Amy Spires


The First Van Trip

You’re probably familiar with my really terrible Airbnb luck. Well all that is over now, as we’ve converted our Citroen Berlingo into a mini camper and it’s the best idea I’ve ever had. We initially swapped the car for the Berlingo as we needed extra space to transport things to Tynemouth Market (see Coal House Goods here) but after we took out the back seats I realised the space was massive and we could 100% sleep in it.

There’s a simple platform bed structure with a backrest that folds up and then back down (tall husband needs to stretch) and storage underneath. Internal roof bars hold lights and some S hooks for extra hanging storage, and we’re going to invest in a roofbox for longer journeys. The mattress is a full double so plenty of room for both of us and a fat little dog.

We spent a few days just pottering around the Lake District and seeing where we ended up. We set off in the morning and would find a nice spot to pull up and cook breakfast. One night we were looking for a spot to sleep and ended up following signs to a National Trust campsite that ended up being one of the nicest I’ve ever been to. It was right on the shore of Windermere so you could spend the evening tiring the dog out before heading back for a barbecue by the stream.

Last year all our free time was taken up by moving house and then working on the new house, so I feel like this year we’ll make the most of all the time we’re not at work and just head out in the van. Even if it’s just one night. It’s nice to wake up to a different view.

Amy Spires