We’re always telling you that the best part about motorhome travel is the freedom of it! You can go anywhere, anytime, and this should extend to when you travel as well. Too many people think that summer is the only time to go on a lovely holiday and immerse yourself in nature. But travelling outside of the peak season comes with so many advantages, from lowered prices to avoid crowds, and this is your sign to book a motorhome trip this autumn, winter or spring!
We’ll take you through everything you need to know about travelling by motorhome in the low season, including the best destinations.
1. It’s cheaper
People really underestimate the difference in prices when you travel outside of summer. This is because the tourism industry makes most of its income in summer and therefore hike up the prices. This is when people traditionally travel. However, unless your occupation or schooling restricts you to travelling then, you can save a bunch by planning your holiday for later in the year.
Not only will your motorhome hire be cheaper, but everything that comes with it. Campsites are usually cheaper. Tickets for attractions or sights are lower priced. Even ferries can be cheaper in autumn, winter or spring. You can travel in the offseason for about half the price of peak season in total. Or just go for twice as long!
2. Varied temperatures
One of the main reasons people avoid travelling outside of summer is concern over temperatures. But different temperatures can actually be the exact reason you should go! Summer can be painfully warm, to the extent that you’re miserable in your campervan, desperate for a cold shower. Whereas autumn and spring provide sunny days with a nice breeze and some temperature variation. As long as you pack a warm jumper for the evenings, the temperature in the offseason can be great!
Even in winter, the different temperatures can be an enticing reason to go. So pull on some snow boots and embark on your very own winter wonderland. With enough preparation, motorhome travel in winter is more than possible! Just be sure to pack enough layers of clothing and consider whether you need winter tyres or snow chains.
You could also take this as an opportunity to head to warmer lands and take your motorhome abroad to France!
3. The best of nature
Autumn and spring are the best times to experience the incredible feats of nature. Nothing beats seeing a national park in the midst of this transformation, a backdrop of fallen leaves or with the buds of new growth. You get to see it from a completely different angle, with the tranquillity that only off-season travel can permit.
Travelling outside of summer is also ideal for watersports, such as kayaking or rafting, as rivers and lakes are fuller. It opens up more options and allows you to immerse yourself in nature.
4. Avoiding the crowds
Part of seeing nature in this light is seeing it without the bustle of a crowd. By travelling outside of summer, you reduce the number of people you’ll encounter. You’ll have hiking trails almost to yourself, providing better photos and less noise to disturb you. Aside from natural routes, you’ll also find public places to be quieter, so you can avoid queues and not have to consistently buy tickets in advance - providing more freedom for your trip!
Campsites are also less booked for non-summer months, so you won’t struggle to find a pitch. In fact, you’ll have your pick of the lot! You can go to the most popular campsites and enjoy a quiet pitch.
You’ll also avoid crowds on the motorways, as you won’t be caught in holiday traffic. This will reduce your travel time and, in turn, fuel consumption and costs!
5. Meeting locals
A lot of tourist areas are filled to the brim with travellers in summer. This puts great weight on people working in hospitality and reduces their chance to chat with customers. But when you travel outside of summer, you’re more likely to get to know local people in the area. They have the time to stop and chat with you, maybe even grab a pint together. This will allow you to really get to know an area and also get insider tips.
6. Making the most of things
The post-summer blues are a heavy feeling, as it seems like you’ve got to wait almost a year to be on holiday again. But once you stop restricting yourself to summer for your trips, you get to have that excitement all year-round. Instead of planning two trips within July and August, have one in September and another in March! This always gives you something to look forward to. Summer can be gorgeous in our city, a chance to explore it and get outside, so then use the dimmer months as an opportunity to get away. This also helps to fight winter blues and let you see the seasons in a new way.
You could turn an event or festival into a chance for a motorhome holiday. Or you could plan it in combination with a visit to friends or family, perhaps for a special occasion, as then you’ve got transport plus accommodation sorted for the price of a train ticket!
7. Getting festive
At least once in your lifetime, you need to experience travelling over the holidays. December is a magical time, and every city captures that magic differently. You can visit some of the best Christmas markets in the UK, go to see family or even just find a lovely campsite that is open all year round.
Winter camping is a chance to snuggle up with loved ones, roast marshmallows over the open fire and drink a mug of hot chocolate. It allows you to appreciate winter in a way you never do from inside your home.
The best places to visit in the low season
Now that you know why you should be travelling in the off-season, it’s time to consider where you’ll go with your motorhome! If you’re not travelling to a specific place or visiting someone, here are some of the best destinations to visit outside of summer.
1. Lake District
It’s not hard to see why thousands of travellers come to the UK annually to visit the Lake District! It’s a gorgeous place, and the only issue is how busy it gets. That’s why we recommend visiting the Lake District in the low season, as then you get to enjoy the stunning nature without the crowds of people blocking your view.
When? The Lake District is gorgeous year-round, but we suggest coming in late autumn or winter to ensure it’s not busy. The backdrop of fallen leaves only makes it more beautiful.
There’s no place like Edinburgh for Christmas! This city is always on our must-visit list, and only more so for low season travel. There is so much to do in Edinburgh, and it is the perfect city getaway. You can easily find campsites on the outskirts and take public transport into the city. It’s also well combined with day trips around the local area. Be sure to visit Edinburgh Castle, which is best seen when it is snow-topped!
When? For the best Edinburgh experience, go in winter! From November to January, you’ll find countless Christmas festivities for the whole family. Of course, New Year’s Eve is also great in Edinburgh.
If you’re looking for a fairytale destination, look no further than the Cotswolds. With cobbled streets, thatched roofs and stunning woodlands, the Cotswolds are picture-perfect. They’re made even nicer without the blaring heat of summer, as you can stroll in peace and enjoy the tranquillity.
When? The Cotswolds are ideal for autumn to spring, such as a long weekend getaway or Christmas camping trip. But if we really had to choose, we’d recommend coming in Spring to enjoy the new life and flowers blooming.
Once rated by National Geographic magazine as the second-best coastline in the world, Pembrokeshire is filled with 186 miles of magnificent coastline. There are over 50 beaches, so you’ll get to enjoy every angle of this incredible place. The instinct for beaches can be to visit in summer, but remember that going to the beach can be a calming experience at any time.
When? Spring! Watch new life coming as winter thaws away. Wrap a warm scarf around your neck and enjoy calming strolls along the beach. Closer to summer, you might even be able to sit with a book and enjoy the soundtrack of waves lapping against the shore.
Everyone heads south in summer to enjoy the coast, but few people consider how beautiful Devon can be in winter. In particular, the vast moorland of Dartmoor National Park is incredible when coated in a soft blanket in snow. Snow-covered walking routes will present an additional challenge, and you’ll get to enjoy clear skies for stargazing.
When? Winter to spring will present new beauties in Dartmoor and allow you to cherish the festive season in nature.
Glasgow is known for many things, one of which is the incredible shopping opportunities! All year-round, you’ll find Glasgow filled with unique shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to do your Christmas shopping, particularly at the huge market in St. Enoch Square. You can also enjoy the Glasgow Cathedral and various museums without long queues.
When? Glasgow is another ideal Scottish city for Christmas, as you can enjoy Christmas shopping and a lap on the ice rink. Alternatively, we love visiting Glasgow in autumn, to enjoy strolling down the streets whilst they’re slightly less crowded.
7. The Cairngorms
This is another national park that people mistake as solely a summer destination. The Cairngorms are perfect for fans of hiking, bird-watching, photography, biking and more. You can walk for days across the huge park, and you might even spot red deer or a golden eagle whilst you’re there.
When? If you’re a ski bunny, definitely take a trip to the Cairngorms over winter and hit the slopes! There are three resorts in the park, perfect for a motorhome ski trip. Alternatively, come in spring for the best walks.
Wherever you go in the low season, you’ll find things to do, gorgeous sights to see and a place to pitch your motorhome! So break out of the confines of a summer holiday and instead spread your trips across the year. Make it a longer trip or a weekend getaway, and hire a campervan for your low season adventure!