We are off on a big adventure to northern Spain this summer. It’s been 4 years since we ventured across the channel to mainland Europe and I, for one, can’t wait. It’s the promise of getting away from the PC and the DIY and the mortgage and all the everyday trappings that excites me most. We’ll have three weeks to meander around Spain and France doing the things that make us happy. We’ll camp, of course, but we’re also searching for good walking, surfing, wild swimming and snorkeling.
We have a number of great books to guide us on our way, including one of the Wild Swim books and the latest guides to the aires of France and Spain from Vicarious book. Some of these are available on my website at martindorey.com, where you’ll find a hand-picked selection of camping and campervan books. These are books that inspire me, make me want to pull on my walking boots of strip off and dive into a rock pool.
The Guyrope Gourmet
Let Josh Sutton transport you to a place where the fire never goes out, the banjos are strumming all evening and the food fill your nostirls with heavenly aromas. That’s the world of the Guyrope Gourmet, my mate from up north who drives a very cool Viking Camper and who makes great nosh. His book is full of wonderful images, great recipes and beautiful illustrations. Flick through it ona sunny afternoon and you’ll soon be dashing off to the farm shop….
If you like exploring and swimming then you need this book in your life. It’s full of fantastic places to swim, dive, jump and float away your summer. Pack a copy and take it wherever you wander this summer so you’ll be able to look up Daniel Start’s favourite places to take a wild swim. There are 300 of them around the UK and they will inspire you to roll up your swimmers in the old beach towel and head for the hidden pools, rivers, waterways, ponds, waterfalls, rockpools and lakes of Britain.
Camping by the Waterside
One thing you’ll need to sort out is where to pitch your tent this summer. And my friend Steven Neale has the perfect criteria for guaranteeing a perfect pitch. And that is to only go to places where he can (or at least very nearly) cast his line of launch his kayak directly from the campsite. Better still, from his pitch. This book was a labour of love for Stephen and it shows. There are 120 sites all over Britain, clear regional maps and top ten lists for every type of by the water camping.
The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline
If you like strolling along the shoreline and like to know what treasure you might find there, this is the definitive guide to it. This is a book that took years of experience and lots of time spent wandering to write. It lists pretty much everything you might find on the beach, from fisherman’s buoys to lobster tags, shell and seed pods. It’s one for the cuious stroller, the beach wandered and the inquisitive beachcomber. But just remember, once you start finding beach treasure you’ll never walk along the beach in the same way again.
All the Aires France and Spain
If you are heading for the continent then the place to get your guide books is Vicarious Books. They publish the well-loved guides to the Aires of Europe and are agents for France Passion, the scheme that allows campervan and motorhome owners the opportunity to stay as guests of producers, bars and restaurants all over France. The Aires books are really useful on any trip to France and Spain as they list free (or cheap) stopovers all over the place. We have visited a few of them ourselves and can say that the listings and reporting is fantastic. We will not be leaving home without them.
The Camper Van Coast
So you’re taking off for the coast this summer? My second book is full of great ideas for a fantastic campervan trip to the coast, as well as lots of fantastic cook-in-a-camper recipes based on the sort of stuff you might find at the coast (and more). There’s also lots of coastal information , some easy (and safe) foraging and a whole gamut of advice and ideas for the best trip ever… so slip the old girl into first and hit the road. The coast isn’t too far.
There are lots of inspiring camping and campervan books on martindorey.com and I am adding more all the time. It’s the only place you can get signed copies of my books too.