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 Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse

£52,536OTR

The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV

£47,500OTR

The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral 690 SC Platinum review – 1 - This Fiat Ducato-based 2017-season Adria is £57,990 OTR,
 £62,474 as tested – the Thule awning costs £675 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome – Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 review – 1 - The Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 costs £67,995 OTR, £69,745 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Escape 685

£48,215OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Escape 685 review – 1 - This six-berth 2017-season Swift Escape 685 is priced from £48,215 OTR (£49,910 as tested) (© Practical Motorhome)