Our thoughts on touring England, updated in 2022.
Strengths: England is a beautiful country to explore. Lots of history, castles, stately homes and friendly country villages. Everyone speaks english of course. Every village has at least one pub and it’s common to find free house pubs in all sorts of odd places. As we have relatives scattered about it’s nice to stop and have a chat to cousins here and there when the opportunity arises.
Weeknesses: England is not as welcoming to motorhomes as other countries in the EU. It seems to us, that like Australia, England was dominated by caravans as a form of holiday travel since the 60’s. So there are caravan and camping sites almost everywhere. Over the last couple of years we have noticed the shift to special areas within those sites specifically for motorhomes. There are 2 major club/organisations that control almost all these campsites. The substantial discount they offer may convince you to join one or the other.
The country D roads can be very narrow and passing oncoming vehicle can be challenging and a little scary at times, so caution is a better part of valour.
Opportunities: Wildcamping is not easy, without breaking the law or some local ordinance but it can be done. It’s just a matter of keeping yours eyes open, checking parking databases. A little local knowledge goes a long way, so ask other motorhomers.
The larger towns often provide a park’n’ride service from an outlying carpark at reduced rates. So you can catch a bus into town and stay the night in the carpark as well.
Savings can also be made by taking a temporary membership in the National Trust or English Heritage. Apart from discount entry to sites the later in particular allow limited overnight parking at many locations.
Threats: Paying to park whilst using a supermarket or some other local carpark is an anathema to the wild camping style of motorhoming we enjoy. Finding parking in southern England is particular difficult without spending 5 minutes and a pound at some parking ticket machine. There are parking wardens everywhere.
England is an expensive place to tour. Beer and wine is expensive even in a supermarket, let alone a pub. Eating out even more so, a main course each and a couple of rounds of drinks would average £70. Supermarket shopping is comparable to Australia except for red meat which is more expensive. Attractions are all relatively expensive as well. Diesel fuel is still the most expensive in Europe.