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Pub overnight stops

Nov 12, 2017
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We have just returned from a great little pub! What a find.
If anyone finds themselves in Dorset I would highly recommend the White Hart in Bishop Caundle.
Stunning view from the carpark (nice and level). Great pub and the food was fabulous! Very dog friendly towards friendly dogs. Locals equally welcoming and we had a fantastic evening. We are already planning our return visit!

Anna & David

P.S 4 G reception and the television signal was excellent so watched Strictly and voted :lol:
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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Having not logged on for several months I did so today having been asked to comment on a particular post.
Whilst doing so I spotted this one.

Searching for the White Hart in Bishop's Caundle on UK Campsites produces no hits so the indication is that it doesn't have a caravan site licence or CL certificate. I hope I am wrong but that implies that it is one of the growing number of businesses which operate illegally unless they restrict themselves to 1 van at a time and no more than 28 nights in any 12 month period.

Over the past year or two I have become increasingly concerned about unlicensed sites which offer motorhome camping as they take business away from CLs and licensed sites which people have invested money in.
Damaging businesses in that way can only be detrimental to motorhomers in the long run - and obviously undermines the work undertaken by Practical Motorhome to expand the Nightstops network.

Such businesses are not, I would venture, deserving of support by Practical Motorhome.
 
Nov 19, 2010
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I take your point Graham (and thanks for responding to that other post), but I'm not sure that staying in a pub car park after eating (or particularly, DRINKING) there, is taking business away from campsites and CL/CSs, which provide a very different service.
And as for it being illegal, I'm sure you're right, but I hope the police have better things to do than tell motorhomers who may be over the alcohol limit to leave the pub car park and drive to the nearest licensed site!
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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They do take business away Tony, as people don't just stay after eating/drinking, they stay deliberately because it is cheaper than paying someone who is running a licensed business.
A motorhoming friend set up a CL in Scotland, ideally placed (as he thought) for motorhomers to stop the night for a break whilst travelling north/south. He got all the caravan business he expected but far fewer motorhomes. Turned out there was a pub listed with Britstops, operating with no licence, nearby.

Action against sites operating without a licence would not be taken by the police but by local authorities.

I also wonder what the position is regarding the business insurance carried by such places. As the activity is undertaken without a licence there would most likely be no cover for people camping (as opposed to simply parking) and it might even invalidate normal cover depending on the terms.

EDIT - Meant to say, we wouldn't support people buying goods like alcohol, tobacco &c from unlicensed suppliers would we? The same principle applies.
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Point taken.
Nevertheless, a lot of motorhomers (not all of them cheapskates) have pointed out that modern motorhomes are designed to be more self contained than caravans. Why pay for the full facilities of a site for an overnight stop, when all you need is a safe place to sleep?
UK legislation doesn't seem to recognise this. And nor do most UK sites. Plenty of French sites have their own "Aire" near the gates, just basic filling/emptying and priced accordingly. UK sites are one-price-fits-all. I was recently charged £25 for an unplanned overnight stop on a CS!
I'm not, of course, advocating breaking the law, simply pointing out some of the reasons why people do.
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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I absolutely agree about the self-contained point. The vast majority of our camping since we bought our first motorhome in 2006 has been at rallies or Temporary Holiday Sites with no facilities other than fresh water and waste disposal.
I also understand the reasons - I've heard people use similar ones to justify buying smuggled tobacco in the back rooms of pubs :)

I would love to see more and more pubs &c providing basic camping facilities but they need to do it legally. Perhaps this highlights an opportunity for Practical Motorhome (working in partnership with Natural England maybe?) to campaign for simpler provision of exemption certificates in order to obviate any reason for pubs &c to operate illegally.
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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gjh said:
Perhaps this highlights an opportunity for Practical Motorhome (working in partnership with Natural England maybe?) to campaign for simpler provision of exemption certificates in order to obviate any reason for pubs &c to operate illegally.
Two weeks and not even a glimmer of interest in promoting legal camping (or even a reason why support of unlicensed caravan sites should not be discouraged).
And yet people still ask why I hardly ever use motorhome forums any more :(
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Hi Graham
Unfortunately, since Lizzie left us, there isn't a full-time person from the magazine staff overseeing the forum yet, so your point about the magazine linking up with NE won't have been picked up.
As for discouraging the use of unlicensed sites - I suspect that wouldn't make much difference. Those who feel it's important to abide by the letter of the law will do so - and you're more than welcome to keep reminding everyone what the law actually says. But those who are more, shall we say, "relaxed" about it, won't be discouraged by anything on here!
Laws often only get changed once they're seen to be out of date - perhaps by being widely ignored without causing any noticeable problem. So maybe those offering, and using, currently illegal but perfectly safe overnight stops will be the "outriders" who eventually bring about some changes?
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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Thanks Tony.
You've highlighted another reason why I hardly ever use motorhome forums any more. In the last few years they have become increasingly populated with people who rant against breaking of this law and that law - including, prominently, the setting up of unlicensed caravan sites by "travellers" but are quite happy to be hypocritical when it comes to camping where they want to.

As regards the law becoming out of date, the actions which public authorities and landowners take against "travellers" shows that not to be so in this case. Failure to take action against "nice" people who don't cause "any noticeable problem" will provide a defence for those against whom action is taken. That's quite apart, of course, from the damage that cowboy landlords do to legitimate businesses.

On the subject of the magazine. If the company hasn't replaced Lizzie that sends out a clear message. One has to ask why they have a forum if they aren't willing to resource it? If they aren't bothered why should anyone else be?
 
Feb 9, 2013
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We need more Spanish and French style camper stops in the UK. Have used a few in last couple of years all under £10 with electric water and grey/black water drains. No showers or toilets but just a good clean safe legal place to park overnight. B)
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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ZydecoJoe said:
We need more Spanish and French style camper stops in the UK. Have used a few in last couple of years all under £10 with electric water and grey/black water drains. No showers or toilets but just a good clean safe legal place to park overnight. B)
I agree wholeheartedly and it's been pleasing to see that constructive lobbying has brought positive results in recent years.
However, unless land owners (councils or private) see an economic benefit in setting them up then they won't do it. It is unlikely that somebody is going to spend money to lay out an area, with adequate spacing, and obtain a licence/exemption unless they see that they can recoup the investment and make a reasonable profit.
If people think that, having made the investment, they will be undercut by some pub landlord or farm shop owner who sees a chance to make a quick buck and doesn't care about breaking the law then it is unlikely they will make the investment necessary.
 
Nov 19, 2010
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gjh said:
On the subject of the magazine. If the company hasn't replaced Lizzie that sends out a clear message. One has to ask why they have a forum if they aren't willing to resource it? If they aren't bothered why should anyone else be?
Things ARE moving on this, we should see a post soon from the Editor, Sarah Wakely
 
May 24, 2013
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Hi all

Thanks for all your thoughts on this thread - exemption certs are something that we have a real interest in because of our own Nightstop scheme, and they're certainly fraught with complication. I know more about the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 than is probably good for me, yet I still find it confusing :(

I absolutely agree that the legislation could be made simpler, and have taken on board all the comments here - it's definitely something that I'm planning to look into in the magazine in future, so thank you for your thoughts on it.

Also, I wanted to thank you for all your patience here on the forums - things have been pretty chaotic since our Lizzie left (not least because we're moving offices this weekend!), but I wanted you to know that we do keep an eye on things here, and haven't forgotten about you. Service may be a little slower than normal for the time being, but we do appreciate the time and thought that goes into the forums posts! We're in the process of finding a Lizzie replacement, and as soon as we have news we'll let you know.

Best wishes to you all,
Sarah
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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Thanks Sarah.
Long time no see, hope you are well.

I don't think a legislative change is required for exemption certificates, just a relaxation of the requirements of the range of facilities to be provided by CLs/CSs.
That would enable businesses which are not able to provide water and waste facilities (as is the case with many unlicensed sites currently) to obtain exemption certificates and operate legally (and ensure that they have valid public liability insurance cover).
Natural England, working together with local authorities, could crack down on anyone continuing to operate unlicensed sites at the same time.

Graham
 
Jan 17, 2020
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Any one with a motorhome should note the LAW on Drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.
It does not matter where you are parked; be it on private land, a layby or even a campsite, "If in the opinion of the constable you are likely to drive before your blood alcohol level is lower than prescribed then he can require you to take a breath test and you can be arrested if you fail." so parking outside a pub is risky.
There is a very good website, albeit in Dutch, with thousands of "free camping spots" there are several in the area that I live .
 
Nov 16, 2015
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On my Snooper SatNav, which i use for the caravan i have the "CamperStop" Search for sites, which include pubs. But also the UK campsites have the pub stopovers al well.
 

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