Bodiam and Beyond

John and Jules Stayed Fairly Local for Their Campervan Holidays This Year – and the Best Thing About It Was Spending Extra Time With Their Grandchildren.

Musician John and yoga teacher Jules bought Beano, their little red NV200 CamperCar from Sussex Campervans in 2017. They still love the van, fighting over who should drive it each day.


This year, with music festivals cancelled and foreign travel looking risky, the couple made the most of more local adventures.

In August they went camping for a week at Park Farm campsite, near the National Trust’s beautiful 14th-century Bodiam Castle in East Sussex. “I thought you might like to see my wife Jules leading an early morning yoga class with two of our grandchildren, Raffi aged two and Phoebe, aged three. They seem to be getting the hang of it,” said John.

Julie said,  “We often get the kids to try some yoga. If you look closely on the blue picnic mat in one photo there’s a wee crawler (also wearing blue). It’s never too young to start yoga with children. Park Farm is a big site, and it was very busy, but there is loads of space. We opted to be up at the top, near the woods and ‘away from it all’. We decided that the playground, toilet and shower block and the site cafe were not for us this time. We had three nights for £25 per adult, including logs for a campfire in the evening. What’s not to like there!”

“Bodiam Castle itself is not open at the moment due to Covid. But if you park in the car park you are still able to walk around the moat, rest, and gaze in wonder at the fairytale castle. We also swam and kayaked on the river Rother, alongside the car park. It is a fabulous spot for families to go for a stroll and a picnic. A memorable fun time for our family group.”

In September, John says, “We took Beano, our lovely little NV200 camper, to Cornwall. We stayed at Trevedra campsite, which I would recommend to others if they are heading down that way. It is a friendly campsite, with very thorough and safely applied Covid restrictions in place. We went in the sea every day and had campfires at night. We also had some lovely walks in the excellent weather along the coastal path around Land’s End. Pasties and local cream teas made us feel we were truly on holiday – despite the current pandemic restrictions. Thanks for building Beano for us. We use it as our second car.”

That wasn’t the end of the journey for Beano this year. John and Jules said that since the Cornish trip they have headed northwards. “We stayed in a fabulous Britstop last night – Harefield Hall, North Yorkshire. It is an old monastery, converted to a hotel in the 1980s. We camped for the night in their car park and met their friendly staff when we went in for a great meal and a cosy fire, with a pint and a game of Rummikub! We even went in for breakfast before continuing north to explore the Northumbria coastline. We then went to pick up a narrow boat at Falkirk. Life is good!”

They had their compact Nissan Camper conversion built to order by Sussex Campervans and collected it in August 2015. Steve asked for no stag livery, but instead embellished the sleek Twilight Grey bodywork solely with his favourite creature – a lizard.

Why a lizard? “I like climbing with lizards – it means that I’m in a warm and dry place,” says Steve with a smile. He enjoys climbing, especially calling into Fontainebleau on the way home from the Alps, an area just outside of Paris used by many Alpine mountaineers for training. There were certainly lizards climbing alongside Steve as he tackled the famous boulders in the region. 

Warm, dry weather is clearly a luxury for Steve. He recalls a more typical camping trip, which really made him appreciate the shelter of the campervan: “In North Wales I was climbing on Cader Idris, which was cold, wet and miserable. I was belayed on a ledge and watched a slug beat me up the rock!”

red campervan with lady owner Jules