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Adjusting to life in the UK after living in a motorhome full time

Ten countries and 13,000 miles in 13 months living in our motorhome full time. What an amazing adventure and journey we have had but we have now been back in the UK for over 2 months and starting a different adventure. We have loved living in our motorhome for the last 13 months. Despite living in a small space we found our motorhome to be cosy and comfortable and found ourselves outside in the fresh air all day exploring.

We have learnt so much about Europe and how the scenery is so beautiful. We have explored little known places that have captivated us; places such as the west coast of Norway, the frozen lakes of Sweden and the mountains of Spain. We have met like minded people who have realised that life is about the places you see and the people you meet rather than the material things that you can buy.

Why did we stop living in a motorhome full time?

So, why have we come back you might ask? Well, family commitments have become a priority. Wonderful grand children came along! We still intend to  use our motorhome to explore the UK and to carry on exploring Europe. The more we have seen of Europe the more we realise how huge the area is and how much there is to see.

Where are our favourite places in Europe?

Every place we visited we enjoyed but we did have our favourite places. Norway has got to be a motorhome paradise. Food is expensive but there are so many free places to stay overnight in a motorhome that it makes up for the high cost of living. The west coast of Norway, where the highest mountains are, is just stunning and driving a motorhome here gets you to places where most tourists don’t visit. You can read my blog article about our motorhome tour of Norway here.

Spanish cities & Norway

We visited many inspiring Spanish cities and were awed by their architecture, splendour and magnificence. We discovered places that we had barely heard of such as the incredible Roman city of Merida, the Medieval town of Caseres and the exotic city of Cadiz as well as visiting well known cities , Alicante, Salamanca, Bilbao, Seville and Granada that certainly more than lived up to their grand reputations.

I said that Norway is motorhome paradise but France is the number one motorhome destination in the summer. France has everything from beautiful beaches, stunning mountain scenery to historic Medieval villages. In the summer of 2018 we explored the beautiful villages of south-west France (blog post here) and took our motorhome to Chamonix, one of the most amazing places in Europe. (blog post about Chamonix here). The list of amazing places is endless and there are so many places still to visit – we have hardly touched the surface!

Going from a motorhome full time to bricks and mortar

Returning to live in the UK again with just a motorhome posed a few questions for us. Firstly, where are we going to live? We ruled out living in our motorhome in the UK because the weather in winter is cold and wet and the cost of campsites is nearly as much as renting somewhere more comfortable and spacious. Last winter was spent in sunny and mild Spain and we decided that we really needed bricks and mortar.

I missed some things about the UK

The things I have missed the most about the UK are traditional English pubs with good beer. I have missed my Thursday night drinking buddy, the English countryside as well as family and friends of course, so I was looking forward to setting up home again. I see it as another adventure!

Where did we move to?

I’m a proud Yorkshireman born and bred but we decided to look for a house in Cheshire, where Anne spent her childhood years. After spending 3 weeks on the lovely Chester Fairoaks caravan and motorhome site we decided to rent an apartment in the historical Cheshire town of Bollington. Nestled in the foothills of The Peak District, Bollington is a historical cotton town with several old mills that have been converted into spacious apartments. Our plan is to rent for 6 months and look for somewhere to buy again.

From living in a motorhome full time to Clarence Mill Bollington
Clarence Mill, Bollington. Our home for the next 6 months.
The Macclesfield Canal, Bollington on a cold Autumn day.
The Macclesfield Canal, Bollington on a cold Autumn day.

I must say that I am very impressed with Cheshire. Whilst, obviously, not as pretty as Yorkshire ( editorial bias!), it is a very rural county with lots of space and a very good road network. Bollington itself has the wonderful Macclesfield canal and The Middlewood Way which is an 11 mile stretch of disused railway line that has been made into an excellent walking and cycling track. I think it’s good to live somewhere different too. I suppose it’s good to leave your comfort zone. Having lived in Leeds all my life I can say that whilst I love Leeds there are plenty of other places to live that are equally as nice or better.

Jumping through hoops

Renting a house or apartment in the UK is not that straight forward. For a start we had to prove that we are entitled to live in the UK. After living in the UK since birth and having a British passport I thought it would be a simple matter of showing a copy of my passport, but no!

There is now an organisation that you have to provide lots of information to so that they can check your entitlement to live in the UK and, of course, there is a fee to pay. After providing evidence that we could afford to pay the rent we got the keys to a comfortable apartment. The furniture is very dated, we’re definitely in a 1970’s time warp here but the location is very rural, quiet and overlooks the Macclesfield canal.

The challenge of staying in one place after touring in a motorhome full time

One of the reasons we decided to be fulltime motor-homers was the attraction of seeing many different places. We ‘lived’ in many places in many different countries, whether it was near the sea, next to a frozen lake in Sweden, a cosmopolitan city in Spain or in the middle of nowhere. Every place we stayed had its own unique charm and excitement so we said to ourselves that we would treat living in the UK as a new adventure. This was helped by the fact that we would be living in an area of the UK that we hadn’t lived before so we could go out and explore new places.

Will we still use our motorhome?

The answer to this is a definite “Yes”. We’ve been pretty busy with family stuff since we came back, that’s starting to settle down now so we’re keen to get back in the saddle. We have been to Chester and just booked a few days in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Our plan is to explore more of the UK and we have a ferry booked to France in May. Touring in a motorhome is too much fun for us to say we won’t use it again. We won’t be travelling in our motorhome full time from now on but we fully intend to have a mixture of short and longer motorhome breaks in future.

So, after living in our motorhome full time for 13 months, our motorhome has now gone into storage. This feels strange after seeing it every day. I’ll write a blog article about how to find the best motorhome storage, because I found it hard to find the perfect storage facility.

There will be many more blog articles to come about our motorhome travels but in the meantime here are some photos from our full time motorhome adventure.

We will miss living in our motorhome full time. We loved every minute of it!

Living in a motorhome full time gives you the time to see views like this - Dalsnibba viewpoint Norway
Dalsnibba viewpoint with Geiranger fjord 1500 metres below.
Mont Blanc from Brevent
Amazing Chamonix Mont Blanc
The Roman bridge at Vaison La Romaine
The Roman bridge at Vaison La Romaine
Motorhome on a ferry in Norway
Vangsnes to Dragsvik ferry via Hella
Motorhome on the Atlantic road
Our motorhome parked up on The Atlantic Road in Norway.
Sweden motorhome tour
Parked by a lake on our Sweden motorhome tour
We visited beautiful Copenhagen in our motorhome.
We visited beautiful Copenhagen in our motorhome.
Migas
Migas Sampling the local food in Spain
David Brice
I’m at the amazing Alhambra Palace in Granada.
El Tranquilo camping
Parked up in the mountains of Spain for Christmas
Mahal Costa Blanca pitch
We spent a few weeks at Marjal Costa Blanca
Ullapool Scotland
What a view. Parked up near Ullapool, Scotland
Cadiz in Spain
Cadiz in Spain
Flamenco in Seville
Flamenco in Seville


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8 responses to “Adjusting to life in the UK after living in a motorhome full time”

  1. W.H.J.Browning avatar
    W.H.J.Browning

    Brilliant stuff – as usual. Thanks

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Thanks for your comment. David

  2. Mark Westbrook avatar
    Mark Westbrook

    Excellent blog (as usual). You have inspired us to sell up, move to a flat and use the profits to travel more.

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Mark. We don’t have any regrets about doing that. Happy travels!

  3. Gill Patterson avatar
    Gill Patterson

    Looking forward to your info on motorhome storage. Love your blog. Welcome to Macclesfield.

  4. Tina avatar
    Tina

    Hello David,
    Came across your blog after researching full time motorhome living to see if anyone does it for more than a year or two, thank you for taking the time to share your experience and for all the great info. Do you think you’ll ever go full time again and do you know of any long term full timers? I’m finding most I’ve come across only do it short term, so I’m wondering if its just not sustainable long term. We’re considering it but thinking we’d like to aim for 5 years or longer even, as initially due to family commitments we’d need to be predominately uk based for the first 4 years, it seems harder to live this way in the uk than it is abroad.

    1. davidbrice avatar

      Hi Tina. Really pleased you like my blog. We full-timed in our motorhome for a total of just over 2 years and really enjoyed it. I don’t think we will go back to living full time in our motorhome, but we are really pleased that we did it. We did know people who did it full time but one have now bought a house again and another couple have returned home due to illness. Living full time in a motorhome can be expensive in the UK especially if you stay on a campsite. Europe is the place to be but due to Brexit rules it has become far harder to stay long term. It’s a great life though and we don’t regret one minute. Happy travels – David

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