14 Celebrities Who Love Their Caravans
No longer is a caravan holiday thought of as a weekend spent in a field in Devon, it’s become something much more attractive than that. The Caravan Club recorded one million visits to its website in July, and recruitment figures are at an all-time high.
The perception of caravanning seems to be changing and Nikki Nichol of the Caravan Club has cited the influence of a number of high-profile Club members as one of the main reasons for the surge in popularity. But why has caravanning suddenly become so popular amongst celebrities? You could point to the new sleeker models – not all caravans look like big yellow butter tubs anymore. It could also be the fact they offer a slower living pace, a sure change from the hectic schedules most celebrities face every day.
Here, we take a look at some of the celebrities that like nothing better than towing their caravan to a remote part of the country and setting up camp.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Jay Z and Beyoncé
Two years ago it was reported that Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin had organised a caravanning trip with Jay Z and Beyoncé along the coast of Florida. Although this was intended as a quiet getaway, in order to give Jay Z and Chris Martin some quality down time after their whirlwind tours, they travelled in a huge luxury Winnebago.
Well known for playing hard man Phil Mitchell since 1990 in the BBC soap EastEnders, Steve McFadden is a huge fan of caravanning. As unlikely a caravanner as you could imagine, he’s been doing it for over 15 years now. He’s not the only East Ender who is a caravanning enthusiast though, with Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson) and Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) also huge fans.
Celebrity architect George Clarke’s decision to renovate a 1970s caravan for use as a family holiday home was turned into a TV show. Viewers followed his progress on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (Channel 4) last year as he transformed a rundown caravan into an eccentric yet comfortable living space. Clarke says that ‘creating a small-scale holiday retreat can be a labour of love,’ and it’s cheap too, costing him less than 5% of a small cottage.
In 2009, ex-Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand shunned an expensive holiday abroad in favour of a ‘staycation’ holiday with his wife and two sons. Rio said that ‘rather than go down south where I used to go we popped over to North Wales and stayed in a caravan park.’ The family stayed at popular caravan park chain Haven, where a spokeswoman said that ‘he really seemed to enjoy himself.’
Roland is the television host of a number of travel shows however it wasn’t until he was aged 42 that he began taking an interest in caravanning. He has been quoted as saying, ‘I’ve no idea who it was that said ‘all good things come to those that wait’ but with me and ‘vanning’ they couldn’t have been more on the money.” Rowland is featured in the image to the right driving away with his brand new Bailey Ranger.
It probably comes as little surprise that outdoor enthusiast Ray Mears is a huge fan of caravan holidays. One of Ray’s favourite destinations is Scotland. He says that ‘in Scotland you have access to incredible countryside. There is also more fishing North of the border. I come up to Scotland as often as I can.’ He’s also a member of the Caravan Club, and has collaborated with them to put on a theatre show about his travels in the wilderness.
Lorraine is a self-confessed caravan enthusiast, and very popular with other caravanners; she was voted ‘ideal caravan guest’ in a poll carried out by Safeguard and also opened the Scottish Caravan Show. She says that ‘the great thing about going round in a campervan is that you see so much more. She says, ‘it’s the freedom of the open road which really attracts me.’ Lorraine regularly attends caravan exhibitions and it will come of little surprise that she is also a member of the Caravan Club.
In a poll conducted by Safeguard caravan insurance she was revealed to be the ideal caravan companion, taking 32 percent of the votes.
Famous Beatles front man John Lennon was way ahead of the celebrity caravan craze when he bought a Roma Gypsy caravan for his son Julian back in 1967. The caravan actually featured in Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band video way back in the 60s. It was recently rediscovered next to the swimming pool in Ringo Starr’s Surrey home, and is now being restored to its original condition.
Carol Smillie is best known for presenting popular BBC daytime show Changing Rooms, but she is also a massive fan of caravanning. Having appeared consistently on television since the late 1980s it’s no wonder she’s got a penchant for a relaxing weekend away in her caravan. Smillie presented a Highways Agency DVD called Are You Fit To Tow? back in 2008, which showed you how to maintain your caravan, as well as the safe way to drive it. Like Lorraine Kelly, Smillie has also opened the Scottish Caravan Show.
Jamie is well known for his down-to-earth, no-nonsense, cooking style, and it seems this rustic spirit rolls over into his choice of transport. He currently drives a converted 1959 Porsche-powered VW Spiltscreen Camper when moving between locations for his TV series. It is, of course, complete with a cutting-edge kitchen and stylish interior.
Gary has had a soft spot for caravans his entire life and used to holiday at Weymouth with his parents when he was a boy. After he became an overnight success in 1979 with his post-punk group Tubeway Army he went out and rented one of the big caravans on the site, thinking he was really ‘lording it up.’ He still manages to see the glamourous side of caravanning!