Last month, we headed off on our first trip away in the van this year. If you’re new to the blog, we (and I really just mean Tom!) converted a Renault Trafic into a camper van – and it’s awesome! You’ll need to grab a cuppa, as this is a long one…
Our destination was one of our favourite places on the South coast, Durdle Door. We booked a pitch at Durdle Door Holiday Park, which is right on the top of the cliff overlooking the beach, and a short walk from Lulworth Cove.
This trip was also our first chance to test out our brand new Sheltapod awning!
Our first impression of the Sheltapod was that it is fantastic quality – well packed, waterproof and with plenty of spare pegs and lines. I’ll admit that it took us quite a long time to put it up – but eventually we had it up and secured over the van. The Sheltapod was in essence very straightforward to put up, and now that we have done so once, it will be much quicker next time!
Finally victorious, we took the drone for a spin to show off our new camper van set up. I’m pretty chuffed with how it all turned out!
Thankfully, the rain managed to hold off until we had finished setting up camp – and instead waited until we were ready to cook dinner! I donned my rather stylish Dryrobe (you need one of these if you do anything outdoorsy) and spent the evening feeling rather smug, warm and waterproof.
The next morning, we were up at the crack of dawn – who isn’t when camping – and cooked up a batch of bacon and eggs. The perfect way to kick off the day!
After some lazing around inside the van, we set off down the cliff towards Durdle Door beach. If you’ve never visited before, it’s hard to appreciate just how steep the descent is – and how gruelling the walk back up to the top can be. But, it’s so worth it for the incredible views!
Luckily for us, the beach was almost empty as it was an overcast day – we’ve visited before on the hottest day in May, and the beach was absolutely packed, so this was a pleasant experience! Just look at the view.
I am slightly ashamed to admit that, as I was so engrossed in photographing the waves, I was completely oblivious to the fact that a large wave was rushing towards me. Yes, you guessed it – my feet got absolutely soaked. However, I didn’t let my waterlogged shoes ruin the day! (And I was very thankful for the heater Tom stashed in the van that later dried my shoes)
The Jurassic Coast in Dorset is simply beautiful – miles of jagged, naturally worn cliffs and fantastic rock formations such as the iconic Durdle Door. If you’re ever looking for a great place to visit for a UK holiday, this needs to be at the top of your list. You won’t regret it!
After trudging back up the cliff – and feeling very unfit – we spent a couple of hours back at the van, having a cuppa and enjoying the peace. How very civilised!
Lulworth Cove is just around the corner from Durdle Door, and is another of our favourite places to visit. As it was only a 20 minute walk from the campsite, we set off to Lulworth in search of some lunch.
At The Boat Shed Cafe! With a fantastic view over Lulworth Cove, and reasonably priced, excellent fish dishes, this restaurant is a favourite of ours – both for people watching and for the food.
We opted for the three Bucket Bites to share. Plaice Goujons, Calamari and our favourite Whitebait on the South coast – it was an excellent lunch!
All washed down with a couple of cold Coca-Cola’s and a cappuccino.
Just look at the view from our table! If you visit Lulworth Cove (and you should, it’s only around an hour and a half from Southampton!) you need to eat here – but make sure you grab a table outside to make the most of the scenery.
Walking back up through the little village is picturesque – and made all the more exciting by the ice cream parlour waiting at the top of the hill!
I always go for Mint Choc Chip… you really can’t go wrong! Especially with a chocolate dipped waffle cone. Have I made you hungry yet?
Back at the campsite, I donned my extremely stylish Dryrobe, and we cooked up some dinner. The Dryrobe is by far one of the comfiest and most practical items of clothing I own. It’s just so cosy!
On our final morning, the sun finally emerged – after a weekend of chilly, drizzly weather. A typical British holiday! After some fried egg sandwiches, we set to work dismantling our Sheltapod and packing away.
Which was significantly faster than when we put it up! I’m pleased to report that the Sheltapod does actually fit back into the tent bag very nicely – a rarity among tents. All in all, a fantastic purchase! You can find out more about them here.
We had a great first weekend away at Durdle Door, and I’d highly recommend considering staying at Durdle Door Holiday Park if you’re camping. Their toilet and shower facilities are warm and clean, the onsite shop has all the essentials and each camping pitch is absolutely enormous. They even have a few glamping pods if you don’t fancy camping. Find out more here.
While we were away, I filmed a few bits for a travel diary style video. Here it is, if you fancy a watch!