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10 December 2019, 11:48
Whether you're a country-loving couple or a family of outdoor explorers, these kitted out cruisers are an awesome way to discover the UK.
Love camping but don't want to get caught in the lashing rain? Lucky for you there's a fun and feel-good way of relishing the fresh air without getting wet in a soggy tent.
Bristol-based company Quirky Campers is turning outdoor adventures into luxury mini-breaks via its cool fleet of unique and hand-crafted vans, perfect for family road trips across the UK and Europe.
Its collection of cleverly designed campervans offer nature lovers the chance to discover the countryside in super-snug settings on wheels as each vehicle has been kitted out like a small but savvy hotel room.
Think fully-functioning kitchens, soft sofas, double beds, cosy wood burners and even built-in kennels for dogs – because what's a trip into the rolling hills without your furry best friend?
While they sound free and spirited, you’re probably also wondering whether they’re all that practical. Can you squeeze in a week's worth of waterproof clothing, fill the fridge with food and make sure there's still room for Scrabble, a mass of suitcases and your actual family?
To see what life was really like on the road, we put one of the team's beautiful four-wheeled creations to the test.
On first look, it was almost impossible to imagine that Buttercup could contain such a breathtaking Scandinavian interior if I hadn’t already eyed it up on the website.
The huge Renault Master had a heavy sliding door that reminded me of my old school bus, poking out of its blue roof was a smoke-chugging chimney and its wheels were as big as a tractor’s, so I was surprised to find an inviting rustic cabin hiding inside.
The van’s side entrance opened straight onto the reclaimed pine kitchen, which was surprisingly spacious, featuring a double hob, a stylish golden sink, a spice rack, and even a decent sized oven ready and waiting to roast up my favourite Sunday supper.
Next to the worktop stood two large cupboards stacked on top of one another that held a small Dyson vacuum and cleaning supplies as well as tons of storage space – handy, considering I packed two large holdalls, a suitcase, my wellies, trainers and a pair of walking boots just for myself.
Above the shiny tap sat camping supplies that no Brit could ever live without during a wet and windy weekend in Derbyshire. From tea and coffee to keep the energy up, to scourers, sponges and eco-friendly washing-up liquid for those chilly mornings at the campsite sink, I didn’t feel as though I was missing out on the adventurous experience – I just wouldn’t have to slip and slide into a damp sleeping bag at the end of the night.
Also in the kitchen was a roomy fridge, which held essentials like milk, butter, cheese, ham and a bottle of chilled wine for hygge nights in playing board games.
At the back of the camper, three sofa-like seats jutted out of the sides and framed a sliding and detachable table you could tuck into the corner if you needed extra space or remove completely to create a wide double bed.
Bouncy grey cushions and fluffy blankets made the benches really cosy, and underneath each pew was another huge storage cupboard ready to be filled with dog food, squeaky toys and muddy towels.
Solar panels gave life to phone chargers built into the walls, which made going off-grid even easier as calls, texts and holiday Instagram posts could still be sent and received. But the best part? Indoors was a real-life toasty log burner that roared into the night keeping icy hands and feet warm in the chilly November climes.
So how did Buttercup fare during a week in the Peak District with two adults and a growing Labrador? After a handful of traffic jams, icy rain battering us for five days straight and biting cold temperatures of -3, I’ve never been a happier camper.
How do I book a Quirky Campers campervan?
To book you very own trip in the same unique vehicle as above, visit quirkycampers.co.uk and search for ‘Buttercup’. Prices start from £62 per day or £258 for a 3-day weekend.
Do Quirky Campers have other campervans available?
Yes! There are large family-friendly vehicles, romantic options for two, those without electric hook-ups for wild experiences, rustic vans with fires, pet-safe campers, and more. All are available to book online, with the option to pick up from locations across the country. Just explore the options and find the right Quirky Camper to suit you and your adventurous crew. Prices start from £51 per day or £216 for a 3-day weekend.
For more information, campervan options and pricing, head to quirkycampers.co.uk.