where to stay in London in a motorhome?

(41 Posts)
ilovexmastime Tue 11-Jun-13 14:36:21

I've promised the kids we'll visit London during the October half term, staying in our motorhome. Can anyone recommend anywhere we can park up for free\pay to park. We don't need a hook up so don't really want to pay too much.

ilovexmastime Wed 19-Jun-13 16:23:55

Thanks Prof! My two are 8 and 6 and I don't anticipate being on site much during the day... it'll probably be the type of holiday you need a holiday to get over!

professorpoopsnagle Wed 19-Jun-13 14:29:21

I wrote a big post this morning and lost it- GAH!

I have stayed at both London sites, in a tent with 3 youngish kids.

Crystal Palace
Pros- nearer to the centre of London, and other places in SW London. However, the bus can take its time, we stayed pre East London line so maybe that has helped times? Leafy site with supermarkets, cafes and restaurants 10 mins walk away. No playground but Crystal Palace park is a walk away, slightly annoying that you have to do 3 sides of a square. The camping part is smaller than Abbeywood. The main downside is that it is next to the main road so there is a lot of traffic noise, which being London continues through the night. The noise won't be so much of a bother if in a motorhome/caravan as you would be further away and more sound proofed. The other issue is that the 4 loos and showers are keycode protected and a bit of a pain with young children. There was a family block there but we never got a key, maybe you had to ask?

Abbeywood is further out, and the best way in is by train which is about 10 mins away. The camping field is larger and is car free, with parking on the perimeter. I think they had a few EHU's? The small playground is more suited to under 8's but in sight of the tent field. The facilities are much more family friendly with no keycodes, bigger showers and there was even a family bathroom with a bath. A co-op is 10 mins walk away. I felt ok in the area but then we lived in SE London anyway. The site is much, much quieter at night and from road noise.

I think a lot depends on the ages of your children, Abbeywood is definitely easier if they are younger but CP is slightly nearer the action. I would probably prefer CP, even with the noise but my kids nag for a playground.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 19-Jun-13 00:26:32

I think they all had to be converted to comply to avoid paying. If memory serves I think my neighbour had to get something done to his campervan though I didn't realise it was for the LEZ at the time.

Blu Tue 18-Jun-13 22:00:34

This emissions zone thing is monstrous!

So do all the big vans etc on the road pay it? confused How does anyone survive in a business?

Jins Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:19

Parked up on site doesn't incur a charge. My last post is not at all clear grin

Jins Tue 18-Jun-13 21:52:41

That's true. I remember having to check this as we tow with a pick up. Luckily it complies but as I recall you pay the charge for the day you are in the zone.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:36:40

Not if you have an unconverted camper/motorhome Jins or it seems it will set you back £100 a day (I think). Does it cost that even if you leave the car stationary at the site does anyone know?

Jins Tue 18-Jun-13 19:57:49

Well you know what I mean grin

It's actually quite a little oasis. I can imagine there could be issues though so its pretty secure. We thought it was great and if I ever venture to that London again I'd stay at Abbey Wood.

Blu Tue 18-Jun-13 19:02:55

"Good security on site and some pretty impressive fences."
Thats the best marketing line for a campsite I have heard in a long time, Jins grin

(But of course I am sure it's v nice.)

Jins Tue 18-Jun-13 16:06:04

Abbey wood caravan club site is ok actually. Good security on site and some pretty impressive fences.

ilovexmastime Tue 18-Jun-13 11:48:31

Blu, I just read the reviews for CP and the people complaining about the lack of park sound very 'entitled' (to coin a MN phrase!). Their review made me chuckle.

Thanks for the link Mummy, I'll check it out.

Our van is ancient, Duchesse sad . Thanks for the tip on booking well in advance though.

duchesse Tue 18-Jun-13 10:23:58

I booked our French friends into the campsite at Norwood in April. I had to register their newish campervan in advance on the LEZ website but it was pretty straightforward. The CP is supposed to be very good but you do have to book well in advance- we didn't manage to get my friends in there a week ahead.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 18-Jun-13 10:13:02

Blimey - it appears I live in the LEZ - who knew? Anyhow, this site is apparently outside it and in the summer a bus appears to run from the site sirect to Walthamstow station: www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/where-to-stay-and-short-breaks/sewardstone-campsite/#overview

Unfortunately, it is completely the wrong side of London for you really but it might be an option when you compare the costs of public transport in from sites in the West (if they are further out from Central London). Just worth factoring in maybe.

ilovexmastime Tue 18-Jun-13 09:56:31

There's no way our van will pass the low emissions test... so it may be cheaper to stay outside London and get the train in. Although I really like the look of the CP camp site sad.

Blu, yes, I was hoping that we could just park up somewhere! I haven't been to London for a looooong time... obviously! Where has the time gone? Bleddy kidswink.

Maureen, your tip is duly noted!

MaureenMLove Sun 16-Jun-13 22:54:15

Abbeywood site is very close to the train station, which is 20 mins into central London, direct bus route to Greenwich and DLR.

However Abbeywood is not somewhere I would want to stay over night in a motorhome! You may wake up to find there are no wheels on it! grin

Blu Sun 16-Jun-13 22:49:35

Ooh, you will have all the Londoners who live in CP up in arms there, Shattereddreams! Of Course CP is in London - but not central London, to be sure grin

CP has the fantastic new (ish) overground rail service, too. But it doesn't go anywhere a visitor might want to go.

I used to use the no 3 bus route from a bit further in than CP - it was always full of German and Dutch visitors using the campsite.

MumOfTheMoos Sun 16-Jun-13 22:40:47

Shattereddreams, of course Crystal Palace is in London, speaking as a Londoner - but you don't need to be a Londoner to know that as it is in a London borough, with a London post code, policed by the metropolitan police, accessed by roads managed by transport for London, or trains running on the London Overground or red London buses.

Clearly, you've never been.

Crystal palace is still "outside" London to a Londoner grin but it probably is pretty damn well as close a camp site as you can get.
Abbey wood isn't on a direct bus route, although the bus journey to Oxford circus from crystal palace will be about 1 hour.

Don't be travelling all the way round the M25 to camp, it really isn't worth it. Not Essex anyway, you'd pay the Dartford toll.

You must look up your vehicle because if you can't pass the emission zone, then you may as well park anywhere you like on its boundary and get the train in - from the SW side of London.

Blu Sun 16-Jun-13 12:55:39

Look Here for reviews of people who used it as a base for London sightseeing

I can only roll my eyes at the folk who complained there was no play park - it is part of a HUGE park which has two very different and excellent playgrounds, lakes, dinosaurs, a petting zoo (well, goats), etc etc.

It wouldn't be too hard getting to the site from routes to the SW, and you wouldn't need to go through the CC zone. And you might not be eligible for the Emissions Zone, but I don't know anything about that.

Blu Sun 16-Jun-13 12:48:56

Crystal Palace isn't outside London. here. Not sure how it compares to Debden or Abbey Wood in terms of distance and ease of travel to central London.

Were you imagining setting yourselves down in a car park alongside Regents's Park, OP? In ye olden dayes the S Bank used to be the place to park camper vans - all the Aussies and Kiwis used to live there for a few weeks, buying and selling their 'round Europe' VWs before heading back home or on to the continent.

But parking restrictions have put a stop to all that, and in suburban areas, I saw only last week posts on a local firum concerned about someone staying in a motorhome on a residntial street and how could they report it etc.

Hurley is definitely outside London - good for Legoland and Windsor Castle smile

ilovexmastime Sun 16-Jun-13 10:47:24

blush shows how good my geography is...

We'd be coming up from Cornwall.

Ilove
All the places mentioned are "outside" London and getting the train in grin

Just how long on the train for. Where's home? Roughly? Best to approach and stay on the right side of London

Of course, you can park for free on M25 all day ha ha

ilovexmastime Sat 15-Jun-13 18:29:22

Blimey! May have to re-think staying in London... so many complications. Maybe it would be best to stay outside London and then get the train in...

lljkk Sat 15-Jun-13 15:06:54

Is the Emissions zone charge a per day thing, I think might be?

Blu Sat 15-Jun-13 15:01:03

The Emissions Zone and the Congestion Charge (CC) Zone are completely different things - different zone boundaries, and the congestion charge zone only operates on weekdays between certain times. And the charge is £10.

OP - do check the CC zone in case you cross central London on your way to any of these sites (although frankly that would be best avoided) and it is unlikely that you would choose to use your motorhome as transport once in London as traffic and parking - especially parking - are not at all conducive. Which is why good public transport from your chosen site will be important.

Children under 10 travel free on buses and tubes. You can get day travel cards which keep the cost down.

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