Motorhome Stopovers & Campsites
Where Can You Park Your Motorhome?
Part of the attraction of having a motorhome is the flexibility – you can take off on a whim, and spend your weekends and holidays exploring the countryside. Parking up for the night can be a bit of a minefield though, so keep on the right side of the law and parking wardens by knowing where you can and cannot park.
The obvious place to park the motorhome is on an approved campsite. These are plentiful and spread across the UK but the only potential downside is that during peak season, it may be difficult to find a space at the more popular sites. Campsites also vary in what they offer; many will have shower blocks, toilets and electricity hook up points, but others will be far more basic. Price will also vary according to what the campsite offers and according to the time of year, but around £20 – £30 a night is average for busy periods.
Large parking companies such as NCP often have car parks which are open 24 hours, and may be happy for you to park up and stay there overnight as long as you have paid the appropriate charges, which vary enormously. This can be a good way of getting somewhere to park up in a city centre, but remember that you will have none of the facilities such as showers and electric points which you find in a campsite. Some private car parks will explicitly ban staying overnight and the only way of finding out is to check the signs on arrival. Remember too that many car parks have height restrictions to stop larger vehicles from entering.
Council Car Parks
Especially in tourist areas, many car parks run by the local Council will have a dedicated section for people wanting to park up for the night. If there are restrictions on the length of stay or overnight parking, this should be clearly stated. Most local Councils have lots of information on their websites giving information about where you can park your motorhome, so do some research before leaving home and plan your route. Don’t risk parking illegally in a car park where overnight stays are not allowed – you will most probably end up with a parking ticket.
On a long journey, the easiest thing is often to pull off the road and park up in a layby. But you need to be aware of the laws if you are parking in a motorhome. You are not allowed to pull into a layby which is just separated from the road by a white line and stay there overnight. You are allowed to park overnight in a larger layby, which has an entrance and exit lane, and is separated from the road by a raised kerb. The only problem is that this type of layby is also popular with lorry drivers who are taking their rest breaks. Depending on the road layout, it could be very noisy too.
There are over 1500 pubs in the UK which allow motorhomers to park up overnight in their carparks or other land. Bear in mind though, it is not your right to park in the car-parks and you should always respect the privacy of the land-owners and pub landlords and management.