London, with its world-class transport, lively nightlife and endless green parks, is a great city to live in. But sometimes, we all need a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
Many of us can be put of a weekend break at the planning stage, whether it’s the thought of wasting precious hours queuing in airports, researching train timetables, navigating local bus routes and finding budget-friendly accommodation.
However, as the average London commute is 74 minutes every day, how about swapping the city for a tranquil countryside break instead?
Martijn Peeters, CEO of Camptoo, the Airbnb of campervans, is out to prove that all you really need is a driving license and a sense of adventure in order to enjoy your very own countryside retreat.
“There’s no need to waste precious time travelling on trains and through airports in order to escape the stresses of city life,” says Martijn. “Many Londoners don’t realise that in just over an hour they can enjoy a well-earned break away from the busy city, whilst discovering charming villages, lush countryside and a whole host of new adventures.”
Here Martijn shares his weekend getaway hot list…
- Chobham, Surrey
This pretty village tucked away in Surrey is the perfect escape from the Big Smoke. Despite easy links to the M25, Chobham has retained its traditional English village charm. As the largest National Nature Reserve in the south east of England, Chobham Common is ideal for long countryside walks surrounded by beautiful scenery. Look out for rare species, such as the sand lizard and the silver-studded blue butterfly. After a day exploring the area, tuck into some proper pub grub at The Four Horseshoes or The Sun Inn in the heart of the village.
Journey time: 1 hour 6 minutes
- Chertsey, Surrey
Book yourself onto a riverside pitch at the Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club where you can watch the many pleasure craft sail by. Walkers will enjoy the Thames Path Nature Trail, but the area includes a great number of varied attractions including the Thames Path Nature Trail which is ideal for walkers, history buffs will be fascinated by Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle, and nature lovers can enjoy nearby Kew Gardens.
Journey time: 1 hour 4 minutes
- Uxbridge, West London
Find your very own green oasis and head to Wyatts Covert Caravan Club Site. Attractions within easy reach include Savill Garden in the Great Park and Beaconsfield. For those who want to escape, visit Cliveden or West Wycombe Park, both beautifully preserved by the National Trust. If you enjoy long walks in lush green settings, both Denham Country Park.
Journey time: 47 minutes
- Highlights of Hertfordshire
Escape to the woods for the weekend and enjoy time at Commons Wood Caravan Club Site, which back onto stunning woodlands and is within easy reach of several lush, green parks. Families will enjoy nearby Stanborough Park which boasts a playground and crazy golf as well as a gorgeous lake where you can try your hand at boating and fishing. For those interested in nature, Reed Marsh Reserve is a must-visit and is ideal for bird watching.
Journey time: 1 hour 11 minutes
- Sevenoaks, Kent
Thriftwood Country Park is located in the rural village of Stansted (not to be confused with Stansted Mountfitchet or London Stansted Airport, both of which are in Essex) with views of the surrounding North Downs. Set in 20 acres of peaceful woodland in the heart of the Kent countryside, aka the Garden of England. Think coastal beaches, green countryside, medieval towns, historic castles and stately homes. What more could you wish for?
Journey time: 1 hour 12 minutes
To rent a campervan, motorhome or caravan, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.