There’s something about autumn that makes us hungry for adventure. We spend our summers working the tourist season here in Cornwall UK, saving up our travel funds for a winter exploring in our home on wheels. The change in seasons is an ideal time for some adventuring: the promise of empty beaches and quiet roads are what we’ve been dreaming of since the busy summer began. Time seems to slow down and we breathe a sigh of relief knowing we might find some empty waves and can finally find a parking space! The ocean is still pretty temperate (for UK standards) and the waves are at their best, its time to pack the van and hit the road.
We’ve partnered up with Camplify to share some of our favourite Autumn adventures in the UK. If you’ve always wanted to head on a roadtrip or even test drive a van for an adventure before investing yourself, then Camplify is the perfect solution. It’s the UK’s largest campervan, caravan and motorhome sharing community, with hundreds of unique vans available to book now. Think Airbnb, but for freedom machines! As coastal dwellers the majority of our most travelled destinations in the UK are ocean based, we love to tour the coast in search of secret coves and solitude.
Our favourite spots
Cornwall is our most explored corner of the UK by campervan and the one we always come back to. When were not surfing the many surf breaks we love exploring the coast paths and discovering the beaches and villages. You can get good rates at local campsites during the autumn and explore from there, we like to take our bikes and a picnic and head off for the day in search of cream teas, pasties and hidden coves. Cornwall has a vibrant arts scene and open galleries which are still open until the end of October. On the south coast you have some stunning harbour villages and cozy pubs, as well as numerous national trust sites. The south-west coast path is one of our favorite ways to find lesser known beaches and explore on foot.
Tip: While exploring between the coastlines it’s worth noting that the lanes can become very narrow if you are traveling by campervan! As our van is over 6 meters long we like to use our satnav to double check width and height restrictions before heading off road.
Worth seeing: Bedruthen Steps
A little closer if you’re traveling from the north, Devon is a great place to explore by campervan. Rolling green hills and sheltered estuaries as well as the national parks provide plenty of places to explore. The rugged north coast with its exposed beaches gives you the opportunity to find some waves as well as some excellent photo opportunities. Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks provide many outdoor activities and stunning landscapes; there are several campsites and park-ups within the parks and beyond to choose from. Beautiful Bantham beach is well worth a visit if you are exploring the coast path as well as Croyde where you’ll find people surfing all year round.
Worth seeing: Braunton burrows and Clovelly
Only a couple of hours from the capital, Dorset is a perfect weekend getaway. Along the World Heritage Jurassic coast you’ve got the famous picturesque beaches of Old Harry and Durdle door to discover, as well as the south west coast path which starts nearby. Locations such as Weymouth and Poole harbour are ideal for water spots activities, kite surfing, wind surfing and sailing are the most practiced. There are also waves to be found in the area if you get lucky and know where to look. You can get the car ferry from Sandbanks to Shell Bay, which is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach leading towards Studland. We’ve got fond memories of Dorset, especially fossil hunting in Lyme Regis and biking along the sea front from Bournemouth to Swanage. The bay also has its own microclimate giving it some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK. Camping is easy with a wide range of sites and park ups and some beautiful window views!
Worth seeing: Golden Cap Cliffs
The Lake District
The Lake District is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts, we have both made many trips to this part of the UK since we were little and we always remember how breath-taking the views are as well as the fresh country air. Matt’s family have a rich history of fell runners who revelled in combating the range of steep climbs and undulating landscapes that are synonymous with the area. It is home to England’s largest lake, a visit here with leave you feeling refreshed and inspired as it has done for generations. Cosy pubs are plentiful along the many walks and hikes; some of the pubs also allow overnight stays in the car parks, there are some stunning camping opportunities here too. If you enjoy hiking, you can see the ocean from the peaks, which is magical!
Worth seeing: Lake Windermere
Tucked away in the south-western corner of Wales is Pembrokeshire. We tend to be drawn to places such as this.. seeking adventures around hidden coastal corners in search of waves and photo opportunities whilst being in touch with the wild. We love exploring the rugged coast in the National Park starting from Tenby and winding our way up towards St Davids, there are countless coves along the way to discover and some beautiful camping options. The wildlife here is some of the best we have seen in the UK, on our last trip we witnessed a pod of dolphins while making our morning tea! The coastal path is a fantastic way of discovering some beautiful spots, which aren’t accessible by road.
Worth seeing: The beaches around Barafundle Bay
National trust pass: one of our most used items on our UK trips, you can enter historical and heritage sites and hundreds of car parks for free with your pass. (The cafes usually do some amazing cakes too!)
Rain jackets: this is the UK after all.
Thermos flask: there’s nothing like taking a break on a hike with some hot tea, we also like to save gas and keep our hot water for later.
Torch: After a sunset expedition the night draws in quickly at this time of year and after many times of finding our way back in darkness, it’s always in our backpack!
Surfboards: an essential in any season!
Woolies: blankets and cozy clothes are a must for post surf chills.
Hot water bottles: after a long day of exploring putting these in the bed is such a treat!
An epic playlist: see below!
Autumnal roadtrip playlist:
Scotland is one of our dream destinations and one we have yet to explore on wheels! The Isle of sky among the other numerous islands look incredible and we’d love to discover it’s intricate coastline scattered with pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There is a lot of scope for waves and epic wild camping, one spot in particular we want to visit is Thurso which is home to a campsite that overlooks a world class wave, how cool is that!
Ireland is also a Country we’re keen to tour, its wild untamed coastline and powerful quality surf are just a few reasons why we are drawn to this beautiful place. The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s coastal road which winds its way along the west coast and provides some spectacular unspoilt scenery, this one is high on our bucket list! Its rich history and culture are both something we’d love to experience and learn more about.
Thanks for reading, if you’d like to learn more about Camplify you can find out more at www.camplify.co.uk.