Obviously this is a rhetorical question right now! Lockdown shows no signs of ending, we’re all on tenterhooks to see what the government does next, and there has been no real mention of tourism when talking about easing of restrictions (although bumbling Boris alluded to “a great British summer” last week – so that’s put the kiss of death on things – and the transport secretary has warned against anyone booking holidays right now, which is a kick in the teeth).
But with snow on the ground and another day in the same four walls, looking forward to hopefully better times will be keeping many of us going right now.
So, if things improve, how do you plan to spend your summer?
The husband and I have already ruled out plane travel this year; even if it does become viable. It’s doubtful we’ll have been vaccinated until late summer anyway, and it seems morally irresponsible, so it will be another UK summer for us. A couple of years back I would quite probably have thrown a hissy fit at the thought of it, but our campervan has certainly changed my opinion of holidaying in the UK. Whether it’s a weekend away or a longer stay, being away in the van feels like a real adventure and an escape from it all. The prospect of going a little bit further for a little bit longer this year is exciting. In previous years I would have wrestled with “settling” for a UK holiday when the temptation of foreign lands loomed large, but when the choice is taken away it’s given me the chance to fully throw myself into vanlife and appreciate it not as a compromise, but as a wonderful holiday in its own right.
Last year, after a slow start to summer due to lockdown one, we managed trips to Lulworth in Dorset, and Croyde in Devon. Both of them were 4 nighters which, before we booked them, we thought would be our limit for living in a campervan. At the end, as we packed up, we both said we could happily have stayed for longer. So, fingers crossed, 2021 will see maybe attempt a whole week in our home on wheels?
First priority is Cornwall
The sites I have my eye on – with pretty much direct beach access – are around 250 miles away, which is a quite a jaunt. So we’ve talked about a “twin centre” holiday; stopping off somewhere for a couple of days on the way down. I very much want to go to Tintagel Castle (fingers crossed tourist attractions will also be open in some form as we have an ongoing but unused English Heritage membership) so perhaps finding a nice site in the area that would allow us to do some exploring, and then heading further South West would be the way to go.
Of course if you get as far as staying in St Ives, you may as well also visit Lands End. Penzance, and St Michaels Mount (I’ve never been further into Cornwall than Looe).
The beauty of a campervan and an awning is that we can leave all our stuff behind at the site and head out sightseeing for the day in the van; having lunch and drinks “on the road” if we choose to.
I would also very much like to head into Wales at some point…
…although they’re setting their own Covid rules and regulations so may remain closed to tourists even if England opens up. I have a beautiful lakeside site in mid Wales on my list of places to visit, a riverside site, and of course there are some wonderful beaches on the West Coast. I need to put more thought and more research into that.
…and one that I need to put some work into on the home front, is the Norfolk coastline. The husband has dismissed it as “a horrible drive” but sometimes you have to endure conditions you’d rather not to get to where you want to go. I have offered to drive if he’s that bothered, but as I’ve never been behind the wheel of the van and feel wholly confused by the prospect of driving an automatic, this has so far been met with an absolute no.
Weirdly, one of the things I have found about being away in our campervan that I really didn’t expect, is that it doesn’t really matter where you are (as long as it’s picturesque, obvs, I’m not talking about being in a car park!).
The enjoyment comes from the sense of freedom, from waking up and opening the van door whilst you’re still in bed, from cooking breakfast and eating it outside, from saying good morning to strangers as you walk to the shower block (this is perhaps most surprising of all, anti-social and anti-other-people as I am on holidays normally). We were as happy 45 minutes drive from home in Worcestershire as we were a 4 hour drive away in Dorset.
Maybe it will be a case of where we can go, rather than where we really want to go this summer. As long as we’re not stuck at home, anywhere will be ok.
Do you have any hopes, dreams, and aspirations for summer 2021? I’d love to know!
Thanks, as always, for reading. x