Motorhomes promise the freedom to roam, stopping casually whenever we feel like a picnic or an overnight sleep. In reality it’s not quite that easy. Motorhomes have been banned from overnight parking on many seafronts and beauty spots in Britain.
We may argue persuasively that we bring great benefits to the areas we visit in our motorhomes, spending money in the pubs, cafés, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. But elected councillors know that they can’t ignore their local residents, many of whom object to having their favourite views blocked by ‘vans!
If only Britain could be as motorhome-friendly as France, where local councils provide daytime motorhome parking and low-priced aires de services for overnight motorhome stays. Sadly it’s not.
That’s why we at Practical Motorhome magazine and our friends at The Motor Caravanners’ Club (MCC) started the motorhome Nightstop scheme.
Every Nightstop owner has signed up with us and been issued with a licence by the MCC, which permits them legally to allow up to five motorhomes to stay overnight on their land. To date, we have 41 Nightstops around Britain, which we publicise in Practical Motorhome magazine every month as well as online. We hope that you’ll enjoy using them.
The benefit of using our Nightstops is that you don’t have to join any club to use them. All you need to do is choose a likely location from our Nightstops map, then phone your prospective host during the times given to check availability. Overnight fees vary and the price and your stay are at the discretion of each landowner.
Rik Whittaker of the MCC has just stayed in his motorhome at The Tipple Inn Nightstop and CL (certified location), in Collingbourne Dulcis, near Marlborough in Wiltshire.
He says, “The Tipple Inn is a lovely small village pub with excellent food and ales. There is no charge for overnighting if you’re dining in the pub. The village church is a short walk, but take care crossing the busy A338 and A346. The car park has quite a slope, but we were almost level when parking across the slope and using two medium lift ramps under the downhill wheels. Take care when driving out, as traffic views are restricted.”
The Tipple Inn is quite near Andover, so would make a handy stopover for people heading to Devon or Cornwall on the A303.
Rik has also stayed recently at Belmont Hall in Cheshire, a lovely Georgian stately home with its own parkland and lake in Great Budworth, Northwich, that offers space in its courtyard for motorhomes to stay overnight, with electric hook-up, fresh water, a shower and even disabled facilities.
If you would like to see our Nightstop scheme expand, you can help. When you meet friendly landowners who might have the space to welcome up to five motorhomes and their owners overnight, mention our scheme and point out that all the information they need to be a Nightstop is on our website. Becoming a Practical Motorhome/MCC Nightstop could bring them extra trade if they are running farms, pubs, hotels, cafés or other businesses!
If you like staying at our Nightstops, you might also decide to join The Motor Caravanners’ Club. It’s a friendly group of like-minded people and the MCC has many more members-only CL campsites around the country.
There's no charge for overnighting if you're dining in the pub