Yorkshire in a Campervan – Through the County With the Van of Your Dreams
By Angie Aspinall
I’ve never bought a brand new car – and I possibly never will. And I’m pretty certain I’ll never be able to afford to buy a brand new campervan. So imagine my delight at being loaned a shiny new VW campervan for the weekend. Oh, this was not just any campervan; this was Rudi!
Rudi is a handsome, bright, orange, custom-made van from Brazil, but don’t worry, you don’t need to speak Portuguese; he’s very much the international traveller and can get along with people anywhere. When I met Rudi, it was love at first sight – well, on my part at least. (I can’t speak for Rudi.) He’s a real looker: heads turned wherever we went. He made me feel young and carefree and as though anything was possible. We were off on an adventure!
I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of Rudi: he’s not just a pretty face – he has a very practical nature. He has a daytime set-up of seating area and kitchenette – then, with a simple ‘clic clac’ of the sofa bed – hey presto – night-time mode. (These and other features were demonstrated to us before we set off. It’s all really straightforward).
Cooking with Rudi’s quite easy. He has a two ring hob and a grill and he even has a little sink. Not only have Connie and Pawel, Rudi’s owners, packed him up with all the necessities – knife, chopping board, washing up liquid, tea towel, etc, but they have also included some very chic VW accessories in a wicker picnic hamper. They even provide two fold up chairs and a picnic table for al fresco dining.
We – yes, I was travelling with my husband who actually did all the driving – found the petrol consumption to be surprisingly economical. It only cost us just over £30 from our pick up near York, to Robin Hood’s Bay (round and about) and back again. Not bad at all to say how high petrol prices are at the moment.
Our campsite was so nice, we scrapped our original plan of driving up to Northumberland and we stayed right where we were at Hooks House Farm. The campsite accommodates tents and campervans and has several pitches with electric hook ups (which we needed for the overnight heating as there was a bit of a nip in the air after dark).
The site is located at the top of Robin Hood’s Bay and provides stunning sea views and a path all the way down, through the village, to the sea. We, like most of our fellow campers, took a leisurely stroll down to the beach. The streets of Robin Hood’s Bay wend their way steeply down to the sea – but never fear, for at the bottom you are rewarded with amazing sea views – and possibly the best fish and chips on the east Yorkshire coast.
On the way back up, there are also many opportunities to pause and admire the view whilst enjoying a cup of Yorkshire tea or a locally produced ice-cream. We managed to find a shop selling hessian shopping bags featuring an orange camper van. I just had to buy one for Connie – and one for myself as a memento of my all-too-brief holiday romance.
On our first night, we cooked a meal of mussels in cream and white wine, followed by fresh pasta in a tomato and marscapone sauce and enjoyed a bottle of Pinot Grigio, whilst enjoying the view. People on the campsite were so friendly and some came to say hello to us and to have a look inside Rudi. Veteran campervan enthusiasts showed great interest in the new VW and, when it was time to leave the site, we were waved off by a family in a blue V-dub.
Being out and about with Rudi, makes you feel ‘cool’ (although, using the word ‘cool’ probably just made me very ‘uncool’) – but, none-the-less, he does generate many envious/appreciative stares and also the odd wave. Driving a bright orange van really gets you noticed and, as someone pointed out to us, he’s easy to find in a campsite when you’re heading back from the loo after a few glasses of wine.
Having a campervan really gives you a sense of freedom. A couple of times, we found scenic spots and enjoyed an impromptu picnic and kept finding places we’d like to stay ‘next time’ – although we’d go back to Hooks House Farm in a heartbeat, even if it was just with our tent. (Their facilities are so good that as well as immaculately clean showers and toilets, there is also a kitchen with a microwave! And, ladies, rest assured, there is somewhere to plug in your hairdryer and GHDs which many campers will tell you is usually unheard of – and yes, the plug is near a mirror!).
Having a weekend in Rudi has whetted our appetite for more campervan adventures. If you’d like to have your own, all you need to do is contact Connie and she’ll do the rest.
pictures: Angie & Richard Aspinall