Modern Britain was shaped by key events in our history and this is a bumper year for big anniversaries. To celebrate, we’ve made high season heritage the grand theme of our latest magazine – the Practical Motorhome Summer Special 2015.

Claudia Dowell brings the past to life as she follows her own Magna Carta trail and discover more about the band of medieval knights who forced unpopular autocratic King John to sign the Magna Carta 800 years ago. We visit Runnymede to see the birthplace of modern democracy and visit the world’s oldest inhabited castle – lovely Windsor, beside the River Thames. Then we’re off to see one of the only four copies of the Magna Carta, touring from Salisbury to Trowbridge. 

We also visit Arundel Castle in Sussex, which throws more light on King John’s reign, and is set to host a series of ‘Life in a Medieval Castle’ events later this summer. 

Our heritage trail doesn’t stop there, we also mark our Duke of Wellington’s triumph over seemingly invincible Emperor Napoléon of France in the Battle of Waterloo, 200 years ago. Join Caroline Mills as she goes on a scenic motorhome tour following the Route de Napoléon through Provence and the French Alps.

The 175th birthday of Cunard, the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the Centenary of World War I also feature in our heritage trails this month. 

As our Practical Motorhome Summer Special goes on sale, most of Britain is sweltering in record-breaking temperatures. Even the normally wet Glastonbury Festival had some sunshine in the end. If you’ve missed out on this summer’s festival fever so far, don’t worry! Let Bryony Symes be your guide to the best festivals yet to come, around Britain and Europe. Whether you fancy motorhome holidays with jazz in Copenhagen, rock music in Essex and Exeter, or comedy, music and more in Dorset – check our essential guide! 

We review four new motorhomes this month and bring you previews of 2016 ‘vans from Germany and Slovenia. Read our live-in test to discover our verdict on the five-berth Adria Matrix Supreme 687 SBC, a mid-profile coachbuilt based on the Renault Master. 

For those who like panel van conversions, we review the luxurious Mercedes Sprinter-based Lunar Landstar EW and the Ford Transit-based Murvi Pimento. Enjoy our reviews and verdicts on these two ‘vans designed for couples.

Then we take our first look at an exciting new import that’s set to arrive for the first time in Britain in 2016, the four-berth Mercedes-Benz V Class-based Marco Polo and Marco Polo Activity by Westfalia.  

Next we bring you the latest news from European motorhome launches and reveal changes to Dethleffs’ ranges for 2016 ranges, such as the Trend, Esprit and Globus. We report on Westfalia‘s brand new unseen 2016 model. Then we head to Slovenia to join Adria’s 50th birthday celebrations and find out about its plans for 2016 motorhomes. 

Editor Niall Hampton debates the pros and cons of the new wave of inflatable drive-away awnings for motorhomes. Are they really going to take over from conventional awnings, and what’s behind this revolution? Then Nick Harding tests two drive-away motorhome awnings – the inflatable Vango Attar 380 Tall and the more traditional Ventura Freestander Cumulus Low. Find out how easy they are to put up and use in this month’s awning reviews.

To help you find the best camping accessories on the market, we’ve 10 device mount reviews in this issue, too. 

John Wickersham gets technical in our motorhome advice section and reports on motorhome lighting and how to uprate yours. 

Are you new to motorcaravanning? If so, we hope you’ll enjoy our tips for motorhome newbies in this edition of Practical Motorhome. Read our special feature full of 39 helpful ideas to make the most of your money and time and get the best from your ‘van.

Plenty of people start their motorhome adventures in a used VW campervan – and this Nick Harding picks well respected van converter Bilbo’s Designs to compare the merits of three pre-owned ‘vans. Our used ‘van buyer’s guide shines the spotlight on how to buy the best VW T5 Devon Moonraker V made from 2004 to 2015. We look at what to pay, where to look for these ‘vans and any problems to look out for. 

Finally, don’t forget to enter our latest Practical Motorhome competitions. This month there’s a chance to win one of our three copies of the new VW Camper Buyers’ Guide, worth £14.99 each. Also you can enter our other prize draw for a chance to win a Maxview Crank Up satellite system and digital receiver worth £449! Head to the competitions page online and enter both today. 

With all this and more, don’t miss Practical Motorhome’s bumper 156-page Summer Special 2015 – it’s on sale in the shops and online now!