Do you ever feel like you just need to get into a car and go… explore…get lost?
I’m now two adventure-packed months into a nine month European trip and am craving a different pace of travel. We’ve been city-hopping, backpacking, couch-surfing, weekender-ing and ski-tripping, so now it’s time to try something new.
Today Dave and I start our one month Wicked Campers van tour of the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. Hurray!
There are so many places in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales that we want to see. So, rather than organise a month of buses and trains and planes, we’ve decided it will be cheaper, faster and much more adventurous to just hire a campervan and do it in one big hit.
So far, the general plan is to head north from London, via Manchester and/or Liverpool, York, The Lake District and up into Scotland. Then, after a week or so there, we will head over to Northern Ireland and Ireland, across to Wales and then back to London town by the end of March.
Now I’m calling on you, my wonderful readers and fellow travel-lovers, to share any stories, blogs, tips and tricks you may have come across.
What are your must-see places in the UK and Ireland?
Where do you want to send me so you can learn more?
I will be blogging the whole way, as well as tweeting and updating facebook to share all our tips, misadventures and favourite spots… so please follow/like/subscribe and come along for the ride.
A big shout out to the lovely folk at Wicked Campers UK, who have made this trip possible. Thanks for everything Wicked! I can’t wait to pick up our van this morning and get out there!
Check out Wicked Campers online for hire info, travel stories and more: Website Twitter facebook & Wicked Blog
19 thoughts on “My Wicked Campers road trip begins: UK & Ireland here I come”
great idea, have fun
You must go to Kinsale in Co Cork. And the Aran Islands. Beautiful.
Hey Amy, thanks for those tips- I’ve jotted them down! Really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Cheers.
I am working abroad in cork city ireland this summer! What are fun things to do there? Will I meet young people my age? I also heard it has a good music scene is this true?
Hey Rachel, thanks for your questions. I didn’t make it to Cork city, but I can certainly vouch for young people and nightlife / music in Galway, as well as Dublin and Derry. I really loved Galway for traditional music and going out. Keep on eye on my future posts, I still have a few to do for Ireland, including all these places. All the best with you working abroad adventure.
thanks for the suggestions! I will definitely be following your posts! I plan on working in galway in the fall if I can after I am done au pairing in cork 🙂
Isle of Skye is absolutely beautiful, as is Glencoe and of course searching for Nessie in the many loch’s in Scotland….. + don’t forget to try the HaGGis!!! Oh & also try to check out the ‘Eilean Donan Castle (built in the 13th century). ‘Safe Travel’s to U too amazing adventurers :~) absolutely loving your updates!
Thanks Kel! Really appreciate your tips! I’m making a list as we go and your places are on it. I am especially looking forward to the Isle of Skye. Thanks for reading!!
I’m Irish so probably a bit biased but here’s my list of must-sees:
Aran Islands, particularly Dún Aonghusa.
Galway city and Connemara. Don’t forget Kylemore Abbey.
I would agree with Kinsale mentioned above, also.
Thanks for those tips Sarah! I’m always happy to listen to the locals about the best things to see and do. Will plot them on our map 🙂
Really great plan :). it reminds me to my short travel to several cities around UK in mid 2009. Edinburgh is the city i like most. Please, dont forget to enjoy Highland and Loch Ness trip :). And I really look forward to reading your story of Isle of Skye… i had no change to visit this place during my trip in UK.
Btw, i really love your blog…
Enjoy your travel 🙂
Thanks Yati Rido. So glad you’ve enjoyed my blog so far. I really appreciate the positive feedback. I am really looking forward to Edinburgh and Scotland – especially Isle of Skye and the lochs. Will be in Scotland in the next couple of days, so stay posted. Thanks for reading.
Next Monday my Sister and me will start our 2 week Trip round the UK in a Wicked Camper. After driving them a couple of times while I was in Australia I’d thought to have a go in Europe as well 🙂 we will start in London and then drive to Cornwall, Wales and if we have the time up to Scotland and then back to London. Any tips on overnight parking? Heard it isn’t as easy as it was in australia.
Enjoy your trip and maybe we might see each other on the road 😀
Hey Mali. Thanks for commenting. Yay for your Wicked Camper trip. I’m loving mine so far!! I’ve learnt a lot about parking / wild camping in UK this week.
Park and Rides in the bigger cities are gold. Sometimes they are free with about 2 pound bus fare into the city, sometimes they are about 2 pound to park for the day plus the same in bus fare. Either way though, they make seeing the cities easier without the hassle of finding inner city parking and navigating etc. Although there are plenty of websites that tell you that you can stay overnight for free in Park and Rides, I’ve found these are generally out of date, with a lot of them having new barriers and ‘no overnight camping’ signs. Worth checking out though.
If you want to stay in towns, look for the ‘long stay’ parking signs as you enter the city (look for a blue P). The conditions of parking there will be on the parking sign. We’ve found that if it doesn’t specifically say no camping or no overnight parking, it’s okay.
At Stratford-upon-Avon, we found a great little park called Swan Nest for 3 pound overnight. It’s a 2 minute walk across the river to town, there is a pub next door for a loo and the park toilets open by day. There is also a leisure centre a block towards town on the other side of the main road if you want to pay 1 pound for a hot shower.
At Bowess-on-Windermere in the Lakes District, there is free long term parking down near the marina – just drive the loop and you’ll see it. Otherwise try the B roads and smaller roads (with no numbers on the map) for spaces on the side of the road. There is not as much room as Aus but if you can find enough public space to pull into, I think its okay.
We met a parking officer who told us he’d been on many a month or two long holiday wild camping by doing this. Just make sure you’re not blocking a drive or on someone’s land. You can also try asking at Tesco or pubs if they mind you parking overnight. Or look for ‘traveller’s rests’ and ‘lay by’ and truck stops. Hope that all makes sense. Email me @ email@example.com if you have any questions. And let me know if you think we’ll cross paths. I’m heading into Scotland tomorrow, then Ireland for a week, then Wales. Happy Wicked travels!!
That’s great! Just read through few posts from your blog and the trip seems exciting. I’m planning one on next year too. Can’t wait for it 😉
Hi Nic, I’m looking at going to UK and Ireland next year and want to use a camper. can you take it from scotland to ireland? does it cost heaps for the travel between the two places. Is there are travel guides for how much to camp for the night?
Hey Kerrie, Thanks for reading. I’ve written a bit of a guide to road tripping in the UK and Ireland, which may help with some of your questions. I’ve listed some great resources as well. Check it out at http://wp.me/p12XwO-wb and let me know if you still have more questions. Nic
Also Kerrie, you might find some handy resources on my UK / Ireland road trip Pinterest board. http://pinterest.com/nicfreeman/uk-ireland-campervan-road-trip/