Enjoy a big weekend in a small campervan!

Posted on 16/07/2019 by Mike Salmon


A small campervan road trip to Devon is the perfect big weekend away. Devon offers visitors charming villages, spectacular coastlines, dramatic walks and breathtaking beaches.

South Devon is well known for its winding country lanes so a smaller campervan is the best way to discover the county's hidden treasures.

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The sun sets on the Kingsbridge Esturay at Frogmore. The creeks stretch from Salcombe to Kingsbridge.

We picked up the 2-berth custom-made VW Delta campervan from the Spaceships London branch, just minutes from the M4 and M25 motorways.

Blast off in a Spaceship to Devon

The Delta may be a small campervan, but its design provides you with so much interior space. Your living area can be increased by using a side and rear awning. In addition, the table can be fitted to the inside and there is loads of luggage space in the hold under the raised bed base. It is easy to drive, with automatic transmission and air con, again making it perfect for a summer road trip with a combination of motorway driving and squeezing along country lanes at low speed.

Our route took us briefly down the M25 then onto the M3 as far as Basingstoke. We exited there onto the A303 which goes all the way into Devon, before you join the M5 south for about 5 miles. This feeds onto the A38 Devon Expressway. Pick up signs for Totnes and Dartmouth to enter into the magical South Hams region of Devon.

The roads are good and it's a journey of around three and a half hours depending on the traffic. We blasted off from Spaceships London at about 1.30pm and were deep in the South Hams near Kingsbridge by 5pm.

 

Pass Stonehenge on your Spaceships road trip

This route takes you past Stonehenge, about 2 miles west of Amesbury and 70 miles from Spaceships London. You can see the giant, prehistoric stone circle from the road, but you will need to buy tickets in advance if you wish to visit the English Heritage owned site. (Adult tickets available from £17.50.) You can buy English Heritage tickets here.

Spaceships Devon Stonehenge

The giant prehistoric stone circle at Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world

We had booked our first night at South Allington House, a basic but secluded, peaceful camp site. 

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Dawn at South Allington House camp site

Big weekend tip - if you stay at South Allington, go into the village by East Prawle to avoid a long single track lane.

Blackpool, but not as you know it...

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A real "pleasure beach" - Blackpool Sands

We were up early next morning heading north, up the unspoilt South Devon coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We had a coffee stop at the beautiful Blackpool Sands, before driving further north to the fascinating market town of Totnes. It has a market, lots of independent shops and eateries and is well worth a visit on your big weekend in Devon.

We headed back down the coast for a drink at Torcross at the south end of spectacular Slapton Sands, a confusingly named shingle beach that stretches for 2 miles up to Street Gate. We checked into the Camping & Caravan Club Slapton Sands site just a quarter of a mile off the main road overlooking the coast. It would be worth booking in advance as the site has a superb position and excellent facilities, with many pitches enjoying sea views, so is popular in the summer months. As non-members of the Camping & Caravan Club we paid £33 for one night with electric hook up.

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The view of Slapton Sands, with Blackpool Sands around the headland, from just below the camp site

Coast and country

We made the easy walk back down to the beach for some sunbathing and a paddle in the blue sea, before returning to the site to set up the awning on Big Foot, our small campervan. Another of the Delta's features is that you can alter the bed position. You can choose to sleep fully inside the campervan, or extend the bed base out of the back under the awning. 

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The Tower Inn next to the 14th Century tower in Slapton

After a quick shower, we took a 15 minute stroll through the quaint village of Slapton to see the 14th century Tower of Collegiate Chantry of St Mary. The Tower still stands, next to a fabulous country pub bearing its name. The Tower Inn offers a peaceful setting and plenty of character - wooden floors, a choice of real ales or wine by the glass and excellent food. We enjoyed a couple of starters: seared scallops with clams, sea shore vegetables and oyster butter, as well as pressed Devon Beef with piccalilli and sour dough toasts. Then it was back to Big Foot, to fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shingle beach below.

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A cold one in the fridge. The Spaceships Delta campervan comes with all cooking gear, fridge and gas cooker

Slapton Sands is the perfect base for your weekend in Devon with both the long beach and pretty village in walking distance. It's well placed for visits to Totnes and the harbour town of Dartmouth to the north and Kingsbridge and Salcombe to the south, taking in all the villages, coastline and creeks in between.

The following morning, after a quick breakfast of coffee and croissant, we strolled along the river path from Totnes towards Dartmouth, before getting back on the road. The journey back to London was straightforward, with the Delta campervan equally comfortably cruising at 65mph as dealing with reversing into passing places on Devon's lanes. Over the 500 mile round trip, the incredible Spaceships Delta campervan averaged nearly 60mpg.

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The Spaceships Delta campervan averaged nearly 60mpg on the trip

If you would like to make more of your free time, hire a small Spaceships campervan and enjoy a big weekend in Devon!

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