Caravan Camping & Motorhome Show 2017, Birmingham (scroll down for pictures)
It’s the time of year when all the shows are starting to get us into the mood for the coming season. I received an invitation from the Caravan Club to attend the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show at the NEC in Birmingham. I’d never been before but this year I thought I would give it a go as I was planning on going to Dubfreeze but couldn’t make it (yes, completely different, I know!). I was also intrigued about a mysterious ‘special announcement’ that was going to be revealed on the opening day by the Caravan Club.
I set off from Worcester after work on Monday and made my way to the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport where I met some of the club team and enjoyed a relaxed evening at the bar talking about camping, motorhomes, routes and experiences from life on the road.
I wanted to make the most of the day so we got up early, wolfed down a full English, piled into my Mini and made our way to the NEC. Having not been before, I was stunned at the sheer size of the venue and it was literally hall after hall full to the brim with every kind of campervan, motorhome, caravan, tent and accessories.
Being honest, I’ve never really thought about going to a Caravan Club site, for mainly the reason that I didn’t really think that I would be welcome on site, for 1 – not having a caravan and for 2 – because I have two young children. I’m not really sure why (and I don’t want to offend anyone here!), but the perception I’ve always had about Caravan Club sites is that they were for older couples who were looking to pitch their caravan in nice quiet surroundings, open up the awning and enjoy a nice cup of tea and a biscuit in the sunshine before settling down with a good book. So, the thought of my two boys running riot, making noise, kicking balls and doing just general boy stuff which might result in disturbing other people wasn’t really the kind of stress that I would want when I’m trying to chill out myself!
So… 10:30 came and it was time for the (THE!) Caravan club announcement that had really been starting to get my curiosity going into overdrive! So here it is, after 110 years being known as the Caravan Club, they were now completely rebranding and have changed their name to the Caravan and Motorhome Club and as this was announced, the brown paper that had been covering the new branding was peeled off to reveal the fresh and updated image.
I had some good chats with Graham and Hannah who work with the club and I was really impressed with their enthusiasm and passion for everything the club stands for; the club has outdoors and activity at its core and is all about enjoying an alternative lifestyle regardless of your age (and children!) whether you have a campervan, motorhome, caravan or tent. In some of their new promotional media, they even featured a bay window camper and an early Beetle – as a VW fanatic, that made my day!
As you may know, my van, Major Tom, is due to be back on the road very soon and I have booked a week off work at the end of March when I’ll be travelling up to Scotland for a few days in the remote Highlands – I may even check out a couple of the club sites while I’m at it!
I’ve taken some photos from the day so do take a look below!
Thanks for looking! If you've made it this far, you'll have seen a fair bit of luxury. These vans, caravans and motorhomes are incredibly luxurious, but luxury is something I like to get away from. Would I trade my van in? The answer is no, I love my van because, the cupboard doors fall off, I love my van because I've bodged the interior myself, I love it because it breaks down, I love it because I have to shove myself against the outside of the sliding door to get it to close properly! With my van, I'm removing myself from luxury. What more do you need than a field and a tap?! Or a forest clearing in Mid-Wales!? Maybe that's just me. I guess, whatever the reason, we all have one thing in common - we love the outdoors and we love an alternative lifestyle.