Spaceships Campers: out of this world!
The wide open road has always appealed to my adventurous nature and what cooler mode of transport than a campervan? I’d had my beady eye on Spaceships‘ brand new VW Caddy ever since it launched as one of their camper rentals, at the beginning of 2014. Cool, cosy and compact, it’s like a tardis, housing a decent sized double bed as well as many handy facilities, and sneaky storage spaces.
Rocking up at the depot, located just west of London in Hayes and Harlington, excitement kicked in for our little weekend jaunt. Michael, Spaceships’ front man, gave us a warm welcome and went through all the ropes and ties, giving us the low-down on the camper’s many features. Before long he was handing over the keys to Nostromo – the cosmic name acquainted with our camper – and we were off… hitting that wide open road in our sweet little ride!
Escaping the Big Smoke I quickly got to grips with our funky, electric blue friend – it was so effortless to drive, and quite nippy too with its 1.6L engine! Tunes were pumping through the impressive sound system, and the sun was shining. Although we got stuck in a fair bit of traffic en-route, the comfy seats stopped our bums getting numb, and the air con kept us cool. Extremely fuel efficient and economical, Nostromo can do up to 644 miles per tank, which is enough to take you all the way to Berlin!
We pulled up at our campsite early evening – Whitlingham Broad – situated just on the outskirts of the Norfolk Broads. Eager to get the camper all set up for the weekend, we were soon mastering the side-awning. After a slight dozy detour of trying to put it up inside-out, all was very straight forward and it was propped up in a matter of minutes. Feeling rather peckish after our long journey, the portable cooker was soon being fired up and we began mustering up our evening meal, while supping on a few cans of cider. Cooking utensils were all provided, including a tin opener, spatula and tongs, as well as pots and pans, cutlery, plates, bowls and cups. There was even a washing up bowl, scrubber and tea towel to clear up afterwards – but don’t forget the washing-up liquid! A cool box is also supplied to keep food fresh.
As darkness fell, we got the double-bed laid out. Consisting of two separate mattresses, they easily fit next to one another, covering the entire back space of the van. It was surprisingly spacious, and could even fit my 6ft 4 boyfriend! The camper also comes with two pillows, a double duvet and bed linen. Thermo-insulated curtains can be suctioned onto each window, preventing the camper from being sweltering hot in the morning. Storage space is aplenty, with two large compartments at the rear of the car, as well as a small recess above the driver and passenger seats – so there’s no need to travel light! When the double-bed is pulled out, bags can also be tucked away underneath.
After a surprisingly comfy night’s sleep, we folded back the mattress and set up the camper table inside for breakfast – the grass was a little too wet due to a torrential downpour the night before. Fully fuelled, we headed out to explore the surrounding area and stumbled across the Great Broad Lake, just a stone’s throw away from the campsite.
Against a backdrop of marshes abundant with wildlife and luscious green woodland, we spent an hour paddling blissfully in a hired two-person canoe amidst swans, ducks and Egyptian geese. Miraculously dry after our little paddle, we sauntered into the local village for a well-earned refreshing pint of pale ale. Once back at the campsite, we fully embraced the camping spirit by hiring out a fire pit. Whilst the fire roared and the stars twinkled above, we got stuck into a game of cards (as well as a few cups of wine!). It was the perfect way to spend our final evening with Nostromo.
The next day, we unenthusiastically packed up the camper, and made tracks for London – why do these adventures have to end? Back at the depot, we handed back the keys and patted Nostromo goodbye. As the saying goes, it was short but sweet – not everyone can say they’ve spent a weekend in a spaceship!