There's a lot to learn on your first tour! So when her aunt bought her first motorhome, Liz Goulds volunteered to accompany her on her maiden holiday

My aunt recently purchased her first motorhome at the age of 66 – “just like the route!” she said.

She was planning a holiday with a friend, but wasn’t confident about driving the 2005 Auto-Sleeper Amethyst, so she suggested that we take a short trip to the east coast first.

Initially she was hesitant, but she soon settled in as we headed towards Lincolnshire. However, the chunky steering wheel was heavy and made her hands ache.

In contrast, I was comfortable in the roomy passenger seat, navigating and learning the etiquette of waving to other motorhome owners.

All about teamwork!

Our first mini-adventure consisted of a lesson in manoeuvring. Auntie wanted a break, so she told me to look out for a traditional café with space to park the ’van. That was no mean feat.

But at last I spotted a sign for an Irish teashop sited in a pub. Unfortunately, we turned into the wrong entrance and had to reverse out again.

Suddenly, auntie found all the blind spots at the back of the Amethyst and panicked. I had to jump out and guide her.

“I’m so glad you’re here!” she said, making a note to buy more mirrors.

ŠThe café was decked out with tablecloths and vintage china, and we were welcomed by two chatty Irish ladies who served up delicious home-made cakes.

At Mablethorpe, the tourist information people recommended a great fish-and-chip bar. We had a drink in the pub then walked back to the campsite, calling at a house to buy fresh kale and green beans.

We didn’t get back late, because we needed to make up the beds in the motorhome. I snuggled under my duvet listening to the rain.

It was oh-so-cosy – until I needed to go to the loo, that is. Auntie didn’t yet know how to empty the toilet, so I was banned from using it! Luckily, we’d parked near the facilities.

Catching the bug

ŠThe next day we drove seven miles inland to the historic town of Alford. There we found a large car park with plenty of room for the ’van, and somewhere to have lunch – a feast from local shops.

We then enjoyed a two-mile circular walk around the town, taking in a thatched manor house, 17th-century buildings, a 14th-century church and a five-sailed windmill: it was built in 1815 and is still producing flour (we bought a bag or two, of course).

From Alford we made our way back to the Midlands. Once home, I started organising my kit bag, thinking about what I would need for my next trip.

I’ve certainly caught the motorhome bug now! And I’m up for any outing as auntie’s navigator.

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Chausson Flash 530 – 1 - You can get the 2017 Chausson Flash 530 on the Ford Transit (as tested) or on the Fiat Ducato (© Alf Alderson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 review – 1 - The 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome La Strada Regent L review – 1 - The German van converter with an Italian name is back in the UK after many years – and the Regent L is one of La Strada's flagship models (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wingamm Micros-Plus review – 1 - The slick GRP bodyshell sits well with the Volkswagen T6 base vehicle – the Micros-Plus is priced from £62,000 OTR (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Autocruise Select 184 review – 1 - The Autocruise Select 184 is priced from £39,885 OTR, however our test ’van had a price tag of £44,570 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Hymer B-Class DynamicLine 588 review – 1 - This four-berth Hymer motorhome costs from £73,500 OTR, £85,128 as tested (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)