Ideas, Inspire Me

A winning weekend in a VW T5 Campervan

T5 VW Campervan

The Win

In 2014 I won.  I entered an online competition, and I won.  But this was no ordinary win (if there is such a thing).  This was a win that I will treasure in my memory bank forever.

I had won a weekend away in a stylish VW T5 Campervan.  I had ‘liked’ Active Kampers Facebook page and my name was picked as the winner.  It was a simple as that.  It was, of course, meant to be.  My dream is to one day be the owner of a vintage campervan.

I had won a weekend away with Charlie.  Charlie is a 2014 VW T5 automatic camper with all the latest features and innovations that you would expect from this pinnacle of campervans.  Style, elegance, comfort and practicality, Charlie had it all.

So, the next question.  Where to go with campervan hire Charlie?  And what campervan adventures would we plan for our weekend away?

Here’s a bit about campervan Charlie.

 

The Campervan VW T5

The VW T5 campervan has everything you need for an on-the-road adventure. It can sleep four, has an elevating roof, gas heating hob, fridge/freezer, sink with a 30 litre water tank, and all cooking and dining equipment.

I was particularly taken with the snazzy interior storage.  So cleverly designed that there were storage compartments for every configuration whether for driving, sitting, cooking, eating or sleeping.  Light switches were well positioned too.

Charlie drove like a dream and we soon got used to the automatic controls, we felt like we were coasting on air.  The tank was full when we set off and we only had to fill up once during our 3-day trip, and returned the tank full.

Sitting up high in very comfortable seats, the integrated Sat Nav (when we needed it) took us to places we wanted to get to.  VW campers command respect wherever they go and we soon got to know the special VW campervan wave.

The front seats swivell round making the space comfy for living, cooking and relaxing.  We took the basics for our 3-day adventure and delighted in making endless cups of tea (just because we could) and 2 breakfasts of sensational bacon sandwiches.

Sleeping is just as easy. The rear bench seat converted into our comfy bed and we collapsed late to bed each evening, waking to glorious sunrises, green field views, and fresh morning air.  Magical.

And there are few better sounds after a night’s sleep than the click and rumble of the sliding doors opening on to a new day.

 

The Trip

The possibilities were endless.  Think campervans and I immediately think thousand mile treks up hill and down dale, getting lost enroute and off-track, with adventure round every corner.

This was a three day campervan break with set pick up and drop off times and we needed to be sensible about distances.  Spoilt for choice with so many beautiful counties in southern England, my friend and I decided to combine our campervan adventure with a family get-together in Somerset.

So off we set, on a sunny September Friday evening.  From Sussex we picked up the A272 that took us from Haywards Heath to Winchester through medieval market towns, past rolling South Downs, and along winding valleys.

On to the A303, past Stonehenge, and our first night-time camper stop, The Bruce Arms at Pewsey. A traditional country pub with a campsite, in the heart of rural Wiltshire. Super welcoming landlord, excellent burgers, and clean facilities.

An early start on Saturday and Charlie drove like a dream into Somerset where we headed directly to  National Trust, Tyntesfield, a stone’s throw from Bristol.  A Victorian Gothic revival house, a family estate, and a superb party venue where we ate, drank and made merry with over 100 cousins.

It was back-to-basics camping at Lower Milton Campsite near Wookey Hole.  We made a roaring camp fire and watched the twinkling stars from our cosy campervan bed.

Next day we pointed Charlie in the direction of Cheddar Gorge and explored some stunning stalactite caverns. We stumbled across the Mendip Trail and the Queen Victoria inn at Priddy.  With flagstone flooring, huge fireplaces, and beamed ceilings, why not stop awhile?  And that’s exactly what we did.  We found the Priddy camp site and set up camp for the night.

Heading back to Brighton on Monday we reflected on our campervan adventure with Charlie.  And here’s what we decided were the very best bits.

 

The Best Bits

  1. The camaraderie of fellow campervanners on the road.
  2. The feeling of a true sense of freedom.  A ‘go anywhere’, ‘do anything’ kind of feeling.
  3. We had everything on board that we needed, right there.  Gives a great sense of home-from-home.
  4. New roads, new places, new experiences – a camper encourages experiencing ‘the new’.
  5. Making tea in our home on wheels.
  6. Watching the stars twinkle at night and the sun rise in the morning from a cosy campervan interior.
  7. The ease of driving an automatic VW T5 campervan.
  8. Getting to know the quirks of the camper’s interior and how everything works.
  9. Having a few drinks in a great pub knowing that our bed was only yards away.
  10. Where shall we explore next?

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