JULIA BRADBURY, BBC 1’s glamorous Countryfile presenter, and World Land Speed Record Breaker and Caravan Club member Wing Commander Andy Green, OBE, will both open The Caravan & Camping Show 2014 on Tuesday, 18 February, in Birmingham.
Head for the Dog Agility Area in Hall 4 at 10.20 to see them open the show, with Show Host Andrew Dickens. He’ll be encouraging them both to chat about their current projects as well as mentioning some of the show’s main attractions.
Julia Bradbury, pictured with former Club President David Bellamy
The hugely popular annual Caravan & Camping Show will run fromTuesday, 18 February to Sunday, 23 February, 2014, occupying many halls at the vast National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
Normal ticket prices
Senior (over 60) £7 in advance or £9 on the door
Adult £8 in advance or £9 on the door
Children under 16 free (must be accompanied by an adult)
Advance booking rules:
£1 transaction fee applies
Advance booking rate is valid until 11.59pm on 17 February.
Book tickets online or ring 0844 581 1250.
READER TICKET OFFER
Practical Motorhome readers can buy tickets at a special discount, from £6.50 (seniors) £7.50 (adults) – just book Caravan & Camping Show tickets online and quote ‘PC4’. Tickets include parking and show guide.
My top 10 show highlights
1 Haggling to buy a shiny new motorhome at the show
The show will of course mainly feature all the latest motorhomes, caravans and holiday homes available for the 2014 holiday season. All the major British and European manufacturers will be showing off their motorhomes at the show.
Maybe they’ll try to tempt you with a special show discount deal. It’s worth deciding what kind of layout you like best before the show, so that you can home in on just those and comparing similar versions on several stands before signing anything. Sometimes a salesman will throw in extras such as microwave ovens or a TV to sweeten the deal.
Major motorhome manufacturers exhibiting include:
Bailey – Approach, Autograph, Approach Compact, Autograph 765 (stand 2100)
Elddis – Autoquest, Accordo and Aspire (stand 3000)
Lunar – Vacanza (stand 3044)
Swift – Black Edition Kon-Tiki (stand 3040)
Rapido – 891F Design Edition (stand 3180)
Auto-Trail – Tribute, Roller Team (stand 3020)
Chausson (stand 3022)
Auto-Sleepers – The Kingham Warwick XL (stand 3150)
Adria – Coral, Compact SPX, Twin 640 SPX (stand 3120)
CMC Reimo – Reimo VW Campervans, Renault Escape, Trekker (stand 4430)
G&P camper vans – Toyota ProAce, Fiat Doblo Midi-Tour (stand 4230)
Hillside Leisure – Birchover, Cromford, Ellastone (stand 4100)
WildAx – Cutie (stand 4320)
Vantage – Neo, Sol, Med, Ora, Vue (stand 4200)
Burstner (stand 3135)
Hobby (stand 3050)
Rimor (stand 3185)
Danbury – the last of the VW T5 camper vans (first time exhibitor) (stand 4450)
There are too many brands and stands to list them all, so please check out the exhibitor list to find out where you can see each manufacturer’s new motorhomes.
2 Accessories you’ll never find on the High Street
Bespoke caravan bedding, outdoor accessories and equipment, portable TV satellite dishes, campsites and destinations, tow cars, tents, camping, trailer tents and more will also be showcased here.
If you’re new to all this and a bit nervous about driving a motorhome on the road for the first time, head for The Caravan Club’s outdoor area, and try a motorhome manoeuvring session. Visit Stand 2000 to book your free 20 minute manoeuvring taster session. Don’t forget to bring your driving licence.
Fancy trying something new this year? Make a start right here and now with the Rock Face Challenge and Cliff Drop or the Assault Course. There’s even a Mountain Bike Track and Challenge you can try.
5 Meet the fastest man on land: Wing Commander Andy Green, OBE
10.50am on the first day, Tuesday, 18 February
He is the first person ever to break the sound barrier on land and I’m looking forward to seeing him with his Bloodhound supersonic 1,000mph land speed car! After opening the show he’ll be on The Caravan Club stand (Hall 2, Stand 2000).
11.30am on Tuesday, 18 February.
Much more than just a TV presenter, Julia has also just become the first female President of The Camping & Caravanning Club, taking over from David Bellamy, OBE, pictured. She’ll launch the Club’s latest initiative in Hall 4, on Stand 4220.
Wednesday, 19 and Thursday, 20 February
For a bit of light relief after the excitement of seeing so many new motorhomes in one place, why not chill out watching Ashleigh & Pudsey, the dog trick duo? If you have children in tow (it is half term, after all), they’ll love it. Don’t watch much TV? Catch up here!
Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey won hearts all over Britain with their variety act, which you can see again on YouTube:
Ashleigh and Pudsey dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller
Ashleigh and Pudsey in Austin Powers routine
Ashleigh & Pudsey will perform live at the NEC show
8 Food, glorious food: watch top chefs at work
When you’ve been on your feet for a while I recommend buying a coffee and taking a seat in The Cookery Theatre. Those celebrity chefs are very watchable.
Friday, 21 February,
Hall 5, Campsite Cookery area
Actress, chef and author Lisa will share her favourite barbecue and camping stove meals. Since winning Celebrity MasterChef in 2010 she’s written two recipe books and co-presented What’s Cooking on C4.
Josh Sutton the ‘Guyrope Gourmet’
Saturday, 22 February
Food and travel writer Josh is the author of a camping cookbook called Guyrope Gourmet and he loves to encourage people to seek out and cook fresh local produce on their travels.
Sunday, 23 February
Wild food forager, chef and TV presenter Mark Lloyd used to be head chef at River Cottage. He’s also appeared on shows with The Hairy Bikers and Jamie Oliver.
9 Visit the Practical Motorhome & Practical Caravan stand
We’ll be there on the Practical Motorhome stand 2111, as well, so please pop along to say hello!
Thursday, 20 February
Blue Peter TV presenter and adventurer will be sharing stories about her extreme outdoor adventures at the show. She’s a double world record holder and renowned daredevil, so well worth going to see!
You can search the Exhibitor List on the NEC show’s website for stand numbers and halls – and there will be a map of the halls in the free show guide when you visit.
To give you an idea of the scale of the show, if you’ve never been to one before, whole holiday homes and lodges will be on display in a separate part of the show, too. Wear comfy shoes!
For an exhibitor list, show competitions and more, please visit The Caravan and Camping Show website.