Cool camping or just cold camping? October in the great outdoors

The weather has definitely taken a turn this week. I can usually tell when Autumn arrives. Doggy muddy paw prints appear on the carpet and I’m sure we’d only been on pavements… But the colder temperatures bring with them a sense of excitement. I can start to unpack my boots, scarves and various fluffy accessories and get ready for the great outdoors. Autumn is a season when many people decide to ditch the idea of camping or caravanning outside, uncertain of what the weather will bring and put off by the shorter daylight hours. Yet, I’d like to challenge this view and prove that October and November are the perfect months to consider for a short, or more extended trip to explore the British landscape, (safely of course). Here’s why…

You might have the place to yourselves

Many British people are weather wary. This is totally understandable due to the ever changing weather fronts moving across our shores. However, if you can live with this, you’ll find that there’s a lot more space at caravan and camping sites at this time of the year. This means that your chosen site is much more likely to actually match the tranquil atmosphere you had in mind when you booked it. Do be aware of local restrictions before you plan your trip, though. Due to recent increases in Covid-19 virus rates, several areas in Wales are currently out of bounds for tourists and information about these areas can be found here.

The landscape can be beautiful

As Autumn leaves transform into rich reds and orange hues, many tourist destinations have proved that they are not just one season wonders. The Lake District is an obvious choice for some. Its countryside, expanding outwards over 2000 square kilometres, offers visitors some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. The beautiful areas to the north and west tend to be less busy, whilst Sizergh Castle towards the south, is also worth a look. Its gardens host many plants and trees bursting with fruits ripe for harvesting. The copper hues of its Japanese Maple trees meanwhile, are radiant during this season.

Herefordshire too, with its orchards producing many of Britain’s best apples, has “Cider Circuit Trails” perfectly suited for an Autumnal jaunt. The trails allow you to soak up the region’s characterful hamlets and wonderful scenery. At various points along the route, you can stop off and discover the plentiful bounty of nearby apple and cider producers and also sample their products.

Dumfries and Galloway’s beaches, forests and mountains offer much for the outdoor enthusiast at this time of year. At Grey Mare’s Tail you can soak up the exquisite autumnal views, catch a glimpse of visiting wildlife such as pink footed geese and then stand in awe at one of the largest waterfalls in the country. The viewpoint to the waterfall has wheelchair access too.

Snuggle up afterwards

One of the things I like most about caravanning outside in the Autumn is stepping outside into the crisp air, knowing that I have a wonderfully warm retreat to return to at the end of our day. This is where campervans, motorhomes and caravans come into their own, in my opinion. Unfortunately, many caravanners pack up and put their vehicles in storage during this time of year. To me, this seems such a shame. The joy of having somewhere with heating, hot showers, plenty of hot chocolate, and of course, a little mulled wine, means that you can enjoy your time away when the weather gets chillier. Many new leisure vehicles even have appliances installed like Truma’s iNet system which allows you to turn on the heating before you return back to your home on wheels. Isn’t technology fantastic? I’m afraid we’re not that posh! However, our caravan is always warm enough in the colder months. Cherry, our dog, looks positively disgusted if I even try to reduce the settings on the heating, as she loves to sit opposite the heating vents at the front of the caravan.

There are a few things I might advise though, (having learned from experience). Unless you want to get caught out, pick a sheltered spot to avoid any sudden breezes, ideally not directly under trees, (to avoid pinging and dripping all through the night after a spot of rain). Also, keep an eye on the wind for travel to and from your chosen site. We discovered this after a brave and never to be repeated “Beast from the East” caravan stay a few years back. Thankfully, this was a rare occasion and we really love outside adventures any time of the year!

Cherry doing “Hygge”

For more information on any of the places mentioned, click on the links, or go to the resources section of my website. If you like this and would like to keep up with my latest blogs, don’t forget to subscribe using the link below.

Published by Rachel Ellis-Lomas

As a keen caravanner and lover of the great outdoors, I have spent many hours planning and experiencing different destinations in the UK and Europe along with my husband and my four pawed fluffball, Cherry. I love discovering new places and particularly, areas less touched by mass tourism. Coming from an education background, I have also written articles and produced content for organisations in the leisure and education sector. I am passionate about writing and the great outdoors, so what better than to be able to blog about it? Like what you've read? Then get in touch about writing content, copy or proofreading services.

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