Guest Blogs,  Travel

A romantic retreat can simply be where you park…


Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers

Happy Valentines Day! Whether you celebrate it as the most romantic day of the year or just see it as a chance to spend time with your loved one, take a look at my guest blog post from Nathalie Selvon-Bruce at Bus Vintage Campers, a Surrey Classic Campervan Hire company offering self-drive hire – perfect for taking life in the slow lane for an off-grid escapade.

Romantic retreats often come pre-booked in advance, with package options and high expectations…. Be it a spa getaway, or an itinerary of activities and experiences.

But sometimes, it’s great to embark on a roadtrip adventure that does not come with any pre-conceptions … and your romantic retreat is simply “where you park” – and given the diverse and wonderous playground that our beautiful country has to offer, there is a certain joy in finding your retreat literally anywhere – your picture perfect view could change throughout your journey….. and the beauty that you find is likely to be a reflection on your own whimsical preferences.

As the saying goes, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”.(Lao Tzu).

At Brits calibrate to hotter, and drier summers, the opportunity to connect with the natural environment through camping and road trips becomes increasingly popular – especially with today’s experiences-driven millennials.

Wild camping

Those wanting to go deep into the wild and spontaneously stay on location overnight, need to be aware of the rules. In Scotland, wild camping is legal, but in England and Wales, you must have permission from the land owner. The key exception is Dartmoor, Devon, where wild camping is legal. There is an excellent resource for wild camping locations and guidelines here:

The alternative is to book with campsites along your tour.

Coastline camping

The coastline is a natural magnet to those looking for breathtaking scenery and an abundance of natural beauty. Basking in a sheltered cove with your loved one, surrounded by cliff faces, reflecting glistening light, and listening to the gentle sounds of the waves rolling into the beach, brings a sense of unparalleled tranquillity.


Image by Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers

There are so many British beaches to enjoy – finding a site where you can park or pitch right by the sea is the utopia – imagine the view as you enjoy breakfast overlooking the glistening sea … and why settle for one location, when you could tour several!

There are campsites advertised that tick these boxes – if touring the South, Devon comes with the benefit of a glorious coastline, and also the Dartmoor national park – enabling a taste of the coastline (such as Freshwell camping in Croyde or the fabulously named Beer Head caravan park in Seaton), but local enough to detour for the opportunity to experience wild camping too!

Grassy meadow meandering

During summer time, Britain is blessed with colourful wild flowers, nestled in long, grassy meadows, where the butterflies frequent. There is great appeal to lounge amongst a beautiful mix of flora, listening to the breeze through the tall grass, perhaps enjoying a picnic with your partner.


Photographer: Amanda Duncan Photography
Makeup: Victoria Chainey Makeup
Wardrobe and styling (original vintage dresses): Surrey Arts Wardrobe
Campervan: Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers
Flowers by Susie Kennedy
Model: Abigail Blundell

Britain’s meadows are at their most colourful around mid May through to mid August, although to get the most out of the experience, you may want to visit before the hay cutting season in mid-July. 

This map is a great resource, when seeking out the best meadow to visit:

The images in this article were taken in Early June in Norbury Park, Between Leatherhead & Dorking in Surrey. Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) is applying to create 30 grass camping pitches and six glamping fields, as well as accompanying facilities and a car park, at the Phoenice Fields area of Norbury Park. The application is still underway, and we trust any approval will sanction a facility that is empathetic to the natural beauty and environment – so one to keep an eye on – but for those City workers in London, looking for a getaway, this is close enough for a day  trip!

Photographer: Amanda Duncan Photography
Makeup: Victoria Chainey Makeup
Wardrobe and styling (original vintage dresses): Surrey Arts Wardrobe
Campervan: Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers
Flowers by Susie Kennedy
Model: Abigail Blundell

Woodland wondering

Immersing yourself in our historic woodland, offers a secluded getaway, oozing with romantic charm. Imagine pitching under the trees, listening to rustling leaves and early morning birdsong, as you take in the diverse scents of the forest.


Photographer: Amanda Duncan
Flowers by Mad Lilies
Campervan: Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers

There are many natural woodland wonders, where you can live in harmony with nature – from the Cynefin Eco Camping in South Wales to Fox Wood Camping in West Sussex. The New Forest provides a vast selection of camping options (often alongside the wild horses that roam the land) – and indeed there is a great resource here, where you can pootle between sites with a range of facilities.

Photographer: Amanda Duncan
Flowers by Mad Lilies
Campervan: Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers

Taking life in the slow lane:

The images in this article were taken in collaboration with Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers, a Surrey Classic Campervan Hire company offering self-drive hire – perfect for taking life in the slow lane for an off-grid escapade. Their VW Campers enable you to explore the countryside, connect with nature and find your own romantic retreats at your own pace – wherever you decide to park. Complete with picnic essentials, basic kitchenware and a two ring gas hob and camping gas, you can sit back with a freshly brewed cuppa, watch the sun rise, the sun set and the never ending star-lit canopy above your head… spontaneity opens the doors to a world of romantic adventure!

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