Marvellous camper van mini-breaks, just around the corner!
Published on 07th August 2017
Hampshire campsites, perfect for our camper vans
At Kamper Hire, we count ourselves very lucky to be based in the glorious Meon Valley.
With the South Downs National Park right on our doorstep, miles of footpath to be explored, stunning views at every turn and plenty of memorable attractions, all a stone’s throw from the seaside, it’s fair to say that you don’t have to venture far for a big adventure.
As well as being able to book our camper vans for a week, fortnight or longer term, there’s also the option to hire a van from Kamper hire for just 2 or three days, at our special ‘gap filler’ mini break rates. A gap filler mini break gives you the perfect opportunity to make the most of one or two of the lovely local campsites that are close to the Kamper Hire HQ. Once you’re there, you’d never know you were just down the road, but there’s no time wasted travelling, just quality time spent enjoying the great outdoors.
To find out just how great a local mini-break could be, a couple of weekends ago we sent a group of friends off to Fairthorne Manor Campsite with one of our camper vans. The weather wasn’t the blazing July sunshine we’d hoped for (torrential rain was more the order of the day) but getting a bit soggy didn’t seem to dampen any of our happy kamper’s spirits.
Fairthorne Manor Campsite is close to the village of Botley and as it’s name suggests, it’s in the grounds of a grand manor house.
Part of the YMCA, the great thing about this campsite is that it is self contained and well equipped but you also have the opportunity to book a range of sessions including climbing, kayaking and camp building at the excellent activity centre, if that’s what you fancy.
Our intrepid travellers set up camp on a Saturday. 6 grown ups and 9 kids, with a shiny new Kamper Hire California VW T6, a vintage VW T2 camper van, a classic bell canvas tent and a sporty pop-up between them, so they could find out which camping solution would prove to be the best for an overnighter.
The campsite was large and open and our team could pretty much choose where they fancied pitching up. With no ‘hemmed in’ feel there was enough room for the extra gazebo, and for keeping the camper van awning up (both of which were definitely necessary for providing shelter from the regular downpours).
Everyone was keen to get a quick a tour of the California camper van and it was deemed ‘super cool’ by the kids. Although the hire van didn’t have as much quirky kitchness as the vintage van, there was definitely more confidence in its weatherproofing and practicality. Once the kettle was on and the camping seats and table were out, it was a veritable home-from home.
Fairthorne Manor provided the perfect combination of climbable trees, paths to explore and space to play in. The showers and toilets were well equipped (despite being a bit muddy) and the hot water for washing up in the specially designed kitchen area was endless. Brilliant. When it came to getting the kids to bed it was nice and quiet on the campsite so they all slept soundly, ready for a (very) early start next morning.
The kids enjoyed a full-on BBQ supper on site but the grown ups opted for a lower-maintenance curry take away from the local Indian restaurant, eaten under the awning but with a great view of the clearing sky. Perfect for warming the cockles as the chill set in.
For bedtime it was definitely the California T6 campervan which offered the speediest and most comfortable set up.
Plenty of room for lots of snuggly duvets and the blinds offered brilliant black out capabilities when it came to sunrise. Both the bed in the main cabin and the one in the canopy were thoroughly comfortable and brewing up a morning cup of tea was a breeze.
Fairthorne Manor campsite offered plenty more entertainment for everyone during the following day too and there was no particular pressure for our intrepid team to check out particularly early. All in all the mini break was given a massive thumbs up by all concerned. A brilliant opportunity to get away from it all, just for a little while. Camping is the ultimate leveller and fun whatever your age. Combining a couple of camper vans with a tent or two works really well too for larger groups or lots of kids. Why not get in touch if you fancy arranging a mini camping trip before the summer holidays are out?
There are plenty of other lovely local campsites, close to the Kamper Hire pickup point that are well worth trying too.
Andark Lake is an interesting campsite. Specially for motorhomes and camper vans, this peaceful campsite is spread out around a purpose built but pretty, scuba diving lake, close to the Hamble River. Ideal if you fancy taking a weekend diving course, if open water swimming is your thing or if you’re keen to try out some watersports on the Hamble River. There’s a cafe on site and plenty of great pubs within walking distance too.
Meonside Farm is a lot more low key. A thoroughly rural camp site , close to East Meon, it’s based on a mixed farm with cattle, sheep and arable crops so there are plenty of activities to get involved with if that floats your boat. This small camp site is only open some of the year but it’s still well equipped with toilets, BBQ, water and a chilled seating area. Brilliant for cycling, walking, photography and fresh air.
If the weather picks up, how about hiring up a Kamper Hire camper van and heading to Hayling Island? There’s the beach to enjoy, plenty of coastal paths to explore, and a variety of different styles of campsite, to suit all kinds of camper. If you’re looking for fun for all the family, the strangely named ‘Oven’ campsite is well worth a look. There’s a brilliant children’s play area, a swimming pool, football field and a shop and a cafe in this bustling campsite. Very friendly and well equipped, it has a classic, holiday camp vibe. The perfect fun break for families. Alternatively, Hayling’s Fleet Farm campsite is a little quieter but has a tidal creek where you can launch small boats and windsurfers safely. Loads of fun.