Ad. Post in Collaboration with The Caravan Insurer. So what are the best ways to take a U.K. break but on a small scale? Safe to say I’m not happy with a posh hotel break. I like to do it things a bit differently so here’s my round up of what small stays I’ve trialled with their pros and cons!
Motorhome and Caravan
I’ve been lucky in the fact that I’ve had access to a caravan and then a motorhome over the last few years. Both are a great way of taking your home with you. They allow for lots of packing room which is a bonus to me! You can also take your home comforts like your own duvet and pillows without looking strange! Staying on sites is also fairly reasonably priced once you have the caravan or motorhome. They are brill for short breaks to get closer to the outdoors I find.
Also I noticed that caravan towing laws have recently changed (December 2021) to allow any licence holders to tow a caravan up to 3,500kg. Previously only licence holders pre 1997 could do this and ones after had to take a test. It was one of the reasons we didn’t use the caravan as much as we couldn’t tow it anywhere so was reliant on others to pitch it up. I predict we will see a lot more younger people looking into the towing caravan life now because of this. It has the edge to a motorhome slightly for me just because you can go and explore in the car that towed it once at your destination. With a motorhome you’re using that to take you places. Or, relying on public transport or Taxis to get to places.
If you do look into either then of course it’s important to make sure you are insured. You can compare caravan insurance here and see how much that would cost on top of the cost of the caravan. Of course if you’re borrowing it like we do, you just need to make sure the owners insurance covers you too. Then let them pay for it!! Cheeky I know.
I have to say I love the motorhome we now get to use as it has a comfy lounge , kitchen diner area and a bathroom. This one even has a hanging wardrobe which you bet I was excited about!
If you’re looking for more static small stays and don’t want a larger caravan then a Shepherds Hut could be for you! We stayed in Hornington Huts* (Press Trip) near York. They are slightly larger huts than some with a living area and bathroom. There was power and water whereas some more smaller shepherd huts can be more off grid. They are decorated to themes which I liked and ours was based on the Bloomsbury Group artworks and movement. The bonus to this was that it had amazing views and still had a super comfy bed and all the amenities you need close to hand.
I find a shepherds hut is great for those without an access to a caravan or motorhome, or that don’t want to rent one. It’s a great drive to and pitch up stay and still has those home comforts.
So talking of off grid this treehouse we stayed in was exactly that. No power and on our own in a forest. There was a compostable loo and a shower and sink that ran off a water butt. Our room was enclosed atop 2 flights of stairs, with a deck and sitting area below. The walls of that were a canvas with clear sections that unzipped. They can be drawn back like a curtain to welcome the outside in.
Definitely an interesting stay but not one for those who don’t like bugs, as spiders were rife! I found this one good for mainly going off grid, taking time off phones and relaxing. The house had remote control candles which were the light source. It was a thoughtful way of working it without power. We took battery packs for our phones to make sure our phone alarms worked and we could take pics ofc! But it was true time off the internet which was a bonus.
The last of the small stays had to be a cottage. Of course they come in many different sizes but I’m talking tiny here. We stayed in an old Post Office which had everything we needed in one large room with a small enclosed en-suite. It was cosy and perfect as a base for exploring the area. Although less ‘quirky’ that the other small stays it still is great for the times when a base with comfort is needed but you want to be close to a particular village. Most of the other options all tend to be remote or usually need a good walk as they are based on having those country views for ultimate relaxation.
I think our next small stay will be in a earth house. I’ve been eyeing up one in Wales I want to go to. But if not a boat could be a next good option! What do we think? Have you stayed in any of these small stays before?