Have you thought of taking your motorhome to the Netherlands?

When planning a European tour, many motorhome owners head for the mountains of Austria and Switzerland or the beaches of southern France, Italy or Spain. But you do not need to drive so far to enjoy a continental journey much closer to home. The Low Countries – and the Netherlands, in particular – have a great deal to offer.

Why the Netherlands?

If you don’t fancy another long journey after driving your motorhome off the ferry, the Netherlands offers a perfect solution. Take the ferry from Harwich in Essex to the Hook of Holland and you reach your destination as soon as you roll off the boat. The ferry crossing takes around four hours, according to a recent posting by motorhome owners on the website Out and About Live.

The time saved from driving long distances is time you can use to explore the country – the biggest reason for taking your motorhome to the Netherlands.

Or, take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais and drive to the Netherlands – this takes less than four hours says their website.

The Dutch

You are almost certain to receive a warm welcome from the Dutch people you meet. They are friendly and family-oriented, with as great a taste for the outdoor life. Think Holland and you’re sure to think cycling family days out or pottering about on any one of the many stretches of open water.

Although Dutch, of course, is the native language, practically everyone you meet will have (very good) English as their second language – so striking up a conversation is never likely to be all that taxing. As anywhere, though, it always goes down well if you have at least a spattering of the country’s own language.

On the road

Although you’ll be driving on the right, the highway code is very much as you find it at home – although there are one or two differences to bear in mind, warns the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Although the maximum speed on motorways is 130kph (80mph) penalties for breaking this or any other speed limit are tough – and you might even have your motorhome impounded.

Unless otherwise directed, always give way to vehicles emerging from the right and remember that use of your mobile phone while driving is prohibited (but hands-free devices are allowed).

Roads and motorways are toll-free, but there are several different anti-congestion and low emission zones in different cities – so make sure you’re aware of the rules in place if you intend driving there. Sounding your horn in cities is also illegal.

Overnight in your motorhome

When it’s time to turn in for the night, you must park your motorhome on a recognised campsite – so-called “wild camping” is prohibited and strictly enforced with a possible fine of up to €500 per person, according to the website Caravanya.

Fortunately, therefore, campsites are plentiful, of a high standard, and affordable (according to some sources, prices are ranked the seventh cheapest in Europe).

Ideal for your motorhome tour is Delftse Hout campsite, near the city of Delft, with its typically Dutch architecture and famous for its ceramics. The 5-star site is surrounded by a beautiful park, has mostly grass pitches, is family-friendly and has English-speaking staff. If you thought the whole of Holland was flat, just visit the southern part of the country towards its borders with Germany and Belgium. Set in rolling hills, with stunning views across South Limburg, is the 5-star Camping Panorama Camping Gulperberg

So, now you’re the proud owner of your first motorhome, have just upgraded to a new one, or are already on the verge of making that investment. There’s just one question left – where can you go to fully enjoy the benefits of your second home on wheels?

One of the great things about the UK, of course, is that the rich diversity and beauty of these isles means that you are likely to be spoilt for choice. But here are just a few motorhome destinations to inspire your choice.

Scotland

If you’re English, any foray north of the border takes you to a whole new country – culturally, historically and scenically.

The wide-open spaces, the rugged moorlands and mountains, stunning lochs, coastline and outlying islands are perfect for exploring in your motorhome.

You don’t even need to venture very far into Scotland to find the other-worldly, fairy tale magic of a castle on the south coast of Ayrshire at Culzean. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s site is in the very grounds of the castle itself and opens up to some stunning views across the water to the Isle of Arran. With 90 pitches, you are almost certain to find a perfect place to stay.

Probably the greatest draw for visitors from south of the border, however, are the Scottish Highlands, where the Camping and Motorhome Club’s site at Altnaharra has everything you might have imagined – including breath-taking views across Loch Naver to the mountains of Ben Klibreck.

Wales

An equally “foreign” adventure might take you into the heart of Wales.

The North, Mid-Wales, or the South all offer distinctive touring and holiday destinations that shake off your English roots and welcome you into a land of stark contrasts, rugged mountains, gentle costal walks and green valleys.

To the north, of course, is the stunning majesty of Snowdonia National Park – 823 square miles of diverse natural beauty and a home and working environment for more than 26,000 people.

Pull up your motorhome for a night or two at the family-run Celyn Brithion campsite, which is situated within the National Park.

Did you know that Mid-Wales has its own Lakeland – a rural idyll between the coast and the border country of the Shropshire Hills across the border in England. Wyeside Camping and Caravanning Club Site makes the perfect place to stay.

In South Wales, the scenery shifts dramatically from the valleys of the Brecon Beacons, to the Gower Peninsula and the Pembrokeshire coast.

Pitton Cross Caravan and Camping Park is close to the renowned Rhossili headland and a beach that has often been rated the “Best in the UK”.

England

From the Lake District in the northwest, the wild and rugged Northumbrian coast to the east, the rural charms of the Peak District, the Heart of England in Shakespeare’s homeland around Stratford upon Avon, East Anglia, the coastline and the beaches of Devon and Cornwall, or the Garden of England in the southeast, you are still spoilt for amazing choice if you prefer a shorter drive in your motorhome.

When you’ve done touring for the day – or you just want to rest and relax to take in the views – each of these English regions have campsites galore for you and your motorhome.

Individual sites are too numerous to mention – so we’ll leave it to you to discover your own favourite bolthole.

A new year brings with it a packed schedule of motorhome events, shows and exhibitions.

Whether you are looking to buy your first motorhome, trade up to a new one, or simply have an interest in holidays that combine the freedom of the open road and the outdoor life, there’s almost certain to be an upcoming event near you.

This is where you can get up close and personal with some of the season’s exciting new launches – including a range of 2020 Auto-Sleepers – talk to experts about any aspect of owning and driving a motorhome, or browse the bewildering array of gadgets and accessories.

Here are some of the key dates and places for your diary.

Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow, 6th to 9th of February

Scotland is never slow to get in on the act and stages the biggest of its kind north of the border in February.

The Camping and Caravanning Club organises this extensive display of everything related to caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes at the expansive SECC in Glasgow.

Yorkshire Motorhome and Campervan Show, Harrogate, 20th to 22nd of March

Just a month later is the Yorkshire Motorhome and Campervan Show, held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate and expected to feature more than 300 new and second-hand leisure vehicles for sale.

If you want to try your hand at manoeuvring a motorhome, campervan or caravan, the Caravan and Motorhome Club will also be there to offer free 20-minute hands-on courses.

Southern Motorhome and Campervan Show, Newbury, 15th to 17th May

With springtime’s new season well underway, why not pay a visit to the South of England’s main event, the three-day show at the Newbury Showground, in Chieveley, Berkshire?

Make a longer break of it by pitching up at the onsite camping grounds, which are open for visitors to the show from 10 a.m. on the 17th until noon on the 20th of May.

Your entry fee gains access to two shows for the price of one – not only is there the motorhome and campervan show, but also the National Park and Holiday Homes Show in the same grounds.

Midsummer Motorhome Show, Kenilworth, 19th to 21st of June

Organised by the Camping and Caravanning Club in the beautiful grounds of the Midlands’ foremost showground at Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth, this show has a 1950s rock and roll theme.

But you’ll not be coming for the music alone, of course, rather the 300 or so new and used motorhomes for sale, the 30 national and local dealers to talk to, and the 145 or more retailers of accessories and gadgets.

Motorhome and Caravan Show 2020, NEC Birmingham, 13th to 18th October

By the time mid-October comes around, it has probably been worth the wait for the biggest show of them all, the jewel in the crown that is 2020’s Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

The extensive exhibition halls of the NEC pack all of 2020’s caravans and motorhomes under one roof, there are mountains of accessories, devices and gadgets to browse, and expert advice from the UK’s foremost caravanning club is readily on hand.