We’ve found out about several places in The UK where Parish Councils are welcoming motorhomers into their carparks to stay overnight; sometimes these are free and sometimes its for a small fee. We think this is a GREAT idea – for us it’s not about saving a few bob by avoiding campsites; its more that we both enjoy a drink- so if we can stay within walking distance of a town, that’s got some interesting places of interest – i.e historical houses, museum, beach etc, plus a pub or 3, a nice restaurant/ curry house, we are chuffed to bits and don’t have to flip the coin to see who’s drinking, and who’s driving us outta town!
We try to avoid campsites when we can, mainly because we are totally self sufficient in our little second home on wheels, so we aren’t really interested in paying in the region of £20- £25 (sometimes more) to get facilities that won’t get used. We’d rather put that money into the local area that we are visiting by eating, drinking, visiting attractions and that sort of thing. Having said that, we have visited some lovely campsites along our motorhoming journey that from time to time, we will revisit.
Here’s our list of tried and tested towns that have made the bold step in recognising that Motorhomers GENERALLY bring money, and aren’t the troublesome big white boxes on wheels that most councils in the UK believe we are, and therefore have provided Overnight Motorhome Parking.
Torridge District Counil welcome motorhomes to stay overnight in their carparks for £5 per night (6pm-9am) We stayed in the Riverside carpark in Bideford and had a great afternoon cycling on the Tarka trail.
Appledore was also very pretty (we popped to have a look the next morning)
Tintagel, Cornwall: King Arthur’s Car Park, opposite The Old Post Office, Fore Street. Officially licensed for motorhomes to stay overnight at £3.50 for the night (4.00pm to 10.00am approx). No services and public toilet block in the car park closes at 10pm. Tintagel is a lovely spot on the North Cornwall coast, it is home to Tintagel Castle, which is where it is said that King Arthur stayed. There is lots to do here, walks, sights pubs- you name it!
A small community carpark which welcomes self contained campers/motorhomes overnight for up to 3 nights at £3.50 a night. Situated right on the cliffs and a short walk to three separate sandy coves plus the world famous Minack theatre, it’s a real gem of a site.
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: Ram Meadow Car Park.
Bury St Edmunds is a beautiful town, with lots of excellent restaurants, pubs and of course, The Green King Brewery. The car park is right in the centre of town, near the Abby Gardens. It’s £2.50 to park for 24 hours and there is a toilet block (not open all night) nearby.
Thaxted, Essex: Margaret Street Carpark
Thaxted is a chocolate box town, with a number of interesting buildings to explore including a windmill, a guildhall, a pretty church. Holst also lived here for a short while, and you are able to see his house. There are two pubs, however when we visited we ate and drank in the Swan Hotel and we got 2 meals for £10! There is also an Indian restaurant which we’ve eyed up for next time!
Canterbury, Kent: Dover Road Park & Ride, about 1 mile from Canterbury city centre along the A2. £3 per 24hrs (includes bus fare); overnight parking of motorhomes is allowed. Water, grey and black Dump (free on payment of parking fee); 24 large parking bays
Scotland- Cruden Bay (near Aberdeen), Port Errol Harbour Wall
(Ones we have yet to try but will be asap)
Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Rye Farm Pay & Display car park, on the A415 going south from Abingdon, on the left hand side just across the river bridge. £5 for 24 hours maximum. Public toilets (pay) are just across the road