolster your elderflower and wild soda skillset to the next level.

Equipment ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶

2 litre flip top jar (Kilner) 1 long-handled stainless steel spoon 1 reusable straw 1 sieve 2 x 750ml glass flip top bottles or plastic screw top bottles

Ingredients ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶ ▶

10 bountiful bunches of elderflower 4-5 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 1 Chilli (optional) 1.5 litres of water 130g Sugar (organic is best)

Method ▶ I cannot express enough the importance of having all the bottles, glass and equipment clean. We are allowing sugar and yeast to ferment with the rest of the flavours in the recipe and it needs no other nasties to ruin this delicious recipe. We also need to respect the build up of carbon dioxide during fermentation.

▶ ▶

This process needs regular check on gas build and needs burping. Everything gets put into the flip-top jar. Close the jar and give it a good shake to mix the sugar. Open the jar to let out any gas and then seal again. This needs 4 days at room temperature to kick off the fermentation. Avoid direct light. After 4 days you should see the mixture is starting to foam. Let the gas out (burp), re-seal the jar and you can roll the jar around to mix everything up once more. Wait a few minutes and burp once more. Now leave for another day. On day 5 you can taste the mixture and see if you are happy with the flavour using the straw dipping it in like a fancy cocktail maker. If you are happy with it its time to strain. If its too sweet for you you can let it ferment at room temperature longer. Personally I like things a bit more sour and let it ferment another 3 days. Paying attention to the build up of pressure I burp it every day from here on in. Now we strain through a fine sieve and pour the liquid into clean bottles. Glass is best with a flip top but plastic bottles can also be used. I re-use the spent ingredients for another batch now and repeat the process. As its already been quite active it should only take 2 days rather than 4 indicated on step 2. The bottles I leave at room temperature again for 2 days to build up carbonation. Still burping on occasions and place in the fridge. It's delicious and also full of natural probiotics. Win Win. Note: Releasing the pressure is very important and for this reason people use plastic bottles especially if they are keeping it in a cool dark place to ferment further. This will be creating a slightly alcoholic product that will be much more bitter.

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 31


Shopping

The list

Picnic essentials for a long hot summer

YETI ROADIE 24 £ 200

Tall enough to carry a bottle of wine vertically (or 18 cans of beer!) the Yeti Roadie 24 will take your picnic drinks game to the next level.

TARTAN WATERPROOF PICNIC BLANKET

HOLIDAY BEACH UMBRELLA

£ 70

£ 169

Made from a mixture of recycled wool and reclaimed fabrics, this sustainable picnic blanket is available in a choice of tartans and is machine washable! Perfect for long afternoons on the grass.

You may not be getting to the beach this summer but this umbrella in Navy crew stripe will look great in any picnic situation.

1 3 2   touring magazine

JUNE – JULY 2021


Product Spotlight

FOUR PERSON WILLOW PICNIC BASKET £ 75

This willow hamper holds everything you’ll need for a picnic including a bottle opener, drinking glasses and cutlery. With an attractive blue and white geometric lining and space for a cool bag to keep things fresh this picnic hamper not only looks the part but is practical too.

JAQUES ROUNDERS SET £ 18

A high-quality rounders set with everything you need for family fun in the garden (or campsite!) this summer!

JUNE – JULY 2021

touring magazine   1 3 3


Your next adventure starts here The The South South East’s East’s first first and and only only event event for for touring touring holiday holiday enthusiasts enthusiasts

Sign Sign up up for for news news and and ticket ticket offers offers at at

goexploreshow.co.uk goexploreshow.co.uk @goexploreshow @goexploreshow

@goexploreshow @goexploreshow

@show_explore @show_explore

i ni np p aa r trnt e ne r srhs ihpi pww i t iht h

25 25 -- 27 27 March March 2022, 2022, Farnborough Farnborough International International