Sometimes you just want to get away on the spur of the moment without all the planning that a normal holiday takes. It can be quite stressful planning a trip; co-ordinating time off from work and ensuring the kids don't miss any schooldays. Then you might need to make arrangements for somebody to empty the bins whilst you are away. It takes all of the spontaneity and romance away from the very thing you are try to escape, planning and routines!
Here at Southampton Campers we want you to break free and be spontaneous, well as much as can be anyway! What better way then, than to hire a VW campervan from our base in Southampton for the weekend and take in the attractions in and around the Southampton and Hampshire area.
Because the VW California campervan that you hire comes completely self-contained with everything you need for your spur of the moment break, you can either opt to stay overnight at a campsite or in campsite off-season, you may wish to 'wild camp'.
Whilst 'wild camping' is not a recognised right, unlike Scotland, I have found that many public and National trust locations do not mind if you stay overnight on their grounds, but always ask permission. The key points here are;
to arrive late and leave early
stay only one night
leave the location exactly as you found it
Take any evidence of your stay away with you and leave the site owners with a positive attitude towards 'Wild Campers' for the next person to enjoy. Counties such as Dorset are actively encouraging campervanning and are relaxing their overnight parking restrictions, one can only hope that Hampshire's councils follow their lead.
Park4Night is a very useful App to find wild camping locations and has first-hand reviews of people's experiences of each location. It also features GPS co-ordinates and can route you directly provided you have a capable smart phone.
As part of your hire package, you will also find a copy of the Brit Stops book which has listings of pubs around the British Isles that allow you to stay overnight in your VW campervan on their premises, all completely safe and free. Its considered a common courtesy to sample some food and drink at the place you chose to spend the night but it isn't mandatory. Having used the Brit Stops service myself, I can personally vouch for this excellent scheme.
Where can I take my VW Campervan Hire in Southampton?
Our VW California campervan despite having a kitchen on-board and two double beds can pretty much go anywhere a car can go. With its dimensions of length 4.9m, width 1.8m, height 2m you don't need to worry.
The reversing camera and parking sensors will give you peace of mind when parking. It really is a surprisingly easy vehicle to park and exiting the campervan in the ever-decreasing parking spaces we have to suffer these days is a breeze with the rear sliding door. No more squeezing out of door gaps that are two sizes too small!
Hiring a VW campervan in Southampton Hampshire has a lot to offer. Southampton is perhaps most famously known as being the cruise capital of Europe. Transporting people and goods across the globe, you will normally find at least one of the impressive vessels docked along the waterfront. This makes Southampton a lively and bustling town with a diverse culture for you to enjoy.
There are galleries to explore, historic walks around the old city walls and impressive Tudor buildings to visit. Southampton has a well respected Theatre and you will often find performances of popular shows with some famous names. There is also an entertaining music scene with yet undiscovered talent playing at local pubs, the most popular of these being The Hobbit pub. Southampton was also bestowed the prestigious Green Flag award for two of its parks for those of you who like walking in the outdoors.
As you travel around Southampton in the VW campervan, you may also discover the Jane Austen trail and find the Hamtum Street Mural. The QE2 walk will reveal the hidden histories of the Old Town. Learn about the Spitfire and its unique connection to the city of Southampton at the Solent Sky Museum.
Based at the heart of Southampton, using an interactive experience the Sea City Museum will show you the fascinating lives of the people and their historic connections with the Titanic. Once you have finished touring around in the campervan for the day, stop off for the night at a Southampton campsite.
Why Campervan Hire in Southampton?
As well as Southampton boasting many attractions to keep you busy during your hire of the VW campervan it is also located conveniently to the New Forest and the Isle of Wight. Simply pick up your rental VW California campervan from our location in Rownhams and be in the New Forest within 8 minutes.
Touring the New Forest in the VW campervan you are bound to come across the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. A family day out with many attractions all set within the beautiful grounds, you are guaranteed to be entertained as you learn about the 250+ vehicles telling the history of motoring from its very early days to the most modern vehicles.
Jack Tucker's Garage will recreate the smells and sounds of an old style 1930s country garage. Ride high on the Monorail as it takes you around giving you a wonderful vantage point or perhaps take in the sights from the 1912 replica London Bus with an open top. For the Top Gear fan, you will be delighted to see iconic cars from the various crazy challenges that the Top Gear hosts have put these vehicles through.
Jumping in the VW campervan and heading a few miles from the Motor Museum you will find Buckler's Hard. On the banks of the Beaulieu river you will be transported back in time to the 18th Century. You will learn what it was like for the people of the time to live and work in an 18th century village with shipbuilding its primary purpose.
Ships built here were part of Nelson's famous fleet and were used at Trafalgar. Unspoilt by the passage of time, the village looks today as it did back then. Following the Woodland walk will enable you to discover how the local timber was used in the construction of British Naval ships for the 18th and 19th centuries and a visit to the Maritime Museum will bring to life characters such as Henry Adams, the master shipbuilder of Buckler's Hard between 1744 – 1805.
After all that exploring in the VW California Campervan it's probably time to think about settling for the evening in a nearby campsite.
Can I take my VW Campervan hired in Southampton to the Isle of Wight?
If you'd rather drive the additional x miles to the Isle of Wight the island has a lot to offer and will be sure to keep you busy for the next few days. You will need to book a ferry and your nearest route would be Southampton Dockgate 7 to East Cowes. Remember to consider the dimensions of your VW campervan hire when making your ferry booking. Height 1.9m x Width 1.9m x Length 4.9m.
If you have opted for the bike rack as part of you campervan hire package then that will increase the length by an additional 1m to 5.9. If you are thinking of an overnight stay on the island then it may well be more cost effective to opt for a combined crossing and camping ticket. These offers are seasonal so check here to see the latest Red Funnel deals.
Once you made the crossing then it is time to explore the wonderful island. First on the list, Carisbrooke Castle.
Perhaps most famously Carisbrooke is known for being the prison of Charles I who believed that Kings had a divine right to rule and should not be encumbered with political views and governance of others. This ultimately led to his downfall and he was held at the castle before eventually being executed some 14 months later in 1649.
The castle has many royal connections and as you travel around the impressive ramparts and grounds you will learn more about them, the most recent connection being a close neighbour to the base of VW Southampton Campervan Hire, the Earl Mountbatten from Romsey. For those of you with 'green-fingers' then be sure to visit the impressive Princess Beatrice Garden with its colourful plants chosen to match the blue, red and gold family crest of the Princess.
There is also the Chapel and Carisbrooke Castle Museum to visit and learn more about the history and ancestry of this English Heritage site. The Castle tearoom serves snacks and light meals as well as sumptuous cakes if you fancy a break from cooking in the VW campervan.
Over at Alum Bay you will find the cable cars which will give you an amazing view of the island. This attraction is weather dependant and you can easily see why! The incline is more than your normal cable car experience so be prepared to be thrilled. It truly gives you an amazing view over the Solent and in the warmer months you will see an impressive yacht or two anchored off Alum bay enjoying the view.
Whilst you are at the Needles then you could take a visit to the Marconi Monument, the very spot where the famous Italian inventor and electrical engineer, Gulielmo Marconi, sent the very first wireless transmission.
Marconi also has a connection to another Isle of Wight landmark that you also may wish to visit, Osbourne House in East Cowes. Marconi was summoned there by Queen Victoria in the August of 1988. Marconi successfully established a radio link between Her Majesty and the Prince of Wales who was at sea at the time onboard the Royal Yacht the Osbourne. They exchanged over 150 messages and the Queen was said to have been "delighted" at the achievement.
For our next destination I think you could literally follow your nose all the way to the Garlic Farm.
Located in Newchurch, a wonderful smell permeates throughout this attraction and you will be surprised at the history and the many uses of the vegetable. They have been farming garlic here for over 50 years and have scoured the world looking for the right strains of the herb to cultivate and bring to your dinner plates for you to enjoy.
You are free to walk around the farm and see all the different varieties of the vegetable growing in the fields or jump on board the tractor ride for a tour around the farm. The farm also has a popular restaurant where you can savour the incredible garlic infused creations from the kitchen. In the on-site shop you will be able to purchase an array of garlic based products from wonderful chutneys to garlic beer and even garlic ice cream!
I hope you have found this useful and it has given you some ideas for a spur of the moment trip in a VW campervan. Trips don't have to be meticulously planned and when you hire a VW campervan from Southampton Campers in Hampshire you can be sure you will have all you need for a comfortable and pleasant experience.
Give us a call to discuss your requirements or hire your VW California campervan online here.