Last Updated 28 September 2023

Top 10 Campervan Friendly UK Rivers to Visit on Your Tour of England

by Rebecca Wills

Top 10 Campervan Friendly UK Rivers to Visit on Your Tour of England

Attention all adventure seekers and nomadic souls. Join me, Rebecca Wills, a passionate vanlifer, freelance web developer, and tech enthusiast, as we embark on an unforgettable tour of England's most campervan-friendly rivers. As a full-time digital nomad, I've made my van in the UK and a cozy mobile home in the US my gateway to endless exploration. So strap on your wanderlust boots, grab your map, and let's dive into the mesmerizing beauty of the top 10 rivers in the UK that will take our breath away.

To help you plan your trip, we've put together a list of the top 10 campervan-friendly UK rivers to visit. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, these rivers have it all. So, pack your bags, hop in your campervan, and get ready to explore the best of what England has to offer.

Understanding the Basics of Campervan Travel in the UK

Campervan travel in the UK is a popular way to explore the country's scenic beauty and historical landmarks. Before embarking on your journey, it's important to understand the basics of campervan travel in the UK.

Choosing the Right Campervan

Image of River Wye

When choosing a campervan, consider the size of your group, the length of your trip, and your budget. There are many types of campervans available, from small and compact to large and luxurious. Some popular models include the Volkswagen California, the Ford Transit, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Planning Your Route

Planning your route is essential for a successful campervan trip. Consider the type of terrain you'll be driving on, the availability of campsites and parking areas, and the attractions you want to see. Use a map or GPS device to plot your course, and be prepared to make adjustments as needed.

Staying Safe on the Road

Driving a campervan in the UK requires caution and awareness. Always wear your seatbelt, obey traffic laws, and drive at a safe speed. Be aware of narrow roads, low bridges, and other hazards that may be encountered on your journey. It's also important to check your vehicle's brakes, tires, and other components before hitting the road.

Finding Campsites and Parking Areas

There are many campsites and parking areas throughout the UK that are suitable for campervans. Some popular options include Caravan and Motorhome Club sites, National Trust properties, and privately-owned parks. Be sure to check for availability and pricing before arriving at your destination.

Packing for Your Trip

When packing for your campervan trip, remember to bring essential items such as bedding, clothing, toiletries, and food. Consider the amount of storage space available in your vehicle, and pack accordingly. It's also a good idea to bring a first aid kit, a flashlight, and other emergency supplies.

By understanding the basics of campervan travel in the UK, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable journey through some of the country's most beautiful and historic locations.

Top 10 Campervan Friendly UK Rivers

England is a country that is blessed with beautiful rivers that offer an ideal location for campervan enthusiasts to explore. Here are the top 10 campervan friendly UK rivers to visit on your tour of England:

  1. River Thames - The River Thames is the longest river in England, and it offers a great opportunity for campervan enthusiasts to explore the beautiful countryside on the banks of the river.

  2. River Avon - The River Avon is a popular river for campervan enthusiasts, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside of Warwickshire.

  3. River Wye - The River Wye is one of the most beautiful rivers in England, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the stunning countryside of Herefordshire.

  4. River Severn - The River Severn is the longest river in the UK, and it offers a great opportunity for campervan enthusiasts to explore the beautiful countryside of Shropshire.

  5. River Dee - The River Dee is a popular river for campervan enthusiasts, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside of North Wales.

  6. River Trent - The River Trent is the third-longest river in the UK, and it offers a great opportunity for campervan enthusiasts to explore the beautiful countryside of Nottinghamshire.

  7. River Ouse - The River Ouse is a popular river for campervan enthusiasts, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside of Yorkshire.

  8. River Derwent - The River Derwent is a beautiful river that offers a great opportunity for campervan enthusiasts to explore the stunning countryside of Derbyshire.

  9. River Eden - The River Eden is a popular river for campervan enthusiasts, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside of Cumbria.

  10. River Tees - The River Tees is a beautiful river that offers a great opportunity for campervan enthusiasts to explore the stunning countryside of County Durham.

In conclusion, England is blessed with beautiful rivers that offer an ideal location for campervan enthusiasts to explore. The above top 10 campervan friendly UK rivers are a great starting point for anyone looking to explore the beautiful countryside of England.

The River Thames

The River Thames is one of the most famous rivers in the UK, and it is a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts. It flows through the heart of London and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Campervan Sites Near River Thames

There are several campsites near the River Thames that are perfect for campervan travelers. Here are some of the best options:

  • Hurley Riverside Park: This campsite is located in a picturesque location near the River Thames. It offers a range of facilities, including a shop, a laundry, and a children's play area.
  • Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club Site: This campsite is situated on the banks of the River Thames and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. It is an ideal base for exploring the local area.
  • Hoburne Bashley: This campsite is located in the New Forest and is just a short drive from the River Thames. It offers a range of facilities, including an indoor pool, a sauna, and a gym.

Activities at River Thames

The River Thames offers a wide range of activities for campervan travelers. Here are some of the best things to do:

  • Boat Trips: There are several companies that offer boat trips along the River Thames. This is a great way to see the sights of London from a different perspective.
  • Walking and Cycling: There are several walking and cycling routes that follow the River Thames. These routes offer stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside.
  • Visit Attractions: There are several attractions along the River Thames, including Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, and the Tower of London. These attractions offer a fascinating insight into the history of the UK.

In summary, the River Thames is a must-visit destination for campervan enthusiasts in the UK. There are several campsites near the river, and plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your stay.

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The River Severn

The River Severn is the longest river in the United Kingdom, stretching over 220 miles from its source in the Welsh mountains to its mouth in the Bristol Channel. Its beautiful and varied landscape makes it a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts.

Campervan Sites Near River Severn

There are several campsites near the River Severn that cater to campervans. Here are a few:

  • Worcester Glamping: This site offers luxury camping pods right on the banks of the River Severn. It's a great option for those who want to be close to the water but still have all the comforts of home.
  • Red Lion Campsite: Located in the picturesque village of Holt, this campsite is just a short walk from the River Severn. It's a peaceful and quiet spot, ideal for those who want to get away from it all.
  • Severn Valley Caravan Park: This site is situated in the heart of the Severn Valley, close to the river and surrounded by stunning countryside. It's a great base for exploring the area.

Activities at River Severn

Image of Skye, Fortified Manor House

The River Severn offers a range of activities for campervan enthusiasts. Here are a few:

  • Canoeing and Kayaking: The River Severn is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. There are several companies that offer guided tours and equipment rental.
  • Fishing: The river is home to a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, and pike. Fishing permits can be obtained from local authorities.
  • Walking and Hiking: The Severn Way is a long-distance footpath that follows the River Severn from its source to its mouth. It's a great way to explore the area on foot.

Overall, the River Severn is a fantastic destination for campervan enthusiasts. With its stunning scenery and range of activities, it's sure to be a highlight of any tour of England.

The River Trent

The River Trent is the third-longest river in the UK and is a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts. The river flows through the Midlands and is surrounded by beautiful countryside and charming towns.

Campervan Sites Near River Trent

There are several campervan sites near the River Trent that provide easy access to the river. Here are a few options:

  • Cliff Lakes Caravan Park: This site is located near Tamworth and provides stunning views of the River Trent. The site has electric hook-ups, showers, and a café on-site.

  • Little Oak Camping: This campsite is located near Retford and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The site has electric hook-ups, showers, and a pub on-site.

  • Trentfield Farm Caravan and Camping: This site is located near Retford and is perfect for those looking for a peaceful retreat. The site has electric hook-ups, showers, and a fishing lake on-site.

Activities at River Trent

The River Trent offers a variety of activities for campervan enthusiasts. Here are a few options:

  • Fishing: The River Trent is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers can catch a variety of fish, including barbel, chub, and pike.

  • Canoeing and Kayaking: The River Trent is a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking. There are several rental companies that provide equipment and guided tours.

  • Walking and Cycling: The River Trent has a variety of walking and cycling trails that provide stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside.

Overall, the River Trent is a must-visit destination for campervan enthusiasts. With its beautiful scenery and variety of activities, it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

The River Wye

The River Wye is one of the most popular rivers in the UK for campervan enthusiasts. It runs for 134 miles from its source in the Welsh mountains to the Severn Estuary, passing through some of the most stunning scenery in England and Wales. Here are some of the best campervan sites and activities to enjoy on your visit to the River Wye.

Campervan Sites Near River Wye

There are many campsites along the River Wye that cater specifically to campervans. Here are some of the best:

  • Pencelli Castle Caravan & Camping Park: This campsite is located on the banks of the River Usk, which flows into the River Wye. It has a range of facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, and a shop.

  • Hereford Camping and Caravanning Club Site: This campsite is located just a short distance from the River Wye and offers a range of facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, and a shop.

  • Lucksall Caravan and Camping Park: This campsite is located on the banks of the River Wye and offers a range of facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, and a shop.

Activities at River Wye

The River Wye offers a range of activities for campervan enthusiasts to enjoy. Here are some of the best:

  • Canoeing and Kayaking: The River Wye is one of the best rivers in the UK for canoeing and kayaking. There are many local companies that offer equipment hire and guided tours.

  • Fishing: The River Wye is home to a range of fish species, including salmon, trout, and grayling. There are many fishing spots along the river that are perfect for campervan enthusiasts.

  • Walking and Hiking: The River Wye is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. There are many walking and hiking trails that offer stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscape.

In conclusion, the River Wye is a must-visit destination for campervan enthusiasts in the UK. With its stunning scenery, excellent campsites, and range of activities, it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

The River Great Ouse

The River Great Ouse is one of the most popular rivers in England for campervan enthusiasts. It is the fourth-longest river in the UK and has a length of 143 miles. The river runs through the counties of Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridgeshire, and is a great place to visit on your tour of England.

Campervan Sites Near River Great Ouse

There are many campsites near the River Great Ouse where you can park your campervan and enjoy the scenic views. Here are some of the top campervan sites near the river:

  • The Willows Campsite: This campsite is located in Huntingdon and is just a short walk away from the River Great Ouse. The site has a range of facilities, including electric hookups, showers, and toilets.

  • The St Neots Camping and Caravaning Club Site: This site is located in St. Neots and is situated on the banks of the River Great Ouse. The site has a range of facilities, including electric hookups, showers, and toilets.

  • Bedford Woodlands Park: This site is located in Bedford and is just a short drive away from the River Great Ouse. The site has a range of facilities, including electric hookups, showers, and toilets.

Activities at River Great Ouse

The River Great Ouse offers a range of activities for campervan enthusiasts. Here are some of the top activities to enjoy at the river:

  • Fishing: The River Great Ouse is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. The river is home to a range of fish species, including pike, perch, and roach.

  • Boating: The river is also a great place to enjoy boating activities. You can hire a boat and explore the river at your leisure.

  • Walking and Cycling: The River Great Ouse has a range of walking and cycling trails that offer stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside.

Overall, the River Great Ouse is a must-visit destination for campervan enthusiasts who are looking for a relaxing and scenic place to explore.

The River Nene

The River Nene is a beautiful river that flows through the heart of England. It is a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts who want to experience the natural beauty of England.

Campervan Sites Near River Nene

There are several campsites near the River Nene that are perfect for campervan enthusiasts. These sites offer a range of facilities, including electric hookups, showers, and toilets. Some of the most popular campsites near the River Nene include:

  • Riverside Caravan Park: This campsite is located on the banks of the River Nene and offers stunning views of the river. It has electric hookups, showers, and toilets, as well as a small shop and a pub.
  • Ferry Meadows Caravan Club Site: This campsite is located near the city of Peterborough and offers easy access to the River Nene. It has electric hookups, showers, and toilets, as well as a laundry room and a children's play area.

Activities at River Nene

Image of Scottish River

The River Nene offers a range of activities for campervan enthusiasts. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • Fishing: The River Nene is known for its excellent fishing, with a variety of fish species available, including pike, perch, and bream.
  • Boating: The River Nene is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. There are several marinas along the river where you can rent boats or moor your own boat.
  • Walking and Cycling: The River Nene offers several scenic walking and cycling routes, including the Nene Way, a 110-mile trail that follows the river from its source to the sea.

In conclusion, the River Nene is a beautiful destination for campervan enthusiasts who want to experience the natural beauty of England. With several campsites and a range of activities available, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind on your tour of England.

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The River Welland

The River Welland is a beautiful river that flows through the counties of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire. It is a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts, thanks to its stunning scenery and abundance of activities.

Campervan Sites Near River Welland

There are several campervan sites near the River Welland that offer excellent facilities and beautiful views. Some of the best options include:

  • Hill Farm Caravan and Camping Park: This campsite is located in the charming village of Barrowden and offers stunning views of the River Welland. It has excellent facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, and toilets.
  • Rutland Caravan and Camping Site: This site is located near the town of Oakham and offers easy access to the River Welland. It has spacious pitches, electric hook-ups, and modern facilities.
  • Ferry Meadows Caravan and Motorhome Club Site: This site is located in Peterborough and is just a short drive from the River Welland. It has excellent facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, and toilets.

Activities at River Welland

The River Welland offers a wide range of activities for campervan enthusiasts. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • Fishing: The River Welland is home to a variety of fish, including pike, perch, and chub. There are several fishing spots along the river, and fishing permits can be purchased from local tackle shops.
  • Walking and Cycling: The River Welland is surrounded by beautiful countryside, making it an ideal location for walking and cycling. There are several well-marked trails along the river, including the Welland Way and the Macmillan Way.
  • Boating: The River Welland is navigable for much of its length, making it an excellent location for boating. There are several boat hire companies in the area, offering a range of vessels from canoes to narrowboats.

Overall, the River Welland is a fantastic destination for campervan enthusiasts looking to explore the beauty of England's rivers. With its stunning scenery and abundance of activities, it is sure to be a highlight of any tour of England.

The River Soar

The River Soar is a beautiful waterway that runs through the heart of England. It is a popular destination for campervan enthusiasts who are looking to explore the countryside and enjoy the great outdoors. With its picturesque scenery and tranquil waters, the River Soar is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Campervan Sites Near River Soar

There are several great campervan sites near the River Soar that offer a range of facilities and amenities. Here are a few of the best options:

  • Barrow Boating: This campsite is located right on the banks of the River Soar and offers stunning views of the waterway. It has pitches for campervans and tents, as well as a range of facilities including showers, toilets, and a laundry room.

  • Lime Tree Holiday Park: This campsite is located just a few miles from the River Soar and offers a range of accommodation options including campervan pitches, lodges, and static caravans. It has a range of facilities including a swimming pool, games room, and bar.

  • Riverside Caravan Park: This campsite is located on the outskirts of the city of Leicester and offers easy access to the River Soar. It has pitches for campervans and caravans, as well as a range of facilities including showers, toilets, and a shop.

Activities at River Soar

There are plenty of activities to enjoy on the River Soar, whether you're looking for a relaxing day out or an action-packed adventure. Here are a few of the best things to do:

  • Boating: The River Soar is a great place to go boating, with a range of options available including kayaking, canoeing, and motor boating. There are several boat hire companies located along the river, making it easy to get out on the water.

  • Fishing: The River Soar is home to a variety of fish species including pike, perch, and roach, making it a great destination for anglers. There are several fishing spots along the river, as well as several fishing clubs that offer membership.

  • Walking and Cycling: The River Soar has several walking and cycling trails that run alongside the waterway, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Leicester Riverside Path is a particularly popular route, running for 14 miles from the city of Leicester to the village of Mountsorrel.

Overall, the River Soar is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the UK in a campervan. With its beautiful scenery, great facilities, and range of activities, it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

The River Avon

The River Avon is one of the most picturesque rivers in the UK. It runs through the heart of England, starting in Wiltshire and flowing through Bath, Bristol, and Stratford-upon-Avon before eventually emptying into the Bristol Channel. The River Avon is a must-visit destination for any campervan enthusiast touring England.

Campervan Sites Near River Avon

There are several campsites near the River Avon that cater to campervans. Here are a few options:

  • Bath Marina and Caravan Park: This campsite is located right on the River Avon in Bath. It offers stunning views of the river and easy access to the city center.
  • Avon Riverside Campsite: This campsite is located in the village of Saltford, just a few miles outside of Bath. It's a great option if you're looking for a quieter, more rural setting.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse Touring Park: This campsite is located on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon and offers easy access to the River Avon. It's a great option if you're looking to explore the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Activities at River Avon

There are plenty of activities to enjoy on the River Avon. Here are a few options:

  • Boat Tours: There are several boat tour operators that offer tours of the River Avon. This is a great way to see the river and learn about its history.
  • Cycling: There are several cycling routes that follow the River Avon. This is a great way to see the river and explore the surrounding countryside.
  • Fishing: The River Avon is known for its excellent fishing. There are several fishing spots along the river where you can try your luck.

In conclusion, the River Avon is a beautiful destination that should not be missed on any campervan tour of England. With its stunning scenery and plenty of activities to enjoy, it's the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Conclusion

In conclusion, England is home to some of the most beautiful rivers in the world, and exploring them in a campervan is an experience like no other. From the tranquil waters of the River Wye to the rugged beauty of the River Dart, there is something for everyone.

When planning your campervan trip, it's important to consider the location of the river, as well as the facilities and attractions nearby. The rivers on our list offer a range of activities, from kayaking and fishing to hiking and cycling.

Remember to always respect the environment and follow the Leave No Trace principles. Leave the river and surrounding areas as you found them, so that future generations can enjoy them too.

We hope that this list has inspired you to explore the rivers of England in your campervan. Happy travels!

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Rebecca Wills
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Self-professed vanlifer, digital nomad, blogger and freelance web developer. My van in the UK and my mobile home in the US aren't just places I live, they're my roving offices allowing me to work whilst giving me access to spaces that inspire me and feed my sense of adventure.

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