The sand between our toes, the wind in our hair and the smell of fish and chips – these are just some of our favourite things to enjoy when out and about in our motorhomes and campervans.
The 12,500km of UK coastline provides ample opportunities for days out at a whole range of idyllic British beaches. And there are few better ways to visit than in your trusty motorhome.
To help you plan your next great seaside adventure, here’s a run-down on some of the UK’s best beaches you can drive on, tips on how to drive when you get there and what to do if you get stuck in the sand!
Remember that with a policy through Motorhome Protect if you do break down or have accidents while exploring, your motorhome insurance is your first line of defence. So, always have your vehicle cover in place before you dust off the BBQ and umbrellas.
Are you allowed to drive on beaches in the UK?
While stepping out of your motorhome and straight onto a sandy beach sounds like heaven, the UK authorities would have something to say about it.
The majority of the UK’s public beaches won’t allow you to drive on them for any distance and you’ll probably have to make do with a short walk from the car park.
However, there are some UK beaches where you can drive on the sand but you’ll need to check on any seasonal restrictions before you do.
Top 5 beaches where you can drive a motorhome
Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, Gwynedd
Despite its foreboding name you won’t see much in the way of darkness at this wide expanse of North Wales beach. Motorhome enthusiasts can experience driving on these golden sands and then exploring the sand dunes, rock pools and caves that are host to a great variety of natural wonders.
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
At certain times of the year, you can experience driving on this world-famous stretch of South Wales coastline. While home to the setting of several historic land-speed records we don’t recommend such activities with your motorhome!
Benone Strand, Derry
This popular seven-mile stretch of sandy beach is situated on the stunning Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland.
Ainsdale and Southport Beaches, Lancashire
Both beaches allow you to drive and park on them during the main summer season only from 1st April to 30th September.
Brean Beach, Somerset
An extensive sandy beach near Weston-Super-Mare, but be very careful of the changing tides and the various mud flat sections.
Tips for not getting stuck in the sand
Even if you’re not driving onto one of these gorgeous beaches, when you head to the seaside it’s all too easy to get stuck in sand if you aren’t careful.
So, what practical steps are there for you to take to avoid that sinking feeling?
- Check local conditions – tides, channels and any quicksand or mud flats all need to be taken into account if you want to avoid getting stuck.
- Slow and steady – driving slowly and steadily in a low gear should help to keep you moving forward. Try not to turn sharply as you can easily dig yourself into trouble.
- Stay off dry sand – wet sand is firmer and less likely to cause a problem. Indeed, if you do get stuck, sometimes pouring a few gallons of water over your driving path will help compact the sand and help you drive out.
- Release the pressure – by letting out some tyre pressure you’ll create a larger surface area and better traction. Be sure to reinflate the tyres when you return to the highway. Underinflated tyres can be dangerous.
- Adapt your driving style – driving on sand can radically affect the steering and braking so adjust your handling accordingly.
- Carry traction – packing tyre mats or sand ladders will enable you to get a grip if you do become stuck.
What to do if you get stuck
No matter how experienced a driver you are, if you drive on sand often enough you will eventually get stuck. So, what can you do if this happens to you?
Stay calm – slamming your foot down and trying to power yourself out of the problem is the best way to get yourself even deeper into trouble. Instead, try to reduce the weight of your motorhome and try again – a few less kilograms may make all the difference.
Rock yourself loose – Changing from forward to reverse gears to produce a gentle rocking motion could do the trick. By gently flattening the sand around the wheels you could give yourself a better surface to drive out of.
Get a grip – Using a sand ladder, tyre mats or even a plank of wood under the wheels can give you enough traction to get out of the situation. Never allow someone to stand in front or behind the wheels in this case. Objects can be spun dangerously out from beneath the wheels at high speed.
Keep going – once you’re free, don’t stop until you reach solid ground. You don’t want to have to repeat the performance all over again!
Get a tow – the last option really. No motorhome owner wants to have to go to the stress or expense of getting a tow truck or tractor to pull you out. Hopefully you packed a tow rope!
Check your insurance – if you do need help then check your motorhome insurance as you might be covered for recovery.
Motorhome insurance to keep you moving
Wherever your adventure takes you, a motorhome insurance policy arranged by the dedicated team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect can come with a range of benefits including:
- Unlimited cover across the European Union
- Cover of camping personal effects for up to £3,000
- Cover for motorhomes with a value up to £150,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Discounts for club members
- Consideration of all claims and convictions
All these features and benefits are subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria.
Get a quick quote today.
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.