England in September, Germany in October
We are planning our fall trip. We will be in England for September. Norfolk and Devon/Somerset are places we will be in for sure. Otherwise we will wander with our preference being to stay off the M roads as much as possible and away from the big cities.
We will take the ferry across to The Netherlands and drive into Germany. Destination Luneburg, south of Hamburg. We won't be travelling around Germany alot, the focus will be new grandchild. Local expeditions will be made - can't hang over the cot saying kotchy-coo ALL the time.
We hope to buy an older, small 2-person camper, and live out of it for 2 months and then sell it at the end of our trip. My spouse is a mechanic and skilled at keeping a vehicle in good running order. This worked for us 3 years ago. We got less than we paid for it, but it worked out much cheaper than renting for 2 months.
I'd like to bring the Crown Graphic (my favorite camera) with me, but I don't have a changing tent, so don't know how I'd keep the film holders loaded. I've tried loading in my changing bag and just ended up with fogged film with lots of dust on it. Going through customs and security with 4x5 film is a daunting idea too. Medium format seems more sensible.
So.... advice, warnings, invitations to camp in the yard for a night or 2 welcomed. (We don't smoke or stay up late, and are generally pretty boring except for my obsession with photography, and his obsession with cars.)
Anybody have a camper they've been thinking of flogging? (or maybe renting, if it is less than the commercial outfits.)
I hope I'll be able to meet some of the APUGers whose names I've become familiar with on the site.
From your German location, there are many historical World War II sites, including Holocaust memorials and concentration camps. I recommend you get a copy of Marc Terrance's Concentrtion Camp Guide for explicit directions to sites in your area. There are many locations with potential iconic images that I have long thought would be excellent for MF or LF photography. I've always used 35mm when I visited, but hope to find an opportunity to bring my tripod and Hassy sometime. Since you are in a camper, MF or LF bulk and weight should be no problem. (you can check out some of my work by clicking on the link in my signature line)
Check out the classifieds. There is a nice changing tent that might give you a lot more room and is described as light tight.
For me, i wouldn't make compromises when it comes to photography so i would be dragging the LF gear! How are you getting over there?
Given your destination of taking the ferry to The Netherlands, it would make sense to do an arc starting in London where I assume you will arrive, along the south coast into the West Country and then up through Wales before a short diversion on the M6 in to Cumbria (the Lake District). Then turn right for the Yorkshire Dales and then down and across through Yorkshire to Norfolk before taking the ferry. It has to be said that there is little of geographic interest in the middle of England so a spin around the edge and into Wales before cutting across via Yorkshire makes sense. Spend a few days reaching the West from London and stay there a week. A week working your way through Wales from south to north and then stay a week in the Lakes. That gives you a few days in the Dales and a few more in Norfolk before taking the ferry. If you had another week or so to spare, I'd suggest going north at least as far as the Border country and preferably in to Scotland as far as Glasgow/Loch Lomond and across to Edinburgh.
School holidays end in the first few days in September so you should miss the worst of the tourist season, 'tho colleges and universities restart a week or two later. All these area are popular and have a multitude of sites with electrical hook-up for a camper.
Be aware than many small back roads are exactly that - very narrow, originally intended for horse drawn carts and although fully paved and drained, no one ever felt the need to widen them (and in the case of N. Wales and the Lake District, you have the popular option of a sheer drop on one side and a stone wall or cliff face on the other). This being the case, a smaller rather than larger camper van might be the best choice...
Mike, thanks for the suggestion. There's a holocaust survivor in the family, making those sites much more than tourist destinations.
GJA - the only tent I see in the classifieds weighs 13 lbs. Too heavy for travelling with. While we will spend much of our trip in a camper, we have to travel to England, and to where ever we will pick up the camper by car, plane, train, bus, feet....... I've been on the lookout for a changing tent for awhile, but the lighter ones disappear from the classifieds quickly.
Bob - we will probaly fly in and out of Manchester - usually slightly cheaper than London. If not Manchester then Norwich.
Wales is certainly high on the list of places we want to get to. There is never enough time to get to all the worthwhile, interesting spots. There are old friends to see in Devon/Somerset - so count on a week in that area, and Norfolk is good for a week at least - family member living there turns 99 this year. The warning about the roads is appreciated. We got into trouble on a really narrow, steep, and muddy one in Yorkshire last time. The A roads are usually our first choice. Small is a must for the camper - a camperized van is the idea, not a big Winnebago.
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If you haven't been there yet, go to the stone circle at Avebury. Skip the Lakes, it will be crawling with tourists, instead, do the Forest of Dean & the Malverns.
Well... Manchester would put you on the doorstep of Yorkshire and the Peak District. If you decide to fly into NWI, drop me a note and I'll take you up our local mountains.
Originally Posted by sly
Have been to Avebury - awesome. Would love to get back on a day that didn't have a milky sky. So many of my photos from England have blank white skies.
Will definately look into the Forest of Dean and the Malverns, thanks.
Looking forward to your East Anglian mountains - do I need crampons?
You can find some motorhomes for sale at this website:
You must also sort out your motor insurance properly. You may require different and additional terms for taking a vehicle to Europe.
Last edited by Windscale; 07-07-2009 at 10:59 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You'll be onto a winner with the Norfolk Alps, rivalled only by the fenland Shippea Hill.
What are you looking to photograph?
Light, shadow, texture, lines, curves......
Originally Posted by MkII
I'm an opportunist. There's always SOMETHING worth taking a photo of.