Used to own 2 beetles and once you own something like this its hard to let go of them.My friend has got a camper and its lovely. They have got 3 kids though and it is sometimes a bit of a squash. The other thing is you have to go everywhere in it, you cant just pitch and leave it whilst you go sightseeing or whatever. But they are nice, if you are buying an old one just make sure the floor is ok and not rotten. We just have to make do with an old monza caravan
An ex colleague of mine bought one with her boyfriend - they spent six months doing it up and then they set off touring Europe in it - she used to get alot of information on dealers etc. from the web - just had a quick look and found this which might be useful.
I had a look round it and it was very small - wouldn't fancy spending much time in one with a small child.
We used to have one but it was a bit of a heap and died the death on our first proper holiday (our honeymoon actually - we had to call the RAC out 5 times although twice was for punctures). We traded it in for a much older one which was gorgreous but the garage went bust and the van disappeared before we ever got to use it (£2200 down the drain).
They are lovely though especially if you like a car with character. DH would do anything to get another but we've settled on a landrover and tent now as its more versatile.
If you have a few kids then I would suggest looking for an awning to get a bit more space or even take a tent or gazebo with you as well. There is nothing like the sound of a camper engine and whenever we camp now DH spends all his time eyeing up the VW's.
If you live anywhere near London there is a place (sorry can't remember where - think its near the Australian embassy) where all the Aussies sell their vans as its very popular to buy and travel round the UK in them. You can expect you spend a couple of thousand on a good one although you can also pick them up much less. It would also be worthwhile trying to find out your local VW Camper club - they are all over the country and will be able to give you advice or help you find a well-maintained one.
Thanks everyone. I'm near Manchester so the London thing isn't gonna happen - but I've already tracked down a local camper club and emailed them so we'll see. Have found details of a show in the northwest in August so we'll try and get to that.
We'd already thought we would have an awning or something as it will be a squash with all of us.