It is possible to get away from the main tourist crowds, staying at smaller
campsites and still visit the resorts and towns when you want.
Both the Caravan Club (CC) and Camping and Caravanning Club
(CCC) have excellent full
facility sites and lists of small 5 van Certificated Locations (CL) and
Certificated Sites (CS and Hideaways in more remote places) mostly at farms, for members only,
at low nightly costs typically £8 to £12 a night without electric hookup and £10
to £18 with
electricity which is available more often nowadays. The cheapest CL we have
stayed at recently (2016) was £5 and the dearest £16. For the most popular sites it is often necessary to book
ahead especially at weekends and in high season but as we generally stay only
one or two nights at a site we usually phone ahead during the day.
We look for sites with hardstandings although these can vary from rough gravel
to concrete surfaces sometimes only accessible across a grass field.
Membership of the two main clubs is
about £43 (CCC) to £48 (CC) per year and we belong to both. There is an
additional non-members pitch fee
of around £10 a night so it pays to join if you stay on a club site for
than a few nights.
The Camping and Caravanning Club also offer
reduced fees if you are 60 and over except in the high season. The Caravan Club
have a few basic sites without toilet facilities which are £12 a night (in
The CCC also provide a motorhome stopover service for three hours during the day
to use the service points and maybe showers and washing machines. This costs
about £7.80 in 2013.
We also like to use CCC Temporary Holiday Sites
(THS) which are
temporary sites often on a rally field at a permanent site. These can vary a lot
from a basic camping field to more organised activities and usually run for 2 to
4 weeks. Some are set up in
connection with specific events such as air shows or steam rallies.
Camping & Caravanning Club sites there is an additional service pitch fee
of about £4.50 a night if you want an electric hookup and/or a hardstanding pitch.
Sometimes e.g. in wet weather this is not optional as you will not be offered a
There are of course many commercially run
campsites in the UK ranging from farm fields at fairly low cost to full amenity sites
with bars, restaurants and swimming pools but we rarely stay at those sites.
We have occasionally "wild" camped in
Scotland in more remote areas in laybys and picnic spots and aim to stay on our
own rather than with other motorhomes. We haven't had any problems but we find it
a bit worrying if a car pulls up nearby in the middle of the night. We try to
park so that we can drive off without reversing or using ramps or screen covers
so that we can leave quickly if necessary. More and more laybys in Scotland have
"No Overnight Camping" signs but these are possibly not legally
enforceable, depending on the ownership of the land. If it's a local authority
it has to be backed by a local byelaw and the police would probably not ask you
to move on unless you are causing an obstruction or they may have local
knowledge about the safety of staying in certain places. In fact it has been
suggested that the presence of an overnighting motorhome may be beneficial as it
may act as a crime deterrent. Unless you have permission from the landowner we
would advise to only "park" overnight - no awnings, tables and chairs,