Ahead of a fly-drive tour later this year, Alastair Lewis and family packed into Practical Motorhome's Bailey and hit the road – first Dorset, next the US!

Later this summer, my family and I are going to rent an RV to travel around New England, which I hope you’ll be able to read about in Practical Motorhome later this year.

By way of preparation, as first time motorcaravanners, we decided to spend a weekend in Practical Motorhome’s Bailey Approach Advance 665 and travel down to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

My seven- and nine-year old children’s faces as I pulled up in the motorhome told me this was going to be a weekend we would all enjoy. Their excitement at looking around the ’van and seeing the bed descend from the ceiling (over the dinette bed) was immense. The concept of travelling with our home on our backs was already converting us into fans of touring.

We made good progress down the M27 and onto the A31 in bright sunshine, so that when we arrived at the Durdle Door Holiday Park for our first night there was still plenty of sun and time to have a walk down the hill to the beach. The campsite is very well appointed on the top of the hill at West Lulworth, meaning one can easily access the coast path for walking either to Lulworth Cove or on and along the amazing Jurassic Coast beyond Durdle Door. And after a very good meal in the excellent, family friendly, Blue Crab cafe on-site, we had a very comfortable first night in the ’van.

The following day we made our way along the coast towards Burton Bradstock. Taking advantage of having a motorhome, we sheltered for an hour to have lunch in a Dorchester car park, feeling smug that we were able to quickly and easily make a meal and eat together in comfort whilst watching the rain fall outside.

Fortunately, the rain didn’t last long and we arrived at Graston Copse in plenty of time to choose a pitch in this peaceful, rural site just outside Burton Bradstock. A 15-minute stroll through cornfields into the village and we enjoyed a well deserved pint in the Three Horseshoes pub before walking back in the evening sun to a barbecue alongside the ’van and another comfortable night's sleep.

Sunday dawned bright and we made our way early to the Hive Beach cafe for an absolutely first class breakfast watching the waves and the holiday makers struggling to carry all their kit down and on to the beach. The real luxury of touring meant we could simply take what we needed and make our way back to the Bailey after a swim to shower and change.  

As we travelled back along the A31 on our leisurely drive home, we loved the camaraderie between fellow motorcaravanners and the friendly waves and beeps we received. A stop in the New Forest for an hour helped recharge the kids and we were soon home to unpack the ’van, and get it ready for its next adventure.

This first taste of touring has really got us hooked and we can’t wait to enjoy the RV in the States later this summer. Our brief break in the Bailey has prepared us for what's to come and only increased our excitement. In the meantime, I’ll be looking enviously at any passing motorhomes I see from now on.

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