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.

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