If you’re a keen angler, it’s not humanly possible to get through an episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing without wanting to plan your own fishing trip. The charming surroundings, tranquil waterscapes and laid-back atmosphere of the show demonstrates all that is wonderful about a British fishing adventure.
There are plenty of locations from the show that are open to the public. You’re not guaranteed quite as many laughs as you would have with Whitehouse and Mortimer in tow, but you can still have a truly memorable time. Just remember to get some specialist motorhome insurance in place to protect your home on wheels.
About Gone Fishing
If you haven’t yet seen Gone Fishing, you’re in for a treat. It’s a funny, tender, scenic show in which Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse go on a series of fishing trips, staying in beautiful places and teasing each other mercilessly. There are four series and a Christmas special to enjoy and the series takes in every corner of the UK.
Both Whitehouse and Mortimer have experienced heart problems and Paul introduced Bob to fishing to help aid his recovery. Fishing is a great way to relax, enjoy the outdoors and build up your fitness. There is plenty of laughter along the way but the show is also about wellbeing, friendship and getting back on your feet after a setback.
If you fancy a night or two away from your motorhome, you can check out all the gorgeous accommodation Whitehouse and Mortimer stay in during the course of the show here on their website. Barns, yurts, huts, boats, cottages, a bus and even a water tank – treat yourself to an unusual trip in the footsteps of the comedy heroes.
The best fishing locations in Gone Fishing
Pack up your motorhome, stock up on bait and away you go! These are some of the best places to fish from the popular BBC series.
River Tay, Scotland
The River Tay is renowned for its Atlantic salmon. The river is the longest in Scotland, running from the slopes of Ben Lui in the West, through Perth and on to Dundee where it terminates in the North Sea. The season runs from January to October and some monster salmon are to be caught – whoppers of up to 40lbs have been known on the river.
The Tay runs through some gorgeous rural towns including Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Blairgowrie, as well as the city of Perth. Mortimer and Whitehouse stayed in a castle, but if you’re more of a King or Queen of your motorhome then you can find knock-out sites in the area, too.
Bentley Lake, Essex
The 3.5-acre carp lake based in Bentley, Essex is pristine and tranquil. Only six anglers are allowed on the lake at any time, making this a special experience where peace is pretty much guaranteed. Seven purpose-built swims give each angler a large area of water, complete with serene views of woods and fields.
River Ure, Yorkshire
The River Ure is an unmissable fishing destination set in the Yorkshire Dales. Gloomy news of diminishing fish stocks put off anglers in recent years but the good news is that stocks have recovered well and there are now 129 miles of rocky river beds teeming with big fish just waiting to be caught between April and October each year.
Try the Swinton Estate or Bolton Estate to catch salmon or sea trout. Salmon are well known to be a tricky catch, which makes achieving this goal all the more satisfying – or if you don’t, there is no shortage of cosy Yorkshire pubs where you can console yourself with a refreshing pint.
If you’re hunting for campsites, try Sleningford Watermill set beside the river with 14 acres of wonderful Yorkshire countryside to enjoy. Or there’s always Boroughbridge, set next to the river and within easy reach of tourist hotspot York.
River Tweed, Scotland
The Tweed boasts good stocks of salmon, sea trout, brown trout and grayling. The scenery is so beautiful here, with scenic bridges, rocky coves and meandering stretches of river leading you through this amazing region.
The Tweed runs through historic towns including Peebles, Galashiels, Melrose, Kelso and Berwick upon Tweed, taking in lowlands and rich arable land in the Scottish borders. Why not try stopping at Coldstream Holiday Park or stay at the Berwick Seaview Caravan Club Site for spectacular views and loads of interesting things to do.
River Usk, Wales
Whitehouse and Mortimer stayed on the Glanusk Estate in Wales, home to a beautiful section of the River Usk. The Usk flows from Brecon down to Newport, passing awe-inspiring landmarks such as Usk Castle and the National Trust’s Clytha Estate on the way.
Glanusk offers five miles of double bank fishing in green and varied parkland. You can buy a day ticket for trout and salmon rods, and even request a hamper of local food to make a special lunch.
Camping options are abundant – try the Glanusk Caravan Park within the estate itself, or the 5-star Erwlon Caravan and Camping Park beside the Brecon Beacons. Alternatively, Lakeside Caravan Park gives access to both the Usk and Llangorse Lake.
Lower Wye, Herefordshire
Mortimer and Whitehouse had a whale of a time fishing for chub on the Wye, staying in a gorgeous riverside lodge with a view across rolling farmland. The river is also a good place to catch barbel, pike, dace and salmon, depending on where you fish. The Wye has excellent quality coarse fishing and will entice any keen angler to show off their skills.
Campsites that are convenient for fishing include the relaxed, friendly Broadstone Park which has its own on-site fishery; Hawthorne Cottage Caravan Site, which is set beside woodland in the Forest of Dean; and Trippenkennett Farm near Hereford, which has its own fishing lakes on site.
If you watched Gone Fishing, you’ll remember the accommodation for Whitehouse and Mortimer’s trip to Norfolk – they stayed in the Wee Retreat, a tiny house made from a converted toilet block perched on a cliff above Sheringham Promenade.
Norfolk is a paradise for anglers, with dozens of lakes, a few rivers as well as plenty of sea fishing to enjoy. The flat landscape and shimmering reflections in the water will make you feel as if you’re in another world as you wait for the barbel, chub and other fish to bite.
For camping, why not try Highgate Farm Caravan Park, Reedham Ferry Complex or Willoways for some laid back, fishing-friendly sites? Or try the Waveney River Centre on the banks of the River Waveney, with an indoor heated pool and pub. Glorious!
Upper Tamar Lake, Cornwall/Devon
Upper Tamar Lake is a reservoir located on the border of Cornwall and Devon, a peaceful man-made lake offering carp (many in the 30lb range), perch, and eels.
There’s a cafe overlooking the lake for grabbing a light lunch or the odd warming cup of tea, and you’re likely to spot many interesting birds as much of the site is a nature reserve. The lakes are located close to the attractive town of Bude and wonderful stretches of coast around Sandymouth and Welcombe Mouth.
Top tips for a successful motorhome fishing holiday
If you’re planning a fishing getaway in your motorhome, most likely you are in for a wonderful time. If you’re new to the game, here are some tips to help your trip go well:
- Don’t forget your fishing licence
There are strict rules about where you can fish, what size of fish can be kept and the times of year you can fish in different places. Do your homework before you go and make sure you have the right documents and licence in place. If you’re caught breaking the rules, you could be facing a stiff fine!
- Book ahead to avoid disappointment
Spontaneity is great, but if your trip is in the high season, it’s best to book a place for your motorhome ahead of time to avoid being turned away. You should understand the facilities available on the campsite, for example the arrangements for waste disposal.
- Look up the nearest fishing shop
If some of your kit breaks or you run out of bait when you’re away, make sure you know where you can stock up. Your campsite host may be able to give you some good tips about stores and what they stock.
- Organise your space
Taking your rod and fishing kit will add to the contents of your motorhome, which might already be short of space. A little thought goes a long way when it comes to organising your van interior. Use containers, fastenings and boxes to keep your fishing stuff organised and prevent it from moving around in transit.
- Understand what is covered by your motorhome insurance
Your motorhome insurance will cover some of the contents of your vehicle but would it cover the full extent of your fishing gear? When you add up what it would cost to replace your full kit, it could prove expensive to replace. Make sure you have the right motorhome insurance cover in place and understand any terms that apply, for example security measures for your vehicle or whether you are covered for items stolen when you are away from your vehicle.
- Banish nasty whiffs
If you’re going to be returning to your motorhome wet, muddy, sweaty and smelling of fish guts, you might need to consider a little fragrance control! A sealable container for smelly stuff can keep it out of the van, while some quality soaps and air fresheners will help to banish bad smells.
- Don’t miss out on other local attractions
Just because your trip is based around fishing, that’s no reason to miss out on other attractions. Make a rough time plan for when you will be fishing and when you will do a little sightseeing – after all, you can’t sit by the water all day, every day. If you are taking a partner along who is not a keen angler, you might get brownie points for engaging in a bit of research to ensure you both enjoy your holiday.
- Understand the best times of day to fish
As well as planning where to go and where to stay, it’s a good idea to find out the times of day when different fish are easiest to catch. If your intended place is best for fishing at dusk, for example, it’s a good idea to plan some other activities for the rest of the day.
- Be open to socialising
If you stay on a riverside campsite, chances are there might be other anglers staying there for the same reasons as you. A trip can be even more memorable if you strike up some friendships by comparing fishing experiences. Keep an eye out for other anglers on your site and offer them a drink in your motorhome to break the ice.
- Swot up on fish recipes
If you’re planning to eat some of your catch, remember that you might want to take along the basics like a barbecue, pan, oil, salt, lemon and accompaniments. Why not research some other tasty ways of cooking your target catch?
Motorhome insurance you can trust
You need insurance cover that will protect your home from home, especially when you’re travelling to remote locations. Motorhome Protect offers motorhome insurance that provides cover for up to £3,000 of personal effects, cover for motorhomes with a value of up to £150,000 and unlimited mileage cover.
Why not get a quote for your motorhome insurance from Motorhome Protect before your next fishing adventure?
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.