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8 Things We Learned Traveling Across England In Our Quirky Campervan

quirky campers, mr and mrs adventure, hector campervan, glampervan, how to travel the uk in a van, how to travel Europe in a vanAt this point we have now been living in Hector/ England for 3 weeks and the first thing that comes to mind is COLD. Luckily for us, Hector has a “wood burning stove,” aka. fireplace, which has saved our buns, fingers and toes! Drew has done a stellar job at making sure we have a roaring fire to cuddle by each night, though the one time I filmed him, the fire would not cooperate (figures, hah!). Regardless, here is our fun video of #thestruggle:

Tip #1: HEATING. If you are traveling during the chillier months, be sure that your campervan has heating of some/any form. Whether it’s a fireplace, central heating, a butane-powered camping heater or an oven (I wish I could crawl into it some… most mornings), this will be key to your survival.

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where to park campervan, how to boondock, what is boondocking, where to park campervan overnight, where to park in england, where to park in london, where to park campervan in londonFunny story: One morning while making “porridge” aka. oatmeal, I thought I heard the water pump making weird grunting noises. I told Drew it sounding like a pig and then I looked out the window and saw this little guy!:

pig in england, england farms, england farm animals giant pig, potbelly pig, parking in campervanAnd by “little guy” I really mean HUGE:

pig in england, england farms, england farm animals giant pig, potbelly pig, parking in campervanHe was a curious and friendly fellow, he kept trying to sniff Hector through the fence 🙂

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Tip #4: Water. Most Gas stations have free water taps that you can use to refill your water tank – score!

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where to fill campervan with water, where to fill campervan with water in england, where to get water in europe for campervan, free water in england, free water at gas stationsTip #5: Cooking. There are grocery stores literally everywhere, Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrison’s, Lidle, ASDA, Food Co-Operative, Iceland and Waitrose, to name more than a few! As a gluten-free traveler I was so excited to find “free from” options – crumpets, pasta, baguettes and more- though the smaller markets don’t always tend to have these. And depending on how much water your campervan holds, you may want to keep #vanlifemeals simple. Many oven dishes are great for clean up and did someone say SOUP?! We make a ton of soup, especially this time of year, but with the plethora of Indian options we’ve also made our fair share of Tikki Masalas 🙂

cooking in a campervan, vanlife food, cooking in a van, best meals for on the roadTip #6: Driving. Make sure you know how to drive manual. Yes they drive on the left side of the road AND the driver sits on the right side of the car/van but it’s not as hard as you would think, or so Drew says. I haven’t yet tried because learning how to drive manual in Hector is one adventure neither one of us are up for.

americans driving on left side of road, americans in england, americans driving on wrong side of road, driving on right side of car, americans in london, adventure in england, vanlife englandIt should also be known that more often than you would expect there is one road for two-way traffic… !?! Exactly what we thought. The KEY: Flash your lights on and off to indicate to the other driver that you are allowing them to go, OR if they allow you to go, flash your lights on and off in thanks 🙂 Luckily Quirky Campers gave us the heads up on this tip!

americans driving on left side of road, americans in england, americans driving on wrong side of road, driving on right side of car, americans in london, adventure in england, vanlife englandA couple more things: traffic lights turn yellow before turning green, unlike in America where they turn yellow before turning red, and “cat eyes” are road reflectors… we were VERY confused/concerned until we figured that out:

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tep wireless, tep wireless best global wifi, travel bloggers best wifi, best international wifi, amazing wifi hotspot, mr and mrs adventure wifi, how to have wifi abroadTip #8: Talk to and befriend locals. Our favorite plan is NO PLAN and that generally only works out so well because we LOVE asking locals, and friends who have come before us, where to go. Below is a hand-draw map of Glastonbury, given to us by a new friend we made at a pub in Salisbury, which we were invited to by another new friend we made while visiting the Salisbury Cathedral, which we were told about by our friends in LA who are from England! The world is so good.

map of glastonbury, best of glastonbury, what to do in glastonbury, talk to strangers, hand drawn map, adventures in glastonburyWe have seen a lot in 3 weeks and have learned a ton about the differences of Vanlife in the UK vs. America, and this is truly only the beginning. This Thursday we say goodbye to Hector and HELLO to our very own van!! Details on how we purchased a campervan abroad + more tips + insights + LOADS OF ADVENTURE (and more sheep) to come.

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5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Patti

    March 24, 2016

    Nick I love your comment! Thank you for such a clear explanation of why driving on the left side of the road is the right side.????

  2. Reply

    Nick Wood

    March 11, 2016

    You realise that this year it has been the mildest winter on record here 🙂
    When you change gear with your Left hand and foot, it quickly drops below consciousness as it is handled by the RHS of the Brain, whereas acceleration/braking is sensibly given over to the linear sequential processing LHS of the Brain. Thus driving a manual here as you so quaintly put it, is an active Brain Yoga session of a full body balancing dance. Driving an automatic on the “wrong side of the road” is positively unbalanced and must be very stressful.

    Loving your enthusiasm, always good to see your country through others eyes, little old Sheffield however is about the same pop as Boston 🙂

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      March 13, 2016

      What a well thought out, and interesting, comment! Maybe that’s why Americans are always stressed out… We’ve been driving on “the wrong side” of the road all along 😉 We very much enjoyed Sheffield, ended up at the Showeoom theatre for the Adventure films event!

  3. Reply

    Hilary

    March 6, 2016

    It sounds like you’re living the dream! Hector is gorgeous by the way– Makes me want to travel to the UK just for a trip in one of their campers! 🙂

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      March 8, 2016

      Highly recommended! ?⭐️

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