While the history of the region is impressive, it’s worth pointing out that Bristol also enjoys a mild climate for the United Kingdom. Consequently, it’s ideal for those who are looking to take a campervan holiday. An average annual temperature of 10.5 degrees centigrade comes with a significant number of sunny days. You can experience all the history and natural beauty this location has to offer in comfortable conditions. Before we take a look at what some of the many campervan hire services provide, it’s wise to appreciate what you should take into account when choosing a campervan in Bristol.
Whether referred to as a motorhome or a recreational vehicle (RV), campervans boast unique amenities. They are designed to provide a home away from home. As opposed to taking a journey to Bristol in a small and uncomfortable car, campervans are spacious and relaxing. They also negate the need for a hotel. Some of the features that are often present can include (but are not limited to):
- Satellite television
- Internet access
- Flat-screen televisions
- Comfortable beds
- Sanitary showers and bathrooms
- Gas connections for cooking and grilling
- Fully equipped kitchens
Driving this type of van is generally not much different to operating a typical motor vehicle. You will still need to obey all relevant laws. This includes wearing a seatbelt while you are on the road. This type of recreational vehicle will often offer a separate hitch in the event that you wish to attach a trailer. Extra equipment, such as water skis or off-road motorcycles, can be transported using this feature. Of course, it’s always wise to check with the individual provider you select. That way, you’ll better appreciate the choices at your disposal.
You will be pleased to know that there are dozens of campervan rental services located in and around Bristol. Many of these are close to major roads, such as the A432, the A420 and the M32. This is particularly useful if you happen to be arriving from a distant location and if you are not entirely familiar with the city.
Before you set off on your journey, it’s a good idea to buy short-term campervan insurance. Policies tend to be flexible and there are a number of packages available. Such plans can come in handy if you happen to accidentally damage the vehicle during the rental period. They will also provide additional services. One example is emergency breakdown cover, which is always a good idea when you are away from home. Some providers will offer insurance as a portion of their rental packages. Others might require you to purchase a separate policy. Once again, be sure to ask a representative to clarify these questions before committing to one firm over another.
Assuming that you are already aware of the type of campervan you want to hire, it’s prudent to take into account the time of the year when you plan on arriving. The best weather tends to occur between May and late September. However, if you prefer quiet time and you don’t mind the rain, visiting during the off season is generally more peaceful. Discounted rates are sometimes available at camp sites outside peak seasons too. This is because fees are often based upon occupancy.
Before we move on to some of the most interesting locations to experience, we have a few other tips that may come in handy. While your campervan might very well be equipped with a GPS tracking system, always bring along a physical map. GPS units are not 100 percent accurate. Maps can supplement any missing data. Make a list of any supplies that you plan on taking along too. Renters will often stock their motorhomes with basic necessities such as food and water.
Exploring Bristol & Surrounding Areas In a Camper Van
Now you have a basic idea of the main benefits associated with renting a campervan. So, let’s delve into some of the many sights that you will be able to explore during your stay.
Firstly, it’s important to mention the Kennet and Avon Canal. At no fewer than 87 miles long, this canal is one of the longest waterways within the United Kingdom. Two different sections are navigable by boat and it’s likely that you will be able to find rental services during your stay. There are also a number of caravan parks close by. It’s ideal if you have been hoping to absorb a bit of nature. Leisurely strolls along the towpath enable you to reach beautiful cities and towns like Bath and Reading.
Bristol city centre itself is full of wonderful attractions, particularly if this is your first visit. One major sight is the SS Great Britain, a passenger liner from the 18th century. It is permanently docked along the shores of the River Avon and getting to it is quite simple.
If you happen to be touring in a campervan with your family, you should make a point of stepping inside the famous Bristol Zoo. This massive landmark spans an impressive 12 acres of land and some of the animals that live here cannot be viewed in any other English zoo. It is located just to the east of the A4 motorway, so arriving with a motorhome should not present any issues.
You may also want to plan an outing to the beach if the sun is shining. Bristol is close to many picturesque beaches that are not more than an hour’s drive away. For views across the Bristol Channel try Sand Bay near Weston-super-Mare. Remember to bring a warm coat on breezy days.
Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve is another great recommendation. It is found quite close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and numerous examples of rare flora and fauna can be observed. Let us now examine some nearby locations such as Exmoor, Porlock and Minehead.
Exmoor is a stretch of open moorland found just north of Devon. It’s located within west Somerset, around 1.5 hours from Bristol via the M5. At 267 square miles, Exmoor is also one of the largest national parks within England. Many choose a campervan hire service or camping, so that they will be able to enjoy an up-close-and-personal view of the scenery.
Cycling, mountain biking and hiking are popular activities. Thoroughbred racing still takes place in Exmoor every year too. A handful of interesting sights to note include the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Woody Bay and Snowdrop Valley. Those who are keen to learn the local history can visit Dunster Castle or the village of Simonsbath. Be sure to check opening hours for the castle in advance of your arrival.
Minehead is nestled upon the south banks of the Bristol Channel. It’s particularly known for its stunning seaside views within West Somerset. Anyone looking to take in the sea air can enjoy The Strand, a stretch of beach with a lively promenade. An 18-hole golf course can be found in Minehead and a large ornamental park known as Blenheim Gardens is open throughout the year. While Minehead is set off of the A39 motorway, public transportation links are somewhat limited. This is why arriving with a campervan proves beneficial. You will not encounter as many visitors when compared to more popular camping locations within South West England.
The village of Porlock houses just over 1,400 residents and it can be found just five miles west of Minehead. It is surrounded by nature reserves, salt marshes and a small parish village known as Culbone. You will be able to enjoy a superior sense of camping seclusion here. Driving down to the beach at low tide allows you to see the remnants of an ancient submerged forest. The most well-known landmark within Porlock is the Church of St. Dubricius. It is said that this structure dates back to the 13th century. Services are still held within its confines from time to time. You can arrive here from Bristol via the A39 motorway. The total driving time in a hired campervan is approximately two hours.