Although winter is drawing in, there’s still plenty of touring opportunities and we’ve been making the most of them.
In preparation for our February issue, Claudia and I packed up ready for a visit to the West Country. Claudia had already collected the Benimar that we have on long-term loan from Marquis’ Surrey branch and spent a couple of days visiting the golden streets of Bath. I met her in Bristol to take the motorhome keys off her hands and get started on my own city break.
Bristol is somewhere that I’ve wanted to visit for years, with a reputation of being vibrant, fun and just that little bit gritty. But it also has an illustrious past, and has been home to many a great mind.
I spent the first day exploring the Spike Island and Wapping Wharf areas with the motorhome; there is a surprising amount of parking that is free from height barriers, although most areas have a 3-hour limit, and larger vehicles may struggle to find space. Luckily for me, the Benimar is just under 6 metres long, making it easier to park. There’s also a great Park and Ride network in the city.
Although the main hub of Bristol’s street art scene is in Stokes Croft, there are also some notable pieces elsewhere. Case in point is the mural in a run-of-the-mill Aldi car park that was created as part of this year’s Upfest street art festival, by Nomad Clan. Not to mention Banksy’s Girl with a Pierced Eardrum.
Of course, there’s also the harbour itself to explore, with MShed, The Matthew, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard exploring all aspects of the history of the docks. And what a history it is!
Although there is a Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Baltic Wharf, on Spike Island itself, it was fully booked for my trip, so instead I stayed at Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park. I made ample use of the bus services from Bishops Sutton in to Bristol (which had fairly good times).
This meant that I could leave the motorhome on-site for the rest of my trip, as I explored the old city, Stokes Croft and Clifton.
Read more about it in our February issue, on sale 13 December.
Bristol is somewhere that I've wanted to visit for years, with a reputation of being vibrant, fun and just a little bit gritty