avatar Andrew Burgess October 20, 2021

Ready to go beyond the UK? Continental road trips are back.

For those ready to soak in a bit of Europe, consider some of these easy-to-get-to destinations

The government’s latest announcement of the easing of international travel restrictions from 04:00 on 4th October 2021 is great news for campervan owners. It means continental road trips are possible again.

That’s very exciting news, but before we consider some continental destinations within easy reach of a ferry port for an autumn or half-term break, you should still make yourself familiar with the latest international travel rules.

Also, have you heard the latest news that the traditional GB sticker you put on the rear of your vehicle when driving abroad is being replaced with a UK sticker? Yes, it’s true. The change from GB to UK happens on 28th September, and you’re meant to remove any old GB stickers.


France is one of the most popular countries for a campervan road trip. That’s not just because it’s one of the closest countries to the UK and has some of the best campsites, but also because it is a big country with lots of amazing places to go. The food and drink is off the scale, too! Croissants always taste so much better in France, then there’s all the cheese and wine to sample as well.

Some people may still be a bit wary of going to big cities where there’s lots of people. That’s a shame, as Paris is a perfect place for a short break. But if some tourists are keeping away from the city, it might be slightly quieter than usual. Still, it’s better to go prepared with masks and hand sanitiser.

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If you’re looking for camping areas near Paris, consider Rambouillet and Versailles. If you want to go somewhere smaller, try the city of Reims where all the famous champagne comes from. When you’re not sampling champagne, there’s a cathedral and plenty of history to absorb in the town centre. It’s usually less than a four hour drive south of Calais – and motorway all the way, so the driving is easy.

Getting to France isn’t hard either. In addition to the super quick Eurotunnel, you’ll find ferries from Dover, Portsmouth, Poole, and Plymouth. Consult operators like Brittany Ferries, P&O, Stena Line and DFDS for rates and schedules. Calais is probably the French port used by most British motorists heading to France as crossings are quick and frequent from Dover. If you’re heading to the western parts of France, you might want to consider the ports of Cherbourg, Le Havre, or Ouistreham.


We should, officially, call Holland by its proper title: The Netherlands. It’s also one of the closest countries to England, and such a friendly place, with almost everyone speaking good English.

Although it is very flat, Holland is far from dull. It’s got a unique charm all of its own thanks to the architecture and its infrastructure of canals and cycle paths. It’s also famous for its waffles, tulips, windmills, cheese, and beer as well. So, what’s not to like?

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It really is the perfect country to take your bikes to as the Dutch are a nation of cyclists. The cycle paths keep you safely away from traffic and are well signposted. You also feel safer cycling in Holland as every driver there knows that cyclists always have priority at every junction.

Holland is easy to get to for a short break. There are ferries from Harwich, Hull, and Newcastle direct to Holland. It’s also easy to cross over to Calais, then drive there in a few hours.

Delft is a charming small city with quaint shops, bars, and restaurants. It’s a great place to base yourself as it’s also near the coast, so you can pop to the beach. It’s also well connected by train to Rotterdam, The Hague, or Amsterdam. It’s also the town where the blue china is produced, and you can visit the factory.

Take a closer look at one of the campsites, located in Delft, that’s within easy cycling distance of the centre. If you fancy a short drive, go and see Gouda, where the cheese of the same name comes from. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll come home with some tulip bulbs, wooden clogs, and lots of cheese.


Many tourists from Britain probably drive straight through Belgium on their way to Germany and beyond. But there’s really a lot to appreciate, so it’s worth making time for – especially when you consider how easy it is to reach for a short break away from the UK.

Brugge (or Bruges) is only about an hour’s drive from Calais, and is well worth a visit to see the canals, chocolate shops, and its cathedral.

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A ‘must-see’ town in Belgium is Ypres. It has been the centre of a lot of conflict in its history, and there are plenty of museums and cemeteries in the area if you want to make your visit educational. One of the largest is the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery with its own visitors centre. You can also visit the trenches from the First World War

To remember all those lives that have been lost, The Last Post is played in a small ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial every evening at 8pm. It’s quite a moving experience.

On a happier note, Belgium produces a lot of good beer. Most bars in every town will have a good selection to tempt you with. Just take care!

A couple of campsites to consider would be Jeugdstadion Leper, a ‘stone’s throw’ from Ypres, and Camping Memling near Brugge.

Spoilt for choice

If you are looking forward to popping across the channel for any kind of break, there’s really no shortage of places to choose from.

If you haven’t been abroad for a while, remember to check the latest rules and regulations now that the UK has left the EU, and always have decent travel insurance – including accident and breakdown cover to repatriate you and your vehicle to the UK, if required.

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