12/11/2013
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Guide to UK ferry travel

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Not all of us want to travel great distances, try out another language or foreign cuisine when we tour. For many, just the thought of an autobahn or autoroute is enough to elicit a strangled moan. Fear not though, the UK is packed full of hidden gems just off the mainland with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The biggest close neighbour within the British Isles is Northern Ireland. It’s a great destination for touring, and you’ll be able to avoid that pesky language barrier. Not to mention it’s also a gateway into Ireland itself, which is world famous for its friendly people and wonderfully wild scenery.

If it’s your first time heading over the sea in your motorhome, you might have some worries about boarding ferries and the time you’ll be on them. If that’s the case, try the short crossing to the Isle of Wight. It’s got gorgeous countryside and can really be seen as an extension to Hampshire, so you won’t be too far out of your comfort zone. It’s got a range of campsites too, from large complexes to small farms.

Despite having a reputation as a tax haven for the rich and famous, the Isle of Man has all the charm of being a little stuck in the 1960s. You can take your motorhome too, though you might have to shell
out a little more than you want on the ferry fares.

The jewels in the UK crown though are the Scottish islands, varying in size from Skye and Mull down to tiny pinpricks on the map where you’ll have to manage on your leisure battery. Not all are served by ferries that will take anything bigger than a van conversion – some might not even take those – but those which aren’t are well worth the island hop as a foot passenger, if only for the opportunity to go to such quiet, beautiful areas.

Don’t forget, if you don’t fancy all that driving you can take a ferry as a shortcut from port-to-port in many areas of the UK.

Regional restrictions

Jersey: To take a motorhome to Jersey, you have to book your crossing through the campsite you intend to stay on. The permit will be issued automatically with your booking.
Guernsey: Motorhomes can be taken to the island if they have a permit and are less than 6.90 metres long. Again, this permit is obtained through the campsite you book with. Bear in mind as with any application, it may take a little time and you’ll need to call the ferry operator to ensure there’s spaces on-board which coincide with your chosen dates.

Colonsay (Inner Hebrides): Motorhomes can only book ferry space through the Colonsay Office of Caledonian MacBrayne on 01951-200308. Even if a reservation is accepted in error, it will be invalid.

If you want information on crossings to Europe, click here or go your smartphone or tablet’s app store and search for ‘MMM’ to download a free digital sampler of November’s MMM, which features an in-depth European ferry guide.


More useful Motorhome pages:

Motorhomes for Sale  |  Motorhome Reviews  |  Sell Your Motorhome  |  Motorhome Advice  |  Motorhome Buyers' Guide

Motorhome News  |  Motorhome Articles  |  Motorhome Forums

Campsite Finder

MMM (Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly) Magazine  |  Which Motorhome Magazine  |  Motorhome Shows


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