If you have a strong sense of adventure and love exploring new places, a campervan holiday might be the perfect break. There’s something magical about heading out onto the open road, knowing that you can travel in any direction and drive wherever your heart takes you, while still being assured of cosy, comfortable accommodation. It’s the ultimate feeling of freedom.
Over the past two years, with international travel off the menu, many of us discovered just how beautiful and diverse the UK really is, and if you’re looking to see as much of our countryside and coastline as possible, a campervan holiday is the best way to do so.
So, whether you already own a campervan or are thinking about hiring one, here are eight incredible UK holiday destinations for your next campervan adventure.
1. The North Coast 500 and the Scottish Highlands
If you’re looking for dramatic coastal scenery, head to the Scottish Highlands. The North Coast 500 is the most famous campervan route in the country and is regularly voted one of the best road trips in the world. It’s also the most Instagrammed route in the UK, so if you’re hoping to take lots of photos, you’re heading to the right place.
This part of Scotland is breathtakingly beautiful, and along the 500-mile route, you’ll pass crumbling castles, white-sand beaches, mysterious ruins, heather-covered moors, and mirror-like lochs. You can explore picturesque villages, visit whiskey distilleries, hike through the wild landscape, and perhaps even spot the Northern Lights.
The route begins and ends in Inverness, winding its way up North Scotland’s East Coast to the highest point of the mainland, then looping back down the West Coast. There’s so much to see and do here, so if you want to get the most out of your trip, you’ll need at least a week – but several weeks is ideal.
The route passes through towns and villages like Durness, John O’Groats, Dornoch and Ullapool, so there are plenty of places to eat, and there are many great camping grounds en route too (wild camping is permitted in Scotland, but this doesn’t apply to campervans). Be sure to fuel up, as you’ll often be right in the sticks!
2. The New Forest and Dorset, England
If you love the idea of a campervan holiday but don’t want to feel like you’re too far away from civilisation, you might want to head to Dorset. The spectacular Jurassic Coast is the perfect destination for a laidback beach holiday, and it also boasts some of the best campsites in the country.
While there are many award-winning campsites along this stretch of UNESCO World Heritage Site coastline, Higher Moor Farm Campsite has been voted the number one campsite in the UK, and the views here over the beautiful rolling Dorset countryside and coast are unrivalled.
There’s lots to see and do in this part of the country. You can hunt for fossils and interesting rock formations on the beach, swim and kayak in Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, visit the seaside resorts of Bournemouth, Swanage and Weymouth, and hike along the iconic limestone cliffs.
Another perk of a Dorset campervan holiday is that after you’ve had your fill of beaches, you can visit the New Forest. Comprising parts of Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire, the New Forest boasts magical woodland, miles of open heathland, and historic villages. It’s ideal for nature lovers and people who’re looking to enjoy a real sense of peace on their break.
To find out more about this lovely part of the country, have a read of our article; 9 unique places to visit in the New Forest.
3. Snowdonia and Anglesey, Wales
If you’re drawn to huge skies, rocky mountains, thundering waterfalls, gleaming lakes, and lots of outdoor adventure, you might want to head to Snowdonia and Anglesey. Snowdonia is one of the most dramatically beautiful parts of the country, and it’s only a hop and skip away from the island of Anglesey.
If you love hiking, you’ll be in your element in Snowdonia, as countless paths criss-cross through the 823-square-mile national park. And, if you like a challenge you can climb Mount Snowdon – the tallest peak in England and Wales. Though, if you want to enjoy the views but don’t fancy the trek, you can take the train up instead!
There are plenty of lovely campsites in Snowdonia, though Bryn Gloch Caravan and Camping Park – which is right at the foot of Mount Snowden itself – is especially lovely. Set in a beautiful green valley nearby, the pretty village of Betws-y-Coed is a joy to stroll through, and there are many cosy pubs and cute cafes to relax and refuel in, too.
After you’ve explored Snowdonia, you can then cross the iconic Menai suspension bridge to reach the island of Anglesey. If you want to kick back on the beach, Anglesey has some of the prettiest beaches in Wales, as well as sand dunes and grassy meadows, and in the tranquil Newborough Forest, you may be lucky enough to spot red squirrels.
To find out more about Snowdonia, have a read of our list of 9 things to do and places to visit in the area.
4. Lake District and North York Moors
The Lake District and the North York Moors are two of the most beautiful regions in England, and the joy of exploring by campervan is that you can discover both in one trip. Though you’ll be travelling through dramatic scenery and wild, remote landscapes, you’re never too far from charming villages.
With its pristine lakes, barren fells, and lush green valleys, the Lake District is famous for its beauty – and for inspiring poets like Wordsworth. In a campervan, it’s easy to tour the lakes (Coniston Water, Windermere, and Ullswater are three of the best known) as well as villages like Grasmere, Kendal, Ambleside, and Keswick.
The heather-covered landscape of the North York Moors is perfect for driving – and hiking. The walk along Sutton Bank is especially impressive, but there are also historic sites to explore, like Rievaulx Abbey, and attractions like Ryedale Folk Museum. If you fancy a break from driving, you can hop on the North York Moors Railway.
This particular campervan destination also allows you to explore the coast – so if you’re looking for some variety on your holiday, you’ll find that here! After you’ve explored the moors you can head to the seaside resorts of Whitby and Scarborough, where you can stroll on the beach, enjoy ice creams and chips, and relax in old pubs.
5. The Atlantic Highway and Devon and Cornwall
At the opposite end of the country is the Atlantic Highway. One of England’s most beautiful driving routes, this road connects Somerset to Cornwall, though the loveliest stretch of the road takes you from Barnstaple in Devon to Newquay in Cornwall, and provides you with incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and gorgeous natural scenery.
This part of the country has some of the very best beaches and camping sites, so you definitely won’t be short of glorious places to park up for the night. There are also plenty of charming seaside towns and villages to explore, from Bideford in Devon to Camelford in Cornwall.
If you’re interested in surfing, be sure to schedule some time in either Bude, Padstow, or Newquay, as they’re some of the best watersports spots in the country. And, if you’re fascinated by myths and legends, you’ll definitely want to stop by Tintagel Castle where you can learn all about King Arthur.
You can also venture a little further afield and drive into West Cornwall, where you can relax in pretty towns like St Just and St Ives, visit Lands End, and enjoy bracing coastal walks. In Devon, you can also take a detour to Dartmoor National Park where you can hike along these dramatic moors and spot the park’s wild ponies.
6. The Causeway Coastal Route and Northern Ireland
If you’ve never visited the North Coast of Northern Ireland, you might want to think about exploring with a campervan. The main Causeway Coastal route is 130 miles, so you can do it over a weekend – or if you’re looking for a longer holiday, there are a further 256 miles of additional routes to explore.
The route begins in Belfast and then hugs the coastline all the way to Derry. This part of Northern Ireland is steeped in history and folklore, and boasts some of the most dazzlingly beautiful scenery in the country. There are also great campsites along the way, such as the Causeway Coast Holiday Park, which has spectacular sea views.
The most famous attraction along this route is the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, a geographical marvel that was formed 60 million years ago by an erupting volcano. There are also many other attractions on the way, including Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the clifftop ruins of Dunluce Castle.
If you enjoy hiking, you won’t want to miss the Gobbins Cliff walk, where you can climb stairs that have been carved into the rock and explore secret smuggler caves above the ocean. You may spot seals, puffins, and hares while you’re hiking, too. Be aware that the roads in this area can vary from A roads to single-track roads, so be sure to research your route.
7. Bealach na Bà and the Isle of Skye, Scotland
One of the most popular destinations for campervan holidays is the Isle of Skye. Scotland’s second-largest island might only be 50 miles long, but it’s packed with nature, history and culture – and if you pair it with the Bealach na Bà route in Wester Ross, you’re in for a real treat.
The Bealach na Bà is a twisting single-track road through the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, and it provides you with magnificent views of the Applecross peninsula. If you want to walk across deserted, windswept beaches and hike up craggy highland passes, Bealach na Bà is the route for you.
After you’ve explored Applecross, Scotland’s second-largest island beckons. You can drive over the bridge or hop on a ferry, and there are several excellent campsites here where you can park up. While some campsites are near the main town of Portree, others feel wonderfully remote.
Skye is stunning, wild, and mystical – a land of moors, gorse-covered clifftops, pretty fishing villages, and fascinating geological features like the Old Man of Storr. There’s something for everyone here. You can spot eagles, dolphins, and whales, visit distilleries, hike along the indented coastline, and enjoy the bliss of getting away from it all.
8. Pembrokeshire and the Gower Peninsula, Wales
Another destination that’s perfect for beach lovers is the Pembrokeshire Coast and Gower Peninsula. Located on Wales’ southwestern tip, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the only national park in the UK to be set along such a gorgeous coastline, and the Gower Peninsula is also known for its stunning golden beaches.
If you’d like to do plenty of hiking on your holiday, you can enjoy walking the dazzling Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which stretches for almost 190 miles. Viewed as one of the best walking trails in the world, the path winds its way past magnificent, varied scenery, from jagged cliffs to pristine beaches.
There’s also plenty of culture here. You can visit the historic Pembroke Castle, the tiny city of St David’s, and the lovely seaside town of Tenby. If you’re into wildlife, you might want to visit Skomer Island, where you can spot the famous puffins – or if you’re more into history, you can pop over to ancient Calder Island.
If relaxation is what you’re looking for, the Gower Peninsula is the place to be – and if you want to enjoy sun, sea, and sand you’re in the right place. There are many excellent campsites here, but the five-star Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park is one of the best and provides campers with breathtaking views of the sparkling blue ocean.
To find out more about Pembrokeshire, have a read of our article; Pembrokeshire Coast: Top things to see and do on holiday.
A campervan holiday is the ideal mix of intrepid adventure and cosy comfort. It allows you to forgo the big cities and really immerse yourself in the countryside – and if you’re looking for peace and relaxation, it’s unbeatable.
There’s something magical about opening your campervan door and being greeted by jaw-dropping views of the countryside or coast – and knowing you have the freedom to go anywhere you want is truly special (particularly after the past two years!).
And if you don’t have a campervan of your own, it’s never been easier to rent one. Sites like Camplify put holidaymakers in touch with campervan owners who want to rent out their vehicles (just think Airbnb for campervans).
Just enter your location, and Camplify will bring up loads of options at a range of prices. Plus, when you rent with Camplify, you’ll get RAC breakdown cover and insurance at no extra cost.
So, whether you’re thinking about a laidback beach holiday in Southern England or an adventurous hiking break in the wild Scottish highlands, the UK has a perfect campervan destination for everyone.
For more inspiration on campervan holidays, you might want to check out our article; 10 of the prettiest UK camping destinations.