The Lake District is a stunning area of the country which can breathe new life into city-dwellers.
There are many ways to travel and stay in Cumbria, but few of them are as magical as a campervan.
Having grown up in Norway, I’m no stranger to setting up a tent and surrendering to the great outdoors.
But there is something about a campervan which has always tempted me.
They offer accommodation and transport all in one – and they are usually pretty flashy and don't require any assembling.
Or at least, the one I was lucky enough to rent – thanks to campervan and motorhome hiring company Camptoo.
Camptoo set me up with owners Ringo and Taras, who provided every bit of information a motorhome novice could need.
They even sent handy YouTube videos of how everything worked and kindly dropped off the van so all the family needed to do was pile our stuff in the roomy back – then off we went.
For three days, Nonna the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter became our home.
The four bed, four seater had everything you could ever need – a modern kitchen, seating area, shower, toilet and most importantly of all – was easy to drive.
Nonna made an excellent vessel to take on the hilly roads of the beautiful Lake District.
First the trip went to Keswick – and Nonna’s base was the picturesque Keswick Camping and Caravanning Club.
Situated right next to the stunning Derwentwater and a short stroll from the town centre, it is the perfect location for walks and hikes.
There’s one thing you can’t predict when you rent a campervan and drive it to the Lakes – the weather.
But as they say in Norway – there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
So after splashing some extra cash on wellies, we set off in the pouring rain for a walk around the water.
Surrendering to whatever weather comes your way can make the whole experience more amazing.
And it makes it even more satisfying when you treat yourself to something sweet afterwards – I’d suggest one of the many crepes at The Wild Strawberry.
I saw more rain the first day in Keswick than I have in the whole year – but there was something soothing about listening to the dramatic rainfall on the campervan roof at night.
Admittedly, Nonna was doable for four people, but would have been more comfortable for two.
We became masters of communication, having to pass things along, depending on who was closest and moving so the other could get out of the van.
From navigating motorway sliproads, to dirt tracks over the mountain – it was definitely a group effort.
But it was all part of the fun.
Day two took us to Ravenglass Camping and Caravanning Club – situated in the pretty Roman fishing village on the coast.
Smaller than Keswick, it felt more intimate and peaceful – probably helped by the sun which had started to shine through.
Take a short stroll past the famous Ravenglass Railway, and you will come to the atmospheric The Inn at Ravenglass pub.
Here the friendly staff serve up comforting pub food, while watching the sunset over the dunes and estuary where three rivers meet; the Esk, the Mite and the Irt.
A trip to Ravenglass wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Muncaster Castle – a privately owned Grade I listed building, overlooking the River Esk.
We watched in awe at the spectacular owl and hawk displays, wandered the jaw-dropping grounds and took a stroll in the castle, which is said to be haunted.
All before setting back off across the mountainous Lake District in the trusty Nonna.
Launched in the Netherlands in 2014, Camptoo is a sharing economy platform that connects the owners and renters of campervans, motorhomes and touring caravans.
Since it was launched, Camptoo users have booked over 100,000 nights in vehicles rented through the site.
Owners are able to generate income from their campervan when it’s not being used while renters have greater flexibility when booking their vehicle so that it best suits their needs.
There are over 2,500 vehicles to choose from across Europe and a further 400 across Australia, with more being added every week.
Vehicles are properly insured to allow both owner as well as renter a carefree holiday, with Camptoo providing all the necessary paperwork, checklists and roadside assistance.
For more information, visit www.camptoo.co.uk
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