Julia Bradbury pitches up at Tower Bridge on a floating campsite to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the caravan and launch National Camping and Caravanning Week 2019
London commuters and tourists were surprised to see a caravan on a floating campsite on the River Thames by Tower Bridge with TV personality Julia Bradbury on board. Julia was enjoying a staycation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a much-loved British holiday icon – the caravan.
The unique floating campsite, created for one-night only, has everything for an enjoyable caravan holiday including a barbecue and outside table and chairs. The Eccles 560 caravan also boasts home comforts such as a large double bed with ensuite shower room, a fully-equipped kitchen with fridge and even the ability to control its interior lights, hot water and heating via an app on a smartphone. The floating campsite’s tent, by Field Candy, features the World’s Smallest Pub design.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first caravan built on a commercial scale to be towed by a car instead of a horse. That first caravan was an Eccles, a brand still in production today with the Swift Group, and cost £90 when it launched in 1919 (or just over £5,000 in today’s money).
This is not the first time Julia has been camping in an exclusive central London location. Well known for her love of the outdoors, and in her capacity as President of The Camping and Caravanning Club, she launched National Camping and Caravanning Week 2016 by spending the night in a tent on top of The O2 Arena. Julia is also hosting a birthday party to mark the caravan’s milestone.
Julia said: “National Camping and Caravanning Week is all about inspiring the nation to get outdoors whether that’s through caravanning, motorhoming or traditional tent camping. And we’re all more aware than ever that getting into the great outdoors is good for our mental health and well as being great fun.
“Caravanning is easier than you might think and offers the freedom to tour and enjoy our wonderful countryside. Today’s caravans have all your modern home comforts and luxuries – they have come a very long way since those early pioneering caravans – and today represent a great British success story.”
According to the latest research from the UK Caravan and Camping Alliance, the UK’s campsite and holiday park industry generates £9.3 billion of visitor expenditure and supports 171,448 full-time jobs.
Robert Louden MBE, the Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, added: “For many decades the British caravanning, motorhoming and tent camping industry has made a significant economic contribution to the country while also creating lasting holiday memories for millions of people. We hope people continue to enjoy our great pastime for years to come.”
To celebrate 100 years of the caravan, the Club will give one lucky competition winner a new Eccles 560 caravan including Vango awning, worth £26,500. The Club is also asking caravanners to share photos of why they love caravanning on social media using #lovemycaravan to be in with a chance of winning an Outwell awning. Visit www.nccw.co.uk for competition details and offers.
National Camping and Caravanning Week 2019 is supported by the Swift Group, Truma, The Outdoor Guide, Outwell, Vango, Powrtouch and Field Candy.