There are few things more idyllic than an auburn sunset just dipping over the sea, waves lapping at shadowy sands – all viewed from warm and dry of your campervan. Beach camping is one of the main reasons that people choose to start driving a campervan but there are a few things worth knowing before you set out.
Believe it or not, the Atlantic Ocean attracts some of the biggest swells in the world and it’s often that, campers are caught out by, just how much the sea can move in the North of Cornwall, Devon or in West Wales. Tides can span over hundreds of meters and, on big tides, can engulf car parks. Don’t assume you’re safe just because you’re not on the sand – seek out local advice and make sure you park up well away from the sea.
Some beaches are public, some are private and some are owned by organisations like the National Trust or English Heritage. Be respectful of the laws and the rules of each particular area, but normally overnight parking is fine unless explicitly forbidden. You might have to pay, of course, but remember that if you’re illegally parked you might not be covered on your campervan insurance in the event on an incident.
Though the campervan community are some of the best in Britain, it’s worth noting that you should endeavour to be respectful of the local way of life wherever you are. Loud music late at night, litter and untidiness won’t make you popular with locals and you’ll be much more likely to attract thieves and parking attendants. Keep yourself to yourself and allow everyone else to enjoy the beautiful countryside.
Beach camping is a brilliant experience and something that everyone should try at least once. Remember to respect the rules, look after the area and, of course, don’t underestimate the tide – stepping out the door into the sea is a pretty cold way to wake up.