Sunday, 30 June 2013

South Coast Road Trip in a VW Campervan called Mango

Iain Clements & Abi Hesketh-Roberts June 2013

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual Thailand adventures as I took my summer vacation back in the UK this year.

Abi and I recently ticked a long awaited holiday item list by going on a mini road trip along the south coast in a classic VW Camper Van called Mango. We just made a note of some of the places we stayed along the way and some other information about the trip.

The Van

Mango, rented from RetroCamperVans in Guildford

Mango by Beach huts in Studland Beach

The Route (main points we passed through)

Guildford > Southampton > New Forest > Lymington > New Milton > Christchurch >  Bournemouth > Studland > Corfe Castle > Lulworth > Weymouth > West Bay > Seaton > Sidmouth > Dorchester > Winchester Guildford

The Holiday Costs

  • Campervan rental: £325 Mon - Friday
  • Fuel: approx £110
  • Campsite fees: £37.50
  • Parking: approx £20
  • Food for van: approx £40
  • Eating out: £75

Total holiday cost: about £600


Shorefield Country Park

Cost: £12.50 camping with Electric hook up
Head Office Switchboard 01590 648300
Reservations & Enquiries 01590 648331
Holiday Home Sales 0800 214080
Park Reception 01590 648306
Shorefield Road
Hampshire SO41 0LH

Notes: Great campsite, clean with great facilities and friendly staff.

New Forest - Lyndhurst

New Forest near Lymington

The New Forest is a fantastic place to stop on any road trip. There are so many car parks that it’s easy to find a space to park up and enjoy a cup of tea with a fantastic view like this. Most of the car parks are free, but when we visited in June 2013 we did find one which had introduced Pay and Display. We just hope that isn’t the start of Pay and Display rolling out across to more areas.

Kingdown Tail Campsite

Kings Down Tail
Salcombe Regis,
EX10 0PD
Telephone/Fax: 01297 680313
Cost: £15 per night with electric hook up

Notes: Nice, clean campsite, with good facilities, really close to Sidmouth and some nice beaches. Much smaller site than Shorefield Country Park.

Hardy Monument

Black Down  Portesham, Dorset DT3 4ET
01297 489481

Mango parked up for the night
Hardy Monument at Sunset - Amazing
Notes: Our favourite camp-site of the whole trip. Hardy’s Monument is National Trust property but there is a private car park near the site where you can ask to park up for the night. You pay £10 to the person who runs the mobile catering van, and then when that closes for the night you get the whole place to yourself and an amazing view to wake up to.

National Trust - Studland Beach nature reserve

Address:Studland, near Swanage,
Telephone: 01929 45050

Notes: Getting across to Studland is great fun, just take the chain ferry from Poole over (only a 15 minute journey/£3.50) and you are deposited right in the middle of Studland National Park. Studland Beach has a nice Cafe, a good stretch of sand, and there are a lot of nature walks leading around the reserve. Well worth a stop off on your way through.

Corfe Castle

Address:The Square, Corfe Castle, Wareham, BH20 5EZ
Telephone: 01929 481294
OS Grid Ref: 195:SY959824

Notes: Great ruined castle, and wonderful ancient village with a great selection of tea rooms and bakeries. The cost of a ticket to the castle is quite steep though so watch out.

Corfe Castle

Durdle Door

Notes: Nothing quite sums up the Jurassic Coast like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. These were two of our favourite stops along the way.

Durdle Door

West Bay

Notes: WestBay is a pretty village on the South Coast with a working Harbour, stunning sandstone cliffs and a nice beach (even though it is made of Pebbles, not sand). We originally only planned to stay in WestBay for a couple of hours but ended up staying the whole day. We really enjoyed the Tea room in the old railway station TStation.

West Bay

Well, that's it. I hope you get a chance to see some of these places on your own road trips in future.