H is for … hire a Hymer | Mid Wales, May 2015

Great for: relaxed family togetherness and especially brilliant if, unlike us, you actually travel around a bit in your van!

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One, two, three… jump!

Our week with Nelson the Hymer – heart or head?

The verdict on our classic motorhome holiday in Wales

8/10

Great for: relaxed family togetherness and especially brilliant if, unlike us, you actually travel around a bit in your van!

Downsides: you do have to rely on your feet  / wheels / public transport / taxis to get away from the campsite

Top tips: build in some getting-to-know-you time with your hired home. We found the packing quite hard work (I’m sorry to say that there may have been some swearing).  

As a test to see if we should upgrade from a small loo-less VW camper van that we can’t all sleep in to something more family-friendly, we hired this gentle giant for a week.

We loved the table for playing games and doodling at while driving along, we loved all sleeping in the same space — and especially the capacious over-cab bed, we loved the rare-groove kitchen, we loved the overhead lockers and tiny wardrobe, we (okay, I) even loved the only-to-be-used-at-night portaloo.


It was love at first sight.  We loved the table for playing games and doodling at while driving along, we loved all sleeping in the same space — and especially the capacious over-cab bed, we loved the rare-groove kitchen, we loved the overhead lockers and tiny wardrobe, we (okay, I) even loved the only-to-be-used-at-night portaloo.

Yes reader, we nearly married him.

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To be fair, the attraction was helped by the romance of the location, which was idyllic.

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Fforest fields campsite near Builth Wells is a bucolic slice of camper heaven. It combines just the right amount of things to do with plenty of just being.  The kids enjoyed haring around on their bikes (mostly doing skids on the site’s only road — not terribly safe, in hindsight), visiting the small lake for a tiny amount of swimming / jumping off the jetty (it was cold, despite being nearly June) and collecting sheep bones in the hills, while we enjoyed the pristine shower block, heated boot room, and the limited amount of pizzas, smoothies and skinny macchiatos on offer in the small but very cosy cafe (okay, this was really only me again).

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The macabre collection of bones we found in the hills near the campsite

So, are we going to commit long term?

I think we may have mistakenly selected the ‘vehicle so wide it always comes with a convoy’ setting rather than ‘vintage motorhome’

Garry didn’t find driving such a beast of a machine as tricky as we’d feared although thanks to the motorhome setting on our satnav following only the broadest of A-roads (I think we may have mistakenly selected the ‘vehicle so wide it always comes with a convoy’ setting rather than ‘vintage motorhome’) it did seem to take a really long time to get there and back… I’m no navigation expert but I’m sure we were way closer to Birmingham than we should have been on our route from Builth Wells to Milton Keynes!

We’re still debating the upgrade, to be honest. Although Nelson will stay in our hearts and we’ve vowed to hire him or another Hymer again very soon, having no useable vehicle for the week did take some getting used to.  There are limits when some of your crew have quite short legs and limited bike ability/road awareness to how far you can get under your own steam, so we’d need to work on that a bit before committing to a vehicle that, unlike our smaller van, can never really be used to pop to the shops — at home, or from a campsite.

Hints and tips

We hired Nelson from Hire a Hymer, Milton Keynes
https://www.hireahymer.com/classic-motorhomes/nelson-6-berth-s670/
[Tip – I’d advise a smaller distance between van location and campsite as we did a fair amount of unnecessary driving]

We stayed at: Fforest fields campsite, Builth Wells
https://fforestfields.co.uk

and (briefly – but it’s also lovely) Cotswolds Camping, Charlbury
http://www.cotswoldscamping.co.uk

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